At EMC, we understand the legal complexities experienced by stakeholders in construction projects and the need to identify and manage risk throughout the entire project life cycle. We also understand that legal solutions need to be devised in a commercial context which balances risk management against the need to deliver projects on time and within budget.
To achieve this balance, we invest in getting to know and understanding your project objectives and your wider business objectives. Our lawyers have a track record of delivering sound legal advice which meets the immediate and long terms commercial objectives of our clients.
Our team advises all major stakeholders in the construction industry, including developers, principal contractors, subcontractors, homeowners, engineers, superintendents, manufacturers, architects and other consultants. The expertise we offer covers the entire project lifecycle, from finance and site acquisition to leasing and sales, across a wide spectrum of construction projects – from major residential projects and infrastructure, to commercial developments and fit outs, dual-occupancy residential developments and minor works projects.
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Key Service Areas
From a front end perspective, we work closely with our clients in undertaking a robust risk analysis prior to the tender process and contract execution with the aim of anticipating and reducing the likelihood of disputes arising during project delivery and ensuring that risk is appropriately allocated. We are often engaged at the project inception stage and at pre-tender review in relation to head contracts, sub-contracts and related commercial contracts. We understand different contracting models employed in the industry and are experienced in ensuring contracting models meet our clients acceptable risk profiles.
Additionally, our Property Group working together with our Corporate and Commercial Group can provide advice on structuring complex development projects through various corporate arrangements, as well as the sale or lease of completed projects, ensuring that EMC is with our clients every step of the way through the project lifecycle.
Contract Administration Services
Efficient and effective administration of contracts is a hallmark of successful project delivery. Our team provides ongoing contract administration services and advice and assists our clients with managing the mechanics of construction contracts, compliance requirements and the related contractual paperwork.
Project delivery – Risk Management and Dispute Resolution
EMC’s contract administration services include the early identification and management of disputes that arise during project delivery. Our focus is on resolving disputes as early as possible. However, where early resolution does not align to our client’s objectives or is otherwise not possible, our team is equipped to navigate through the complicated dispute resolution procedures in the construction industry such as mediation, arbitration, expert determination and if necessary providing representation in various courts and Tribunals.
We recognise that the risk for stakeholders in a construction project extends beyond project completion. The period of post-completion risk is significant, particularly given the limited ability for builders and other affected stakeholders to control or manage that risk. We work with our clients with a view to taking a proactive approach to risk management post-completion in order to avoid, or at the very least, to minimise disputes, particularly in the context of defect claims in respect of residential building work. Where disputes are unavoidable, our team advise on the appropriate strategies to minimise liability, business disruption and costs associated with resolving disputes.
The construction sector is highly regulated. From the identification of licences and insurances requirements to compliance and understanding of rights and obligations under the Home Warranty Insurance Scheme, Home Building Act, Design and Building Practitioners Act, Residential Apartment Buildings (Compliance and Enforcement Powers) Act and the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015, our team assists its clients in all areas of compliance.
Security of Payment
We are experts in prosecuting and defending claims under the security of payment legislation across all Australian jurisdictions. We are also experienced in negotiating settlement of claims within the confines of the fast paced framework set up by the legislation. If necessary, we can also advise and manage applications to challenge adjudication determinations.
Administrations in Insolvency
Coupled with EMC’s expertise in relation to the building and construction industry, we have extensive experience in corporate insolvency and bankruptcy and have established strong relationships with insolvency practitioners and members of the Bar who specialise not only in insolvency matters but in the construction industry.
These two spheres of expertise place EMC in a strong position to advise insolvency practitioners on their administration of distressed entities which trade, or were involved in trading, in the construction industry. We understand the underlying construction context in which insolvency practitioners need to discharge their obligations when managing these often complex appointments. EMC is as such uniquely positioned to advise the directors of companies engaged in the building and construction industry in the event of their own financial distress.
Consistent with EMC's "whole project" approach, we have the expertise to advise on the identification and management of risk in workplace relations specific to construction projects.
Our Workplace Relations team regularly provide advice in respect of work health and safety issues (both in the policy as well as the prosecution segments), workplace management (including labour hire) and staffing issues, enterprise bargaining, investigations into workplace conduct and safe work requirements.
Value Added Billing
Across the full range of our construction and projects services we offer fixed price, capped price and retainer billing arrangements. We ensure that our solutions deliver value to our clients’ projects and their business and work with our clients to ensure we deliver cost-effective solutions.