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Jonathan Mills


Jonathan is a construction disputes lawyer with more than 10 years’ experience advising the construction and engineering industries. Jonathan acts for property developers, building owners and managers, materials suppliers, head contractors, specialist trade contractors, and construction professionals.

He is experienced in complex, multi-party construction defects disputes and has appeared in the Supreme and County Courts, VCAT, and the Building Appeals Board. Jonathan regularly advises clients on compliance with the Building Act 1993, and works with expert witnesses on cases regarding technical issues within the National Construction Code and Australian Standards.

As part of his dispute resolution practice, he provides advice on defect remediation contracts for cladding replacement, fire engineering compliance, and satisfaction of building orders issued by municipal authorities.

Jonathan’s litigation practice includes making and defending claims for breach of contract, breach of common law duty of care, owners’ statutory warranty claims, protection work disputes, and dealing with industry regulators including the Victorian Building Authority and Energy Safe Victoria.

His focus is on achieving cost-efficient outcomes for his clients, and he regularly achieves early resolution of disputes through mediation and private negotiations.


Jonathan’s recent combustible cladding and building defect litigation experience includes:

  • acting for the owners corporation of a mid-rise apartment building in Northcote, assisting the owners deal with building orders issued by the municipal building surveyor for the replacement of combustible cladding
  • acting for a head contractor that constructed a mid-rise building in South Melbourne, bringing claims against the building designers and drafting a defect remediation contract for the replacement of combustible cladding, and upgrades to fire suppression systems. The head contractor acknowledged liability to the building owners, and pursued claims against the engineers and building surveyor in VCAT 
  • acting for the owners and developer of a midrise mixed use building in Richmond, bringing claims against the builder for acoustic and firerating defects in the façade of the building, and non-compliance with planning permits. 

Jonathan’s broader dispute resolution and litigation experience includes:

  • acting for the owners and developer of a low-rise apartment building in Toorak, bringing claims in VCAT against a contractor for defective bathroom cladding materials and waterproofing failures. The builder acknowledged liability to the owners and undertook remediation at its own cost, and pursued claims against the trade contractor responsible for the defective work
  • acting for the owners corporation of a mixed-use residential and hotel building in Adelaide, bringing claims against the builder and engineers for defective fire suppression systems and general defects. After several years of litigation, the case settled after a question of law was determined by the High Court of Australia in a similar case
  • acting for an electrical equipment supplier, defending claims in the Supreme Court of Victoria brought by a third-party due to the failure of cable insulation. The case also involved dealing with Energy Safe Victoria to investigate the cause of the defects, and negotiating a voluntary recall and replacement of the affected materials.


14 March 2023 - Knowledge

Contribution claims are outside VCAT’s jurisdiction

#Construction, Infrastructure & Projects

A recent decision considered whether the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) lacks jurisdiction to determine contribution claims brought under Part IV of the Wrong Act.