The Construction Contracts Amendment Bill is expected to come into force sometime this year. One of the main changes is to extend the definition of construction work to include design, engineering and quantity surveying work. So contracts between clients and designers, engineers and quantity surveyors will be subject to the CCA. The impacts will be wide ranging, not only in the application of the default payment provisions which will inevitably result in debt due proceedings against clients, but also in the ability of the parties to pursue disputes in adjudication.
It is also likely that there will be more consolidation of parallel adjudications. For example, say a contractor issues an adjudication against the client in a dispute over payments and extensions of time due to inadequate designs and late instructions. The client might well believe that the real default lies with its architect or engineer and issues its own adjudication proceedings against them. One or more of the parties might then apply to consolidate the proceedings so that all the disputes can be adjudicated together. While this makes sense, it could extend adjudication time periods and increase costs for parties.
[This post was written by Mary Haggie]