If you have a payment dispute on a construction site in WA or NT you need to respond to an application TIME LIMITS ARE ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL. You need to call us now to find out how we can help you.

Adjudication is designed to achieve a quick outcome in a construction payment dispute determined by an adjudicator. Adjudication has very strict time limits and very strict processes.

JP Fisher provides services as a registered adjudicator and can prepare an application for adjudication or a response on your behalf.

While the system has proved valuable, the technicalities can be complex. It is essential to involve a specialist in preparing or responding to security of payments applications. JP Fisher can assist with applications for disputes for amounts as low as $10,000 and as high as $20 million.

Adjudication defined...

If a party to a construction contract makes a claim for payment for work done under that contract and the other party either rejects the payment claim or fails to pay it within the time stated in the contract then a payment dispute arises.

Either party may apply to a prescribed appointor to appoint an adjudicator under the Construction Contracts Act 2004 (WA) or the Construction Contracts (Security of Payments) Act 2004 (NT) to determine the dispute.

Adjudicators are registered trained professionals who are experienced in construction contract administration and dispute resolution. The intent is that cash flows promptly within the industry instead of being held up and creating severe financial difficulties for companies.

Under the current legislation of the Construction Contracts Act 2004 (WA) (CCA) an application must be made within 90 business days of the payment dispute arising. The other party has 10 business days after the date of application within which to respond and the adjudicator has a further 10 business days after the date of response to determine the amount of any money due. In NT the day count is in working days, 65 working days for the time to bring the application, 15 working days to respond and 10 working days to adjudicate.

Normally the money is then paid promptly but, if the party fails to pay a determined amount, the determination can be enforced in the courts.

The law is complex and unless strict rules and timescales are followed the adjudicator may lack jurisdiction which is why it is essential to seek professional help early.

Note that the law is also changing. On 25 June 2021 the Building and Construction Industry (Security of Payment) Act 2021 (WA) was passed. This Act is radically different to the CCA and will apply to all new contracts from commencement, which is expected to be in mid 2022. The CCA will remain applicable to existing contracts entered into prior to BCISPA commencement.

Call us or email us and find out how we can assist you as time is of the essence.