Construction Dispute Resolution

Construction, Major Projects & Infrastructure

Construction, Major Projects & Infrastructure » Construction Dispute Resolution

Compressed profit margins due to contracts struck under recent economic pressures, bad weather delays, skill shortages and ongoing difficulties in securing funding have heightened the risks of major projects and left little appetite for full-blown construction industry disputes.

Faster and cheaper resolutions are being sought through the use of structures, like dispute resolution boards, agreed on at the start of projects. However, while the rapid pace of dispute resolution may lower costs, it emphasises the need for the timely, experienced, strategic advice offered by Corrs to ensure firms are well-prepared to keep pace if disputes do arise.

Our Experts

BALCHIN Adam website grey SIZED TH

Adam Balchin

Special Counsel Location Brisbane Profile
McCORMACKAndrewwebsitegreyfakeSIZEDTH.jpg

Andrew McCormack

Partner Location Brisbane Profile
STEPHENSON Andrew website grey SIZED TH

Andrew Stephenson

Partner Location Melbourne Profile
Ben Davidson.jpg

Ben Davidson

Partner Location Melbourne Brisbane Profile
HORSFALLChriswebsitegreySIZEDTH.jpg

Chris Horsfall

Special Counsel Location Melbourne Profile
Chris Ryder.jpg

Chris Ryder

Partner Location Perth Profile
STARKOFF David website grey SIZED TH

David Starkoff

Special Counsel Location Sydney Profile
WILLIAMSFranceswebsitegreySIZEDTH.jpg

Frances Williams

Partner Location Brisbane Profile
Ian Dallen.jpg

Ian Dallen

Partner Location Sydney Profile
WIGGINS Jen website grey SIZED TH

Jen Wiggins

Consultant Location Perth Profile
Joseph-Barbaro-.jpg

Joseph Barbaro

Partner Location Melbourne Profile
CARROLLLeewebsiteth.jpg

Lee Carroll

Special Counsel Location Melbourne Profile
BYRESMartin.jpg

Martin Byres

Special Counsel Location Brisbane Profile
MUIR Matthew website grey SIZED TH

Matthew Muir

Partner Location Brisbane Profile
SCHWING Mel website grey SIZED TH

Mel Schwing

Special Counsel Location Melbourne Profile
EARWAKER Michael website grey SIZED TH 2015

Michael Earwaker

Partner Location Sydney Profile
DUFFIELDNigelwebsitegreySIZEDTH.jpg

Nigel Duffield

Special Counsel Location Melbourne Profile
KING Rachael website grey SIZED TH

Rachael King

Special Counsel Location Perth Profile
Robert Regan.jpg

Robert Regan

Partner Location Sydney Profile
Rod website grey MOCK thumb

Rod Dann

Partner Location Brisbane Profile
LEONARDSarahwebsitegrey.jpg

Sarah Leonard

Partner Location Perth Profile
SCHNABELSarahwebsitegreySIZEDTH14.jpg

Sarah Schnabel

Special Counsel Location Sydney Profile
FRANCIS Scott website grey SIZED TH

Scott Francis

Special Counsel Location Brisbane Profile
Shuan Bailey.jpg

Shaun Bailey

Partner Location Sydney Profile
Spencer Flay.jpg

Spencer Flay

Partner Location Perth Profile

Our Experience

Kwinana Freeway dispute

The successful resolution of this high profile dispute arising from the design and construction of the Kwinana Freeway extension allowed Thiess Pty Ltd, Leighton Holdings Ltd, the Commissioner of Main Roads Western Australia and various other parties to agree a mutually beneficial settlement that allowed the parties to avoid costly Federal Court litigation.

Corrs acted for Thiess and its parent company Leighton Holdings in defending allegations made by the Commissioner that Thiess was liable for defects in the freeway pavement in circumstances where the Commissioner specified the pavement materials that were to be used to design and construct the works.

Corrs skilfully navigated this highly technical dispute, developing novel arguments around breaches of implied terms in the contract, including an implied duty to warn, as well as breaches of the Trade Practices Act. Corrs approach, including cooperating with the other parties to the dispute, resulted in a resolution to the dispute just as the Federal Court proceedings were about to enter into a costly discovery process.

More

Our Thinking

SICC Continues to Grow International Construction Law Jurisprudence

Recently, the Singapore International Commercial Court (SICC) handed down its final decision in Teras Offshore Pte Ltd v Teras Cargo Transport (America) LLC

More

Why Bus service is not good service for the purpose of Security of Payment

To meet the time limits set out in the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999, the temptation is often to provide documents on a USB. But is this good service for the purpose of the Act?

More

Assignment of defect warranties: Is your drafting sufficient?

The NSW Supreme Court of Appeal has clarified that a broad assignment of rights will enable a purchaser to sue on the transferred warranty – regardless of whether the purchaser knew of the relevant defects at the time of the acquisition.

More

Corrs High Vis: Episode 5 – Attracting a crowd: Stadium Development lessons from overseas

Corrs High Vis is a series of podcasts, offering insight and analysis into the Australian construction industry.

More

Corrs High Vis: Episode 4 – Seminar: When is Arbitration the Answer?

Corrs High Vis is a series of podcasts, offering insight and analysis into the Australian construction industry. Presented by Corrs Chambers Westgarth, it considers the issues which really matter to professionals in this ever-evolving industry.

More

Corrs High Vis: Episode 3 – Construction Market Forecast: 2017 and beyond

Corrs High Vis is a series of podcasts, offering insight and analysis into the Australian construction industry. Presented by Corrs Chambers Westgarth, it considers the issues which really matter to professionals in this ever-evolving industry.

More

Corrs High Vis: Episode 2 – Sydney Arbitration Week (Part 2)

Corrs High Vis is a series of podcasts, offering insight and analysis into the Australian construction industry. Presented by Corrs Chambers Westgarth, it considers the issues which really matter to professionals in this ever-evolving industry.

More

Technology Assisted Review in Large Dispute Case Management: Australian and International Developments

With the size – and complexity – of large commercial disputes rapidly increasing, using technology to assist in their case management is becoming more and more important.

More

Doing Business in Australia

Australia is an exceptional place in which to do business. Find out how we can help you develop your business in Australia.

More Download

Commercially Sensitive: Confidential meets Open Justice

How can you protect commercially sensitive information when it’s being tendered in evidence?

More

Early Completion and its Effect on the Contractor

This article addresses two questions related to early completion. The first is whether the contractor is entitled to complete early. The second question is whether a contractor is entitled to an extension of time where it plans to complete early and

More Download

Arbitration: Can it assist in the development of the common law – An Australian point of view

‘Foreign persons’ will soon be required to notify the ATO of their interests in registrable water entitlements and contractual water rights, under a new bill to amend the Register of Foreign Ownership of Agricultural Land Act 2015 (Cth).

More

Freezing orders can preserve enforcement of international and domestic arbitral awards

A recent High Court decision means that freezing orders for assets in Australia are available in respect of domestic and international arbitrations, regardless of the seat of the arbitration or underlying law of the dispute.

More

Are you prepared for an adjudication during the Christmas closure period?

If you are involved in a contract under which there is likely to be a dispute over a payment claim then you may be at an increased risk of receiving an adjudication application under the Construction Contracts Act 2004 (WA) (the Act) over the Christm

More

Construction Arbitration in Australia

Corrs Chambers Westgarth has contributed to the Australian chapter on Construction Arbitration in the Global Arbitration Review.

More

Email negotiations - Beware, you might already be bound!

Courts are ruling that email negotiations create binding contracts and businesses are finding themselves caught.

More

A stitch in time saves nine: How excluding consequential loss could save you millions

Now is the time to ensure consequential loss is excluded from your contracts.

More

Taking cross border security in Asia: Seven steps to success

How to structure a security package that is compliant with different systems of law.

More

Renewable energy for remote Australia - Can our rural and indigenous communities go off-grid?

Debt-funded renewable energy is the practical solution for energy security in remote Australia.

More

Good faith in construction contracts: A bridge too far?

Standards Australia’s proposal to introduce an obligation of good faith in contracts will potentially lead to more construction disputes.

More

Grand Theft Backhoe: PPSA, contractor insolvency and priority over construction equipment and materials

Four lessons to prevent a PPSA disaster happening to you.

More

Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption

On 10 February 2014, Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced a Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption.

More

Is there a better alternative to liquidated damages on construction projects?

Incentive schemes encourage contractors to achieve early completion.

More

Construction industry arbitration decisions - Should they be public?

Publically available arbitral decisions may lead to fewer disputes ending in litigation.

More

Consequential loss - Another fork in the road?

A recent decision has turned the meaning of consequential loss on its head...and it may impact your contracts.

More

Quick guide to establishing a presence in Indonesia

Indonesia is a vast emerging market. What are the choices for establishing a presence there?

More

Productivity Commission caught between a rock and a hard place in finding ways to streamline project approvals

The Commission’s proposed framework for approvals processes will be controversial.

More

Australia-Indonesia: Time for a closer future

Indonesia’s potential is vast and now is the time for genuine engagement.

More

Striking the balance: Financing PPPs with government contributions

How can governments maximise cost savings while retaining the risk transfer and performance incentives associated with private finance?

More

Infrastructure early stage tax losses - Welcome reform but issues remain

The draft legislation on tax loss incentives for infrastructure projects is welcome, but gaps remain.

More

What do productivity, performance contracts and a bank fee dispute have in common?

Performance based contracts could play a major role in boosting Australia’s productivity, but a court decision may threaten their future.

More Download

Helicopters, protestors and picket lines...it’s a lot of loud noise all directed at the construction industry

Industrial disputes in the construction sector are making front page news. Don’t let it happen to you.

More

Old habits die hard - Building information modelling saves time and money, so why is it being ignored?

Realising the power of Building Information Modelling requires a rethink of construction contracts.

More

Infrastructure Reform in Queensland Part 3 - Removing Land Act obstacles

Queensland’s Land Act needs urgent reform to smooth the way for private developers to undertake important infrastructure projects.

More

Head contractor insolvency - Protecting supply chain payments in construction projects using Project Bank Accounts

In government-sponsored construction projects, a new direct payment system could mitigate insolvency risk to employers and subcontractors if the head contractor’s business fails.

More

Farewell to the ABCC - Changes to regulation of the building and construction industry

On 21 March 2012, the Senate passed the Building and Construction Industry Improvement Amendment (Transition to Fair Work) Bill 2011. The Bill will come into operation when it receives Royal Assent.

More

Our Experience

Kwinana Freeway dispute

The successful resolution of this high profile dispute arising from the design and construction of the Kwinana Freeway extension allowed Thiess Pty Ltd, Leighton Holdings Ltd, the Commissioner of Main Roads Western Australia and various other parties to agree a mutually beneficial settlement that allowed the parties to avoid costly Federal Court litigation.

Corrs acted for Thiess and its parent company Leighton Holdings in defending allegations made by the Commissioner that Thiess was liable for defects in the freeway pavement in circumstances where the Commissioner specified the pavement materials that were to be used to design and construct the works.

Corrs skilfully navigated this highly technical dispute, developing novel arguments around breaches of implied terms in the contract, including an implied duty to warn, as well as breaches of the Trade Practices Act. Corrs approach, including cooperating with the other parties to the dispute, resulted in a resolution to the dispute just as the Federal Court proceedings were about to enter into a costly discovery process.

Our Thinking

SICC Continues to Grow International Construction Law Jurisprudence

Recently, the Singapore International Commercial Court (SICC) handed down its final decision in Teras Offshore Pte Ltd v Teras Cargo Transport (America) LLC

Why Bus service is not good service for the purpose of Security of Payment

To meet the time limits set out in the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999, the temptation is often to provide documents on a USB. But is this good service for the purpose of the Act?

Assignment of defect warranties: Is your drafting sufficient?

The NSW Supreme Court of Appeal has clarified that a broad assignment of rights will enable a purchaser to sue on the transferred warranty – regardless of whether the purchaser knew of the relevant defects at the time of the acquisition.

Corrs High Vis: Episode 5 – Attracting a crowd: Stadium Development lessons from overseas

Corrs High Vis is a series of podcasts, offering insight and analysis into the Australian construction industry.

Corrs High Vis: Episode 4 – Seminar: When is Arbitration the Answer?

Corrs High Vis is a series of podcasts, offering insight and analysis into the Australian construction industry. Presented by Corrs Chambers Westgarth, it considers the issues which really matter to professionals in this ever-evolving industry.

Corrs High Vis: Episode 3 – Construction Market Forecast: 2017 and beyond

Corrs High Vis is a series of podcasts, offering insight and analysis into the Australian construction industry. Presented by Corrs Chambers Westgarth, it considers the issues which really matter to professionals in this ever-evolving industry.

Corrs High Vis: Episode 2 – Sydney Arbitration Week (Part 2)

Corrs High Vis is a series of podcasts, offering insight and analysis into the Australian construction industry. Presented by Corrs Chambers Westgarth, it considers the issues which really matter to professionals in this ever-evolving industry.

Technology Assisted Review in Large Dispute Case Management: Australian and International Developments

With the size – and complexity – of large commercial disputes rapidly increasing, using technology to assist in their case management is becoming more and more important.

Doing Business in Australia

Australia is an exceptional place in which to do business. Find out how we can help you develop your business in Australia.

Commercially Sensitive: Confidential meets Open Justice

How can you protect commercially sensitive information when it’s being tendered in evidence?

Early Completion and its Effect on the Contractor

This article addresses two questions related to early completion. The first is whether the contractor is entitled to complete early. The second question is whether a contractor is entitled to an extension of time where it plans to complete early and

Arbitration: Can it assist in the development of the common law – An Australian point of view

‘Foreign persons’ will soon be required to notify the ATO of their interests in registrable water entitlements and contractual water rights, under a new bill to amend the Register of Foreign Ownership of Agricultural Land Act 2015 (Cth).

Freezing orders can preserve enforcement of international and domestic arbitral awards

A recent High Court decision means that freezing orders for assets in Australia are available in respect of domestic and international arbitrations, regardless of the seat of the arbitration or underlying law of the dispute.

Are you prepared for an adjudication during the Christmas closure period?

If you are involved in a contract under which there is likely to be a dispute over a payment claim then you may be at an increased risk of receiving an adjudication application under the Construction Contracts Act 2004 (WA) (the Act) over the Christm

Construction Arbitration in Australia

Corrs Chambers Westgarth has contributed to the Australian chapter on Construction Arbitration in the Global Arbitration Review.

Email negotiations - Beware, you might already be bound!

Courts are ruling that email negotiations create binding contracts and businesses are finding themselves caught.

A stitch in time saves nine: How excluding consequential loss could save you millions

Now is the time to ensure consequential loss is excluded from your contracts.

Taking cross border security in Asia: Seven steps to success

How to structure a security package that is compliant with different systems of law.

Renewable energy for remote Australia - Can our rural and indigenous communities go off-grid?

Debt-funded renewable energy is the practical solution for energy security in remote Australia.

Good faith in construction contracts: A bridge too far?

Standards Australia’s proposal to introduce an obligation of good faith in contracts will potentially lead to more construction disputes.

Grand Theft Backhoe: PPSA, contractor insolvency and priority over construction equipment and materials

Four lessons to prevent a PPSA disaster happening to you.

Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption

On 10 February 2014, Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced a Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption.

Is there a better alternative to liquidated damages on construction projects?

Incentive schemes encourage contractors to achieve early completion.

Construction industry arbitration decisions - Should they be public?

Publically available arbitral decisions may lead to fewer disputes ending in litigation.

Consequential loss - Another fork in the road?

A recent decision has turned the meaning of consequential loss on its head...and it may impact your contracts.

Quick guide to establishing a presence in Indonesia

Indonesia is a vast emerging market. What are the choices for establishing a presence there?

Productivity Commission caught between a rock and a hard place in finding ways to streamline project approvals

The Commission’s proposed framework for approvals processes will be controversial.

Australia-Indonesia: Time for a closer future

Indonesia’s potential is vast and now is the time for genuine engagement.

Striking the balance: Financing PPPs with government contributions

How can governments maximise cost savings while retaining the risk transfer and performance incentives associated with private finance?

Infrastructure early stage tax losses - Welcome reform but issues remain

The draft legislation on tax loss incentives for infrastructure projects is welcome, but gaps remain.

What do productivity, performance contracts and a bank fee dispute have in common?

Performance based contracts could play a major role in boosting Australia’s productivity, but a court decision may threaten their future.

Helicopters, protestors and picket lines...it’s a lot of loud noise all directed at the construction industry

Industrial disputes in the construction sector are making front page news. Don’t let it happen to you.

Old habits die hard - Building information modelling saves time and money, so why is it being ignored?

Realising the power of Building Information Modelling requires a rethink of construction contracts.

Infrastructure Reform in Queensland Part 3 - Removing Land Act obstacles

Queensland’s Land Act needs urgent reform to smooth the way for private developers to undertake important infrastructure projects.

Head contractor insolvency - Protecting supply chain payments in construction projects using Project Bank Accounts

In government-sponsored construction projects, a new direct payment system could mitigate insolvency risk to employers and subcontractors if the head contractor’s business fails.

Farewell to the ABCC - Changes to regulation of the building and construction industry

On 21 March 2012, the Senate passed the Building and Construction Industry Improvement Amendment (Transition to Fair Work) Bill 2011. The Bill will come into operation when it receives Royal Assent.

Our Experts

BALCHIN Adam website grey SIZED TH

Adam Balchin

Special Counsel Brisbane +61 7 3228 9531
McCORMACKAndrewwebsitegreyfakeSIZEDTH.jpg

Andrew McCormack

Partner Brisbane +61 7 3228 9860
STEPHENSON Andrew website grey SIZED TH

Andrew Stephenson

Partner Melbourne +61 3 9672 3358
Ben Davidson.jpg

Ben Davidson

Partner Melbourne +61 3 9672 3500
HORSFALLChriswebsitegreySIZEDTH.jpg

Chris Horsfall

Special Counsel Melbourne +61 3 9672 3326
Chris Ryder.jpg

Chris Ryder

Partner Perth +61 8 9460 1606
STARKOFF David website grey SIZED TH

David Starkoff

Special Counsel Sydney +61 2 9210 6723
WILLIAMSFranceswebsitegreySIZEDTH.jpg

Frances Williams

Partner Brisbane 61 7 3228 9332
Ian Dallen.jpg

Ian Dallen

Partner Sydney +61 2 9210 6243
WIGGINS Jen website grey SIZED TH

Jen Wiggins

Consultant Perth +61 8 9460 1784
Joseph-Barbaro-.jpg

Joseph Barbaro

Partner Melbourne +61 3 9672 3052
CARROLLLeewebsiteth.jpg

Lee Carroll

Special Counsel Melbourne +61 3 9672 3142
BYRESMartin.jpg

Martin Byres

Special Counsel Brisbane +61 7 3228 9329
MUIR Matthew website grey SIZED TH

Matthew Muir

Partner Brisbane +61 7 3228 9816
SCHWING Mel website grey SIZED TH

Mel Schwing

Special Counsel Melbourne +61 3 9672 3477
EARWAKER Michael website grey SIZED TH 2015

Michael Earwaker

Partner Sydney +61 2 9210 6309
DUFFIELDNigelwebsitegreySIZEDTH.jpg

Nigel Duffield

Special Counsel Melbourne +61 3 9210 3291
KING Rachael website grey SIZED TH

Rachael King

Special Counsel Perth +618 9460 1627
Robert Regan.jpg

Robert Regan

Partner Sydney +61 2 9210 6620
Rod website grey MOCK thumb

Rod Dann

Partner Brisbane +61 7 3228 9434
LEONARDSarahwebsitegrey.jpg

Sarah Leonard

Partner Perth +61 8 9460 1693
SCHNABELSarahwebsitegreySIZEDTH14.jpg

Sarah Schnabel

Special Counsel Sydney +61 2 9210 6148
FRANCIS Scott website grey SIZED TH

Scott Francis

Special Counsel Brisbane +61 7 3228 9495
Shuan Bailey.jpg

Shaun Bailey

Partner Sydney +61 2 9210 6948
Spencer Flay.jpg

Spencer Flay

Partner Perth +61 8 9460 1738