Jerram engaged Aveat to carry out plumbing and mechanical works pursuant to a contract incorporating the GC/Works sub-contract conditions (the 'Contract'). The adjudicator gave his decision for Aveat on 17 November 2006. Jerram resisted enforcement on the basis that the terms of the Contract were not compliant with the Housing Grants Regeneration and Construction Act (the 'Act'

Clause 38A.5 of the Contract provides:
The adjudicator shall notify its decision to the Contractor and the Sub-Contractor not earlier than 10 and not later than 28 days from receipt of the notice of referral, or such longer period as is agreed by the Contractor and the Sub-Contractor after the dispute has been referred. The adjudicator may extend the period of 28 days by up to 14 days, with the consent of the party by whom the dispute was referred. The adjudicator’s decision shall nevertheless be valid if issued after the time allowed. ..” [emphasis added]

The referral notice was dated 11 October 2006 and the time was validly extended by 7 days so that the decision had to be reached, it was argued by Jerram, by 15 November 2006. However, the decision was not reached until 17 November 2006.

1 Was Clause 38A.5 compliant with the Act?

2 Was the adjudicator’s decision made out of time?

3 Had Aveat validly consented to extend the time for the decision until 17 November?

4 Was there a dispute? If so, was it sufficiently identified in the Notice?