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Help getting paid – without the hefty lawyer bill


Notice: As at 9 July 2019, this page has been replaced by our Adjudication Application Pack page published here: https://www.subcontractors.arbuildinglaw.com.au/adjudication-application-pack

Notice: As at 4 April 2019, our Adjudication Application Pack had been updated recently to be compliant with the BIF Act. The article details below will be updated soon too to be compatible with the BIF Act.

We have the solution

Do you ever have disputes? But you don’t know how to resolve them quickly and cost effectively?

One of the best ways of securing your disputed debts is by using the adjudication process under the Building and Construction Industry Payments Act 2004 (“BCIPA”).

Adjudication is designed for subbies to get paid and to have disputes resolved quickly. In fact adjudication decisions can be determined in as little as 6 weeks[1], but often subbie businesses struggle putting their applications together by themselves.

#1 Problem: Adjudication Applications are often not valid

In the 2016/2017 financial year 35% of adjudication applications[2] were withdrawn because they were invalid. Most of these adjudications were for small amounts and were lodged without legal support and advice.

Common validity issues include:

  • not identifying on the payment claim that it’s a claim made under the BCIPA;

  • not using the correct reference date;

  • not serving a section 20A notice;

  • not serving a payment claim correctly; and

  • filing your adjudication application too late.

At Aitchison Reid, we have the privilege of having a former QBCC Adjudication Registrar, Ruth Hatten, as a member of our team. Ruth’s real life experience of seeing hundreds of potentially valid claims being withdrawn because of poor paper work has spurred us to make life easier for subbie claimants.

#2 Problem: Legal services are often not feasible

We understand that subbie businesses can often be caught between:

  • having to enforce a disputed debt to save their cashflow; and

  • not having the cashflow to pay legal fees to enforce the disputed debt. Alternatively, it’s just not economically feasible for the subbie to engage our services to help them get paid.

Without a doubt, engaging a lawyer to assist you with getting paid will give you the best chance of getting paid, but we’re realistic about your cashflow as a small business.

The Solution: The Adjudication Application Pack

With all of this in mind, we have come up with a solution that will help you use the BCIPA process to improve your chance of getting paid, without having to go to the expense of hiring a lawyer.

The Adjudication Application Pack is a six-part package, consisting of:

  1. QBCC Adjudication Application Form - This form needs to be completed and submitted with your adjudication application

  2. Adjudication Application Submissions Template - This template will assist you with setting out your entitlement to be awarded the amount you claimed in your payment claim.

  3. Statutory Declaration Template - This template will assist you with proving your entitlement to the claimed amount.

  4. Annexure Sheet Template - This template will assist you with annexing (attaching) documents to the Statutory Declaration/s that help in proving your entitlement to the claimed amount.

  5. Checklist - This checklist will help to ensure you have done everything you need to do to finalise and submit your adjudication application.

  6. 1 hour review of your completed adjudication application - This review is conducted by an Aitchison Reid lawyer to ensure your adjudication application is valid and adequately presents your entitlement to your payment claim amount.

The Pack is aimed at assisting subcontractors who have payments due to them in the range of $5,000- $50,000. By purchasing a Pack, you will be giving yourself the best chance of having your debt paid with the added benefit of not having to pay hefty lawyer fees.

Please contact us for more information about how our Adjudication Application Pack can help you get paid.

What is the adjudication process?

The Adjudication process provided by BCIPA provides you with a fast-track process of getting paid, which consists of:

  • serving a payment claim;

  • receiving a payment schedule;

  • if you don’t receive a payment schedule, serving a section 20A notice;

  • if you don’t get paid after the above steps have occurred, commencing court proceedings or adjudication in order to obtain a decision on the amount owed to you (the choice between court or adjudication will depend on whether you receive a payment schedule);

  • relying upon the court judgment or adjudication decision to get paid.

Give yourself the best chance of getting paid. Contact us today to purchase your Adjudication Pack. Call us on 07 3128 0120 or email us at subcontractors@arbuildinglaw.com.au.

End Notes

[1] Six weeks from the payment schedule being received.

[2] This percentage is for standard payment claims only. Standard payment claims are those less than $750,000.

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