South Australian Power

PlayfordA lot of people are rather rude about South Australia’s recent record in terms of providing electricity since they decided to “go green” and demolish the State’s main power station, hot on the heels of the very expensive automation of it that is famous in construction law cirles as the subject matter of the Alstom v Yokogawa litigation.

Tomorrow marks the second aniversary since the last time there was a power outage here. Two whole weeks!  To celebrate, there will be a scheduled outage here tomorrow (21st June) from 8.00 am to 3.00 pm. I will fire up my petrol generator, but communications might be suspect.

Meanwhile, the telephone land line has been down in this area since yesterday lunchtime.  Telstra say that they might fix that this week sometime. I have arranged Continue reading

Good Service

sundropLatest News: The Full Court has reversed this, giving leave to defend. No reasons as yet.

I am pleased to report another win, this time in the Supreme Court of South Australia in Ottaway Engineering v Aalborg CSP.

It was another case arising out of a failure by a respondent to serve a payment schedule. Each of the respondent’s arguments in opposition to the claimant’s summary judgment application was rejected:

  • Service of the payment claim on the respondent’s registered office was good service; Falgat v Equity Australia followed and Hill v Halo not followed;
  • The claimant was not estopped from asserting good service merely because previous payment claims had not be served on the registered office;
  • Neither was it misleading or deceptive for the claimant to serve on the registered office;
  • Finally, the payment claim was not invalidated merely because it included claims for acceleration and prolongation, which the respondent said should have been framed as damages claims. If the respondent wanted to challenge those claims on that basis, it could have done so in a payment schedule.

According, Master Dart gave judgment on 7th June for the amount claimed of $1,854,635.14 plus Continue reading

Queens of Hearts in the Dock

QueenOn 15th June, SoCLA is holding a nationwide event to consider the proposal of a new statutory benchmark for unreasonably onerous time-barring provisions in construction contracts.  Discussion in each mainland State in Australia will be followed by a national video hook-up. I will be the convenor for the Adelaide session.

The intention is not so much to move the goalposts here, but to seek to fix the goalposts at a sensible place, since the current reality is that courts, adjudicators and arbitrators use a wide variety of techniques to avoid the inequitable application of Queen of Hearts clauses if they possibly can.

In my book Extra-Contractual Recoveries (still not finished!) I attempt to list the many weapons available in the arsenal of circumvention: Continue reading