The Construction Contracts Act 2004 (WA) (“CCA”) commenced operation on 1 January 2005. The CCA provides for a rapid adjudication process designed to support the efficient and timely payment of invoices and resolution of disputes in the construction industry. The object of this adjudication process is to ensure that contractors and subcontractors do not suffer from cashflow issues due to contractual disputes.
The adjudication process involves the review of the parties’ claims by an independent Adjudicator who has the power to make a binding determination for the payment of money. Importantly, the CCA requires the claimant to lodge a claim within 28 days from when the relevant payment was due under the contract or from when it was rejected (either wholly or in part). This time limitation could lead to clients lodging a claim under the CCA to preserve the client’s rights under the CCA even though negotiations are ongoing.
Although the Adjudicator’s decision as to a payment is final and cannot be appealed, a dissatisfied party can continue any available contractual dispute resolution process or commence legal action to resolve the underlying dispute.
Importantly, the CCA only applies to “construction contracts” as defined by the CCA, which include a number of exceptions. Another feature of the process is that time limits are strictly enforced. This means that the first step in the process is often to ensure that the relevant contract is a “construction contracts” under the CCA and the adjudication process is commenced within the required time limit.
We encourage our clients to ensure that they have a process in place to seek legal advice promptly with a view to commencing an adjudication process (if necessary), including to preserve their rights under the CCA while negotiating an alternative resolution.
Rowe Bristol Lawyers is experienced at providing legal advice and services in relation to CCA disputes, including disputes with respect to:
- status of a contract as a “construction contracts” as defined by the CCA;
- ownership of goods and material;
- prohibited conduct under the CCA;
- variations to contractual obligations;
- rights and liabilities with respect to payments and retention moneys;
- right of entry and possession of the relevant property;
- rights and liabilities with respect to obligations under the “construction contract”; and
- disputes arising by reason of insolvency of a party.
If you require legal advice in relation to CCA disputes matters, please contact us to arrange a meeting so that we may consider your specific circumstances.
The above information is provided as general information only and should not be relied upon as legal advice. The accuracy of this information may have changed from the date when it was published.