Is using adjudication for dispute payment claims worth it?

When you are owed money for the work you have done it’s not about going to adjudication, it’s about getting paid.

Adjudication is only one of several options usually available to claimants who are chasing unpaid money.

The other options might include pursuing entitlement under the contract through the dispute resolution provisions, making a claim to QCAT, and of course having recourse to the courts.

Of the available options pursuing adjudication through the BCIPA is quicker and generally less costly than the alternatives; however remembering that an adjudicator’s decision is an interim award only and not finally binding on the parties under the contract.

The objective of the BCIPA is to keep money flowing through the contractual chain by legislating for the adjudication of payment disputes.

Notwithstanding the decrease in claimants success rate since the amendments to the BCIPA were introduced in December 2014, claimants on average overall get approximately 28% of the claimed amount (compared to approximately 42% pre the December 2014 BCIPA amendments), with all but the higher value claims (+ $500K) receiving between 50-67% of the claimed amount (compared with 57-99% pre the December 2014 BCIPA amendments).

Overall, the adjudication process is relatively quick for ‘standard’ payment claims ($750K or less), and if prepared properly and substantiated there is a good chance of success.

If in doubt – seek expert assistance from Adjudicate Assist.

Knowing your contracts: Vital to success in adjudication

As crazy as it sounds, it is not uncommon for claimants to be unsure who they are contracted with. This is particularly the case with oral contracts but not exclusively so.

Furthermore, knowing exactly who you are working for takes on greater importance if your claim goes to adjudication, as you must have a clear idea of who to serve documents on and who is liable to make payment. Incorrectly identifying your contractual partner may have jurisdictional ramifications.

In a recent adjudication we found that the principal named in the contract did not actually exist. The contract contained a myriad of references to non-existing entities, incorrect ABN & ACN numbers and an incorrect QBCC license number. Additionally, a legal practice purported to represent the non-existent legal entity which raised potentially significant problems for that legal practice.

Fortunately we were able to convince the adjudicator as to who the respondent was and the adjudication decision was made wholly in the claimant’s favour.

Before signing a contract or undertaking any work it is advisable to clarify who exactly you are contracting with. This should be a relatively simple exercise and will avoid potential problems down the track.

If in doubt – seek expert assistance from Adjudicate Assist.

Interest rates and payment claims under BCIPA

Were you aware that overdue claims made under the Building and Construction Industry Payments Act (“BCIPA”) attract interest?

Furthermore, if your payment claim goes to adjudication, and you’re successfully, the adjudicator will usually make a ruling on the interest rate your overdue claim will attract.

This blog pot gives you further information on the claimant’s entitlement to interest as well as an explanation of the interest penalty rate in the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (“QBCC”) Act means in terms of adjudication in Queensland.

Entitlement to interest

A claimant’s right to interest on overdue payments is provided in Section 15(2) and(3) of BCIPA

Interest is not only applicable to the adjudicated amount in adjudication decisions but can also be claimed in progress claims in certain circumstances.

Where a payment claim is made under the BCIPA and the respondent fails to provide a payment schedule within the required timeframe under the BCIPA, the claimed amount is due and payable on or before the due date for payment (s19(2) of the BCIPA).

If the claimant does not proceed to adjudication in respect of this payment claim, the claimant is entitled to claim interest for each day of delay immediately following the due date for payment in subsequent payment claims.

The magic of s67P interest

In an age where the banks are offering annual deposit interest rates in the low single digits, the QBCC Act Section 67P penalty rates are generous at around 12.3% p.a. compounded daily.

Where applicable QBCC Act Section 67P provides a significant deterrent to respondents which wish to delay payment of progress payments.

Many claimants ignore their entitlement to interest in progress claims even where this can be a significant sum of money.

If you’re not claiming the appropriate interest rate on overdue payment claims, you’re doing yourself a financial disservice.

Get in touch for more information.

Adjudicate Assist is a specialist company dealing with all aspects of security of payment legislation throughout Australia and providing expert help to those wishing to utilise the Building and Construction Industry Payments Act. Get in touch today.

If in doubt – seek expert assistance from Adjudicate Assist.

Having the appropriate building licence is important

Having the correct building licence is vital if you are to be successful in construction adjudication.

In simple terms, if you need a Queensland Building & Construction Commission (“QBCC”) licence for the work that you do, then you will be unable to use the Building and Construction Industry Payments Act (“BCIPA”) to recover payments if you do not hold that building licence.


A recent Queensland Supreme Court judgement determined that the requirement to hold a building licence as a precondition to entitlement to use the BCIPA extends to licencing jurisdictions other than QBCC; e.g. Electrical licencing.

You may be surprised to know that a not uncommon problem is that whilst the individual owner of a company may be licensed, the company which is making the payment claim is sometimes not itself licensed, and therefore not entitled to receive payment under the BCIPA or otherwise.

Claimants must be clear as to the requirements to hold a specific building licence for the work that they do.

Generally speaking, even if your licence has been suspended or cancelled but you held a valid building licence at the time you carried out the relevant work, then you will be able to use the BCIPA.

If in doubt – seek expert assistance from Adjudicate Assist.

Help vital to successful adjudication

It has never been more important to seek help preparing for adjudication under the Building and Construction Industry Payments Act (“BCIPA”).

Help vital to success in adjudication

Monthly adjudication statistics published by the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (“QBCC”) for January 2016 indicate that approximately 31.5% of all adjudication applications made to QBCC are withdrawn before being referred to an adjudicator because of application validation issues. Additionally, 18% of all adjudication decisions released the adjudicator found that there was no jurisdiction.

Put another way, this means that approximately 40% of all adjudication applications made to QBCC do not result in any decision because of validation issues that could easily be avoided if expert help had been requested.

Claimants need to ensure that their applications tick all the boxes before being submitted, to avoid unnecessary disappointment and wasting of money on doomed adjudication applications.

Adjudicate Assist CAN help you!

Adjudicate Assist can offer assistance for the claimant or the respondent with the adjudication process by trained ADJUDICATORS.  All consultants are highly experienced in the adjudication process and are aware of the criteria required for recovering or defending payment under the Act – don’t settle for second best and be disadvantaged!

If in doubt – seek expert assistance from Adjudicate Assist.