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A question of payment

John Sheils is a partner at Shadbolt specialising in wide range of building and civil engineering disputes, with clients including local authorities, developers, architects, engineers, main contractors and sub-contractors. He has also acted in international arbitrations on behalf of French contractors. John lectures widely and is a visiting lecturer at Kingston University.

Now that the Valkyrie has hit the terrible teens, keeping her in clothes has become a full time job.

Her favoured couturier is a gentleman called Jack Wills and her chosen outfitters appear to go under the bizarre name of Applecrumble and Fish.

The Valkyrie has also taken to advising me on matters sartorial. On seeing my ‘disguise’ for the G20 riots she laughed out loud. I asked if she thought I still looked too much like a lawyer. She said “no” but my outfit of navy blue did make me look like an off-duty police man. Of course, this was all rather alarming but dark blue is so flattering to the fuller figure that I decided to eschew her recommendation of a ‘Che!’ t-shirt and loon pants and stick with elegance and good taste.

I mention this only because I was recently caused to speculate on whether the well-known and respected adjudicator Mr Chris Linnett has also been struggling to keep a teenage daughter in clothes. Mr Linnett was recently forced to sue the solicitor’s firm of Halliwells (Christopher Linnett v Halliwells LLP[2009] EWHC 319) for some fees that he had run up while acting as an adjudicator in a dispute between Halliwells and its fit-out contractors.

Halliwells argued that the adjudicator did not have jurisdiction and refused to agree to his terms of engagement. The adjudicator decided to proceed. Having reserved their position on jurisdiction Halliwells were content to allow the adjudicator to proceed and involved themselves in the adjudication. The adjudicator found against Halliwells and awarded the cost of his fees. When Halliwells refused to pay up the adjudicator took proceedings against them arguing that they had participated in the adjudication throughout and were liable for his fees and expenses by their conduct.

The court found that while it was true that Halliwells had not agreed to the adjudicator’s terms of engagement they had actively participated in the adjudication and by doing so had asked the adjudicator to carry out work for which he was entitled to be reimbursed. This would even be the case where there had been a successful challenge to the adjudicator’s jurisdiction.

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