Construction Contracts & Administration

Our expert team is headed by a dual qualified leading industry expert and Accredited Adjudicator and 3 Accredited Specialists in Commercial Litigation, making us one of the most recognised Building & Construction Law teams in New South Wales. 

Make and administer profitable Construction Contracts with confidence and avoid costly disputes and back charges.

Our expert Building & Construction Lawyers have extensive experience assisting Subcontractors, Head Contractors and Developers negotiate and administer head contracts and subcontracts and manage risks.

We regularly deal with Standards Australia, MBA and ABIC contracts and other standard form contracts including AS2124, AS4000, AS4300, AS4902, AS4906 and GC21 General Conditions of Contract as well as other bespoke Construction Contracts.

Construction Contracts

Although there is no legal requirement for commercial construction contracts to be in writing, we highly recommend that a clear and comprehensive written and signed contract always be in place before any work is carried out or money paid in relation to a project.

The absence of a clear written and complying Building Contract can have serious adverse consequences on the ability of for Head Contractors, Subcontractors and other Building Professionals to administer contracts, manage risk, or recover payment for works performed or costs associated with enforcing their rights.

We help clients understand and make effective Construction Contracts whatever the value of the construction project including by:

  • Contract reviews and advice,
  • Recommending and negotiating contract amendments,
  • Preparation of long form Construction Contracts and bespoke Project Contracts,
  • Drafting Subcontracts and Preferred Subcontractor Agreements,
  • Drafting standard form contract documents and Terms & Conditions of Trade, and
  • Documenting Contract Variations.


Warning: Reviewing or negotiating lengthy or high value contracts without the assistance of an experienced Construction Lawyer often results in the making of contracts that contain unexpected obligations and onerous or unreasonable clauses, indemnities and exclusions all of which can have devasting impacts on profitability, cashflow and solvency.

Ned handled our matter as if it was his own. His prompt assistance and excellent advice were very much appreciated.

Contract Administration

The right contract can be both a valuable weapon and a protector. Effective contract administration will work to maximise your profits and protect you from disaster. Similarly, a failure to fulfil your contractual administration obligations can have dire legal consequences in the event of any future dispute.

In particular, contractors should ensure that they are familiar with contract provisions relating to the correct ways to:

  • give notices pursuant to the contract,
  • apply for extensions of time,
  • inform clients of variations and seek approval, where necessary,
  • submit progress claims, and
  • manage disputes.

Good contract administration is a habit, and it need not be difficult. A simple to use Contract Matrix will usually make the task of administering the contract considerably easier.

Contract Matrix

A Contract Matrix is a simple to use “how-to” guide for administering your contracts that we can prepare on your behalf and which contains a list of important events that trigger contract administration tasks and what should be done.

For example, the list might include:

  • the commencement of site works,
  • the discovery of latent conditions,
  • dealing with requests for variations or change to the works required,
  • the encountering of events causing delays,
  • applying for extensions of time,
  • when and how formal notices under the contract should be given,
  • the making of progress claims,
  • steps for practical completion and certification, and
  • dealing with disputes.

Alongside each of these events is a step-by-step procedures covering off your contractual obligations for dealing with those events as they arise, and detailing any applicable time limitations and often including pro forma for the relevant notices.

Our Contract Matrices are written in simple, plain language and can even be in the form of a flowchart.

We also offer on-demand virtual in-house counsel support to assist with contracting and contract administration requirements.

Contracts & Contract Administration Expertise

Head of our Building & Construction Law team, Ned Mortensen, has specialist knowledge of the building and construction industry, having come to the legal profession after 20 years of working in construction as a project manager and expert witness.

Ned holds dual qualifications in Law and Construction Management and is also an Accredited Adjudicator appointed to Adjudication Applications by both Adjudicate Today and ABC Dispute Resolution Service. He is highly experienced and particularly adept at dealing with security of payment adjudications and claims involving defective work and/or delays.

His experience in the construction industry ranges from residential housing in his early career, through to engineering and senior project management roles for some of Australia’s top tier contractors.  He has project managed contracts for the construction of commercial and infrastructure projects with individual contract values exceeding $200 million.

Ned has also worked extensively in client-side project management, where he routinely handled disputes concerning the quality, timeliness, compliance and value of works. He is an experienced building consultant and has appeared as an expert witness in building litigation matters.

His unique mix of legal skills and practical construction industry experience allow him a clear insight into the often very technical issues that are at the heart of many building disputes. His legal expertise and construction industry experience give him an edge that puts him at ease in any construction industry matter and ensures a sound and practical understanding of the technical issues at play.

Our Building & Construction Law Team also includes 3 Accredited Specialists in Commercial Litigation. We have more Accredited Specialists in Commercial Litigation than 99% of law firms in NSW.

For advice about a Construction Contract that you have been provided by another party or assistance to prepare a project specific Construction Contract or standard form contract speak to one of our Building & Construction Lawyers for a Free Case Evaluation today.

Security of Payment Guide

Get Paid. When it matters most. The essential tool for every business owner in the building and construction industry.

A Home Builder’s Guide to Resolving Disputes in NCAT

An essential Guide to help Home Builders develop a robust defence and achieve a more favourable outcome in an NCAT dispute. Don’t get caught out; get the right advice and get it fast.

Home Building Act Guide

An introduction to contractor licensing, statutory warranties, mandatory contracting requirements and insurance under the Home Building Act 1989 (NSW).

Guide to Making Effective Business Contracts – Contractors

Making effective everyday contracts is simply a must for contractors and suppliers.

Work Health & Safety Guide

An introduction to PCBUs’ duty of care and Officers’ duty to exercise due diligence under the Work Health & Safety Act NSW (2011).

Find out where you stand in relation to a current Payment Claim

Fixed Fee Security of Payment Assessment

Get expert legal advice in relation to your rights under the Security of Payment Laws in respect of any existing Payment Claim and what you should do next.

$550.00 INC GST

We could not fault our experience with Roberts Crosbie Mortensen Lawyers and would recommend them without hesitation.

“We are absolutely thrilled with the result Roberts Crosbie Mortensen Lawyers achieved for our company! After a long battle over a very large sum of money, Ned achieved the best possible outcome for us. He was incredibly professional, while at the same time extremely patient and easy to talk to.”

Angela Whitney-Offen

We are absolutely thrilled with the result Roberts Crosbie Mortensen achieved for our company!

“After a long battle over a very large sum of money, Ned achieved the best possible outcome for us. He was incredibly professional, while at the same time extremely patient and easy to talk to. We could not fault our experience with Roberts Crosbie Mortensen and would recommend them without hesitation.”

Highly recommend this firm. Felicity has a great knowledge of construction law.

Bob Cena

Highly recommend this firm to anyone seeking legal services.

“Ned assisted me with my matter, he was very helpful and professional throughout the whole process.”

Kris Grozdanovski

Wish I didn’t waste the time at the start trying to do it myself.

“This is really a proactive, quality team. Right when you need it most, they cut straight to the chase and deliver.

Their ‘Fixed Fee Security of Payment Act Rights Assessment’ meant I actually avoided the whole adjudication process and went straight to court for streamlined judgement, saving me time, hassle and money. Now I also feel I have a legal team for the company to give me more confidence in taking on more contracts. Great service”

Michael McElligott

Ned always places his client’s best interests first.

“His focus on developing long term relationships, coupled with his industry and business experience, delivers great results for his clients.”

Ned handled our matter as if it was his own. His prompt assistance and excellent advice were very much appreciated.

Ned speaks and understands the language of our industry.

We strongly recommend Ned and his team to anybody requiring a Litigation Lawyer.

“My wife and I operate a small earth moving business and required legal assistance in relation to a machine purchase gone wrong. We engaged Roberts Crosbie Mortensen to represent us in our dispute. Ned Mortensen took up the charge for us in what was for us a personally difficult situation. Ned is extremely professional and engaging he put my mind at ease on more than one occasion throughout the process. Ned has a very direct, no nonsense approach but also allows plenty of room to bounce ideas around. We had very positive outcome.”

Matt Cresham

I really like Sam Roberts’ article on Security of Payments.

“Too many commentators focus on the dispute provisions rather than the excellent process that Sam alludes to in his article. We are delighted to see contract clauses that encourage complying Payment Claims, as opposed to the current trend for “look around the corner” avoidance tactics. I commend Roberts Crosbie Mortensen’s approach to encouraging people to get it right up front, rather than wait until there’s a problem. It’s a breath of fresh air. We strongly encourage all businesses in the building industry to insist on using a complying process as a business-as-usual practice to protect their entitlements. To this end we have developed a unique software solution to facilitate the process.”

John Lowry
The Power Tool Pty Limited

Sam Roberts has assisted our Company in relation to a range of issues relating to a large Property Development.

“The quality of advice and results achieved have been greater than I originally expected when our Company first made the move to Roberts Crosbie Mortensen Lawyers.”

TIA Properties Pty Limited

I have found Sam Roberts to be a competent and diligent legal practitioner.

“Sam and I have worked together on commercial disputes including those relating to the enforcement of contracts, breaches of contract, misleading and deceptive conduct, breaches of confidentiality and breaches of intellectual property rights. I have found Sam Roberts to be a competent and diligent legal practitioner with a tenacious approach that serves his clients well in legal disputation.”

Peter E Cullen
Barrister-at-Law, Sydney

One of the biggest benefits of using Roberts Crosbie Mortensen, as opposed to other firms, is that Sam and his staff are very contactable.

Sam Roberts has assisted our Company in relation to a range of issues relating to a dispute. When I have a problem or need a legal answer it is important that I can get it quickly.

More Accredited Specialists in Commercial Litigation than 99% of all law firms in NSW.

Our Construction Lawyers