In this case, the High Court of Australia ruled a builder was not owed for variations for “work and labour done” after a building contract was terminated in Mann v Paterson Constructions Pty Ltd [2019] HCA 32.

This decision shows that builders who fail to follow the formal variation process under the Act are at risk, as the High Court unanimously found Section 38 of the Domestic Building Contracts Act 1995 (VIC) excludes quantum meruit restitution for variations.

Andrew Brennan, Christy Mellifont and James Kefford look at this landmark decision and its implications.