Once a payment dispute is referred to adjudication by the Claimant, the Respondent must react very quickly. The Responding party ("the Respondent") must decide whether it wishes to contest the payment claim or possibly to try to negotiate a settlement prior to the adjudicator making a decision.
If the decision is to contest the claim the Respondent must assemble its team, gather the relevant information and decide the approach it wishes to adopt. The Respondent may decide to fight the substance of the claim and / or to fight the process. For example, if the Respondent wishes to fight the process it may raise issues such as in the jurisdiction of the adjudicator to deal with the matter. Such jurisdictional challenges should be maintained during the adjudication as, even if they are dismissed by the adjudicator, they may be of assistance to the Respondent in resisting enforcement of an adjudicator’s decision in court.
The Respondent must decide what it intends to include in the response and how it intends to complete the response in the time available. The Claimant must deliver its referral within seven days of the appointment of the Adjudicator. Upon receipt of the referral the Adjudicator is required to inform the parties of the procedures that it is intended to apply during the adjudication process. This includes directions as to the timetable for the adjudication, and any deadlines or limits as to the length of written documents.
In drafting its response the Respondent should consider issues such as:-
The Respondent should continually revaluate its objectives and its strategy in the light of any new information that emerges during the adjudication process.
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