Construction Related Agreements Lawyers

Construction Related Agreements Lawyers Sydney

Engage a Construction Lawyer to advise on and prepare the Agreements you may need

Preparing for and undertaking any construction works inevitably involves a lot of paperwork. Depending on the nature of the project and what you are looking to achieve, a variety of contracts or agreements might be required. It can be daunting, tricky and complex, and you may feel out of your depth. What you need is clear and meaningful guidance.

Gavel & Page construction lawyers take the time to discuss your project with you, understand what you are trying to achieve and identify the interests you want to protect. We then provide you with our recommendations to best address your needs and concerns.

From drafting letters of intent to labour and equipment hire agreements and a range of documents in between, our construction lawyers can assist you with a variety of construction-related agreements.

You can trust that our legal services are always clear and insightful, always reliable and cost effective, always protecting your interests and giving effect to your intentions.

Construction Management Agreements

Construction Management Agreements are effective and useful tools for the management of construction projects.

Oftentimes, a developer will engage a builder, who then may engage a contractor to manage the works on one or multiple projects. In these instances, a Construction Manager typically is not classified as an employee of the builder, which carries several benefits for the builder.

For one, the builder is not liable for the statutory payments and entitlements typical of an employment relationship. It is crucial, however, to remain careful on this point. Depending on the precise nature of the relationship, such as who provides training, tools, uniforms, directions, amongst other things, contractors can still be deemed to be an employee.

Another benefit is that the builder is shielded from vicarious liability. Generally, employers are responsible for the actions of their employees. By engaging a Construction Manager to manage a project, the builder would not be liable for his or her actions.

On the other hand, developers may not want to engage a builder for the construction of a project, but simply may need some assistance in managing the construction work themselves.

In this situation, while the Construction Manager will liaise with all contractors, source trades and manage the works, the developer is still directly liable to all contractors.

Drafting or negotiating such Agreements can be tricky as they often involve complex and technical considerations.

Gavel & Page construction lawyers can assist in drafting or negotiating Construction Management Agreements. We provide clear and meaningful advice regarding all relevant considerations, such as:

  • Reduction or even elimination of any and all liability;
  • Proper structures;
  • Payment obligation terms;
  • Scope of engagement; and
  • Any other rights and responsibilities that need to be addressed.

Early Works Contracts

Early Works Contracts are generally contracts which relate to demolition and excavation works.

For most projects, a developer will engage a builder to carry out construction works. The builder will then engage all other relevant trades and consultants as part of that work.

While the developer is in the process of sourcing an appropriate builder, or carrying out discussions with one, however, the land is not in use. The developer may wish to begin site excavation and demolition before formally engaging a builder. This is when an Early Works Contract can prove useful.

An Early Works Contract can be drafted and entered into before a developer formally engages a builder. These contracts are ordinarily between a developer and a subcontractor directly and they generally relate to demolition and excavation works.

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Gavel & Page construction lawyers can help you prepare Early Works Contracts and alert you to all the relevant clauses and considerations that need to be addressed to get your project underway.

Aide Memoirs

An Aide Memoir condenses all of the main points of a contract into a handy spreadsheet. This enables the person tasked with administering the contract to simply glance at the Aide Memoir to find an answer, rather than tunnel through volumes of information. They are a very useful tool loved by our clients.

Imagine yourself on-site, juggling multiple priorities. You haven’t got the time or inclination to review a contract to find the information you are after, so you glance at the Aide Memoir, look up the topic and presto!

For example, if you need to determine how to issue an extension of time notice, or the procedure involved, simply look it up in the Aide Memoir. All the relevant information will be there.

Use your time more effectively, have the confidence that your answers are a glance away and focus on the tasks at hand.

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Letters of Intent

With so many parties involved in a construction project, there is always a “getting to know you” phase. There are any number of situations in which you might not be able to enter into a formal agreement right away:

  • Parties may be in discussion as to the use of services, but don’t have enough information about a contractor or builder to make an engagement decision;
  • Drawings or relevant documents may still be missing;
  • The work involved may require materials which have a long lead time for delivery; and
  • The commercial terms may have been discussed but not yet agreed.

In cases such as these, you may issue a contractor a Letter of Intent. Experienced construction lawyers at Gavel & Page are well-versed in the various considerations and complexities to keep in mind when drafting Letters of Intent.

The Letter of Intent informs the contractor that:

  • They are being engaged for a very specific scope of works;
  • They only have authority for those works; and
  • Those works are not to exceed a certain sum of money.

Generally, when the scope has been fulfilled or agreed money expended, the works will stop. The parties would then enter into a more formal agreement. If so, the works done to date would form part of the overall contract scope and sum. Otherwise, the relationship will end.

By detailing an agreed limit to the fees and scope of work, Letters of Intent help protect Principals. Builders and contractors are also protected, as they can rely on the Letter of Intent to justify why work was done and what fees are owed to them.

Numerous technical considerations must be taken into account when drafting Letters of Intent. The intention of the parties must be clear and unambiguous, otherwise one party could argue that the engagement was intended to be ongoing.

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Despite this challenge, Letters of Intent can be very useful because they:

  • Give Principals more time to obtain information about a contractor and his or her competence and quality;
  • Ensure that all parties are in agreement and that they are the right fit for each other without having to overcommit; and
  • Enable the project to get started without needing to wait for all outstanding items to be addressed.

Supply Agreements

Supply Agreements outline all the necessary details for the smooth ordering and delivery of goods to a construction site. They are an important but often overlooked aspect of the project.

Nearly every development project will need to place orders for the delivery of goods. A builder may have an Agreement in place with an appliances retailer, a concrete company, or any other number of suppliers for different products.

A well-drafted Supply Agreement will make the parties’ expectations clear, limit confusion, minimise risk and liability, and avoid delays and other costly outcomes. The Agreement should set out:

  • The terms of the supply;
  • What is being supplied;
  • The quantity and finish of the goods;
  • The payment terms;
  • The delivery details;
  • The processes involved for delivery and payment; and
  • The repercussions for any issues of delay or breach of the agreement.

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Construction lawyers at Gavel & Page are always available to provide you with targeted and timely advice as to the terms of a Supply Agreement, or to draft one on your behalf. This can be a crucial step to avoid costly and time-consuming delays or disputes down the road.

Purchase Order

A purchase order is a legal agreement between a supplier and a buyer. It details the items that the buyer would like to purchase and sets the agreed upon price.

Purchase orders are often used when a buyer wants to purchase supplies or inventory on account. This commonly means that the goods are supplied to the buyer before they have been paid for. The purchase order itself serves as proof of that agreement and transaction.

Purchase orders are particularly important in the construction industry.

Imagine you are building 50 residential units. You expect to install the same bathtub in each unit. You source various suppliers for the best quality and best price, and eventually you select a supplier. You agree that the supplier will provide you with 50 brand “x” bathtubs, at a price of $500 per bathtub. The order is processed and the bathtubs are delivered before any payment – other than a deposit – has been made.

The document that governs this transaction is a Purchase Order. It contains all critical information relevant to the transaction, including:

  • The agreed number of units;
  • The price;
  • The delivery date and time; and
  • The payment terms.

Purchase orders also should contain clauses detailing the process or consequence for late delivery, faulty or damaged items, or misrepresentation of the items that were ordered.

It is important that such Purchase Orders are reviewed or drafted by an experienced construction lawyer. This will ensure that all relevant clauses are adequately addressed, that vital pieces of information are included, that you understand how the agreement operates and that you understand the rights and obligations of the parties involved.

Labour Hire and Equipment Hire

Labour Hire Agreements and Equipment Hire Agreements are critical documents during any build.

For example, a concreter might require additional staff for an urgent job. A Labour Hire Company can provide the much-needed personnel on a contract basis.

A Labour Hire Agreement will set out the rights, obligations and expectations of the Labour Hire Company, which hires out its personnel, and the company that needs to fill certain positions. Labour Hire Agreements must be drafted carefully to ensure that all parties’ interests are known and protected. The Labour Hire Company, for example, will want to minimise its risk and liability and clarify the payment terms.

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Labour Hire Agreements also ensure that personnel are working in a safe and secure environment and have bathroom and lunch facilities. They also require Labour Hire Companies to provide certain warranties about the skill and sobriety of their personnel, among other things.

Similarly, when hiring any kind of equipment, an Equipment Hire Agreement can help you avoid costly mistakes and protect your investment.

An Equipment Hire Agreement typically should address:

  • The nature of the Agreement;
  • The scope and expectations under the Agreement;
  • What happens if equipment is delivered late, or not delivered;
  • What happens if equipment is damaged on arrival, or is damaged later;
  • Who is responsible for loss and damage;
  • What insurances are in place;
  • And many other considerations.

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Plenty of experience and knowledge is required to draft both a Labour Hire Agreement and an Equipment Hire Agreement. A skilled construction lawyer can ensure that all the necessary considerations and technicalities are covered, saving you a great deal of time and money, as well as some serious headaches.

Maintenance Agreements

Maintenance Agreements can be implemented in any number of industries to define the terms of a maintenance contract.

For example, you may enter into a Maintenance Agreement with an elevator company, which will regularly service and keep in good working order the elevators in your building.

Similarly, you might be a strata scheme that has engaged a company to manage all the cleaning, gardening and repairs of a building. Whatever your specific needs are, a Maintenance Agreement can be tailored to meet them.

A Maintenance Agreement should include:

  • The scope of works required;
  • The agreed amount for payment;
  • The way in which payments are to be made;
  • Who is responsible in the event of loss and damage;
  • The insurances that are in place;
  • And other technical and commercial considerations.

When drafting or negotiating such an Agreement, an experienced construction lawyer can ensure that the terms are clear, precise, exhaustive and, most importantly, reflect your intentions.

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Let Gavel & Page Take Care of All Your Construction-Related Agreements

Whether you are a builder, developer or contractor, any given construction project will include reams of paperwork, as well as formal agreements between various parties. This can be a daunting task.