TYPES OF ADJUDICATION.
Paper only Adjudication.
The parties submit written claims, defences, counterclaims and legal submissions to the adjudicator along with expert reports and supporting evidence, having engaged in the usual exchanges of documentation. At an appointed time, the adjudicator goes through all the paperwork, makes a decision and publishes it. Whilst there is no opportunity at a paper only adjudication to make oral pleading and to engage in cross-questioning, the low cost of such adjudication proceedings is attractive. It is an ideal process for the settlement of disputes involving technical issues and straight forward differences of opinion between the parties.
Adjudication proceedings with hearings.
The process is very similar to a fast track arbitral hearing with strict time limits imposed on submissions and cross questioning.
The adjudicator is given the authority by the parties to a dispute (or by Statute if applicable) to make a determination which is immediately enforceable, subject to the terms of the award. Typically the losing party is ordered to pay the winning party a sum of money within a specific period of time. The settlement of the dispute at an early stage enables the parties to get on with business.
The decision is non-binding in that having complied with the order, the losing party is free to commence arbitration or litigation. Judging from the UK experience so far, it is rare for the parties to so dissatisfied with the adjudication decision that they decide to continue the dispute. Assuming that both parties are completely satisfied with the decision the dispute is at an end. Even if one of the parties is dissatisfied with the decision award the parties are able to continue their business relationship, on the basis of the decision, pending arbitration or litigation.