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30 November 2023

King's publishes second construction adjudication report focusing on reform and transparency

The report examines the latest adjudication statistics, seeks to enhance transparency and consistency in relation to the disclosure and conflicts of interests of adjudicators, and hints at potential reforms of the Construction Act 1996.

cranes and a building in construction are silhouetted against a deep orange and amber sunset.

The report, 2023 Construction Adjudication in the United Kingdom: Tracing trends and guiding reform, published in collaboration with the Adjudication Society, is the second report in a three-year-long project on construction adjudication from the perspective of its users and key organisations. Co-authored by Professor Renato Nazzini and Aleksander Kalisz of the Centre of Construction Law & Dispute Resolution, it builds upon the findings of the 2022 report.

I am very pleased that our first report on adjudication in 2022 has already led to two important initiatives: the Equal Representation in Adjudication Pledge and Women in Adjudication. This year’s report shows that many Adjudicator Nominating Bodies are looking at ways to increase diversity in adjudication and I hope that more data will become available in due course. This year report suggests that guidelines on disclosure and conflicts of interest of adjudicators might be desirable. I look forward to discussing this with all stakeholders over the next months.

Professor Renato Nazzini, co-author of the report and Director of the Centre of Construction Law & Dispute Resolution

The report analyses data drawn from two questionnaires: one addressed to Adjudicator Nominating Bodies (ANBs) and a second addressed to individuals involved with statutory adjudication.

The authors found that:

  • The number of adjudication referrals received by ANBs has reached the second-highest level on record in the past year at 2,078
  • 55% of questionnaire respondents supported a pilot scheme to trial the publication of redacted adjudication decisions, despite the majority opposing general disclosure of decisions
  • 90% of questionnaire respondents believed that adjudicators should be subject to uniform guidelines on conflicts of interest
  • 56% of respondents have never taken part in an adjudication in which the adjudicator was a woman
  • The majority of questionnaire respondents are in favour of repealing most of the section 105 exceptions to Part II of the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996, while a majority of respondents (54%) would not amend the residential occupier exclusion in section 106.

This eagerly awaited second report on construction adjudication in the United Kingdom, 25 years after the introduction of statutory adjudication, through the Scheme for Construction Contracts (England and Wales) Regulations 1998, provides an invaluable opportunity to reflect on the impact that adjudication has had on the construction industry and to evaluate its success.

Mrs Justice O’Farrell DBE, in her Foreword to the report.

The report was launched at The Adjudication Society’s Annual Conference in London on 30 November 2023.

In this story

Renato Nazzini

Director of the Centre of Construction Law and Dispute Resolution

Aleksander

Research Associate