0370 270 6000

already registered?

Please sign in with your existing account details.

need to register?

Register to access exclusive content, sign up to receive our updates and personalise your experience on brownejacobson.com.

Privacy statement - Terms and conditions

potential for adverse costs orders even in ADR

10 September 2014

In the case of Ensign Highways Ltd v Portsmouth City Council, Ramsey J made an order for pre-action disclosure in a dispute that was to be subject of adjudication.

Ensign and the council were party to a contract, pursuant to which any dispute was to be settled by way of adjudication. A dispute arose between the parties and, ahead of the adjudication hearing, Ensign requested the council to disclose all documents identified through a search against specified search terms. As a result of the search 150 documents where identified but the council refused to disclose these documents to Ensign.

Ensign applied to the court for a pre-action disclosure order.

On hearing the application the court granted the order on the grounds that:

  • these documents would form part of standard disclosure (if the matter were the subject of proceedings); and
  • they would enable the adjudicator to dispose of the matter more fairly.

It is likely that the council will also have been ordered to meet the costs of the application.

This case provides a warning that ADR does not provide parties total immunity from the court process and the potential for adverse costs orders.

related opinions

High Court finds against WASPI women

The High Court has rejected the judicial review claim brought by the campaign group BackTo60 against the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).

View blog

The importance of three magic words: subject to contract

A recent case illustrates the importance of ensuring that all emails discussing the terms of a proposed acquisition are headed ‘subject to contract’.

View blog

Vegetarianism is not a philosophical belief under the Equality Act 2010

In its Judgment earlier this month, the Tribunal considered whether vegetarianism is capable of being a philosophical belief capable of protection under the Equality Act 2010.

View blog

Compulsory drone registration goes live on 1 October 2019

As part of the continued tightening of the restrictions on drone use within UK airspace, the latest amendments to the Air Navigation Order 2016 come into force on 30 November 2019.

View blog

mailing list sign up



Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up