Important COVID-19 Update

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These are certainly challenging times for us all.

We are committed to doing everything we can to prioritise the wellbeing of our people, those who use our services and their representatives and the communities we serve to help contain the spread of COVID-19. Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on Saturday, our people will begin working remotely from today, Monday 23 March.

Having well developed online dispute resolution options, it will in many ways be business as usual for us as we focus on providing a seamless service, regardless of where our Registry staff, adjudicators, arbitrators and mediators are working.

We know you are working through similar challenges to ours and that these are uncertain times for everyone. From all of us here we send our thoughts to you, your teams and families.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch. Please let us know if we can be of further assistance to you and we will keep you informed with any further updates.

Initiating Adjudication: Back to Basics

 

Part Two: Service of the Notice of Adjudication

You have your Notice of Adjudication prepared, but what steps do you need to take to serve it? This note sets out in brief the requirements for service under the Construction Contracts Act 2002 (the Act) and the Construction Contracts Regulations 2003 (the Regulations).

The Act (s80) provides that any notice – including the Notice of Adjudication – may be served by:

  • delivering the notice in person to the respondent and/or owner;
  • leaving the notice at the respondent and/or owner’s usual or last known place of residence or business in New Zealand; or
  • posting the notice in a letter addressed to the respondent and/or owner at that person’s place of residence or business in New Zealand.

Additionally, the Regulations (regs 9 and 10) permit a notice to be served by fax or email (or other means of electronic communication) so long as:

  • the notice is readily accessible; and
  • the person on whom the notice is required to be served consents to information being given in the form of electronic communication proposed by the claimant.

Consent may be explicit where, for instance, the relevant construction contract expressly provides for notices to be served by email to a specified address.

Equally, unless the contract provides otherwise, consent may be inferred from a person’s conduct. For instance, where parties have routinely used email to communicate during the course of the contract, it will be inferred that those parties have consented to accept service by email.

It is important that you keep a record of how, when, and on whom service of the notice was effected. This may be as simple as retaining a copy of the email. Where service is effected by post or in person, a claimant ought to obtain some form of contemporaneous evidence as to service, for instance, courier tracking records or an affidavit of service. This will avoid any unnecessary argument as to whether service was in fact effected.

Part Three of our series on Initiating Adjudication will set out how and when to apply for the appointment of an adjudicator.