This was an application for summary judgment pursuant to CPR 24, in relation to an adjudicator’s decision.

In or around June 2003 Roselodge Ltd (RL) carried on business buying properties and redeveloping them before renting them to tenants. Westdawn Properties Ltd (“WPL”) was in the business of refurbishing properties.

RL engaged WPL to carry out works of refurbishment and repair at numerous properties owned by RL, over the following 12 months. These works included the works which were the subject of this claim. These works were described as the Summerwood contract. The Summerwood contract between RL and WPL was entered into on or around 27 January 2004 and under this contract WPL agreed to carry out refurbishment works at the Summerwood property.

WPL went into voluntary liquidation on 9 August 2004, and it was alleged that, prior to this, on 25 May 2004 WPL assigned the benefits of its contracts, including the one with RL to Westdawn Refurbishments Ltd (“WRL”).

RL resisted the application on the basis that the adjudicator lacked jurisdiction. The grounds contended were that the contract between the parties was not in writing and that the contract was not a construction contract. A further consideration of the court was whether there was merely an assignment of the benefit of the contract or a novation between WPL and WRL. This however, was recognised as only being an issue to be determined if there the two jurisdictional challenges were unsuccessful.

In additional to these two jurisdictional arguments, at the hearing RL sought to advance two new additional jurisdictional arguments. The first being that the reference to the adjudicator was flawed from the outset because WRL was not a party to the contract and was an assignee. The second was that under the Scheme the notice of adjudication had to be given to every other party to the contract and as there has been an assignment (not a novation) this had not occurred as WPL, which was in voluntary liquidation at the time, had now been struck off the register and dissolved.