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Adjudication Process​

Table of Contents

 Download the How to Guide: Viewing the Adjudication Process

Once an Adjudicator is appointed, the Adjudicator will contact the Parties to set the adjudication process. The Adjudicator will conduct the adjudication in the manner the Adjudicator determines appropriate, in accordance with s. 13.12(4) of the Construction ActSome adjudications may include a hearing by videoconference, some may have an in-person hearing, some may require a site visit, and some may proceed only with documents. Factors Adjudicators may consider (when deciding on the appropriate process) include:  

  • the amount in dispute;
  • whether an oral hearing is necessary to determine facts; and
  • whether a site visit is necessary.

Pre-Designed Adjudication Processes

Even though the Adjudicator will set the process, the Parties may want to suggest a process to the Adjudicator.  To assist the Parties, ODACC has set out four Pre-Designed Adjudication Processes that the Parties may choose to recommend to the Adjudicator (and/or the Adjudicator may choose to set). Three of the Pre-Designed Adjudication Processes take place in-writing only, while the fourth provides Parties with an oral hearing (by videoconference or teleconference).

The Respondent may indicate a preferred process in the Response to Notice of Adjudication. Similarly, the Claimant may indicate a preferred process in the Notice of Adjudication.

When recommending a process to the Adjudicator, the Claimant and Respondent should consider the amount claimed to ensure that the cost of the adjudication will be proportionate to the amount in dispute. They should also consider the complexity of the issue in dispute. Disputes involving lower amounts or less complicated issues, for example, may be able to be resolved using a Pre-designed Adjudication Process.

The Parties may also recommend that the Adjudicator design the adjudication process without being guided by the Pre-Designed Adjudication Processes.

Fees for Pre-Designed Adjudication Processes

The Adjudication Fee for the Pre-Designed Adjudication Processes are negotiated between the Parties and the Adjudicator. If there is no agreement on the Adjudication fee, the Adjudication fee will be set by ODACC.

ODACC has also provided suggested Adjudication Fees for each Pre-designed Process.

The four Pre-Designed Adjudication Processes are as follows:

  • Adjudication in writing only;
  • Submission of Parties’ arguments (and photographs) is limited to two Pages per Party (not including a copy of the construction contract (which must be submitted) and a copy of the disputed invoices (which may also be submitted)); and
  • Determination is expected to be approximately one to two Pages.

Suggested Adjudication Timeline

Day 1: Adjudicator selected by the Parties or appointed by ODACC.

Day 5: Claimant submits a copy of the construction contract and, if there is an invoice that the Claimant submits is unpaid, the Claimant may also provide a copy of that invoice. Claimant submits its arguments (and photographs), to a maximum of two Pages.

Day 7: The Adjudicator communicates the balance of the adjudication process to the Parties. The balance of the adjudication process is the timing for the Respondent to submit its two Pages of arguments (and photographs).

Day 12: Respondent submits its arguments (and photographs), to a maximum of two Pages.

Day 30:Draft Determination is provided to ODACC.

Day 35: Final Determination is released to the Parties.

ODACC’s Suggested Adjudication Fee for Pre-Designed Adjudication Process #1: $800 (plus HST)

  • Adjudication in writing only;
  • Submission of Parties’ arguments (and photographs) is limited to five Pages per Party (not including a copy of the construction contract (which must be submitted) and a copy of the disputed invoices (which may also be submitted)); and
  • Determination is expected to be approximately one to two Pages.

Suggested Adjudication Timeline

Day 1: Adjudicator selected by the Parties or appointed by ODACC.

Day 5: Claimant submits a copy of the construction contract and, if there is an invoice that the Claimant submits is unpaid, the Claimant may also provide a copy of that invoice.  Claimant submits its arguments (and photographs), to a maximum of five pages.

Day 7: The Adjudicator communicates the balance of the adjudication process to the Parties.  The balance of the adjudication process is the timing for the Respondent to submit its five Pages of arguments (and photographs).

Day 12: Respondent submits its arguments (and photographs), to a maximum of five pages.

Day 30: Draft Determination is provided to ODACC.

Day 35: Final Determination is released to the Parties.

ODACC’s Suggested Adjudication Fee for Pre-Designed Adjudication Process #2: $1,000 (subject to HST)

  • Adjudication in writing only;
  • Submission of Parties’ arguments (and photographs) is limited to five Pages per Party (not including a copy of the construction contract (which must be submitted) and a copy of the disputed invoices (which may also be submitted));
  • Each Party may submit additional documents, parts of documents and witness statements to a maximum of ten Pages; and
  • Determination is expected to be approximately five pages.

 Suggested Adjudication Timeline

Day 1: Adjudicator selected by the Parties or appointed by ODACC.

Day 5: Claimant submits a copy of the construction contract and, if there is an invoice that the Claimant submits is unpaid, the Claimant may also provide a copy of that invoice. Claimant submits its arguments (and photographs), to a maximum of five Pages. Claimant further submits its documents, parts of documents, and witness statements, to a maximum of ten pages (in total).

 Day 7: The Adjudicator communicates the balance of the adjudication process to the Parties.  The balance of the adjudication process should include the timing for the Respondent to submit its five pages of arguments (and photographs) and its ten pages of documents, parts of documents, and witness statements.

 Day 12: Respondent submits its arguments (and photographs) to a maximum of five pages.  Respondent also submits its documents, parts of documents, and witness statements, to a maximum of ten pages (in total).

Day 30: Draft Determination is provided to ODACC.

Day 35: Final Determination is released to the Parties.

ODACC’s Suggested Adjudication Fee for Pre-Designed Adjudication Process #3: $2,000 (subject to HST)

  • Submission of Parties’ arguments (and photographs) is limited to ten pages per Party (not including a copy of the construction contract (which must be submitted) and a copy of the disputed invoices (which may also be submitted));
  • Each Party may submit additional documents, parts of documents, and witness statements to a maximum of 25 pages (in total);
  • Each Party has half an hour to make an oral presentation;
  • Presentation can be conducted by videoconference or teleconference (but will not be in person); and
  • Determination is expected to be approximately five pages.

Suggested Adjudication Timeline

Day 1:  Adjudicator selected by the parties or appointed by ODACC.

Day 5: Claimant submits a copy of the construction contract and, if there is an invoice that the Claimant submits is unpaid, the Claimant may also provide a copy of that invoice. Claimant submits its arguments (and photographs) to a maximum of ten pages. Claimant further submits its documents, parts of documents, and witness statements, to a maximum of 25 pages (in total).

Day 7: The Adjudicator communicates the balance of the adjudication process to the Parties. The balance of the adjudication process should include the timing for the Respondent to submit its arguments (and photographs) to a maximum of ten pages, and its 25 pages of documents, parts of documents and witness statements. The process may also include the mechanism (videoconference or teleconference) for the oral presentation.

Day 12: Respondent submits its arguments (and photographs), to a maximum of ten pages. Respondent also submits its documents, parts of documents and witness statements to a maximum of 25 pages (in total).

Day 18 or earlier:   Oral presentations (by videoconference or teleconference).

Day 30: Draft Determination is sent to ODACC.

Day 35: Final Determination is released to the Parties.

ODACC’s Suggested Adjudication Fee for Pre-Designed Adjudication Process #4: $3,000 (subject to HST)

If the Adjudicator chooses not to use a Pre-Designed process, the Adjudicator will design a customized process. A sample customized process follows.

If the Adjudicator chooses not to use a Pre-Designed process, the Adjudicator will need to design a customized process. A sample customized process follows.

  • The Adjudicator convenes a teleconference with the Parties to establish the process and rules for the adjudication and sets a timeline (such as the one in the example set out below).

Suggested Adjudication Timeline

Day 1: Adjudicator is selected by the Parties or appointed by ODACC.

Day 5: Claimant submits a copy of the construction contract and, if there is an invoice that the Claimant submits is unpaid, the Claimant may also provide a copy of that invoice. The Claimant also submits any documents it intends to rely on, including its arguments, witness statements, and photographs.

Day 7: The Adjudicator convenes a teleconference and communicates the balance of the adjudication process to Parties. The balance of the adjudication process should include the timing for the Respondent submitting its documents. The process may include a site visit and an oral hearing (either in-person or using technology).

Day 12: Respondent submits its documents including its arguments, witness statements and photographs.

Day 17 or earlier: Site visit, if necessary.

Day 20 or earlier: Oral hearing, if necessary.

Day 22 or earlier: The appointment of an assistant, if necessary.

Day 30: Draft Determination is provided to ODACC.

Day 35: Final Determination is released to Parties.

Adjudication Process Page

The Adjudicator will communicate the adjudication process and timeline to the Parties, through the “Adjudication Process” page on ODACC’s Custom System, a screenshot of which is available below (at Figure 3).

The Claimant and the Respondent may indicate that they have viewed the adjudication process and timeline by checking the box next to “I acknowledge that I have read the adjudication process and timeline as set out above by the Adjudicator.”

Figure 3: Adjudication Process Page

Powers of Adjudicator

During the adjudication, the Adjudicator may issue directions with respect to the conduct of the adjudication and may:

  • take the initiative in ascertaining the relevant facts and law; and
  • draw inferences based on the parties’ conduct.

The Adjudicator may also set an oral hearing, a site visit, and/or request the assistance of a person to determine better any matter of fact in question.

Adjudicators may set an oral hearing (in person, by videoconference or by teleconference) (s. 13.12 (1) of the Construction Act). The Adjudicator will organize the oral hearing and provide the Parties with the required information.

Adjudicators may decide that there should be a site visit of the Improvement. Adjudicators will arrange with the Parties to conduct the site visit (subject to the owner’s consent). For further information, refer to s.13.12(2) of the Construction Act.

The Adjudicator may obtain the assistance of an expert, including “a merchant, accountant, actuary, building contractor, architect, engineer or other person in such a way as the Adjudicator considers fit, as is reasonably necessary to enable him or her to better determine any matter of fact in question” (s. 13.12(1) 5. of the Construction Act). 

The Adjudicator is able to order that one or both parties pay the expert’s fees (s. 13.12(3) of the Construction Act).

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