15 Feb 2022
By Solomon Brothers

Following recent amendments to the WA Building and Construction Act, claimants and respondents alike may be left asking how these changes will impact the Security of Payments Act (‘SOPA’) claim process. Building and construction law is a complex branch of law with numerous courts and tribunals. Consequently, Solomon Brothers advocate for adapting the approach to different claim types to best present your dispute. As the debut feature in the new Solomon Brothers’ ‘How To’ series, this article will provide useful tips on building the most effective SOPA claim or response. If you need further assistance our Construction Law Team is always happy to help.

 

Building an effective SOPA claim as a claimant

A hallmark of SOPA claims is that decisions are rapid and non-binding, made by adjudicators that are typically not lawyers, though are well-versed in construction contracts. The claimant in SOPA claims is disadvantaged by an inability to know the identity of the adjudicator until after the claim is filed. As such, the claim cannot be tailored to suit the decision-maker like it would be advised in other claim areas. Like all industry professionals, SOPA adjudicators are working on a tight schedule and are compelled to make rapid decisions. Hence, building a SOPA claim must take these factors into consideration and be clear and concise to maximise effectiveness.

 

5 tips to build a successful SOPA claim

  1. Make all claims as clear as possible
  2. Focus on the end-user by putting yourself in their position and, as you prepare the claim, think how easy it is to read
  3. Use every aid possible, including drawings, photographs, etc.
  4. Have the claim professionally printed, paginated, and tabulated (if possible and financially viable)
  5. Remember that fine details are important

Creating a compelling response to a SOPA claim

Respondents are provided the advantage of knowing who the adjudicator is, and are able to use this knowledge to modify their response towards the decision-maker. Respondents are restricted, however, by tighter time constraints than the claimant. For this reason, Solomon Brothers advise that respondents should construct their response early using the above process, with emphasis on conciseness and clarity.

 

Perth’s construction law professionals

Established in 1987, the Solomon Brothers law firm has a long history of achievement in diverse areas of law. Our Construction Law team is highly skilled with extensive industry experience, representing the epitome of our philosophy of achieving excellence. For first-rate assistance in all areas of construction law including SOPA claims, contact Solomon Brothers and get a competitive quote from our experienced Construction Law team today.

 

Download How to Build a SOPA Claim


Recent Insights

Best Lawyers Recognition for Doug Solomon

We are pleased to share that our Doug Solomon has once again been recognised by Best Lawyers and, together with...
Read More

Unravelling Time-Bars – SOPA WA

As the dust slowly settles post the August 2022 introduction of WA’s new SOP Act, we’ve taken a bit of...
Read More

How To Make Your Contract Terms Stick

If you're involved in drawing up contracts but not an expert in Contract Law, our article below will assist you....
Read More

Building Defects – How & When to Make a Claim

Unfortunately, building and defects go hand in hand. Whether you are the owner of the building built or a subsequent...
Read More

How to Respond to a Statutory Demand

In this article, we explain what a statutory demand is, the legal consequences of receiving one, and how you can...
Read More

How To Build a Security Of Payments Act Claim and Response

Following recent amendments to the WA Building and Construction Act, claimants and respondents alike may be left asking how these...
Read More

Infrastructure expenditure affecting the Western Australian construction market

Over the last 12 months, there have been numerous reports of a skills shortage in the Western Australian building and...
Read More

Are you SOPA Ready?

This week (on 22 June 2021), amendments to the WA regime as set out in the Building and Construction Industry...
Read More

Time Bars vs Estoppel: Valmont Interiors Case

At the heart of the appeal was the question of whether an estoppel would operate to prevent a party, which...
Read More

Notes on Boilerplate Terms of Contracts Impacting Construction Disputes

This is a short article regarding two dissimilar cases, both of which focus attention on the fact that the boilerplate...
Read More

Get in touch with our Construction Law Team

DAVID MARSH

Partner Litigation

JIM ZEAKIS

Senior Associate