CONSTRUCTION LAW – Advance JV & Ors v Enisca Ltd [2022] EWHC 1152 (TCC) (16 May 2022)

The Contractor (Advance) made a Part 8 claim seeking a declaration that its pay less notice could effectively respond to two different payment applications submitted by the Sub-Contractor (Enisca). Enisca issued IA 24 on 22 October 2021 and IA 25 on 25 November 2021. Advance issued a payment certificate and a pay less notice on 24 November, both of which referred to being served in response to the November payment cycle and IA 25.  After losing in adjudication, Advance sought to argue in Part 8 proceedings that through the documents it issued on 24 November it had validly served a pay les notice in respect of cycle IA24.  The judge agreed with the adjudicator and dismissed the Part 8 claim.  The Judge set out a useful summary of the cases on pay less notices and principles derived from them. Importantly, she agreed with Enisca that the Construction Act 1996’s payment regime requires notices to be referable to individual specific payment cycles and rejected the argument that a pay less notice could apply to two payment cycles, even if there was time.