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Building and construction disputes

Cooper Grace Ward’s disputes lawyers handle all types of building and construction claims, disputes and litigation.

We represent clients in claims for variations, contract payments, defect litigation, professional negligence matters and claims involving liquidated damages.

We regularly provide advice and representation in security of payment disputes and in relation to building and construction regulatory matters.

As well as having in-depth building and construction industry knowledge, our team of lawyers combine litigation and dispute resolution expertise with an outstanding track record of resolving each dispute commercially, as well as through formal proceedings as necessary.

In building disputes and construction litigation, we regularly advise and represent client in their dealings with regulators, courts and tribunals. This includes the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) and the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT).

Clients rely on our team’s quality of expertise and advice, and commitment to client service, to navigate through complex disputes.

To seek advice about a building and construction dispute, call (07) 3231 2444 or email one of our experts directly.

We have significant experience in security of payment matters. Our expertise includes:

  • advice on payment claims and payment schedules
  • adjudication proceedings
  • challenges/defences to adjudication determinations.

Our team also regularly deals with subcontractors’ charges issues.

The Personal Property Securities Act 2009 (Cth) (PPSA) has had wide-ranging implications for the building and construction industry. Our disputes team has handled litigation and claims involving the PPSA and often works with our specialist front end PPSA lawyers in assembling multi-specialised skilled legal teams.

Navigating building and construction litigation can be a very difficult exercise, involving voluminous documents, numerous technical experts and complicated court procedures. To obtain the best outcome you need lawyers who are experienced in litigation procedure and strategy, as well as in technical construction issues.

We have vast experience in running building and construction litigation in courts and tribunals in Queensland and around Australia and are well positioned to run these matters for our clients to successful conclusions.

Cooper Grace Ward has extensive experience in dealing with the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) in relation to the regulation of building contracts, licensing matters, insurance and the building industry generally.

We have successfully pursued review proceedings in QCAT seeking to overturn directions to rectify issued by the QBCC against builders, and assisted building companies in dealing with QBCC licensing matters. We have also represented homeowners in relation to disputes with the QBCC involving the Queensland Home Warranty Insurance Scheme.

It is often the case that building and construction disputes can be resolved by negotiation without or separately from formal proceedings. Given our leading expertise in dispute resolution, we have an excellent track record in achieving successful commercial outcomes for our clients.

We take a practical and commercial approach to resolving disputes and are always alert to opportunities to resolve cases informally in a way that aligns to our clients’ interests, resources and commercial objectives.

Our team is also experienced in all aspects of alternative dispute resolution including mediation and arbitration.

Below is a snapshot of some of the cases our disputes team has handled.

  • Acting for the owners of Makepeace Island at Noosa in a long running multi million dollar construction dispute in the Supreme Court of Queensland.
  • Acting for a global manufacturer of infrastructure and construction plant and equipment in proceedings in the New South Wales Supreme Court to recover multi-million dollar plant item, successfully resolving a liquidator’s PPSA claim.
  • Representing a large infrastructure company in various BCIPA matters (both as applicant and respondent) arising out of the trunk lines north construction portion of the QCLNG Project.
  • Advising a bulk water infrastructure developer in a dispute concerning the construction of a pipeline.
  • BCIPA adjudication proceedings for a leading Australian contractor involved in the Kestrel Mine Extension Project.
  • Acting for a large industrial infrastructure provider in a multi million dollar BCIPA dispute on the Rocklands Group Copper Project.
  • Successfully resolving court proceedings concerning a BCIPA determination for a contractor involved in the MMG Century Mine.
  • Advising a supplier of specialised equipment and personnel in a dispute arising out of wharf construction activities at the Hay Point Coal Terminal.
  • Acting for a major contractor to successfully resolve a dispute with a subcontractor in relation to the Gateway Bridge Duplication Project.
  • Acting for the owners of a large industrial facility in the Darling Downs in a Supreme Court negligence action against the builder, engineer and certifier.
  • Advising a civil, structural and engineer company in a dispute concerning the design of the Mt Crosby Water Treatment Plant.
  • Acting for a drilling contractor against a principal in Supreme Court proceedings relating to variations and delays in the construction of a large shopping centre.
  • Acting for a large construction company during its involvement in the Royal Commission into the Building and Construction Industry.
  • Acting for a drilling contractor in a major building and construction dispute in the Supreme Court of Queensland relating to the Goodwill Bridge.
  • Advising joint venture partners to major alliance contracts in Queensland, such as the Tugun Bypass Project in the Western Corridor Recycled Water Project.

Key contacts

Rocco Russo
Miranda Klibbe
Brock Morgan
Brock Morgan
Special Counsel


Digital age pitfalls with BIF Act claims

The digital age has certainly enhanced our ability to convey information, something that is very important in the building and construction industry. However, technology can also create pitfalls, particularly when it comes to claims under the Building Industry Fairness (Security of Payment) Act 2017 (Qld), where compliance with technicalities is critical. The case of Iris Broadbeach Pty Ltd v Descon Group Australia Pty Ltd gives a recent illustration.

Chambers Global 2024 recognition for Cooper Grace Ward disputes team

Cooper Grace Ward’s litigation and dispute resolution team and lead partner Rocco Russo continue to receive outstanding market recognition having been ranked in the recently released Chambers Global 2024 international rankings.

Cooper Grace Ward named in the Legal 500 Asia Pacific rankings for 2024

Cooper Grace Ward’s Litigation and Dispute Resolution team has again been ranked among the top Australian practices in The Legal 500 Asia Pacific rankings for 2024.