STOCKLAND (CONSTRUCTORS) PTY LIMITED & ANOR V DARRYL I COOMBS PTY LIMITED & ORS  NSWSC 157
Supreme Court of New South Wales – 9 March 2005
Stockland (Constructors) Pty Limited (‘Stockland’) issued an invitation for tenders for the steel fabrication sub-contract. The invitation was based upon a “trade package” comprising architectural and engineering drawings depicting the structural steel, a bill of quantities and sub-contract documents containing proposed terms.
Darryl I Coombs Pty Ltd (‘Coombs’) and others were responsible, under their retainer, for ensuring that the totality of drawings in this package sufficiently depicted the work to be carried out by a tenderer.
Stockland claimed, at first instance, costs for additional works as the architectural drawings contained omissions and inaccuracies, which resulted in conflicts between the architectural and engineering documents. There were inconsistencies between the bill of quantities and the drawings and Coombs failed to warn the Stockland about these deficiencies and errors in the tender package at any material time.
Coombs counter-claimed for additional fees arising from changes in the scope of works and subsequent variations.
The Court appointed Referee in his report, dealt with the cost consequences of substantial alteration to the design or scope of works Coombs submitted that any changes to design work were to be remunerated. The Referee found that changes would not be remunerable unless it was clear as to what additional work Coombs were required to undertake and that it was outside the scope of its percentage fee. Stockland then sought to adopt the Referees Report.
Whether the Report should be adopted.