In his article “A fat lot of good” (2 Decembe), Rudi Klein rightfully complains that adjudication has become too expensive to be appropriate for the small value disputes that it was intended to resolve.
Yet he disagrees with the idea of allowing adjudicators to award party costs because adjudication is “not a forensic inquiry aimed at establishing the ultimate winner or loser”. But what has that got to do with the liability for party costs?
If a party has been forced to use adjudication to obtain proper payment, shouldn’t it be put back into the position that it would otherwise have been in had payment been properly made, thereby avoiding the need to adjudicate (that is, by the award of its party costs)?
Furthermore, doesn’t Klein realise that if the winning party to an adjudication was entitled to the award of its costs it would solve the problem of which he complains? If it received its legal costs, it would once again make sense to go to adjudication to settle smaller value disputes.