Linnett v Nicholson Case No. 9QT67607

Claim by the adjudicator in the County Court for unpaid fees, allocated to the Small Claims Track. 

Defendant entered on the adjudication on a without prejudice basis on the basis that she never accepted adjudication as the dispute resolution procedure. CC judge following Linnett -v Halliwell was bound to conlcude that the defendant could not escape liability on the jurisdictional point.

Defence that adjudicator had completely failed to deal with or even refer to her counterclaim failed,

Defendant argued that the adjudicator could have sought payment of the full amount from the other party. Judge stated that the adjudicator had a wide ranging discretion as the parties were jointly and severally liable.

Defendant also placed reliance on the fact that the other party in the adjudication failed to obtain summary judgment for monies due. That application was unsuccesful as an application for summary judgment was not the place to consider the complex issue of whether there was a contract in writing or not.  The judge here considered that the issue of whether there was a contract in writing or not was not an issue that he was asked to decide in this case or need decide in the context of this small claim.

Interest claimed pursuant to the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998, not allowed as there was no evidence that the Defendant was a business. Judgment given for interest at the rate applicable under the CC Act.

Cost of time spent in recovery reduced on the basis that the claim was allocated on the Small Claims Track, the value of the principal claim and the Claimant's knowledge of issues and grasp of the relevant facts. Judge was not therefore satisfied that costs were reasonably incurred or reasonable in amount

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