This was an application to enforce an adjudicator’s decision awarding Avoncroft Construction Ltd (“Avoncroft”) £56,380. Avoncroft applied for summary judgment. Sharba Homes (CN) Ltd (“Sharba”) resisted this application on the basis that it was entitled to set off LADs. Alternatively, Sharba sought a stay of execution, or an order that the money be paid into court and not distributed until the outcome of a second adjudication.

The parties had entered into a JCT 1998 Private Without Quantities form of building contract (the “contract”) in September 2006. The contract was terminated on 14 September 2007. The contract did not provide for sectional completion. However, evidence was presented that Sharba did take partial possession of some of the work. Sharba serving a withholding notice on 15 February 2008 for the LADs on the basis that the final date for payment of the sum awarded by the adjudicator was 21 February 2008.

There were four issues for the court to decide:

  • Was Sharba entitled to LADs?
  • Was Sharba entitled to set off its claim for LADs against the sum due pursuant to the adjudicator’s decision?
  • Was Sharba’s withholding notice valid?
  • Should the monies be paid into court?