Mr Justice Akenhead enforces adjudicator's decision, despite criticizing it for poor grammar and “unconventional sentence structure”

Balfour Beatty has been awarded £1.4m after it launched a writ against Shepherd Construction to enforce an adjudication.

The row centred around a £65m development in Hull. Balfour Beatty Engineering Services - formerly known as Haden Young - was hired by main contractor Shepherd Construction to carry out M&E works on new facilities at Castle Hill hospital in April 2007.

In a writ filed at the High Court, Balfour Beatty claimed that Shepherd had deducted £2.2m from its payment after the subcontract works came in five months late.

However, on 2 July, an adjudicator ruled that the subcontract completion date should be extended to 10 June 2008, and that Shepherd was not entitled to deduct the costs. Shepherd was also ordered to cover the adjudicator's fees and expenses which, added to the other sums, totalled over £1.4m, plus interest and costs.

Commenting on the adjudicator's ruling, Mr Justice Akenhead said the decision “was no work of art”, and criticized the judgment for its poor grammar and “unconventional sentence structure”.

But he ruled that the adjudicator's decision should be upheld, though he said Hayden Young's claim of £78,000 in costs was “disproportionate” to the proceedings, ordering Shepherd to pay £45,000 in costs instead.