Adjudication / Security of payment

All Australian jurisdictions have legislation designed to provide a mechanism for more rapid payment of builders, subcontractors and suppliers of construction related goods and services (often called ‘security of payment’ (SOP)).  The process under the relevant legislation in each state or territory is called adjudication.

The adjudication process in Queensland is contained in Chapter 3 of the Building Industry Fairness (Security of Payment) Act 2017 (BIF Act).  Chapter 3 of the BIF Act commenced on 17 December 2018 and repeals the Queensland Building and Construction Industry Payments Act 2004 (BCIPA).

If you are wanting to use BIF Act to assist in being paid a progress payment (payment claim), it is important that you speak with a specialist construction lawyer prior to engaging in the process.

For contractors, it is now more important under the BIF Act to provide payment schedules in response to payment claims issued from the contracting party. Strict time limits apply under the BIF Act and the consequences for failing to respond to a payment claim within time will result in the contractor being liable to pay the payment claim in full, even if the contractor disputes the claim amount.  Failure to provide payment schedules also exposes the party in default to penalties that could result in loss of the contractor’s QBCC licence.

Our team are at the cutting edge of this new legislation and we are up to date with the ever-developing court decisions affecting the BIF Act, the repealed BCIPA, and the SOP legislation in other jurisdictions.

We are experienced in acting for clients throughout all stages of the adjudication process, including:

  • drafting contracts to enhance our clients’ ability to utilise SOP and protect our clients’ exposure to adjudication;
  • assisting clients with the preparation of payment claims and payment schedules;
  • preparing adjudication applications and adjudication responses including supporting material;
  • enforcing adjudication decisions in the Courts; and
  • contesting and defending adjudication decisions in the Courts (including urgent interlocutory injunctions, applications for stay of enforcement and application seeking declaration that an adjudicator’s decision is void).

Our team can assist claimants and respondents no matter how large or small the dispute.

If you would like more information on SOP please contact us.