9 – Construction Law: Legal Tips for Tradies

Construction Law

In this episode of Tradie Success, we are joined by Fionna Aitchison Reid, Principal Solicitor/Director of Aitchison Reid, Building and Construction Lawyers. We’re going to nut out the importance of your trade business’s legal contract.

Fionna will discuss why tradies need a lawyer, how tradies can avoid disputes, and why having and understanding your contract is essential to running your business.

Stay tuned until the end, as Fionna is offering Tradie Success listeners a special deal!

Fionna Reid

Today’s guest
Fionna Aitchison Reid

0:47 Introducing Fionna
2:26 Interview with Fionna begins
2:52 Why do tradies require a lawyer?
3:20 Example of a dispute
4:49 Not all disputes are to do with the actual building
5:30 What are the implications of not following the administration process?
5:50 A second dispute example
8:00 The laws are put in place to protect the consumer
8:18 How can tradies reduce the risk of dispute?
8:30 Three things you need to know as a tradesperson
8:50 #1 The law
9:55 One way to reduce risk of dispute is to have a contract
10:16 #2 Understand your contract and what the processes are under that contract
10:30 #3 Implementing your obligations
11:00 Why is the contract so important?
12:12 Having terms written in a contract means they are enforceable
12:43 Is it a good idea for subcontractors to have contracts with big builders?
13:49 Make sure you’re insured
15:35 When you change you contract, you will change your payment terms
16:00 Why it’s a good idea to have a legal professional look over the contract, particularly if a large sum of money is involved.
17:22 Can you get a standard contract?
18:50 Specialist trades require more than a standard contract
20:39 Why it’s important to use plain English, rather than ‘legalese’
21:09 What to do if you find lawyers intimidating
23:31 Contract change in Queensland from July 1
26:20 Big changes to payments under new act
27:50 Fionna’s special offer for listeners
30:44 Are disputes over building contracts common?
32:50 Benefits of a personalised contract
33:49 How to contact Fionna
34:52 Key take-aways

To sum up – Ignorance of the law is no excuse, and it’s the responsibility of all tradies to be familiar with the laws and regulations of their industry.

quote text

Having a contract written in easy-to-understand language can help you and your client understand the terms and processes involved. Plus, it could be a selling point!


It isn’t against the law to be an idiot, but ignorance is no excuse! Click To Tweet

You must understand contracts you issue AND your responsibilities. Click To Tweet

Having terms written down in a contract makes them enforceable. Click To Tweet

Having a contract written in plain English could be a selling point. Click To Tweet

Want a fantastic special offer for your trade business? Visit http://bit.ly/tradiesuccess #tradies Click To Tweet


For further information about Fionna and her services, visit arbuildinglaw.com.au

Claim Your Special Deal

Fionna’s Special Deal for Tradie Success listeners:

"Order our NEW domestic building contract pack before 30 July 2015 and only pay the old contract package price of $1,200. After 1 August our prices will increase to $1,500.00. The pack includes:

  • Our compliant domestic building eContract are personalised to include your logo and address information.
  • Information sheet explaining every clause.
  • Notice of Commencement.
  • Personalised Variation document.
  • Personalised Combined Variation document/ Extension of time claim form.
  • Personalised Extension of Time claim form.
  • Personalised Defects Document.
  • Personalised Notice of Intention to Suspend Works.
  • Checklist for Suspending Work.
  • Waiver Notice.

Please note that the package does not include personalised clauses because each client’s needs are different."

Contact Fionna on 1300 367 023 or visit the Aitchison Reid website to claim your special deal.

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If you have any comments or questions about this episode, we’d love to hear from you – simply enter them in the comments area below this episode on the website tradiesuccess.com.au

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About Annette

Hi there. My purpose in life is to help trade business owners to grow a successful business. The purpose of this podcast is to share interviews with business experts that we believe do know what they're talking about, to help our listeners grow their business and achieve more than they ever thought possible. So who am I to want to give help to trade business owners about business? Good question! I’m married to a tradie, addicted to marketing and fascinated by what makes a successful business, well successful. Marketing is certainly on top of the list, but there are other areas of the business to get right - which is why this Tradie Success episodes delve into all areas of running and growing a trade business. In terms of my experience - I have marketing quals, 30+ years marketing experience, and have helped hundreds of small businesses (a lot of them tradies) achieve better results through their marketing.