This Article is all about the Lawyer Robert Fenwick Elliott. This lawyer is well known in the field of Construction Adjudication. If you want to learn more about Construction Adjudication we have an online course for sale on this website.
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Robert Fenwick Elliott is a construction lawyer who founded Fenwick Elliott LLP in London in 1980 and was senior partner of the same firm for twenty two years.
He now lives in Adelaide in South Australia where he works as a barrister.
Elliott specialises in construction and energy law and disputes.
He has also published several books on topics with construction and energy law and is a regular guest speaker on topics within those fields.
At Stravelles, we are interested in him because he is a well known figure in construction law and adjudication and his name threads through most topics on Adjudication.
His education has been typical of any law student in the UK. This includes:
Since graduating from University he qualified as a solicitor in 1977 and then after a very successful career in the UK gently ‘retired’ in Australia becoming a barrister in Adelaide.
Elliot was a founding partner of Fenwick Elliott LLP in London in 1980 and then Fenwick Elliott Grace in Adelaide until 2013.
In 2013 became an independent barrister in South Australia, New South Wales, the Federal Court of Australia.
Since 2014 he is an International Member of Keating Chambers in London.
He has worked on hundreds of cases in the construction, engineering and energy sectors.
Elliot has been a Mediator with the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR) and an Arbitrator with the Institute of Arbitrators and Mediators Australia in 2006.
He has also been an Adjudicator with The Technology and Construction Solicitors’ Association, the Construction Industry Council, the Institute of Building and more recently the government of the Northern Territory.
Elliot was the former chairman, and president of The Technology and Construction Solicitors’ Association.
He was also a board member of the Society of Construction Law Australia.
Elliott is said to have coined the phrase ‘Pay now, Argue Later’ to describe the process of Adjudication in the UK, Australia and all around the world.
In Elliott’s own account of the phrase he said that he met Lord Howie of Troon in the tea room at the house of Lords in early 1996. Lord Howie had been tasked with introducing an adjudication scheme into the construction industry as recommended in the Latham report. Lord Howie had contacted The Technology and Construction Solicitors’ Association to discuss how best this would be done.
Elliott advised him not to make the Adjudicators decision binding as it would lead to endless challenges in the courts defeating the whole intent of adjudication in construction.
In his opinion by making the adjudicators decision enforceable in the short-term it means that say a cash strapped subcontractor can get paid and fix their cash-flow. But if the losing party was not happy with the decision they could still go to the courts and challenge the decision but in the mean time the subcontractor had still been paid.
Elliot predicted that most losing parties would not take up their right to challenge the Adjudicators decision. And he was right.