The construction industry is full of complex legal processes, regulations and codes that must be followed without deviation not only for construction projects to proceed, but also to protect the health and safety of all construction workers involved in a project. Construction lawyers are a vital part of the construction process, helping to decode complex legal jargon as well as ensuring all legal processes are strictly followed by project and construction managers alike. This article will take an in-depth look at the ins and outs of construction law.
What is Construction Law?
Construction law is a branch of law that focuses on issues pertaining to contractual, regulatory and safety issues related to residential construction as well as the development of new infrastructure such as roads and government transport projects. Construction lawyers, while highly skilled and generally knowledgeable about all aspects of construction law, will usually have expertise in a specific area or type of construction law. As the forecast for construction projects in Australia is projected to be high over the next 5 years, construction lawyers are currently one of the most in-demand law professionals in the country.
What Does a Construction Lawyer Do?
The role of construction lawyers can be quite vast, meaning no two days handling legal tasks for a construction project will be the same. A construction lawyer will usually be enlisted before the construction process has even begun. At this stage, they will assist construction and project managers with drafting all of the necessary contracts for the project to proceed in the first place as well as ensure that any critical paperwork is lodged in a timely fashion. Construction lawyers will usually be experienced in a particular area of construction law, so their daily tasks will vary accordingly. In general, however, a construction lawyer acts as a liaison and point of contact between all parties involved in the project. They can also represent their clients at meetings with builders, contractors and architects as well as guide clients through dispute resolution for any issues that might arise during the course of the project.
Are Construction Lawyers Generalists?
No. While construction lawyers are qualified legal practitioners and receive the same extensive legal training as all law graduates, they should be viewed more as niche experts in their field. This means that a generalist lawyer is the lawyer who would then refer you to the services of a construction lawyer. Many lawyers that have expertise in construction law have practised in other law areas or have previously worked as conveyancers.
When Do You Need a Construction Lawyer?
Enlisting the services of a construction lawyer will be necessary for any complex construction project being planned. Ideally, a construction lawyer will be hired before any construction phases have begun. Project and construction managers will need ample time to ensure all necessary paperwork has been lodged so that construction and development can go ahead smoothly. Having a construction lawyer on your side also means you’ll have a lawyer on hand to assist you in dealing with any legal issues before they can cause delays.