The four defendant contractors worked together in a joint venture known as CAMBBA. The secretary of state granted a PFI concession agreement in February 1992 for Midland Expressway Ltd to design, construct and operate the Birmingham Northern Relief Road, known as the M6 Toll Road. Midland and CAMBBA entered into a design and construct contract in September 2000.

CAMBBA contended that a dispute had arisen in connection with payment arising from change No. 11 to the design and construct contract. CAMBBA wished to refer the dispute to adjudication. Midland sought a declaration and injunction to prevent the building contractors from referring the claim to adjudication.

Midland contended that on the true interpretation of the contract, the adjudicator did not have any jurisdiction. The proper dispute was between the secretary of state and Midland and CAMBBA, where Midland was simply a conduit between CAMBBA and the secretary of state. Further, clause 7.1.3(a) stated that the contractor would only be entitled to payment if it followed the conditions precedent set out in the design and construct contract. Clause 7.1.4 required a determination of the price adjustment to the concession agreement, and further that the money had been certified and paid to Midland under the concession agreement.

Was there a dispute between Midland and CAMBBA that was capable of being referred to adjudication?