Construction Contracts

Construction Contracts

By Bruce Gotterson

October 14, 2016

This article appeared in the October 2016 issue of Club Life.

Clubs considering a possible development and entering into a construction contract should engage solicitors with experience in both clubs law and construction law to prepare and review the proposed contract and provide advice on the proposed development and the contract generally.

The interrelationship between the contractual terms and conditions of the building contract (with the plans and specifications annexed and forming part of that document), are crucial to creating a contract that properly protects the interests of the club. Under the contract, the club is entitled to obtain from the builder what it contemplates and, as a result, minimise the scope for dispute.

A construction lawyer will assist the club by making certain that the plans and specifications as prepared by its construction professionals, such as architects, engineers and quantity surveyors, are reinforced by appropriate terms and conditions in the contract.

As with any contract it is not only what appears in the pages of the document that is important but also what does not appear in the contract and its schedules and annexures.  Amongst other things, a competent construction lawyer should anticipate potential causes of dispute and insert provisions to protect its client against such events.

For example, not all contracts address the consequences and effect of pollution caused by building works.  Such a clause can require the contractor not to cause pollution or damage the environment and also place a positive obligation on the contractor and any sub-contractor to make good any pollution it may cause.  This clause may also provide that the club can procure remedial work to be carried out if the contractor fails to do so at the cost of the contractor.

For any major building works, boards and management of clubs should carefully consider:

  • Engaging a solicitor to prepare and respond to tenders;
  • Obtaining legal guidance on the most appropriate form of contract for the building works;
  • Obtaining pre-contract advice including identifying and dealing with issues in the building contract that may lead to dispute;
  • Engaging the appropriate construction professionals such as architects, engineers and quantity surveyors to ensure that the works are properly specified and costed;
  • Engaging a solicitor to draft, negotiate and finalise contract documentation including the head contract, sub contract and any consultancy agreements;
  • Obtaining advice on dealing with claims, particularly with respect to the Building and Construction Industry (Security of Payment) Act;
  • Obtaining advice on issues relating to Workplace Health and Safety.

As with any contract the more work and attention to detail that is done at the front end of a construction contract before signing, the greater the chance of a smooth roll out of the contract and the lesser the likelihood of disputes arising during the construction process.

For more information contact Bruce Gotterson on b.gotterson@pigott.com.au

 

Click on the image below to see the article as it appeared in Club Life October 2016.

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This article is intended to provide general information in summary form on a legal topic, current at the time of publication. The contents do not constitute legal advice and should not be relied on as such. Formal legal advice should be sought in specific circumstances.