Construction disputes often arise when one party believes the work is not completed to the expected standard, which raises the question of what ‘completion’ in a construction contract really means. The court had to determine this matter in the case of Cordon Investments Pty Ltd v Lesdor Properties Pty Ltd [2012] NSWCA 184, in which Cordon’s construction had numerous defects but was substantially completed.  After terminating the contract, the parties both sued for their resulting damages. Much of the court’s decision turned on the definition of ‘completion’ as there was no definition within the contract. The court ultimately found that completion must mean ‘full completion’ rather than practical or substantial completion, and that Cordon’s work was in breach of the contract.

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