A dispute arose under a construction contract between the appellant architects, Roberts and the respondent developer, Parkcare. The construction contract incorporated the model adjudication procedure published by the Construction Industry Council subject to an amendment to clause 29 made by the RIBA standard conditions. The amended clause 29 provided that "the adjudicator may in his discretion direct the payment of legal costs and expenses of one party by another as part of his decision."

Parkcare referred the dispute to adjudication. However, Parkcare later discontinued its claim and unsurprisingly, Roberts asked the adjudicator for a decision that Parkcare should pay Roberts' costs. Parkcare argued that it was not liable to pay Roberts' costs as the adjudicator could only award costs "as part of his decision", and in light of the discontinuance, no decision had been issued. The adjudicator issued a decision that Parkcare should pay Roberts' costs.

Judge Havery in the High Court agreed with Parkcare and held that while clause 29 provided that the adjudicator could in this instance award costs, those costs were to be awarded "as part of his decision" and no decision had been issued because the adjudication had been discontinued. The adjudicator's decision in respect of costs was therefore not enforceable.

Was Parkcare liable to pay the costs awarded by the adjudicator?