Amec Civil Engineering Ltd v Secretary of State for Transport: CA 17 Mar 2005

The contractors appealed a decision that an arbitrator had jurisdiction to hear a claim against them in respect of works carried out on the Thelwall viaduct. The contractors denied that there had been a dispute which could found a reference, and no valid engineer’s decision within the time limit provided.
Held: The court must avoid an over-legalistic approach to interpretation of the contract. The engineer has a duty to act independently honestly and with fairness, but the rules of natural justice as such did not apply to his decision.
May, Rix, Hooper, LJJ
[2005] EWCA Civ 291, Times 22-Mar-2005, [2005] 1 WLR 2339, [2005] BLR 227, (2005) 21 Const LJ 640, 101 Con LR 26, [2005] 12 EG 219
Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
Appeal fromAmec Civil Engineering Ltd v The Secretary of State for Transport TCC 11-Oct-2004
The court affirmed an interim arbitration award as to jurisdiction in an arbitration commenced by the Secretary of State against the contractors in relation to work carried out by them on the Thelwall viaduct. The court identified seven applicable . .
CitedTradax International v Cerrahogullari 1981
An express rejection of a claim is not required in every case to generate a dispute allowing a reference to arbitration. . .
CitedMonmouthshire County Council v Costelloe CA 1965
A question arose under a contract including the ICE conditions as to whether there had historically been claims by the contractor which the Engineer had already determined under clause 66.
Held: There had been no such earlier dispute or . .
CitedEllerine Bros v Klinger CA 1982
The court was asked whether there was a dispute sufficient to allow a stay of court proceedings to allow an arbitration to proceed.
Held: If letters were written making some request or demand and the defendant did not reply, there was a . .
CitedCollins (Contractors) Ltd v Baltic Quay Management (1994) Ltd CA 7-Dec-2004
The claimant sought payment under its invoice for construction works. The contractor gave notice of its intention to withhold payment, and then also sought to refer the matter to arbitration. The claimant said that the notice had prevented the . .
CitedHalki Shipping Corporation v Sopex Oils Limited CA 19-Dec-1997
The court was aked whether there was a dispute sufficient to sustain a stay of court proceedings for arbitration under the Act.
Held: There was a dispute once money is claimed unless and until the defendants admit that the sum is due and . .
CitedPanamena Europea Navigacion v Frederick Leyland and Co HL 1947
The parties had entered into an agreement providing for arbitration of any disputes. Lord Thankerton said: ‘By entering into the contract the respondents agreed that the appellant’s surveyor should discharge both these duties and therefore they . .
CitedF and G Sykes (Wessex) v Fine Fare Ltd CA 1967
There was an agreement by which the plaintiffs agreed to breed and provide chicks to nominated growers, the number of chicks to be provided to be ‘not less than 30,000 per week nor more than 80,000 per week during the first year of the agreement and . .
CitedBeaufort Developments (NI) Limited v Gilbert-Ash NI Limited and Others HL 26-Feb-1998
The contractual ability given to an arbitrator under standard JCT terms did not oust the court from assessing and prejudging the acts of the architect under a building contract. As to the means for interpreting documents, Lord Hoffmann said: ‘I . .
CitedCanterbury Pipe Lines v The Christchurch Drainage Board 1979
(New Zealand Court of Appeal) ‘In Hatrick the term ‘fairness’ was avoided in the judgments, Richmond J saying that he resisted it partly because of its vagueness and partly because it might be regarded as equivalent to natural justice. . . . In our . .
CitedHounslow London Borough Council v Twickenham Gardens Development Limited 1971
The defendant, a building contractor, had been allowed into occupation of a site owned by the plaintiff council under a building contract. The council had sought to determine the contract by notice under its terms. The contractor refused to vacate . .

Cited by:
Appealed toAmec Civil Engineering Ltd v The Secretary of State for Transport TCC 11-Oct-2004
The court affirmed an interim arbitration award as to jurisdiction in an arbitration commenced by the Secretary of State against the contractors in relation to work carried out by them on the Thelwall viaduct. The court identified seven applicable . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 12 April 2021; Ref: scu.224061