A succinct article by 4 Pump Court which is definitely worth a read.

Much has been written (and debated) about 'smash & grab' adjudications. Whatever route the TCC may be now taking when faced with enforcing such adjudication decisions, I remain to be convinced 'smash & grab' is the correct terminology to use. If the payer has failed to serve a payment notice and failed also to serve an effective 'pay less' notice why should the payee not be paid?

In most cases I come across the paying client has a team of external consultants advising it, including a project manager administering the building contract. The contract has also commonly been amended to extend the final date for payment and to shorten the period by when a 'pay less' notice must be given. A similar situation appears in many smaller projects too.

It does seem odd, therefore, for the payee to be denied payment where the payer has simply not served the correct paperwork. The error seems to lie more with those administering the contract as opposed to the party seeking payment for work/services done.

Anyway, like the other two certainties in life (death and tax) I am sure there is more to come from the court on 'smash & grab'. The legal debate will continue as will the omission to give the right notices on time.