Understanding Australian Construction Contracts

Understanding Australian Construction Contracts

By Ian Bailey, Matthew Bell


$182.00 RRP

Date: 12/08/2008

Code: 9780455225937

Lawbook Co., AUSTRALIA

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Book Understanding Australian Construction Contracts 12/08/2008 9780455225937 $182.00 Add to cart


Construction projects involve a complex interplay of technical and human ingenuity. The legal principles and contracts under which those projects operate can be just as complex, yet they are often misunderstood or ignored – until things go wrong.

Understanding Australian Construction Contracts has been designed to assist industry practitioners and lawyers to make the best choice of contract for their project, and to make sure that the contract, once signed, becomes a tool to assist the parties rather than something which is simply “put in the bottom drawer”.

This book provides a detailed, comparative analysis of all the substantive provisions of four of the most widely-used standard forms of construction contract in Australia, AS 2124-1992, AS 4000-1997, ABIC MW-1 2003 and PC-1 1998. The analysis is divided into topic headings which reflect major practical and risk allocation issues relating to construction projects. The analysis is supplemented by comparative tables which summarise key aspects, as well as references to the most relevant legal cases, journal articles and texts.

Understanding Australian Construction Contracts is an invaluable resource for lawyers, construction managers, architects, quantity surveyors, contract administrators and other participants in the construction industry.

Editorial Reviews

From: (2009) 25 BCL 78 – Building and Construction Law Journal
Reveiwed by Ian Nosworthy

Following Ian Bailey’s informative text Construction Law in Australia (1998), this jointly written text with Matthew Bell provides an insightful analysis into four of the most commonly used standard Australian construction contracts.
The authors provide a detailed summary of the conditions of four standard construction contracts currently in use in Australia, namely: AS 2124-1992, AS 4000-1997, ABIC MW-1 20003 and PC-1 1998.
The authors explain in the Introduction the difference between the consensus forms AS and ABIC on the one hand, and the Property Council approach on the other.
They point out the need for Australian construction professionals to have at least a working knowledge of a wide range of forms representing a spectrum of risk allocation and procurement models.
The analysis is thorough, comprehensive, and logical. There are well-prepared tables of clause comparisons, a full and helpful index, and logical chapter discussion commencing with the contract documents and working through to practical completion and settlement of disputes. The authors point out that this is a sequence which does not necessarily follow the terminology or structure of any particular contract but approximates the chronological order in which matters might be dealt with during a project.
So that the reader may understand the differences in emphasis and risk allocation between the various contracts, each chapter concludes with a comparative table of the key aspects of each contract, as well as a practical further reading list, which includes detailed references to relevant portions of the major texts and Dorter & Sharkey, as well as specific articles dealing with the topic of each chapter.
A feature of the text is the simple introduction to each topic at the commencement of each chapter. For readers coming to deal with Australian construction contracts for the first time, these introductions provide a simply expressed and concise analysis of the issue which is then developed with specific reference to the terms of each contract in the balance of the chapter.
This is a practical and helpful text for those seeking to understand the difference between the major Australian standard forms, and should be a practical and useful addition to the libraries of both principals and contractors, and especially the lawyers who are asked to advise, because the text sets out clearly where the contracts under discussion are similar, as well as pointing out their differences.
For those seeking a more detailed analysis of a particular issue, the further reading lists are an invaluable aid to efficient research.

Table of Contents

1. Contract documents 
2. Bills of quantities 
3. Principal’s responsibilities and obligations 
4. Principal’s representative/ superintendent 
5. Date for possession or commencement 
6. Statutory notices and fees 
7. Site conditions 
8. Setting out 
9. Contractor’s methods of working, program and personnel 
10. Workmanship and materials 
11. Opening up: inspection and testing 
12. Subcontracts and assignment 
13. Nominated subcontractors and suppliers 
14. Adjustment of provisional sums 
15. Provisional and separate contracts 
16. Variations 
17. Indemnity and care of the works 
18. Insurance 
19. Progress payments and certificates 
20. Unfixed materials 
21. Occupation before completion 
22. Retention and securities 
23. Extensions of time 
24. Contractor’s costs of delay 
25. Practical completion 
26. Damages for late completion (including liquidated damages) and bonuses for early completion 
27. Defects liability period 
28. Claims generally and final claims 
29. Termination by the principal 
30. Termination by the contractor 
31. Service of documents and notices 
32. Settlement of disputes 
33. Counting of days 


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