Because Croesus engages consultants who are fully certified Adjudicators – where there is no conflict of interest with the parties involved – Croesus can provide expert assistance to either Claimants or Respondents in preparing the necessary documentation that is required of them by the relevant SOPA, if they are to effectively participate in the adjudication process.
Who is a Claimant?
A Claimant is a person who has carried out construction work (or has supplied related goods and services) and is or claims to be entitled to a payment under a construction contract. Any sub-contractor who renders an invoice (progress claim) for payment is a Claimant.
As the SOPA provides for different timeframes and notifications depending upon the actions of the Respondent, particular care needs to be taken by the Claimant to follow the correct legal wording and procedures.
Drafting Payment Claims
To make a claim under a SOPA, the Claimant first serves a payment claim on the party liable to pay for construction work or related goods or services (the Respondent).
The Claimant can only make a payment claim in respect of work done (or goods and services supplied) up to a particular reference date, which is determined by either the contract or the applicable SOPA.
Drafting Warning of Intention to Seek Adjudication
If a written response to the payment claim (the SOPA calls this a “payment schedule”) is not received within a specified number of business days, the SOPA requires the Claimant to provide the Respondent with a second opportunity to respond.
The specified number of days varies between legal jurisdictions, as do the required wording and related procedures.
Drafting Adjudication Application
A copy of the Claimant’s adjudication application and all attachments or other things accompanying it must be served on an ANA and the Respondent at the same time. Upon receipt of the application, the ANA nominates an appropriate Adjudicator from their panel of registered Adjudicators to determine the matter.
Adjudicators cannot be pre-appointed under a construction contract and may only be appointed by an ANA to adjudicate on a payment claim. Within 4 business days of receipt of an application, the ANA will provide a formal Notification of Acceptance of the adjudication application on behalf of the appointed Adjudicator.
Enforcing an Adjudication Determination
Having received and read the Claimant’s adjudication application and any related written responses received from the Respondent, the Adjudicator will proceed to make a Determination as to the amount that the Respondent is liable to pay in respect of the original payment claim.
The amount payable pursuant to the Determination becomes a statutory debt due to the Claimant from the Respondent. Should the Respondent fail to pay the amount in the Adjudicator’s Determination, the Claimant can proceed to have a Court enforce payment of the debt by a clerical process (the matter does not have to go before a judge).