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Building & Construction

Common Misconceptions about Contracting in the Building & Construction Industry.

...what to do to avoid getting caught out. When I ask clients whether a written contract was in place or whether variations had been documented, too often I receive the following response "no there was no contract, we just agreed to it" or "I didn't think it was necessary it was a small job".   Firstly...

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Court of Appeal Limits Scope of Potential Challenges to Security of Payment Adjudications

In Shade Systems Pty Ltd v Probuild Constructions (Aust) Pty Ltd (No 2) [2016] NSWCA 379 (23 December 2016), the NSW Court of Appeal unanimously held that the decision of an adjudicator under the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW) ("the Act") is not subject to judicial review other than in cas...

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2014 Security of Payment Act Amendments - What's New?

The Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Amendment Act (NSW) 2013 ('the Amendment Act') contains important amendments to the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act (NSW) 1999 ('the Act'). The Amendment Act will apply to all Construction Contracts entered into from 21 April 2014. ...

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How to Serve Valid Payment Claims

As a result of the severe consequences of failing to provide a Payment Schedule in response to a valid Payment Claim a lot of the case law that has developed in relation to the Building & Construction Industry Security of Payment Act relates to when a Payment Claim is valid. This is because there can be no Defence to a valid Payment Claim...

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Home Building Law


Our expert Building Lawyers will ensure you make contracts you understand, avoid foreseeable problems and resolve disputes cost effectively.

With most building disputes it is important to seek advice from an experienced Building & Construction Lawyer as soon as it appears likely that a dispute will arise.

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For a no obligation phone evaluation by an Accredited Specialist in Commercial Litigation (Building & Construction)

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Home Building Act Traps


How We Help


We help builders, contractors and home owners:

  • negotiate and make effective Contracts for Residential Building Works,
  • understand and evaluate their rights and options in event of a dispute,
  • resolve disputes by negotiation, and
  • pursue or defend their rights in proceedings before a Court or Tribunal.


Often strict time stipulations are contained in building contracts or apply where the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act applies to the work.

With most building disputes it is important to seek advice from an experienced building and construction lawyer as soon as it becomes apparent that a building dispute has arisen. For new home owners, this usually means before you take possession of your new home.


Home Building Act


The Home Building Act (NSW) implies a number of conditions and warranties into any contract for residential building work. The Act also provides that a contract to which the Act applies must be; in writing, contain prescribed information and particulars and be signed and dated by the parties to it.

Significantly, the Home Building Act provides that:

  • where a Contract for Residential Building Work is not in writing or does not have a sufficient description of the work the builder is not entitled to damages or to enforce any other remedy in respect of a breach of the contract.
  • where Home Warranty Insurance is required a builder is not entitled to demand or receive payment of any money or carry out residential building work unless a policy of Home Warranty Insurance is in place and a copy of a Certificate of Currency in respect of that insurance has been provided to the home owner.


Contracting Requirements under the Home Building Act(NSW)


The Home Building Act also makes it an offence for a tradesperson to do any of the following work without a Contractor Licence:

  • Residential building work where the total cost of labour and materials is more than $1,000.00,
  • Electrical wiring work,
  • Plumbing, draining and gas fitting work, and
  • Air conditioning and refrigeration work (except plug-in appliances).


Where a Contractor Licence is required but not held the builder or tradesperson is not entitled to damages or to enforce any other remedy in respect of a breach of the Contract.

Download Consumer Building Guide (NSW Fair Trading)

Home Building Licence Check


Our Home Building Lawyers


Sam Roberts

Accredited Specialist
(Commercial Litigation)

Matthew Bryan

Special Counsel

Felicity Donald

Senior Associate Solicitor

   Amanda Crosbie

    Associate Solicitor


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02 4952 3901



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