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Litigation Services

Real Estate and Construction Disputes

We know and understand the real estate, development, and construction industries and can help you with the full range of disputes across the commercial, retail, industrial and residential property sectors. Contractual disputes can quickly escalate, damaging longstanding relationships and leading to costs blow-outs. Wherever possible, we take a pragmatic and commercial approach to resolution of potential disputes, but if court intervention becomes inevitable, we have significant expertise in managing proceedings across all levels of State and Federal courts. Our expertise covers breaches of contract, landlord and tenant issues, compensation claims, planning and environment disputes, and construction disputes.

Examples of our work

Land valuation appeals

Acting for the owner of a retail shopping centre to appeal three consecutive land valuations.

Real estate contract disputes

Acting for a responsible entity of a property fund in multiple Federal and Supreme Court proceedings about the acquisition and refurbishment of two commercial office, retail and hotel premises. The disputes involved interpreting the contracts for sale, calculation of the purchase price, valuation, incentives and one-year price adjustment, development deed, construction contracts, pre-lease agreements and leases.

Landlord/tenant disputes

Acting for landlords of commercial, office and retail premises to recover rent arrears and advise on lease disputes, including breach of lease, allegations of misleading and deceptive and unconscionable conduct, abandonment of premises, tenant insolvency and market rent determinations.

Fund manager

Acting for a fund manager to defend a claim that a heads of agreement constitutes a binding contract to sell land, including opposing a caveat registered over the land.

Enforcing sale contracts

Acting for a property developer to bring an action for specific performance to compel the purchaser to complete the sale.

Construction disputes

Acting for property fund managers and landowners seeking damages for defective and negligent design and construction and advising on construction industry security of payments legislation.

Representative action case authority

Successfully defending an application to strike out a claim on behalf of more than 40 property owners in what became Queensland's leading case authority about representative actions.

Landowner/developer disputes

Acting on behalf of a group of landowners to successfully recover compensation for diminution in property value as a result of mining related subsidence; acting on behalf of a landowner seeking compensation for negligent legal advice associated with the purchase of an agricultural property subject to severe clearing restrictions; acting for vendors seeking specific performance of land contracts; acting on behalf of a landowner in a dispute with neighbours concerning the interpretation and use of an access easement; advising and acting on behalf of a developer to revive a lapsed development approval; and acting for a former owner of a commercial shopping centre who was joined to proceedings against the new owner under the proportionate liability regime.

Commercial building unlawful use

Successfully resolving a dispute about purchasing a building pursuant to a put and call option deed where the building use was unlawful and without planning approval.

Real estate contract dispute

Acting for a responsible entity of a property fund in multiple Federal and Supreme Court proceedings about the acquisition and refurbishment of two commercial office, retail and hotel premises.

Construction dispute

Successfully acting for an industrial property tenant about delays for the completion of works.

Market rent determinations

Acting for a tenant in Supreme Court proceedings regarding the meaning of “fair market rent” for a rent review under a commercial lease.

Setting aside rental determinations

Acting for a landlord in applying to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal to set aside a rental determination carried out under the Retail Shop Leases Act.

Planning and environment disputes

Acting on behalf of both proponents and opponents in appeals to the Planning and Environment Court seeking to challenge development approvals.

Land devaluation disputes

Acting on behalf of landowners seeking compensation for devaluation of land arising from contamination and mining subsidence.

Land clearing

Acting for rural landowners in relation to alleged unauthorised clearing of land.


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Contact McMahon Clarke

Brisbane
T +61 7 3239 2900
A Level 7, 100 Creek Street, Brisbane Qld 4000

Melbourne
T +61 3 9909 1400
A Level 2, 696 Bourke Street, Melbourne Vic 3000