The Critical Path – C&I Newsletter July 2024

01 July 2024

Welcome to The Critical Path, HWL Ebsworth Lawyers’ Construction and Infrastructure newsletter featuring the latest developments in construction law, to help you stay on the critical path!

Are you a vulnerable subsequent purchaser of a residential property?

This article was written by Lisa Vo, Partner, and Tara Nelson, Senior Associate.

In Raymond v Lewis [2024] QCA 43, the Court of Appeal held that the builder, Mr Raymond, did not owe a duty of care to Ms Lewis, the subsequent purchaser of a residential property, for defects to the subfloor areas of the property because the purchaser did not have the requisite vulnerability at the time of her purchase. Ms Lewis was not ‘vulnerable’ because she had the capacity to, but chose not to, engage an independent qualified person to inspect the property prior to the purchase that would have revealed the existing defects.

Click here to read more.

Avoiding the courts – a reminder on drafting

This article is written by Jane Wild, Partner, Jacques Lourens, Senior Associate, and Tamanna Gambhir, Law Graduate

The Supreme Court case of Icon Si (Aust) Pty Ltd v Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation [2024] NSWSC 324 is a timely reminder that our courts may uphold an arbitration clause even when faced with ambiguity. The case emphasises the need to get contractual drafting right, affirming that the rules of interpretation apply as much to dispute resolution clauses, as they do to other parts of a contract. What may, at first, appear as a straightforward amendment, could later end up costing valuable time and resources.

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Engineering compliance: navigating contractor registration requirements for WA’s building engineering sector

This article is written by Kate Morrow, Partner, Ra’d Qandour, Associate, and Oliver Basura, Law Graduate.

A new era dawns on Western Australia’s building engineering sector as, starting 1 July 2024, practitioners and contractors (including individuals, partnerships and companies) can apply to become registered to carry out building engineering work.

We previously explored how these new laws impact practitioners, to access please click here. This article focuses on how these new laws impact contractors performing building engineering work in Western Australia.

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Queensland gets BEC-listed: building, engineering and construction list for the Supreme Court of Queensland

This article was written by Laurence Terret, Special Counsel.

On 4 March 2024, the new Building, Engineering and Construction List (BEC List) came into operation in Queensland. The purpose of the list is to improve the conduct of large and complex litigation in relation to building, engineering and construction. This is a welcome development for businesses in the construction industry that may find themselves involved in litigation in Queensland and brings the Sunshine State in line with Victoria and New South Wales.

Click here to read more.

When an application form isn’t an application form

This article was written by Colin Harris, Partner and Kelly Brook, Senior Associate.

Late last year, the Supreme Court of Queensland held that an adjudicator had no jurisdiction to decide an adjudication application because the adjudication application served on the respondent was not the ‘approved form’. The decision has paved the way for amendments to Queensland’s security of payment legislation which now expressly states that a copy of an adjudication application includes the document automatically generated by the adjudication registry and sent to the claimant following lodgement, being the same document that was served by the claimant in Iris Broadbeach Business Pty Ltd v Descon Group Australia Pty Ltd & Anor [2023] QSC 290.

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Apprehended bias in adjudication proceedings under security of payment legislation

This article was written by Paul Graham, Partner, Ariadne Paras, Solicitor and Amani Fatileh, Law Graduate.

A judge or decision-maker is disqualified if a fair-minded lay observer might reasonably apprehend that the judge might not bring an impartial mind to the case, ensuring justice is seen to be done. This case demonstrates that the test also applies to adjudication proceedings under security of payment legislation.

Click here to read more.

Comparing Australia’s Security of Payment laws

This article was written by Kate Morrow, Partner and Caitlin Grehan, Associate.

Security of Payment laws across the country aim to ensure that contractors, subcontractors, consultants and suppliers who are carrying out construction work or supplying related goods and services under a construction contract are paid fairly and in a timely manner.

However, there are important differences in the procedural steps, requirements and timeframes that apply in each jurisdiction.

Click here to read more.

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