Project Description

“Delivering cost-effective, practical solutions on time, every time.”

BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION LAW

Our construction law team have a long history and wide experience in the construction industry, providing construction law advice and legal representation to developers, contract principals, head contractors, bodies corporate, builders, specialist contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and professional service providers.

Our construction law practice provides efficient, cost effective and commercially focused legal advice and representation in all aspects of building and construction Law. From negotiation and contract preparation, through contract performance and administration, to dispute resolution and statutory compliance, our team is well placed to provide the advice and representation that you need.

ADVICE, CONTRACT PREPARATION AND NEGOTIATION FOR DOMESTIC, COMMERCIAL, CIVIL, INDUSTRIAL AND MINING CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS

Our construction law services include:

  • Advice and representation in construction contract negotiations;
  • Assistance with construction tender preparation;
  • Contract preparation for bespoke residential and commercial construction contracts and subcontracts (minor works, medium works and major works, superintendent or principal administered) for developers, builders, specialist contractors, head contractors, subcontractors and bodies corporate;
  • Bespoke contract packages for builders (including head contracts, subcontracts, pro forma contract documents and contract administration support);
  • Advising on all standard form contracts (including Master Builders, HIA, QBCC, Australian Standard (AS), ABIC and FIDIC contracts);
  • Drafting of special conditions and amendments to all standard form contracts (including Master Builders, HIA, QBCC, Australian Standard (AS), ABIC and FIDIC contracts);
  • Advice and assistance with contract administration;
  • Preparation of tender documents and assistance with administration of tenders;
  • Advice on contractual and statutory obligations of developers, principals, builders, specialist contractors, head contractors, subcontractors and bodies corporate; and
  • Identification of risk and risk mitigation strategies.

CONSTRUCTION DISPUTE RESOLUTION

Our construction law services include:

  • Advice on contractual performance, default and breach of contract, defects, enforcement or recovery of security including retention, bank guarantee, charging clauses and personal guarantees;
  • Advice on common law repudiation and contractual termination procedures and preparation of notices to show cause or remedy breach and notices of termination;
  • Advice on rights and remedies for wrongful termination, breach of contract and negligence in construction contracts;
  • Legal representation in contractual disputes including payment disputes;
  • Advice on statutory rights, remedies and obligations under legislation, regulations, codes and practices affecting the construction industry including:
    • Queensland Building and Construction Commission Act 1991 (“QBCC Act”);
    • Building Industry Fairness (Security of Payment) Act 2017  (“BIF Act”) (which replaced the Building and Construction Industry Payments Act 2004 (“BCIPA”) and the Subcontractors’ Charges Act 1974;
    • project bank accounts;
    • adjudication of payment disputes;
    • subcontractors’ charges;
    • Corporations Act 2001;
    • Building Act 1975;
    • Building Code of Australia;
    • National Construction Code;
    • Queensland Development Code;
    • Plumbing and Drainage Act 2002;
    • Plumbing and Drainage Act 2018;
    • Electrical Safety Act 2002;
    • Work Health and Safety Act 2011; and
  • Advice and representation in all forms of construction related disputes and dispute resolution including:
    • mediation and conciliation (including preparation of briefs, submissions and settlement agreements);
    • security of payment procedures including adjudication of payment claims under the BIF Act (including preparation of payment claims, adjudication applications, payment schedules and adjudication responses);
    • enforcement of adjudication decisions;
    • setting aside adjudication decisions;
    • debt recovery;
    • contractual breaches;
    • injunctive relief;
    • statutory demands;
    • arbitration;
    • expert determination;
    • dispute resolution boards; and
    • prosecuting or defending litigation in all State and Federal Courts and tribunals including the Queensland Magistrates, District and Supreme Courts, Queensland Court of Appeal, the Queensland Civil and Administration Tribunal and Appeal Tribunal.

STATUTORY COMPLIANCE AND REMEDIES

Advice and representation in matters concerning statutory compliance and remedies including:

  • Advice and assistance in making or defending complaints to the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (“QBCC”) including in respect to:
    • defects;
    • incomplete work; and
    • Queensland Home Warranty Insurance.
  • Advice and representation for internal and external review of QBCC decisions and defending QBCC prosecutions including in respect to:
    • directions to rectify;
    • contractor licencing including new applications, renewals, conditions, suspensions, cancellations and financial requirements for a licence;
    • defects and standard of rectification work carried out;
    • Queensland Home Warranty Scheme;
    • disciplinary action by the QBCC;
    • excluded or banned individuals and influential persons from holding a licence;
    • fitness and propriety to hold a licence;
    • director’s liability for debts owed to the QBCC;
    • compliance with the BIF Act including in respect to project bank accounts and adjudication procedures; and
    • non-conforming building products.
  • Advice and representation in defending prosecutions under other construction related legislation including under the Electrical Safety Act 2002 and the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

BODIES CORPORATE

Advice and representation in matters concerning statutory compliance and remedies including:

  • Advice on rights, remedies and options available to bodies corporate for defective building work in common property in multi-unit residential and commercial developments;
  • Advice and representation in pursuing contractors for rectification of defects in common property including by litigation and the procedures available through the QBCC;
  • Advice and representation in applying to the QBCC for the issue of directions to rectify and claims under the Queensland Home Warranty Insurance Scheme where applicable;
  • Advice and representation in negotiating and preparation of access agreements including for crane over sail, ground anchor and underpinning from neighbouring properties;
  • Advice and representation in the negotiation and preparation of contracts for repairs or maintenance; and
  • Advice and representation in dispute resolution including litigation with contractors.

The Building and Construction Law division is headed by Paul Hick. Paul’s legal skills and qualifications are enhanced by his years of hands on experience in the construction and mining industries. He has a long and successful history in the building and construction industry, from trade apprenticeship to carpenter, supervisor, construction manager, estimator, designer, builder, supplier and consultant before qualifying as a solicitor, arbitrator and senior adjudicator under security of payment legislation in Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia & the ACT.

Emma Ward joined Active Law in October 2018 as an Associate. Emma’s knowledge and experience in building and construction law comes from her time as an ‘in-house’ lawyer at QBCC, arming her with a wealth of knowledge and a unique insight into the State’s construction watchdog which has equipped her to provide the practical and efficient advice and assistance clients need to guide them through the ever-changing maze of construction regulation.

One of our construction team’s greatest strengths is their ability to quickly gain an understanding of the facts and circumstances affecting our clients and finding the most efficient strategy to achieve the client’s objectives. We adopt a collaborative approach to work with our clients as their case develops to ensure the services provided evolves to best meet our client’s changing needs and objectives.

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