Claiming damages for wrongful adjudication?

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Hillcrest Homes –v- Beresford (2014) Construction Industry Law Letter TCC, Manchester


Hillcrest appointed Beresford as its main contractor on a JCT with contractor’s design form to design and build a large dwelling house in Prestbury.  The parties fell out and Beresford made numerous references to adjudication.  Beresford lost all of those adjudications either on various technical issues or because the adjudicator did not have jurisdiction.  This whole process cost Hillcrest a lot of money.

Hillcrest sued Beresford in damages for breach of contract for wrongful adjudication.

TCC Held

There was no contractual term that Beresford would not bring adjudication disputes outwith the ambit of the adjudication provisions of the contract and consequently Hillcrest had no claim to that effect.


This is an ingenuous attempt to achieve compensation where a contracting party failed to get his adjudication off the ground because of jurisdiction or technical difficulties.  The judge applied the standard test, namely was it necessary to give business efficacy to the contract or make the contract provisions work, that there should be such an implied term.  He concluded not, the contract worked perfectly well without such an implied term.

For more information, help or advice please contact Rob Langley on 0191 211 7975.