Contractor awarded £39k as adjudicator decision upheld

A building firm has been awarded £39,000 after an adjudicator’s decision in a contract dispute was upheld by the Technology & Construction Court.

The case involved BraveJoin Co Ltd and Prosperity Moseley Street Ltd.

Prosperity had engaged BraveJoin to undertake some steel and cladding work on a site.

In November 2020, BraveJoin sent invoices to an intermediary who acted for Prosperity and others in the same group of companies.

The intermediary responded that the invoices would be paid in December 2020 and attached a payment notice, which related to three of the six invoices.

On 29 January, the intermediary sent two pay less notices in respect of two of the invoices on the basis that Prosperity was not happy with the work done.

Prosperity failed to pay. It stated that the specific entity that BraveJoin had contracted with had not been identified, as at one point it had asked for clarification as to who should pay the invoices.

BraveJoin referred the dispute to adjudication. Prosperity maintained that the adjudicator had no jurisdiction as no dispute had crystallised. The adjudicator found that as BraveJoin had submitted invoices, that had given rise to a dispute.

He held that Prosperity had treated five of the invoices as valid and was obliged to pay the sums due in them.

Prosperity submitted that there was no dispute as BraveJoin had initiated the claim against the wrong company in the group and so no dispute had crystallised.

The court ordered that the adjudicator’s payment award should be enforced.

It held that there clearly was a dispute between the two parties.

BraveJoin had sent invoices to the intermediary. The terms of the invoices referred to Prosperity, and the intermediary responded with pay less notices issued on behalf of Prosperity.

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