Case Update: Federal Court Finds that Adjudication Only Applies Prospectively to Construction Contracts

The Federal Court in its grounds of judgment dated 16 October 2019 in Jack-In Pile (M) Sdn Bhd v Bauer (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd held that the Construction Industry Payment and Adjudication Act 2012 (CIPAA) applies only prospectively to construction contracts. CIPAA came into effect on 15 April 2014. Therefore, CIPAA only applies to construction contracts signed after this date.

Prior to this decision, there were High Court and Court of Appeal decisions holding that CIPAA could apply retrospectively to construction contracts. So if there were unpaid amounts arising from pre-15 April 2014 construction contracts, contracting parties could invoke CIPAA, had obtained adjudication decisions and had enforced payment.

It is now uncertain what will be the impact of this Federal Court decision on already decided adjudication matters based on pre-15 April 2014 construction contracts. Continue reading

Case Update: Federal Court Decides that Retention Sum in a Construction Contract is Not Held on Trust

The Federal Court in the Pembinaan Legenda case has decided on significant areas of law on whether retention sum monies under a construction contract are held on trust. There was uncertainty in light of two conflicting Court of Appeal decisions in Qimonda and Pembinaan Legenda.

In its grounds of judgment dated 13 March 2019, the Federal Court has held that there is no implication at law of retention sum monies being held on trust. The creation of a trust depends on the construction of the contractual terms and also the separation of the monies into a trust account. Continue reading