What is Adjudication

Written by Steve Reid

Steve is a Registered Professional Engineer of 26 years experience and a Level 2 Adjudicator of 6 years experience. Steve has completed many Adjudications including complex claims exceeding $1.3m in value.



If you are performing construction work or supplying related goods and services in Queensland and you have a payment dispute or are owed money from the party with which you contracted, whether you have a written, oral or partly written and partly oral contract then you have an ability to get your payment dispute resolved either by going to a Court of Competent Jurisdiction (Magistrates, District or Supreme Court) or more simply and more cost effectively by applying for a process called Adjudication with the QBCC. Adjudication is a process where a binding determination is made on an Application submitted by the party who is not being paid, the Claimant upon the party who is to pay, the Respondent. Importantly it is not a mediation or arbitration it’s an Adjudication Decision that is made on what the payment amount is to be, when it was to be paid and what the interest rate is. Adjudication is open to all individuals, sole traders and companies who provide construction work or related goods and services in Queensland. It has been used by small one-man band contractors such as plumbers and painters through to Builders and large multinational Engineering & Construction Companies performing multibillion dollar mega projects. Disputed amounts can be from the small end of say a few thousand dollars right up to the hundreds of millions of dollars in construction disputes. Adjudication is a quick and interim method by which payment issues can be determined and has often been called the “pay now argue later” legislation. Although termed as an interim solution to a payment dispute many Adjudications are somewhat final in that they need to be appealed in the Supreme Court to have them declared as Void and hence depending on the costs involved become a matter of viability in doing so. Appeals cannot be made just because the Adjudicator may have made an incorrect finding of fact but must be made on a matter of law in that the Adjudicator might not have afforded one party natural justice, or procedural fairness or did not have Jurisdiction to decide or made a Jurisdictional error within the Decision. Finally, as with any type of litigation the parties are of their own mind to bring separate and final actions at the completion of the construction should they wish to, although this brings with it the additional very considerable expense, uncertainty of litigation and burden of making their case. To summarise, a fast cost effective solution exists to assist with solving construction payment disputes called Adjudication. It’s operated under the Building Industry Fairness Act 2017 Qld and it can play an important role in assisting construction contractors, regardless of size, get paid. Read our next article to learn more about how the Adjudication Process is performed … Want to know more ? Check out some of our more detailed information on Adjudication here. We have put together a comprehensive guide in 7 parts. You can download all of them as a consolidated paper from the last article.

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