Monday to Friday:- 8:45am – 5:15pm (Melbourne Office)

Making A SOPA claim or Defending a SOPA claim

We are experienced in recovering money under, and defending claims under, the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 2002 (Vic) (SOPA). We understand the impacts on cashflow and your business.

SOPA Building Debt recovery

Eligibility To Claim

Firstly, there needs to be compliant documentation to establish a SOPA claim. This will usually means an agreement between the parties in the contract between them, and that this will apply and there will be a compliant reference to it on the tax invoice.

Typically, this method is used for claimants to receive payment of building works or goods and materials supplied. We can act for those who are making or disputing a claim.

It is one key method available to those in the building industry to make claims for payment and is quicker way to get a court judgement in the event of non-payment.

Only Compliant SOPA claims are successful

There can be issues, and not all claims are successful. Proper legal advice will ensure that the claim is correctly drafted and made, so that it is compliant. If the claim is rejected it will lead to a further delay in payment.

The methodology is different for each state and time frames apply, so it is important to get an understanding on how this Act can be beneficial in you getting paid.

Payment Claims & Schedules

A payment claim (Payment Claim) is issued by a contractor (Claimant) who has performed work and/or supplied goods or services under a construction contract. A Payment Claim must specify:

  • The work performed and/or goods or services supplied by the Claimant
  • The amount claimed for such work/goods or services and
  • State that it is made pursuant to the SOPA Act.

Upon receiving a Payment Claim, the relevant contractor, purchaser or client (Respondent) then has a set time limit to provide a payment schedule (Payment Schedule) in response, which either:

  • Agrees to pay the entirety of the amount claimed in the Payment Claim or
  • Disputes the amount claimed in the Payment Claim and states:
    • The amount that the Respondent is willing to pay for the Payment Claim and
    • Why this amount is different to the amount claimed in the Payment Claim.

Please note: The time limit for providing a Payment Schedule in response to a Payment Claim should be strictly adhered to, as a Payment Schedule cannot be provided outside of the time limit. If a Payment Schedule is not provided in response to a Payment Claim within the required time limit, the respondent will be considered to have agreed to the amount claimed in the Payment Claim and, therefore, will be liable to pay that amount to the Claimant (pursuant to the relevant payment terms).

Defending a SOPA Claim

If you have received a claim there are timeframes of which you must respond to the claim by. If you do not respond in the given time frame you can become liable for the debt. If you agree with the debt and require time to make payment, you make payment arrangements by submitting a Payment Schedule.

If you dispute the claim, you can request adjudication. This request also has strict timeframes.

Not all claims are valid and an experienced SOPA building lawyer will be able to advise if the claim is invalid.

Adjudication Applications & Responses

Adjudication can be applied for, if you disagree with the claim. It is important to get advice and ensure that your response is clearly outlined and coherent. The decision made by the Adjudicator is legally binding, and you will be liable for the debt if they decide against you.

There are often many reasons that payment is delayed or refused. A response should note; defective building works, goods or other deficiencies in the product or service that might be counter-claimed.

How we can help...

Our SOPA building lawyers can represent you in the following ways:

  • Reviewing and advising on protocol under SOPA Act
  • Bringing a SOPA claim
  • Payment Claims & Schedules
  • Defending a SOPA claim
  • Adjudication Applications & Responses
  • Recovering debts under the SOPA Act

Our building lawyers have extensive skills and experience in helping our clients with SOPA claims. Our legal advice and service is of the highest quality and professionalism.

Contact a building lawyer to discuss your SOPA claim today on 1300 907 335 or complete our online enquiry form on this for us to respond promptly.

Providing clients with the best possible service and advice.

Looking for a Lawyer or Law Firm in Melbourne?

You want to know that you are getting advice and real solutions. You not only want a lawyer who has strong experience and knowledge in legal matters, but a lawyer who can also navigate you through the commercial realities.

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