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SOPA Claims

SOPA vs. Standard Debt Recovery

When faced with unpaid invoices, subcontractors have two main options to chasing outstanding debts: SOPA and traditional debt recovery methods.

Building and Construction Security of Payment Act 2002 (SOPA)

SOPA offers those in the building industry a unique method of recovering debts in a cost and time effective manner. Choosing the right pathway for debt recovery is key and SOPA has the advantages of:

Fast-track Payment Security: SOPA provides a mechanism for subcontractors and suppliers to claim payment directly from the head contractor or builder for progress payments and completed work.

Adjudication: A key advantage of SOPA is the availability of adjudication, a speedy and cost-effective dispute resolution method. Adjudication typically concludes within 20 business days, minimizing cash flow disruptions and ensuring projects stay on track. The process is less adversarial, preserving business relationships and reducing financial burdens.

Expert Decision-makers: Adjudicators are professionals with deep industry knowledge, ensuring a thorough and fair assessment of claims.

Legal advice is helpful with SOPA claims to ensure which pathway to recover outstanding monies will be more effective. We have extensive experience in helping clients to navigate SOPA claims and also standard debt recovery in the building and construction industry.

Key Differences Between SOPA and Standard Debt Recovery

Applicability: SOPA specifically applies to commercial construction contracts and some residential building work, while standard debt recovery is broader.

Time Limits: SOPA has strict timeframes for claims and adjudication, generally within 10 business days of the payment due date. Standard debt recovery allows for longer timelines.

Costs: SOPA adjudication fees are lower and may be recoverable. Court costs in standard debt recovery can be significant.

Speed of Resolution: SOPA aims for quick resolution (within 20 business days), whereas standard debt recovery timelines vary.

Enforcement: SOPA determinations are legally binding and enforceable, similar to court orders. Standard debt recovery methods vary in enforcement options.

Advice on Navigating the Right Path

Choosing the right method to recover unpaid debts requires careful assessment of your specific circumstances and looking at the criteria and comparing the benefits. Our construction lawyers have assisted many sub-contractors with SOPA claims and debt recovery and can provide invaluable guidance. 

Our team at PCL Lawyers can quickly assess your claim and advise on the best course of action. Our representation throughout the legal process is tailored to meet your commercial goals and ensure that your best interests are protected at all times.

For assistance with SOPA claims or debt collection in the construction industry speak to one of our lawyers today on 1300 907 335 or complete an online enquiry form.

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