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It Doesn’t Need to be a Riddle: Section 173 Agreements Explained

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It Doesn’t Need to be a Riddle: Section 173 Agreements Explained  by Peter Micevski, Solicitor, Lovegrove Smith & Cotton (Victoria Readership)

Puzzle on wallThis article explores frequently asked questions about section 173 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 (Vic) agreements. A Section 173 Agreement is a legal contract made between a responsible authority (i.e. your local council) and an owner of land (normally the registered proprietor) or a person in anticipation of that person becoming the owner of the land. Click here to find out more about Section 173, an article by Peter Micevski, solicitor, Lovegrove Smith & Cotton.

Reliance on “Third Party” Certificates: is the Land & Environment Court More Permissive than the ADT?

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Reliance on “Third Party” Certificates: is the Land & Environment Court More Permissive than the ADT? by Justin Cotton, Partner, Construction and Practitioner Advocacy, Lovegrove Smith & Cotton, Construction and Commercial Lawyers (New South Wales Readership)

Approved StampIn this last article in a series on a recent Land & Environment Court case in NSW, Justin Cotton, partner and head of practitioner advocacy focusses on accredited certifiers relying on third party certificates when issuing construction or occupation certificates, to see whether the Court’s attitude marks any departure from conservative decisions at the ADT.  Click here to access Justin’s article on this topic. 

What to Watch for? A Builder’s Guide to Using Contracts and Avoiding the Pitfalls

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What to Watch for? A Builder’s Guide to Using Contracts and Avoiding the Pitfalls by Mr. Justin Cotton (Australian Readership)

CRACK1In tougher economic times it makes sense to do the simple things well with paperwork, as the simple things can make all the difference between getting paid and going without.   Justin Cotton, partner in construction and practitioner advocacy, has an informative article on how to manage such things as variations and extension of time claims in the standard HIA domestic building contract, how to complete the contract at the outset in regard to progress payments and provisional sums, and the common traps to be wary of in contracts. Click here to access Justin’s article.

Case Management – Dispute Resolution: An International Perspective

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Case Management – Dispute Resolution: An International Perspective  Written by Stephen Smith, Managing Partner, Lovegrove Smith & Cotton (International Readership)

Mediation pawnsThis Paper will attempt to give an insight into alternative dispute resolution, which is utilized in the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (“VCAT”) and various other Courts in Australia which it is hoped can be utilized or adapted to or enhance the alternative dispute resolution processes in New Zealand. Click here to access the paper by Managing Partner Stephen Smith.

Has Mediation Suffocated Negotiation?

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Has Mediation Suffocated Negotiation? Written by Professor Kim Lovegrove (Australian readership)

Two business men fighting shadowsPrior to the 1990s, the concept of mediation as a means to dispute resolution was not well established. The latter day assumption is that absent mediation everything went to court, but the fact is that 90 per cent of matters were still settled before they went to trial. Little has changed; 90 per cent of matters still settle before matters go to trial. Click here to read this article, published by Sourceable and written by Professor Kim Lovegrove. Professor Lovegrove, has published many other relevant articles on Sourceable that are well worth a read. Please click here to view some of his other articles.

The Under 16 400 Metre Australian Championships – “Airborne Runners,”

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The Under 16 400 Metre Australian Championships – “Airborne Runners, Intro by Mr. Stephen Smith Managing Partner

400m National FinalLast weekend the Australian athletic championships were held in Sydney and the nation’s top emerging quarter milers were engaging in a battle royal.  This photo shows my godson Wez and his fellow Victorians flying round the bend with 100 metres to go.  Try to pick the winner and to find out click here. I would say that it will just take a minute but that wouldn’t be true as the race was won in under 51 seconds. The winner also won the national 800 metre title. On a final note Victoria won gold, silver and bronze not a bad effort for the mighty young flyers from Victoria.

Building Cases and the Dangers and Vagaries of Flawed Expert Testimony

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Building Cases and the Dangers and Vagaries of Flawed Expert Testimony by Conjoint Professor Kim Lovegrove FAIB (International readership)

WarningThe winning and losing of a building case often has everything to do with the calibre of one`s expert witness. Expert witnesses are unregulated and unlike lawyers or doctors are not accountable to any disciplinary or oversight bodies so the calibre of experts can vary greatly, from the very good to the underwhelming. This article “the dangers of flawed expert testimony” was published in the Australian Institute of Building Surveyors magazine TABS and it has attracted a lot of feedback and comment in the construction industry related online communities. To read the article click here.

How Water Tight is a Construction Certificate and Can you Go Behind it?

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How Water Tight is a Construction Certificate and Can you Go Behind it? By Mr. Justin Cotton (NSW readership)

Leaking PipeDoes any defective action or omission of an accredited certifier automatically lead to a Part 4A certificate they have issued becoming invalid?  Justin Cotton, partner and head of practitioner advocacy takes a further look at a recent Land & Environment Court decision and its rationale on how well construction certificates can stand up to scrutiny.  Click here to access Justin’s article.

Alarm Bells for Builders: A Duty of Care Owed in Respect of Commercial Buildings in NSW and Potentially Australia

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Alarm Bells for Builders: A Duty of Care Owed in Respect of Commercial Buildings in NSW and Potentially Australia by Mr. Peter Micevski (NSW readership)

Alarm BellA builder will owe a duty to exercise reasonable care in the construction of a building to avoid causing an owner to suffer loss resulting from latent defects which are structural, constitute a danger to persons or property, or make the building uninhabitable, unless certain factors exist which militate against the existence of a duty. This article explains a recent development in tort law with respect to builder’s liability for economic loss caused by latent defects, which rings alarm bells for Builders of commercial buildings in NSW and potentially throughout all of Australia. Click here to access this article.