Legal Updates

Construction, Infrastructure and Engineering

Time is NOT a Traveller: A Builder’s Right to Fix

A recent decision of the District Court of South Australia considered a home builder’s right under the Building Work Contractors Act 1995 (SA) (BWCA) to an order that it fix defects instead of paying a homeowner to have someone else do it. The decision, even after a long period had passed since the building defects emerged, was…

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General Electric gets hammered

General Electric gets hammered: Forge Group Power Pty Limited (In Liquidation) (Receivers and Managers Appointed) v General Electric International Inc [2016] NSWSC 52 This decision of the NSW Supreme Court published on 11 February 2016 provides guidance on what constitutes a PPS lease and is a timely reminder of the importance of registration. What is…

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Worker’s Liens – when to register one and what to be mindful of

A useful tool to secure payment for building work done under a contract is to follow the procedure in the Worker’s Liens Act 1893 (SA) (Act).  Worker’s liens date back well over a century but remain an effective way of securing your interests.  A worker’s lien will prevent the registration of dealings in land, for…

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Comply or take your chances

The Consequences of Carrying out Building Work without the Appropriate Licences  Why Must I be Licenced? A recent Supreme Court decision gives us yet another reason why every tradesman should have a contractor’s licence. On 27 February 2015, in the matter of Tagara Builders Pty Ltd v AP&L Services Pty Ltd & others [2015] SASC…

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When does a builder owe a duty of care to a subsequent owner?

For a number of years there has been a difference between cases concerning a subsequent home owner and builder and a subsequent commercial building owner and builder, such that the former can recover economic loss whereas the latter cannot. The situation with strata or community titled residences has been unclear until now. When does a builder of strata or…

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Keep the Cash Flowing – With SOP, “Near Enough” can be costly

Small errors in using the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 2009 (the Act) are proving costly. They can make debt recovery slower and more expensive, or create liabilities that could have been avoided or deferred. An error in a Payment Claim or the way it is served can make it useless or,…

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Your plans – but not your building…

Times are tough at the moment and consumers are taking advantage of the builder’s hunger for work. There is a lot of “shopping around” going on in more ways than one. For instance, in recent times, I have seen a steep increase in copyright infringement cases in the building industry. The facts are often similar…

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Major changes to the Magistrates’ Court Jurisdiction

South Australia’s litigation landscape changed significantly on 1 July 2013, with new amendments to the Jurisdictional limits in the Magistrates Court. The intent is to improve access to justice and to relieve the burden currently on the District Court, where trial dates are being secured 18 months to two years ahead. What has changed? With…

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First definitive PPSA case shows “true ownership” is not relevant

A recent Court decision confirms that title can be irrelevant under the Personal Properties Securities Act (PPSA). The first case to substantially consider the application of the PPSA has resulted in the owner of goods losing out. The proceedings involved competing claims to three construction vehicles in the Northern Territory. The Facts Queensland Excavation Services…

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