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Are adjudicators' decisions made in construction disputes under statutory adjudication predictable and if so to what extent?

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posted on 2023-08-30, 15:48 authored by Kevin Trash
This research project investigated whether it was possible to reliably predict adjudicators’ decisions made under the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 (as amended). Anecdotally, many commentators had suggested that such decisions were unpredictable and that led to significant uncertainty in seeking to resolve construction disputes. If adjudicators’ decisions could be reliably predicted it is foreseeable that the level of disputes referred to Statutory Adjudication would reduce significantly, saving substantial sums in unrecoverable costs that parties would otherwise incur. It is further foreseeable that the construction industry would refocus resources onto projects and seek to deliver on time, to budget and quality rather than diverting resources to deal with disputes. The matter was investigated by distributing a Research Questionnaire to adjudicators in order to identify factors that might influence adjudicators in their decision-making and to seek their views as to why decisions might be unpredictable. By considering the current level of knowledge, industry experience and the views of adjudicators, it was possible to identify factors that might impact the predictability of adjudicators’ decisions. It was then possible to develop an Explanatory Model followed by a Predictive Model to determine whether decisions could be reliably predicted. This research found that adjudicators’ decisions, based on a sample of 125 previously made decisions, could be reliably predicted. The Predictive Model determined that whether a party would win or lose an adjudication was correctly predicted in 95% of decisions. In terms of the percentage of recovery that a party would achieve, this was correctly predicted in 83% of the decisions. This research concluded that the evidence supported a high degree of predictability in adjudicators’ decisions within the sample. This suggests a significant potential to improve efficiency and reduce the number of disputes in the construction industry.



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