Some time ago, my old friend John Marrin (now a colleague at Keating Chambers) told me that he had cited my first book – Building Contract Litigation – to the Court of Appeal as the only authority on a particular point. The court apparently enquired as to whether I was dead. I am not sure why. It seems this is no longer a necessary criterion for authority.
No such problem in the UK Supreme Court decision this week in Bresco Electrical Services Ltd (in liquidation) (Appellant) v Michael J Lonsdale (Electrical) Ltd (Respondent). In the course of its finding that adjudication is available to liquidators it noted, at paragraph 15of the judgment, that my book Building Contract Disputes: Practice and Precedents (now in the excellent care of my old friend and partner in Fenwick Elliott LLP, Jeremy Glover) is a “leading textbook”. Quite right.
The other leading textbook identified by the Supreme Court was Keating on Construction Contracts. That, of course, is also quite right.
Will the decision have implications for Australia? It might well. But it has to be noted that the respect that parties accord to Australian adjudication determinations is somewhat less than in the UK.