High Court Set to Rule on the Availability of Quantum Meruit in Construction Termination Cases

    View Author June 2019
    The High Court recently heard Mann & Anor v Paterson Constructions Pty Ltd (M 197/2018) and will soon rule on a builder’s availability to recover payment on a “quantum meruit” basis in circumstances where an owner has repudiated a construction contract. This will be a significant decision as the court will be asked to reconsider the current common law position that a builder is entitled to be paid on a quantum meruit basis (a reasonable sum for performing any work, whether the work was performed under the contract or not) where it has accepted an owner’s repudiation of a construction contract. If the court declares the quantum meruit to be unavailable as a matter of law, a builder will only be entitled to claim what is properly due to it under the contract. This article explores the background and potential implications of the court’s upcoming decision.