25 August 2020
Silverstone Park based legal firm Blaser Mills has won a ‘landmark’ insolvency litigation dispute in the UK’s Supreme Court that will have a significant impact for the construction industry.
Blaser Mills successfully argued that its client Bresco Electrical Service Ltd (in liquidation), was within its rights to pursue an adjudication for payment of the sub-contract works it had carried out on behalf of another electrical contractor, Michael J Lonsdale (Electrical) Ltd.
The ruling by the Supreme Court, the highest Court in the land, ended a lengthy dispute between the two construction businesses.
Blaser Mills is located in offices Silverstone Park’s Innovation Centre. Working on the case were Partner Jackie Ray and Commercial Litigation Lawyer Nina Bhatti.
Jackie, commercial litigation partner commented: “This is an excellent result for our client and clarifies the statutory and contractual right to adjudication, and the insolvent state of the referring party, is not an automatic barrier.
“The outcome relied upon the premise that an insolvent company could pursue adjudication and this ruling provides clarity; it’s a good result for creditors of insolvent companies as it will help to maximise dividends.”
The case has been the subject of many webinars and commentaries across the legal profession. Legal guidance website Practical Law described it as ‘this year’s landmark case’.
Jackie added: “This case has been of considerable interest to the legal world and, having progressed through a first instance contrary decision from the Court of Appeal, finally the decision was overturned by the Supreme Court; it’s a once-in-a-lifetime case and the right decision.”
She continued: “With the severe impact COVID-19 has had on the construction industry, the judgement is well timed to clarify the position on the ability for parties to seek a quick decision through adjudication and the solvency of the entities should not preclude this process.”