Justice Steve Southwood upholds a $1.8m determination in the first challenge to the enforcement of an adjudication under the Construction Contracts (Security of Payments) Act. Southwood J rejected the applicant’s argument that any failure to comply with the relevant contract when making a payment claim could be relied upon to establish that the adjudicator had no jurisdiction to make a determination under the Act. He held that the essential requirements for a valid payment claim to found jurisdiction under the Act were:
- The payment claim must be made pursuant to a construction contract as defined under the Act and not some other contract;
- The payment claim must be in writing;
- The payment claim must be a bona fide claim and not a fraudulent claim;
- The payment claim must state the amount claimed;
- The payment claim must identify and describe the obligations the contractor claims to have performed and to which the amount claimed relates in sufficient detail for the principal to consider if the payment claim should be paid, part paid or disputed.
A full copy of the decision may be found here. Any inquiries may be directed to Judith Kelly SC or Alistair Wyvill, who were counsel in the case.