What is Construction Law? (2019 Update)
Do you run a construction business or are you building your first home? Find out everything you need to know about construction law in this article.
As legal services have evolved over time, they have become ‘specialised’. This is for many reasons, including the growth of commerce over the past century. Specialisation means that lawyers no longer work on a ‘one size fits all’ model, but rather they work in specific areas. For example, a lawyer who has expert knowledge in employment law will not have the same knowledge when it comes to criminal law. Further, a lawyer cannot claim to be a specialist in a legal area they do not have expertise in.
In this article, we’ll explain what construction law is, what it covers and what to look for when hiring a lawyer in this area.
Construction is Australia’s largest industry, with the highest number of businesses operating within it. From building companies to architecture and design firms, many businesses require an expert in construction law to assist with their future projects. Construction is a highly regulated industry, which is why businesses operating in this area will inevitably need to use the services of a construction lawyer at some point.
What is construction law?
Construction law encompasses any legal issue that arises during the course of a construction project. This can range from pre-planning environmental clearances and building plan approvals, to final local council permits for noise restrictions.
There a variety of laws, across all levels of government, pertaining to construction activities that fall under Construction Law. At a national level, these include laws relating to employment, hiring contractors and workplace safety. Construction law, similar to many industries can be risky. If you operate a construction business, it’s important that you make sure your employees are safe whilst on the job.
You will also have to comply with all of the WHS, zoning and environmental laws. These are legislated by the States and local Councils. For example, some states have areas that are more prone to flooding than others. As a result, the environmental laws of the State will be stricter. Similarly, when injuries occur you will need to comply with the relevant workers’ compensation law. An expert in construction law will ensure that you are compliant with these regulations.
When would I need a construction lawyer?
Complex technical and legal issues can affect the success of a construction project. A Construction Lawyer can make this process simpler and stress-free for all involved. Further, if something goes wrong on site, your business can face serious consequences. This is where a construction lawyer can also help. Whether the project is residential or commercial, you’ll need a construction lawyer to make sure everything is above-board.
You can find a highly qualified Construction Lawyer on our platform. They can assist you with legal advice and all the documents you’ll need throughout the course of your construction project. This may cover drafting and reviewing contracts, obtaining permits, ensuring compliance with workplace regulations, and handling development applications. Construction law is a specialised area which requires your lawyer to understand not only the regulations surrounding construction, but also the inner workings of the industry itself.
Nishita is a paralegal at Lawpath working in our content team, which works to provide free legal guides to enhance public access to legal resources. With an Investment Banking background and a keen interest in Corporate and Commercial Law, her research focuses on small and medium-sized businesses.