It made me sad to read the story of Alan Danieli, the small builder being driven out of business by unpaid accounts.
It is unfortunate that the drafters of the Construction Act saw fit to exclude contracts with residential occupiers from its provisions, particularly when the low cost and speed (as originally envisaged) of adjudication is most appropriate to this market.
The small builder (and building owner) could encourage the use of a contract that includes an adjudication clause. Although there has been doubt cast on such contracts under the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations, I believe that Judge Anthony Thornton had it right in Westminster Building Company vs Andrew Beckingham. With an adjudication clause included in their contract, either of the parties could obtain a judicially enforceable resolution at a relatively small cost, even if they did most of the legal work themselves. Does this not sound rather like the object of adjudication at its inception?
Peter Horne, senior consultant and adjudicator, Knowles