The combustible cladding crisis continues with Biowood

The New South Wales Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) decision in Taylor Construction  has put the spotlight on another form of combustible cladding – Biowood. With NCAT accepting that Biowood is a combustible building material that poses an undue fire risk, the Taylor Construction decision has had widespread coverage within the residential strata property industry so owners’ corporations […]

An honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay?

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 […]

Lacrosse fire litigation: builder and consultants found liable for combustible cladding

On 28 February 2019, Australia’s first decision regarding the roles and responsibilities of builders and other building consultants regarding the use of combustible cladding was handed down. The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal upheld the Owners Corporation and lot owners’ claims against the builder following a fire in November 2014 that involved combustible ACP cladding […]

NZ High Court decision could test dishonesty exclusions

Mainzeal Property v. Yan & Ors This week, the New Zealand High Court awarded $36m in damages against directors of Mainzeal, once one of New Zealand’s leading property and construction companies, including former Prime Minister Dame Jenny Shipley. The damages are the highest awarded for reckless trading in New Zealand’s history. The case raises a […]

Great Scott! Sections 43A and 45 to the rescue for public authorities

Sean O’Connor (Partner) and Michael Fung (Associate) review the recent NSW Court of Appeal decision in Mansfield v Great Lakes Council [2016] NSWCA 204, which discusses the evidence needed for a plaintiff to overcome a defence under section 43A (applicable to public authorities) and section 45 (applicable to road authorities) of the Civil Liability Act […]

Deliberately taking a risk can still be an ‘accident’

Paul Spezza (Partner), Scott Macoun (Senior Associate) and Bree Smith (Associate) consider the Court of Appeal of Queensland’s decision of Matton Developments Pty Ltd v CGU Insurance Limited [2016] QCA 208, which provides insight to both insurers and policy holders into what constitutes “accidental damage”, and how the courts are reluctant to interpret additional benefits […]

The architect’s administration role under a spotlight: Robinson v Kenny

In the recent Federal Court decision of Robinson v Kenny [2014] FCA 988, her Honour Justice Farrell considered the conduct of an architect in respect of representations made concerning the price (or likely price) of a client’s building works. Her Honour found that the architect engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct when the building works […]

Relief for builders and their insurers! Brookfield Multiplex Ltd v The Owners – Strata Plan No 61288

In a decision that will no doubt be greeted with relief by builders and their insurers, on 8 October 2014 the High Court of Australia delivered its much awaited decision in Brookfield Multiplex Ltd v The Owners – Strata Plan No 61288 [2014] HCA 36. The High Court has determined that there is no common […]

Brirek Industries v McKenzie Group Consulting

In breaking news, in a decision handed down on 6 August 2014, the Victorian Court of Appeal has determined that, pursuant to section 134 of the Building Act 1993 (Vic), the applicable limitation period for commencing a “building action“, whether in contract or in tort, is 10 years from the date that the relevant occupancy […]