In Kennedy Civil Contracting Pty Ltd (Administrators Appointed) v Richard Crookes Constructing Pty Ltd v Richard Crookes Construction Pty Ltd; In the matter of Kennedy Civil Contracting Pty Ltd  NSWSC 99, the NSW Supreme Court considered whether a company on the brink of liquidation can take action to enforce a payment claim under the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW) (SOP Act).
Get your 5 Minute Fix of major projects and construction news. This issue: discover the latest cladding developments; resources construction work now caught by WA training levy; mind the gap: public transport at the urban fringe; avoid slip-ups in your payment schedule; and the availability of insolvency processes under the Corporations Act 2001 for recovering SOP debts.
Cladding update ‒ NSW
A recent NSW Supreme Court decision has decided that an insolvent contractor can claim under Security of Payment legislation, rejecting Victorian Court of Appeal precedent as "plainly wrong". It might have significant ramifications for participants in the building and construction industry across Australia.
In Seymour Whyte Constructions Pty Ltd v Ostwald Bros Pty Ltd (in liq)  NSWSC 412, the NSW Supreme Court considered the extent to which Security of Payment (SOP) legislation can be relied upon by an insolvent contractor.
Principals or contractors dealing with insolvent downstream companies should ensure they can properly substantiate any counterclaims.
Usually a principal is not entitled to rely on a set-off or counterclaim to resist court proceedings to recover a debt under the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 2002 (Vic) (SOP Act). However because of the operation of section 553C of the Corporations Act, the situation is different if the claimant is in liquidation.
Insolvent subcontractor’s claim