As a business owner, contractor or subcontractor, you want common sense, practical, legal advice from someone who understands the building and construction industry. 

The McKays building and construction team is a specialist group that provides plain language and practical advice on all issues that arise within the construction industry.  We have close ties with industry groups and trade associations and we provide advice that is practical, affordable and is focused on outcomes.

Our lawyers have over 70 years combined experience across a range of issues that can arise in the construction industry, from large scale developments and infrastructure projects to smaller construction projects, subcontracts and residential construction disputes.

We can provide advice on each stage of your construction matter from negotiating tenders and contracts, to contract administration, recovering payments and dealing with regulatory matters.

Our areas of expertise include:

Our experience covers the full range of matters and issues that can arise in the construction industry, including:

  • Advising on, preparing and negotiating tenders and contracts – including risk identification, allocation and mitigation
  • Advice on contract administration to help prevent disputes before they arise, including training for your staff in how to properly administer a contract.
  • Assisting with recovering payments and/or defending claims brought under the Security of Payment system, from the drafting of the payment claim right through to the Adjudication process.
  • Appearing on behalf of clients in the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal in relation to commercial and building disputes and administrative reviews.
  • Advising on all matters under the authority of the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) including on licencing issues, defective work, statutory insurance scheme, disciplinary proceedings and reviewing decisions of the QBCCC. .
  • Securing payment of debts pursuant to the Subcontractors’ Charges Act.
  • Advising on all aspects of residential construction disputes, including dealings with the QBCC.
  • Advising on asset protection and business structuring.

We understand the special needs of different types of contractors, and work closely with the members of the following associations:

  • Electrical and Communications Association (ECA)
  • Master Electricians Australia (MEA)
  • Master Painters Association Queensland (MPA)
  • Master Plumbers' Association of Queensland (MPAQ)
  • National Fire Industry Association Queensland (NFIAQ)
  • Air-conditioning and Mechanical Contractors Association (AMCA)
  • Metal Roofing Industry Association of Queensland (MRIAQ)
  • Master Concreters' Association of Queensland (MCAQ)


  • Assisting contractors with recovering payments and/or defending claims brought under the Payment Claim system process, from the drafting of the payment claim right through to the Adjudication process.
  • Appearing on behalf of clients in the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal in relation to both commercial and/or building disputes.
  • Advising in relation to QBCC licencing issues and QBCC policies, including defending any prosecutions brought by the QBCC against contractors.
  • Securing payment of debts pursuant to the Subcontractors’ Charges Act
  • Advice in relation to all aspects of construction contracts from the tender/negotiation phase right through to the drafting and execution.
  • Combustible cladding reforms put onus of audit on private owners


    Owners of private and local government buildings in the Mackay region must meet new state-wide obligations to undertake a mandatory three stage process to identify if a building has ‘combustible cladding’. Under the new process, if a building is found to have combustible cladding, owners mus..

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  • Beware when signing Form 15 – you may be personally liable


    Beware when signing Form 15 – you may be personally liable In a recent case the Queensland Court of Appeal held an engineer personally liable for signing an incorrect Form 15 (compliance certificate for building design or specification). The exact damages payable are yet to be decided but co..

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  • Short decision does not equal wrong decision in adjudication matters


    A recent decision of the Supreme Court* has provided a guidance as to the extent to which an adjudicator is required to give reasons for an adjudication decision pursuant to the Building and Construction Industry Payments Act 2004 (Qld) (‘the Act’). Hyatt Ground Engineering Pty Ltd (‘Hyatt’)..

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  • Practical completion and service under security of payment legislation


    A New South Wales security of payment case could be an indicator of how Queensland security of payments legislation may be interpreted by the Queensland courts. For a payment claim to be valid there must be a reference date… The High Court, in its first decision dealing with..

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  • Renting out equipment? Think PPSR.


    Do you lease equipment (either formally or informally) to clients and friends? What about that cement mixer or excavator you let your mate borrow over a year ago? If yes, you need to consider the Personal Property and Securities Register (“PPSR”) to ensure you are able to get your equipment..

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  • QBCC changes tune on defective work


    The QBCC has recently released a statement confirming their approach to defective building works and the issuing of Directions to Rectify. Whilst it is good news when the QBCC clarifies their position on such an issue, this particular news may not be good for builders. QBCC may now..

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  • Non-conforming products – a tragic reminder


    The recent tragedy at the Grenfell Tower in London highlights the importance to contractors of the risks and dangers in utilising non-conforming products. Grenfell Tower was a public housing building, with over 129 flats. It has been revealed in the weeks following the tragedy that zinc cla..

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  • Do you understand how superannuation payments are calculated? Reading this could save your business thousands…


    Superannuation is complicated and it’s not surprising that businesses can get it “super wrong”. Your business could be paying too much super, or too little. Read on to find out more… We have advised small, medium and large businesses for many years. The two common mistakes that busin..

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  • Further changes to contracts, tendering and security of payments


    Did you know that the reinstatement of the ABCC has dramatically changed contractual obligations and tendering requirements for Commonwealth funded projects? Did you also know that it impacts on security of payment issues? To date, there has been a great deal of attention placed upon t..

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  • Proposed changes to Building Certification laws in Queensland


    The Queensland Department of Housing and Public Works is currently considering changes to the building certification regime. Under Queensland’s current model, customers can seek certification services from a range of licensed and accredited private building certifiers or from their loca..

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  • Demands by Liquidators – Unfair Preference Payments


    With the recent liquidations of a number of building companies, it is timely to discuss what can happen when a Liquidator attempts to claw back money paid by that company as an unfair preference payment. The Corporations Act 2001 provides the basis for all claims of unfair preferences. Thank..

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  • Recent changes have expanded the scope of the Queensland Home Warranty Scheme (QBCC insurance scheme)


    These changes largely benefit consumers and will require some contractors to pay premiums for building works which they have never had to pay for before. What are the changes to the Home Warranty Scheme? The QBCC insurance scheme has been expanded to include coverage for the following w..

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  • ABCC restored and non-code compliant enterprise agreements can continue to tender for government work up to November 2018


    The Senate has passed the Government’s legislation to re-establish the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC). Having done so, businesses within the construction industry should review their contractual arrangements with contractors and subcontractors, and any current enterprise ..

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  • Amendments to the Workers Compensation and Rehabilitation Act


    Recent amendments to the Workers Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 (Qld) significantly affect indemnity clauses in service agreements. The amendment is especially important for contractors and labour hire businesses that use or supply labour into the mining and construction industries. ..

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  • New unfair contract laws … what they are and how they will affect you


    On 12 November 2016, new unfair contract laws come into force. They offer opportunities for contractors but also pose some risks. Contracts affected The new laws apply to certain ‘standard form contracts’ entered into on or after 12 November 2016. The laws also apply to any terms of exist..

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  • Labour hire businesses, be aware of this ruling!


    Labour hire businesses face a dilemma when the relationship between the labour hire business’s worker and host employer breaks down to the extent that the host employer demands that the worker is removed from site, or even revokes the permission for that worker to attend at the site. In the ..

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