The first professional body authorised to nominate Adjudicators has been announced; the Institute of Arbitrators & Mediators Australia (IAMA) has now been authorised as an ANA under the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 2009 (SA), which came into force in December 2011. The IAMA panel of Adjudicators includes Fenwick Elliott Grace partner Kerry Colmer. However, it remains the rule in South Australia that, if the parties have agreed upon the identity of an Adjudicator in whom they both have confidence to make a fair decision, then that person is disqualified.
It is to be hoped that IAMA will shortly be joined by the Joint Adjudicator Nominating Authority (JANA) which, after a somewhat long gestation period, is to be the vehicle for the joint venture by the Law Society of South Australia and the South Australian Bar Association, which will shortly be applying for ANA status. The JANA panel of Adjudicators will consist of experienced construction lawyers – both solicitors and barristers – on the basis that where the parties have a large, legally complex dispute, they may well wish to have the dispute adjudicated by a construction lawyer and thereby hopefully reduce the risk of a decision which is legally flawed, and susceptible of challenge in Courts. In anticipation of this, the joint venture has already run its accreditation course. FEG partners Jeanie Elliott and Mardi Conduit are among those who successfully completed that course.