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Attempted interim interdict against bringing future adjudications

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Attempted interim interdict against bringing future adjudications


26 March 2014

T. Clarke Scotland Limited v MMAXX Underfloor Heating Limited [2014] CSOH 62

In the case of T. Clarke (Scotland) Limited v MMAXX Underfloor Heating Limited the pursuer attempted to obtain interim interdict against the defender.  The effect of the interim interdict would have been to prevent the defender bringing any further adjudications under the parties’ contract.  The defender had brought eight adjudications against the pursuer already.  The pursuer averred that the defender was, in effect, abusing the adjudication process.

Lord Woolman refused to grant interim interdict.  He accepted the defender’s argument that the order sought by the pursuer was too broad:  it would prevent the defender from initiating any further adjudication, no matter how genuine, no matter how well vouched.  It would only be in the ‘most exceptional’ circumstances that the court would deprive a party of an express right conferred by Parliament.  Lord Woolman also held that the balance of convenience favoured the defender, because the defender would be ‘significantly prejudiced’ if it could not take advantage of the speedier and cheaper means of dispute resolution provided by adjudication.

Alasdair McKenzie of Axiom acted as junior counsel for the defender.

Lord Woolman’s opinion can be found at http://www.scotcourts.gov.uk/opinions/2014CSOH62.html