Multi project dispute following complete breakdown in relations between developer and contractor

We dealt with a complex dispute involving numerous projects undertaken between developer and contractor (and their related entities) over many years. The parties had previously enjoyed a very close relationship and consequentially multi-million pound projects had been undertaken on an informal basis. When the relationship between the parties broke down, the parties were several million pounds apart in their position as to what total sum was due in respect of those dealings, with each party contending that a multi-million pound sum was due in their favour.

After defending a claim relating to numerous projects and parties during the pre-action stage, we brought a high value adjudication for assessment of sums due on a “true value” basis on a key project. We obtained an order for a substantial payment in our client’s favour, which accounted for a large part of the quantum in dispute between the parties.

During the course of the adjudication enforcement proceedings, a freezing injunction was applied for and obtained following discovery of dissipation of the contractor’s high value property assets to related companies. This prevented onward dissipation of those assets pending the conclusion of the enforcement proceedings.  The judgment obtained significant interest in the legal press and has set an important precedent to provide clear guidance to those faced with a similar situation of the instances in which a freezing injunction may be granted in adjudication enforcement proceedings.

At the same time, the contractor commenced court proceedings in respect of its claims in relation to numerous other projects. Those proceedings were robustly defended, including a successful strike out application and obtaining an order that the contractor pay a substantial sum into the court funds office by way of security for costs, as a condition of being permitted to continue its claims.

Those steps cumulatively provided a foundation for a mediation to take place to resolve all sums owing between the parties and their connected parties in relation to their course of dealings on confidential terms, thus saving significant legal costs and time by avoiding the need to resolve numerous further final account disputes and pursue insolvency claims for the recovery of the transferred assets.

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