Pegram Shopfitters v Tally Weijl [2003] HT 03/25

Tally declined to pay the sum of ?95,483.78 plus interest and the adjudicator's fees arguing that there was no construction contract between the parties or if there was a contract, that the contract was different in content to the contract found to exist by the adjudicator. Pegram claimed that it was one based on its own conditions of sale whilst Tally claimed that it was one based on the JCT Prime Cost Standard Form of Contract 1998. There were no adjudication provisions in the Pegram standard terms thus on its case, the Scheme would apply. Here, HHJ Thornton QC found that the parties had entered into a construction contract in such a way that its terms were not clearly and unquestionably capable of being identified. The reason was that the negotiations consisted of a series of offers and counter offers. No complete set of contract documentation was identified. Therefore, the parties had not produced a construction contract whose terms enabled either party to give notice at any time of the intention to refer a dispute to adjudication. As the mandatory requirements for section 108 of the HGCRA had not been complied with, the Scheme applied. Therefore, the Adjudicator had been correctly appointed and had correctly applied the Scheme.

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