Construction

Construction Disputes

Overview
Specialised construction dispute lawyers ready to act in your best interests

Disputes are an inherent feature of the New Zealand construction landscape; something everyone wants to avoid or resolve efficiently. Engaging Hesketh Henry for construction contract advice at the outset of your plans means we can apply our many years of specialised construction law experience to help you avoid legal action. If it’s too late for that, and disputes have arisen, our construction litigators can guide you to the best resolution.

Our lawyers have been involved with some of the most complex and high-value building and engineering claims in New Zealand, and have deep experience of the issues that cause disputes in the industry. As a result, we’re a force to be reckoned with in the construction disputes arena.

In addition to litigation, we represent construction clients in all forms of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), including arbitration, Construction Contracts Act adjudication, early neutral evaluation, expert determination, and mediation. We’re adept at resolving liability claims against contractors and consultants, leaky building issues, and ‘pure’ construction disputes involving time and money claims.

Need advice on Construction Disputes?
Contact the expert team at Hesketh Henry.
Examples

Examples of work completed by our team include:

  • Defending a subcontractor in relation to services it had rendered during construction of a high rise residential apartment building. The matter involved 100+ named plaintiffs, ten opposing parties, and not only a variety of design and construction issues, but also complex legal issues relating to third party claims, cross-claims and limitation periods;
  • Representing a mechanical & electrical contractor in a $3m claim involving delay, disruption, variations, contra charges and non-payment; and
  • Carter Holt Harvey Ltd v Genesis Power Ltd and Rolls-Royce New Zealand Ltd  including [2005] 1 NZLR 324 (CA), [2006] 3 NZLR 794 (HC) and various unreported judgments.  Defence of a multi-million dollar claim for alleged defects in a cogeneration plant at Kinleith Mill.  This is the largest construction claim in New Zealand to date.
Key Contacts
Recommendations
Partner Nick Gillies ranked in Band 3 in The Chambers Asia Pacific 2021 legal directory.
Construction team ranked in the latest Legal500 Asia Pacfic Directory 2021.
Nick is recommended by Legal500 as 'Leading Individual" in Construction.
Recommended by The Doyle's Guide Directory
Recognised in The Asialaw Profiles Directory 2021.
Publications
Events

Insights & Opinion / Construction Disputes

Clarity on Liquidated Damages following Termination
The United Kingdom Supreme Court in Triple Point Technology Inc v PTT Public Company Ltd [2021] UKSC 29 has clarified the operation of liquidated damages clauses in the event of termination.  The dec...
Subcontractor entitled to raise set-off claim against principal’s warranty claim
A recent High Court case examined the all too common situation where a contractor goes into liquidation, but there are unresolved matters on a construction project affecting both the principal and sub...
Enforceability of limitation clauses
Construction contracts and contracts for professional services typically include a range of provisions which seek to allocate risk between the parties, and limit potential liability to be attributed to one party.
Contractors, Caveats, and Retention of Title clauses
The High Court in Development Construction Company Ltd v Mackenzie [2021] NZHC 546 has confirmed  that retention of title (RoT) clauses do not provide contractors with a caveatable interest. This dec...
Adjudication When In Administration
In Meltzer and Lamacraft v Amstar New Zealand Ltd the High Court highlighted the interplay between insolvency and construction adjudication issues.
15.04.2021 Posted in Construction
Construction Contracts Act Enforcement Costs
Cubo Projects Ltd v S&S Import Solutions Ltd
17.02.2021 Posted in Construction
Proposed Reforms to Building Act and Regulations
There are major changes to the Building Act on the horizon that will impact the entire construction sector including manufacturers, builders, building consent authorities, consultants and many others ...
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