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Grove Developments Ltd v S&T (UK) Ltd Upheld
The cases of ISG Construction v Seevic and Galliford Try Building v Estura determined that where an employer failed to serve a valid Payment Notice and/or Pay Less Notice in respect of a contractor’s interim payment application then the employer was:
The landmark judgment of Mr Justice Coulson in Grove Developments Ltd v S&T (UK) Ltd  EWHC 123 earlier this year, rejected Seevic and Estura and determined, amongst other things, that an employer was entitled to commence an adjudication to assess the true value of the works. S&T subsequently appealed Mr Justice Coulson’s decision.On 7 November 2018, the Court of Appeal handed down its judgment on S&T’s appeal upholding Mr Justice Coulson’s first instance decision. The decision of the Court of Appeal confirms that:
This decision provides much needed clarity to the construction industry regarding the proper operation of the payment provisions within the amended Construction Act and confirms that Seevic and Estura were incorrect and no longer constitute good law. While it is doubtful that “smash and grab” adjudications will now disappear, it is likely that, as a result of this decision, there will be a diminution in the number of “smash and grab” adjudications commenced by contractors as the employer can now effectively challenge the adjudicator’s decision and recover any overpayment.