Building and Construction
Peter May McAuliffe Legal advises clients in relation to building and construction matters and disputes ranging from home building contracts through to large scale commercial, industrial and mining projects.
We provide our advice in plain English, from contract formation (including tenders) to dispute resolution procedures, including adjudications pursuant to the Construction Contracts Act 2004 (WA) and arbitration.
Building Contract Formation
The Margaret River, Busselton and Bunbury regions’ strong population growth has meant that the building and construction industries in the region are in a healthy state.
At the contract formation stage, we work closely with our clients to understand their business (including their risk profile) in order to draft and negotiate contracts that provide certainty and a degree of comfort.
The original contractual relationships between the parties must be clearly documented. This is an area where many people get caught if they do not do their documentation correctly.
There are certain types of building and construction disputes that arise over and over again including alleged defects, where works are variations (especially in the context of lump sum contracts), EOT claims, the application of liquidated damages and payment disputes.
If and when a building dispute arises, Peter May McAuliffe Legal can provide you with advice, strategies and/or legal representation to achieve a positive outcome. We will assist you to understand your rights and your responsibilities so that you can make your own fully informed decisions about the strategic direction of your matter.
The adjudication process is a fast, cost effective payment dispute resolution mechanism that we can assist you with. Adjudication is based on the principle “pay first, argue later” and involves an independent adjudicator determining a payment dispute amount that they believe is due and payable. Once an application is made, the respondent has 14 days to provide a response and the adjudicator’s determination is then due 14 days later. The determination is then enforceable like a judgment. Critically, you only have 28 days from when a payment dispute arises to submit a payment dispute to adjudication, so it is important that you understand your rights and how long you have to make the application.
Many contracts will include a provision that any disputes that cannot be resolved through mediation go to arbitration. The function of the arbitrator is to determine the dispute much in the same way that a judge would. The arbitrator’s decision is final, subject to limited rights of appeal.
We have also acted for clients in relation to a wide range of home building disputes under the Home Building Contracts Act 1991 as well as providing representation before the Building Commission (this role was formerly undertaken by the Building Disputes Tribunal) and any necessary applications to the State Administrative Tribunal.
Peter May McAuliffe Legal can assist you to navigate through any of the above processes, whether it is you or your business making a claim, or whether you are responding to a claim made.