In the case of Davenport Builders Ltd v Greer, the TCC has applied the Court of Appeal judgment in S&T v Grove, but with a twist that may have some peculiar practical consequences on the timing of adjudication decisions and payments.

As a result of Grove, the prevailing view was that the responding party to a "smash and grab" adjudication had to pay the sum payable before it was entitled to commence a "true value" adjudication. Most, therefore thought it unlikely that an Adjudicator would have jurisdiction to hear a ''true value'' adjudication until the Grove payment obligation had been discharged.

However, Davenport has cast some doubt on that assumption in confirming that whilst the Grove payment obligation is clear "That does not mean that the court will always restrain the commencement or progress of a true value adjudication commenced before the employer has discharged his immediate obligation".

The door was therefore left open. The implication is that it may be possible to commence a true value adjudication concurrently (or perhaps slightly after!) with a smash and grab adjudication and that an Adjudicator may well have the jurisdiction to consider the true value, albeit that you wouldn’t be able to enforce the result in that decision until the Grove payment obligation had been discharged.

In practical terms that would result in the paying party under the smash and grab being able to seek possible reimbursement of some / all of the monies paid quicker than previously thought. That would seem to water down the tactical benefit of smash and grab adjudications even further.

That said, the decision in Davenport does raise more questions than answers and I doubt (as matters currently stand) that we will see many true value adjudications (in response to a smash and grab) that are not met with jurisdictional challenges.

We will have to await the next judgement on the issue.