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Beck Interiors v Classic Decorative Finishes

Citation[2012] EWHC 1956 (TCC)

Subject: Construction, Adjudication, Set-Off, Enforcement

The Claimant (“C”) engaged the Defendant (“D”) to undertake decoration works. A dispute arose and was referred to adjudication; the adjudicator made an award in C’s favour. D sought to challenge enforcement of the adjudicator’s decision on the basis that it intended to set-off sums said to be due under a separate contract.

Held (1) it is rare for the Court to permit parties to set-off against an adjudicator’s decision; to permit such set-off would defeat the purpose of the HGCRA 1996 (2) neither of the exceptions to that general rule (where there was a clear contractual set-off provision or where the adjudicator had not made an order for immediate payment) applied in this case (3) in any event, the cross-claim raised by D related to a contract that was not sufficiently connected with the relevant construction contract to permit an arguable defence of equitable set-off.

Michael Wheater represented the Claimant in this case. For further details, please refer to the full judgment Beck Interiors Ltd v Classic Decorative Finishes Ltd [2012] EWHC 1956 (TCC).