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Adjudicator Shopping or I don’t like the appointed Adjudicator so I will start again

Can a Referring Party withdraw its referral of a dispute to adjudication? There are several possible stages at which this could be done: after the nomination of the adjudicator; before service of the Referral; and after service of the Referral.

In Lanes Group Plc v Galliford Try Infrastructure Limited T/A Galliford Try Rail, the Notice of Adjudication was served by Galliford and they applied to the Institution of Civil Engineers for an adjudicator. Galliford objected to the person appointed, so they did not submit the Referral. A second Notice of Adjudication was then served by Galliford (for exactly the same dispute) and another application made to the ICE. The ICE appointed a new (different) Adjudicator. The adjudication took place.

Following various hearings in the Courts, the matter came to the Court of Appeal in December. Lord Justice Jackson said that jurisdiction starts with service of the Referral. Therefore, Galliford could choose not to serve its Referral and was able to start again with a different Adjudicator. He also confirmed that a Referring Party can drop one head of claim and reserve it for later adjudication.