Rectifying a Mistake

Introduction A written contract is almost always the document which decides the rights and obligations of the parties in any construction dispute.  Occasionally, one of the parties will confidently assert, even though the contract includes a particular term, the parties mistakenly agreed a different bargain.  The District Court recently considered this issue in Contek v […]

Lost Your Marble(s)

Introduction Disputes as to residential building work are often emotional affairs, with both parties holding strong views.  Builders often take an optimistic view of their work. Homeowners are often personally invested in the dream of having their home “just so”.  This mix of competing tensions provides fertile ground for disputes.  Occasionally, a dispute arising over […]

$50m for an unfair contract

This Update is a reminder as to recent changes to the legislation relating to unfair contracts. The changes mean that parties who put forward or try to rely on unfair terms in contracts can be liable for severe financial penalties.   The changes came into force on 9 November 2023 via the Treasury Laws Amendment […]

Lying to get paid quickly

Introduction A recent decision in the NSW Supreme Court considers whether false statutory declarations provided by a subcontractor in support of a Payment Claim enable the head contractor to avoid liability to make a progress payment it has promised to pay. The case involved a Payment Claim made under the Building and Construction Industry Security […]

Sell but don’t tell

Introduction  In 2017, the McEntee family purchased 14 Langbein Avenue, Woodside, SA (“#14”) from Ms Rosewell and Mr Kloostermann (“the Original Owners”).  Soon after settlement, Mr McEntee was visited by Mr Kornelissen, his new neighbour at 16 Langbein Avenue (“#16”).  Mr Kornelissen informed Mr McEntee that the fence between #14 and #16 was not located […]

Off the Plan goes off

Introduction A recent decision of the New South Wales Court of Appeal focuses attention on the terms of the sale contract when developers sell units “off the plan”.[1] Background  Rialto Sports Pty Limited (“Rialto”) owned and developed a four-storey commercial strata building consisting of 27 units at the Kingsway, Miranda.  In early to mid-2014, prior […]

The rise and rise of contract

Disputes about variation claims are a common source of construction disputes. In this Update we examine a recent decision of the District Court of South Australia highlighting the need for parties to read and carefully follow the terms of their contract when variations arise.

Delivery by hyperlink

Electronic communication has become the new normal, particularly since the arrival of COVID-19. The legal profession has been slow to accept the new normal, but recent months have accelerated that progress.

In this Update we examine a recent South Australian Supreme Court case dealing with the effectiveness of electronic communication in the context of the strict requirements of the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 2009 (SA).