Systems Pipework Ltd v Rotary Building Services Ltd [2017] EWHC 3235 (TCC)

In this Part 8 application, the Claimant sought to challenge an adjudicator’s decision that it had failed to challenge the defendant’s final account within 14 days as required under the Contract and had thereby lost the right to issue its own final account. The works had been divided up into two sections. The Defendant had issued a lengthy assessment of the valuation of the whole works on 2 September 2015. The Claimant commenced an adjudication in respect of the second tranche of work on 16 September 2015. The Defendant started another adjudication on 20 September 2015 arguing that Claimant had not issued the requisite notice in respect of the final account relating to the first tranche of work. The adjudicator in the second adjudication agreed with the Defendant and the Claimant sought a declaration as to the true position. The Judge held that the final account submitted by the Defendant was not a proper final account notification on the basis that it had to include the amount due, and not just the proper valuation of the works. The document relied on by the Claimant did not say on its face that it was the notification of the sum due, it did not state the amount that was actually due, there was no reference to the relevant clause of the contract for notification of the sum due, and the evidence showed that it was intended to be valuation and not a notice of a sum due. In those circumstances it was held to be a valuation of the whole sub-contract works and not a notification. In the alternative, by issuing an adjudication on 16 September 2016, the Claimant had validly dissented from the final account notice.