Capped, Fixed Fees and Security

The claim values and corresponding Adjudicator fee caps are as follows:

Claim Value and Fee Cap (exclusive of GST):

  • Up to $20,000: capped at $4,000
  • $20,000 to $50,000: capped at $5,000
  • $50,000 to $100,000: capped at $8,000
  • $100,000 to $150,000: capped at $12,000
  • $150,000 to $200,000: capped at $15,000
  • $200,000 to $300,000: capped at $20,000
  • $300,000 to $400,000: capped at $25,000
  • $400,000 to $500,000: capped at $30,000

A declaration only is capped at $10,000.

Claims exceeding $500,000 are not subject to a cap, but the daily fees are limited to $5,000 plus GST. This capped daily fee also applies to more complex claims involving multiple matters.

The DRB can offer capped and fixed fees because their adjudicators are experienced and skilled in handling technical and legal issues.

The DRB’s Capped Fee Scheme applies to claims for specific disputed amounts under a construction contract, such as variations, contra charges, and interest. Claims for default in the payment process, such as failure to issue a payment schedule on time, fall under the DRB’s Fixed Fee Scheme.

DRB’s Fixed Fee Scheme – Default Liability

According to the Construction Contracts Act 2002, a payer must pay the payee the amount claimed or invoiced within 20 working days of receipt, or within the time agreed in the contract. If the payer does not intend to pay in full, they must issue a payment schedule within the agreed time or within 20 working days under the CCA, detailing the reasons for not paying the claimed amounts. Failure to do this results in ‘sudden death,’ entitling the payee to full payment of the claim. This default position allows for a declaration to be made quickly, ensuring the full amount is paid within 2 working days, regardless of whether the owed amount is $10,000 or $1 million, as the determination process is the same.

The DRB’s fixed fee for default claims is set at $5,000.

The claimant requests the nomination of an adjudicator under either the Capped Fee Scheme or Fixed Fee Scheme on the nomination form. If the DRB deems either scheme appropriate, the parties will be informed. In the case of the Capped Fee Scheme, the parties will be notified that it is accepted on this basis.

The nomination process is free of charge, whether a fixed fee, capped fee, or day rate applies. The DRB pledges to nominate the most suitable adjudicator for the matter in dispute.


The DRB will request 10% of the ‘Capped Fee’ as Security to be held on trust by the DRB.  The schedule of ‘Capped Fee’ amounts will also be used for the basis of calculation Security for uncapped fees and at the rate of 10% of the capped amount.  For default liability Fixed Fee claims, $2500 will be held as Security.


The panel adjudicator agrees to keep a time sheet which records hours spent in respect of the matter. Timesheets are to be provided with the invoice to the Parties on completion of the Determination.


DRB Trust Account No. 03 1509 0037097 00 for Security Payment