We previously considered the case of Toppan Holdings Ltd v Abbey Healthcare (Mill Hill) Ltd and Simply Construct (UK) LLP, which concerned the question of when a collateral warranty may be deemed to be a construction contract for the purposes of the legislation in England and Wales providing for the referral of disputes under a “construction contract” for adjudication. 

In light of the facts of the case, the High Court considered that the collateral warranty concerned was not a construction contract, and we considered that ruling here.  The Court of Appeal disagreed, finding that the warranty in question was a construction contract, and we considered that ruling here.

The Court of Appeal decision has now been appealed to the Supreme Court in the UK. 

This will be of interest to those involved in dispute resolution in Ireland, where the Construction Contracts Act 2013 defines “construction contract” in substantially similar terms as in the UK legislation.  The issue coming before the UK Supreme Court will provide an opportunity for consideration at the highest level of the principles involved, which it is hoped will provide practical guidance on the matter for parties seeking to refer for adjudication a dispute relating to payment which has arisen under a collateral warranty.