High Court revisits scope of Security for Payment claims

high court of australia logoIn Probuild Constructions (Aust) Pty Ltd v Shade Systems Pty Ltd & Anor [2018] HCA 4 and in Maxcon Constructions Pty Ltd v Vadasz [2018] HCA 5 the High Court had cause to consider whether challenges to decisions of adjudicators under the SoPA could include non-jurisdictional errors of law.

The SoPA legislation was enacted to facilitate cash flow to primarily subcontractors by providing a quick, cheap and informal procedure to settle payment disputes by adjudications.

The High Court held that these principles could well be thwarted if challenges by way of judicial review were available for every error of law. The judicial review process has time and cost implications and may delay prompt enforcement of the determinations and negate the cash flow advantages.

This is good news for subcontractors and suppliers serving claims on head contractors.

This decision means that now, an adjudication determination can only be overturned if the head contractor can establish that the adjudicator did not have jurisdiction to determine the application in the first place. One set of floodgates now appears shut.

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Northern Beaches Construction Lawyers

Clare Peacock is an experienced construction lawyer working on Sydney’s Northern Beaches.

Clare provides practical, cost-effective assistance regarding strata scheme disputes and defective building works.

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