Bridge supplier avoids litigation and recovers 87.5% using the Building & Construction Security of Payment Act within 14 days.

The client contracted to manufacture, supply and install a bridge in NSW. The bridge components were manufactured in France. Equipment required to erect the bridge was shipped in from Overseas.

There was no formal contract for the supply of the bridge. The contract terms arose from a Quotation, terms on a Purchase Order, terms specified in two (2) emails and verbal discussions between the parties.

The erection of the bridge was delayed because of complications with shipping and customs.  A number of other items associated with transport and erection led to disputes.

The customer refused to pay invoices totaling approximately $160,000.00 and asserted that the delays had caused the customer to suffer losses of approximately $70,000.00.

The client sought advice from Roberts Legal. The customer had served valid Payment Schedules under the Building & Construction Industry Security of Payment Act detailing numerous matters in dispute. Roberts Legal identified legal issues and interpretations that were both favourable and unfavourable for the client, gave advice about the likely outcomes if the dispute were litigated and provided commercial advice in relation to a fair and commercial outcome that should be sought.

Roberts Legal prepared a detailed letter of demand addressing the numerous disputes raised by the customer and stating the client’s claim and legal basis for it in plain English. Roberts Legal also issued a commercial offer of settlement for the customer’s early consideration.

The dispute was resolved with only two (2) telephone calls following the customer’s receipt and consideration of the letter of demand. A Settlement Deed was drafted and the client received payment of $140,000.00 in settlement within only 14  days of the letter of demand being sent.

By Sam Roberts,
Managing Director, Accredited Specialist (Commercial Litigation)

Sam Roberts