Low Value Claim Scheme

We understand that the cost of having building or construction disputes resolved, or uncertainty about those costs, prevents many people from recovering money that they are properly entitled to be paid under building and construction contracts and reluctant payers often use that situation to their advantage. This is particularly so where the amount in dispute is relatively small by industry standards – claims for less than $50,000 including GST – and those payers assume that the payee will take no steps to recover the unpaid amount because the cost and bother of doing so outweighs the benefit.

To redress that situation, the Building Disputes Tribunal (BDT) provides a fully administered fixed fee adjudication service for Low Value Adjudication Claims (LVC’s) of limited complexity. This scheme is aimed at providing parties to construction disputes with certainty as to the cost of taking a dispute to adjudication so that parties can make informed and considered commercial decisions as to whether to proceed down the adjudication pathway. This unique service ensures that the cost of having a low value claim resolved by adjudication is not disproportionate to the amount in dispute.

Alternatively, parties are welcome to refer claims for less than $50,000 to adjudication under our General Claim Service in which case the adjudicator’s fees and expenses will be calculated according to the time engaged on the duties of the adjudication by the adjudicator together with any expenses incurred by the adjudicator in the execution of those duties.

Fixed Fees

The table below sets out the applicable fixed fee.

A notice of acceptance of appointment as adjudicator will not be served on the parties to the adjudication by BDT until the parties have paid (in clear funds) into BDT’s trust account the fixed fee as security for the adjudicator’s fees and expenses.

The adjudication fees (inclusive of GST) as follows:

Code Amount of claim Fee Conditions
LVC5 ≤ $4,999.99 $1,500.00 Claim limited to 3 items at issue*. Documents that Claimant may file in support of the claim limited to: Notice of Adjudication, Adjudication Claim, and Contract Documents together with 15 single sided A4 pages (font size no less than 12) of submissions and evidence in relation to the claim and the matters at issue. No conference of the parties or inspection of construction work is included in the fixed fee. Limited reasons only provided
LVC10 $5,000.00 ≤ $9,999.99 $ 2,500.00 Claim limited to 3 items at issue*. Documents that Claimant may file in support of the claim limited to: Notice of Adjudication, Adjudication Claim, and Contract Documents together with 15 single sided A4 pages (font size no less than 12) of submissions and evidence in relation to the claim and the matters at issue. No conference of the parties or inspection of construction work is included in the fixed fee.
LVC20 $10,000.00 ≤ $19,999.99 $ 3,750.00 Claim limited to 3 items at issue*. Documents that Claimant may file in support of the claim limited to: Notice of Adjudication, Adjudication Claim, and Contract Documents together with 20 single sided A4 pages (font size no less than 12) of submissions and evidence in relation to the claim and the matters at issue. No conference of the parties or inspection of construction work is included in the fixed fee.
LVC30 $20,000.00 ≤ $29,999.99 $ 5,000.00 Claim limited to 3 items at issue*. Documents that Claimant may file in support of the claim limited to: Notice of Adjudication, Adjudication Claim, and Contract Documents together with 30 single sided A4 pages (font size no less than 12) of submissions and evidence in relation to the claim and the matters at issue. No conference of the parties or inspection of construction work is included in the fixed fee.
LVC40 $30,000.00 ≤ $39,999.99 $ 6,250.00 Claim limited to 3 items at issue*. Documents that Claimant may file in support of the claim limited to: Notice of Adjudication, Adjudication Claim, and Contract Documents together with 40 single sided A4 pages (font size no less than 12) of submissions and evidence in relation to the claim and the matters at issue. No conference of the parties or inspection of construction work is included in the fixed fee.
LVC50 $40,000.00 ≤ $49,999.99 $ 7,500.00 Claim limited to 3 items at issue*. Documents that Claimant may file in support of the claim limited to: Notice of Adjudication, Adjudication Claim, and Contract Documents together with 50 single sided A4 pages (font size no less than 12) of submissions and evidence in relation to the claim and the matters at issue. No conference of the parties or inspection of construction work is included in the fixed fee.

*The number of items at issue that may be dealt with under the fixed price LVC service is strictly limited to three, ie a total number of issues in the claim of three variations, or three items of allegedly defective work, or extension of time for one event and two variations etc.

PLEASE NOTE: FOR CLAIMS IN EXCESS OF $50,000 AND/OR FOR THOSE CLAIMS THAT DO NOT FIT THE CRITERIA FOR LVC’s PLEASE SEE INFORMATION ON FEES FOR GENERAL CLAIMS 

Conference of the parties and/or inspection of construction work or any other thing to which the dispute relates, at the request of any party or at the Adjudicator’s discretion (the additional fee for a conference and/or inspection is payable to the Tribunal prior to release of the Adjudicator’s determination)
Fee: $750.00
Plus mileage/travel expenses

In the event that a claim or response presents undue complexity, or the submissions and evidence submitted in support of the claim exceed the permitted number of documents notwithstanding the low value of the claim or the limited number of matters at issue, or where two or more adjudication claims are consolidated, the Tribunal may, at its sole discretion, decline to provide the adjudication on a fixed fee basis under the LVC scheme.

In that event, the Tribunal will advise the parties accordingly and the adjudication will simply revert to a General Adjudication and the cost of the adjudication will be determined by the time the adjudicator is required to expend on the duties of the matter, together with any expenses incurred by the adjudicator in the execution of those duties.

In almost every case, the claimant will pay the security amount required to secure the appointment of the adjudicator immediately following service of the notice of adjudication when making an application for the appointment of an adjudicator. In such cases the claimant will, in its notice of adjudication, and subsequently in its adjudication claim, seek a determination from the adjudicator that the respondent, or any other party to the adjudication, is liable to meet the adjudicator’s fees and expenses and to reimburse the claimant for the security paid in such proportions as the adjudicator determines.

When the Tribunal serves the adjudicator’s notice of acceptance on the parties, the Registrar will invite the respondent to contribute an equal share of the amount paid as security by the claimant on the basis that the Act contemplates that the parties will bear their own costs and expenses and meet the adjudicator’s fees in equal proportions unless the grounds in sections 56(1) and 57(4) are made out.

In the event that the respondent pays that amount, the Tribunal will immediately issue the respondent with a receipt and refund the claimant in that same amount leaving the adjudicator to ultimately determine the issue of costs as between the parties.

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