Building & Construction

As Perth construction lawyers we specialise in all building and construction contract advice, dispute resolution and litigation matters. Our clients include building and construction companies, mining services companies, property developers, contractors, subcontractors, civil contractors and suppliers in a variety of building and construction disputes.  We also act for customers of builders.

"We know the WA construction industry, the contracts in use and the issues that arise in construction works.  We've done this work for 25 years.  The advice we provide is not just legal advice."

Our rates and fixed prices are lower than the prices charged by many Perth Commercial law firms because we own our offices so we don't pay the exorbitant St George's Tce rent that many commercial law firms do.  

Further information can be found here regarding our fixed fees.

For 25 years we have provided advice on all building contracts and sub-contracts and on building contract and sub-contracts disputes including payment claims, disputes over variations, Construction Contract Act claims, disputes over delays in building works and claims over defective works and appearances in all courts as well as the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) and the Building Disputes Tribunal.  For more information on SAT see State Administrative Tribunal Hearings.

Our clients include builders and their customers, developers, sub-contractors and owners of both residential and commercial property needing advice and representation on all building contract and payment disputes.

We advise clients before they sign building contracts on important terms and help clients having problems with their builders.

We have successfully handled large construction disputes in the courts - District and Supreme, in the State Administrative Tribunal ('SAT') and in the Building Disputes Tribunal for clients including construction companies, structural steel companies, sub-contractors, developers and commercial property owners.

Some of our Successes

We have successfully handled court cases, adjudications and arbitrations in construction for 25 years.  We handled a case involving the owners of Lots in a Mandurah Canal subdivision in dispute over access to jetties and the case was won.

We represented a prominent winery in dispute with a builder that was set down for a 4 day trial in the SAT.  On day 2 of the trial the other side consented to judgment for all of our client's claims and completed rectification work as ordered by the SAT.

We have successfully represented building companies and their customers in trials in the courts, the State Administrative Tribunal and in the building disputes tribunal.

We also regularly provide advice to customers of builders and sub-contractors who have received building contracts and need legal advice on what clauses should be amended to protect their interests.

Preventing people, companies and sub-contractors from making mistakes, sometimes most importantly during the negotiation phase leading up to the signing of the contract and in making sure the correct notices are issued once the works start, for example if there are delays or variations, are just as important as successes in court.

Construction Contract

We negotiate and prepare all types of construction contracts including:

Minor works contracts

Supply and install contracts

Consultancy agreements

Design and construct contracts and subcontracts

Australian Standard form construction contracts, subcontracts and Master Builders contracts.

Advice on Fines & Penalties and Possible Defences

A common breach of the Building Act 2011 and the Planning and Development Act 2005 is carrying out building work without a permit.

In a recent case we were successful in obtaining a reduced fine for our client building company of $15,000, when a fine of up to 2 million dollars could have been imposed.

Pursuant to the Building Act 2011, the penalty that applies is:

a. for the first offence - a fine of $50,000

b. for the second offence - a fine of $75,000

c. for a third or subsequent offence - a fine of $100,000 and imprisonment for 12 months.

Under section 40(5) of the Sentencing Act 1995, the penalty is five times the amount of the maximum fine if the offender is a company which sees the fines above increase to $250,000, $375,000 and $500,000 respectively.

Under section 9 of the Building Act 2001 the penalty is a fine of $50,000 for a first time offence.  Pursuant to section 40(5) of the sentencing Act 1995 the penalty is five times the amount of the maximum fine if it is a company, which equals $250,000.

Under section 223 of the Planning and Development Act 2005 the penalty is a fine of $200,000.  Under section 40(5) of the Sentencing Act 1995 the penalty is five times the amount of the maximum fine if it is a company, which equals $1,000,000.

Therefore, the total maximum penalty is a fine up to $1,250,000.

We can provide you with advice on how you may receive a reduced penalty.