Building and Construction Law Update: Only one adjudication application for one contract

Straits Law recently represented a maintenance company who was a respondent in an adjudication matter brought under the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act (“Act”) by its subcontractor in SOP AA No. 34/2016 . The subcontract claimed for over S$700,000 being sums alleged to be due under various subcontracts for the provision of maintenance services of clients of the client. The client had failed to submit a payment response as required by the Act; the implication of such failure was that the client could not raise issues relating to the merits of the subcontractor’s adjudication application. Reasons for non-payment, if not provided in a payment response given within a prescribed time line prior to an adjudication application, cannot be considered by the adjudicator pursuant to section 15(3)(a) of the Act. Straits Law successfully argued on a jurisdictional ground, that the adjudicator had no jurisdiction to hear the adjudication application on the basis that that the legislative scheme of the adjudication regime only permitted one adjudication to be brought for one contract. In the present case, the claimant’s claim consisted of over 300 different sub-contracts. Consequently, the adjudication application was dismissed.

For more information on payment claim disputes and adjudication matters, please contact Joseph Liow at joeliow@straitslaw.com.sg or the director attending to you.