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Beck Interiors v UK Flooring Contractors

Citation[2012] EWHC 1808 (TCC), [2012] CILL 3209

Subject: Construction, Adjudication, Enforcement, Crystallisation, Jurisdiction and Severability.

The Claimant (“C”) engaged the Defendant (“D”) to undertake flooring 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 contended that a significant part of C’s claim relating to liquidated damages had not crystallised prior to the dispute being referred to adjudication. C argued that even if that were the case, the remainder of the adjudicator’s decision was severable and should be enforced.

Held (1) A dispute had clearly crystallised between the parties before the dispute had been referred to adjudication; however, the addition of the claim for liquidated damages was a late addition and had not been notified in sufficient time to crystallise prior to the referral (2) the claim for liquidated damages was separate to the remainder of the claim and was treated separately in the adjudicator’s decision. The Court could and would sever and enforce the remainder.

Michael Wheater represented the Claimant. For further details, please view the full judgment for Beck Interiors Ltd v UK Flooring Contractors Ltd [2012] EWHC 1808 (TCC), [2012] CILL 3209.