It happens from time that time that contractors lose big money on a construction job. Either they won the work with a loss-leading bid, hoping in vain to make it up on variations and instructions, or they mis-valued risk, or they simply badly mismanaged the process. Often, they simply don't figure the P&L on a job until site work has finished, get a shock and submit a claim for an outrageous sum to get them out of trouble. Usually a firm and very chilly meeting with full forces assembled was enough to see off trouble, but when senior jobs were at risk they would hire Raging Ronnie.
Raging Ronnie was himself chartered in three professions, with an array of post-nominals that exceeded his own name in length. One of his professions was as an Adjudicator, but he was rarely appointed in that role. Mostly he worked as muscle for contractors. The first Raging Ronnie letter would come in, with copies to the Chairman and Secretary, expressing outrage and shock that we had refused his client's eminently reasonable claim, and demanding that we paid up straight away. The second would come a week later, expressing outrage and shock that we had not yet agreed to his demands, and threatening immediate Arbitration. The third would go just to the Chairman, as between equals, a reasonable and calm appeal over the heads of we stubborn underlings to intervene and pay, and the fourth would be the formal notice to seek Adjudication if the claim was not met.
Our strategy was always the same. Ignore all demands and keep twitchy board members calm, stiffen their backbones and prepare for a hearing.
Of course all Raging Ronnie's bluster, hubris, outrage, anger and threats would vanish in the case made. Adjudicators don't like intemperate parties. Then it was just a calm and patient slog to demolish their claims. We'd always have to pay something, of course; the Adjudicator will make an award to a contractor just for spelling their own name correctly, but usually it was peanuts.
And so it is with this oh-so-carefully 'leaked' EU negotiating strategy document that threatens taking the UK to the Hague if we don't meet their demands. I'm beginning to think that Raging Ronnie has found a new client ..