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Those who work in the building and construction industries understand the importance of the legal and technical aspects of building contracts. No matter how big or small, contracts need to be navigated with care. Whether you are working in residential or commercial construction, or contracting with a builder to complete work for you, it is important to understand and protect your legal rights.

The construction lawyers at Maguire & McInerney are industry and risk management specialists, with in-depth knowledge and understanding of the construction industry.

The changing nature of the building business, as well as the number of circumstances which can impact a project, often mean that a plans timeline, quality or scope can be affected. This can lead to complex legal disputes, which require the expertise of an experienced construction lawyer

Building Contracts

Drafting an effective building contract is essential, regardless of the size of the project. Well drafted contracts protect the rights of developers, contractors, sub-contractors and homeowners. In fact, many building disputes occur due to poorly drafted agreements.

Building contract administration also clarifies any legal responsibilities and obligations for the parties involved, and reduces time managing building disagreements. At Maguire & McInerney, we focus on drafting effective contracts, including additions and amendments, which mitigates the risk to our clients and provides them with peace of mind.

We can also advise on specific inclusions in building contracts, dealing with risk and responsibility allocation, liabilities, delay and extension of time requests, payment terms, provisions for quality and inspection, and what to do if there is a suspension of or request to terminate the building contract.

Building Contract Dispute Resolution

There are several factors that can influence the building and construction process, including site and safety issues, defects, delays, or other unforeseen circumstances. This can lead to variations and time-related conflicts.

All business owners working in the building and construction industries should have a clear dispute resolution process, and contracts prepared by an experienced building and construction lawyer to ensure protection.

We can assist with resolving a building contract dispute and providing you with advice to help you minimise risk and conflict. Whether you are contesting a home building dispute or a disagreement from a commercial client, we can arm you with sound legal advice and representation so you can arrive at a prompt resolution

Advice for Homeowners

Building a new home is an exciting step. However, it can be fraught with risks, especially if you do not seek sound legal advice when it comes to your building contract, or any disputes that arise. Building defects and delays are two of the most disputed and litigated aspects of a building contract.

Our experienced building and construction team of lawyers can assist you with understanding your building contract, negotiating contract terms to protect your interests, advising you on what to do if you notice defects in your building work, and assisting you with getting your home to completion.

Other Building and Construction Services

Our experienced team of building and construction lawyers can provide expertise in the following areas and more:

  • Security of Payment claims (SOPA) and payment schedules
  • Claims resolution
  • Building defect claims
  • Construction mediation
  • Making a complaint to the Office of Fair Trading
  • Debt recovery
  • Insolvency and bankruptcy
  • All claims in New South Wales Courts and Tribunals (including NCAT)
  • Sub-contract agreements
  • Contract advice for those in specialist fields such as engineering and project management

Our Approach to Building and Construction Law

When it comes to building and construction law, Maguire & McInerney is not afraid to take a strong approach that is firmly focused on delivering results.

Our team serves Wollongong and the greater Illawarra region and extends to include some of the most highly regarded  building and construction lawyers and building consultants in the area.

Our construction lawyers are known for their commitment to their clients, as well as their strong litigation skills and deep knowledge of the latest changes in building and construction litigation.

Our role is to help clients navigate regulatory changes and overcome industry challenges. We explain the potential risks and relate legal outcomes back to commercial realities.

We have vast experience in the settlement of disputes rather than allowing such disputes to lead to litigation. However, if a dispute has to be determined in court, our experience in the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT), Local Court, District Court and Supreme Court, will be instrumental in either claiming or defending such matters.

If you need advice on a building and construction law issue, or you’d like to learn more about our services, please get in touch with our top construction lawyer, Alyce Fisher.

Steps To Get Started

Reach Out

Whether it’s phone, email, or dropping by our Wollongong office, book a date to sit down with one of our team.

Make a Plan

Understanding where you are coming from, and what you are looking to achieve means that our lawyers can craft the best course of action.

Take Action

Whether it’s litigation or mediation, our team of experts have decades of experience in and outside of the courtroom and are committed to reaching the best possible outcome.


Mediation can indeed be effective in complex construction disputes. It encourages open dialogue and collaborative problem-solving, making it a viable option for resolving even the most intricate disputes. However, in some cases involving significant legal complexities, fraud, or unwilling parties, litigation may be necessary as a last resort.

Yes, a contract can be cancelled or terminated, but there may well be adverse consequences if that contract has not been carefully drafted in the first place.

Legal counsel plays a crucial role in construction dispute resolution by explaining the pros and cons of each resolution method, helping clients understand their legal rights and obligations, and advocating for clients’ interests during negotiations or court proceedings. Collaborating with Maguire & McInerney’s experienced lawyers can lead to more informed decisions and effective dispute resolution.

Taken out by the builder prior to works being commenced, the costs and coverage of Home Owners Warranty Insurance are passed on by the builder to the owner.

When claiming within the effective period, homeowners should promptly notify their insurer and solicitor, and follow the designated claims process outlined in their policy, as this can differ between insurers.

Construction law involves the contracts, planning, engineering, building and permissions involved with a construction project, whether that be residential, commercial or industrial.

A building contract is a signed legal document between client and contractor, designed to protect both parties and clearly outline the responsibilities of each.

It is required for projects over $20,000, which includes newly constructed residential properties as well as those undergoing substantial renovation or alteration.

Our Building & Construction Law Team

Alyce Fisher

Senior Associate

Mark McDonald


Lewis Bonney


We’re here to help.

Enquire online, or call us today, and we will help you explore all your options. Your enquiry is completely confidential.