Adjudication is a process created by the SOP Act to resolve a disputed claim for payment due under a construction contract. It can help resolve payment disputes quickly, fairly and at less cost than going to court.
An independent adjudicator receives written submissions from both sides of the payment dispute, conducts inspections or conferences where necessary, and decides the amount, if any, which is due in respect of a progress payment claimed under the SOP Act.
The adjudicator makes the determination within 10 business days. This time may be extended up to 25 business days if the claimant agrees.
The decision is interim, and does not affect the parties' substantive rights and obligations under the contract.
Further information on adjudication and its process can be found here:
Going to court
There are two circumstances in which court action may assist you:
- To bring forward a payment dispute that may otherwise be adjudicated under the SOP Act, or
- To enforce an adjudicator's determination under the SOP Act.
You can commence proceedings in court for any payment dispute that may otherwise be adjudicated under the SOP Act.
For example, if the respondent does not pay you in accordance with a payment schedule they gave you, or has given you a payment schedule showing they propose to pay less than the amount you claimed, you may decide to go to court rather than apply for adjudication.
Your lawyer can advise you about this process.