I read John Redmond’s piece about arbitration with a wry smile (27 November, page 51)
Redmond’s article compares and contrasts arbitration with adjudication as if one is an alternative to the other. That is not, and was never meant to be, the case.
Adjudication is instead of arbitration in the first instance. It is a quick fix, rough justice, concurrent with events on site. It is not meant to be proceduralised or used for resolving lengthy, complex disputes.
If you don’t like the adjudicator’s decision you can still use arbitration upon project completion, but thereby hangs the real rub of it, which Redmond somehow omitted to mention in his article. Arbitration is subject to appeal – adjudication is not – and as a matter of tactics it nearly always is appealed either to delay payment, or because the grounds for appeal can include the arbitrator’s conduct of the case. Many unhappy punters have discovered to their cost and dismay that they won the arbitration only to lose the appeal because the arbitrator got it wrong.
So come on please, Mr Redmond, make sure you give your readers the full facts, warts and all.
Tony Clarke, Conica Consulting