Grindley Constructions Pty Ltd v Painting Masters Pty Ltd [2012] NSWSC 234

One of the several means available to challenge an adjudicator’s determination is to seek an injunction to restrain the claimant from filing an ANA’S certificate in any court.

The test here is slightly different from one of the alternatives, such as seeking a declaration that the determination is void. To obtain an interim injunction, the plaintiff merely needs to show an arguable case that the determination is void, coupled with showing that the injunction should be granted as a matter of convenience.

This is just what happened here. The plaintiff (who was the respondent in the adjudication) showed that the adjudicator had arguably acted without jurisdiction, on the basis that the claims in question were repeat claims, and thus forbidden. Further, it was arguable that Davenport had refused the plaintiff natural justice by denying its right to set-off without allowing any opportunity for submission.

As to the balance of convenience, the key feature of this case was the risk that the defendant claimant would be able to repay if it be eventually found that the money was not due (under the “pay now, argue later”) aspect of the legislation.

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