Practice Areas | Industry Groups

Construction Law

Ogletree Deakins’ Construction Industry Group provides the highest quality counseling and legal service to participants in the construction industry. We serve regional, national, and international contractors, subcontractors, and owners, with dedication to developing a thorough understanding of the construction process and the businesses involved in it. Our attorneys have practical experience in building construction, which benefits our clients at every stage of the construction process, from inception through project close-out.

The Construction Industry Group regularly assists clients in all aspects of the business of construction. We counsel our clients in labor and employment matters, draft and negotiate contracts for various project delivery systems, develop subcontract programs and assist in project administration. We resolve construction claims disputes, but strive to prevent conflicts by emphasizing risk management, planning, early intervention, claims prevention and avoidance techniques.

When disputes arise, we are there to help resolve contentious issues before they result in protracted litigation. When claims cannot be avoided, our attorneys use their extensive skills in mediation, arbitration and litigation to develop, present and defend construction claims. Such claims include contract disputes, changed work, delays, unforeseen conditions, workmanship and construction defects, among others. By taking a strategic and pragmatic approach, we assist our clients in achieving efficient, positive results.

AREAS OF CONCENTRATION

  • Arbitration/Mediation/ADR

Our attorneys keep abreast of the newest methods to resolve disputes and regularly use that knowledge and experience to draft or negotiate dispute resolution provisions and to represent clients before arbitration panels, mediators and other forms of alternative dispute resolution. Our attorneys act as mediators and sit on arbitration panels. This service helps add perspective when acting as an advocate for a client.

  • Bid Protests & Bid Mistakes

The Group has extensive experience in representing and assisting our clients in bid related matters. Our involvement begins in reviewing bid proposals for compliance with the applicable procurement requirements. If bidding irregularities arise, we have successfully represented our clients’ interest before procurement review boards and other governing entities.

  • Construction Claim & Contract Dispute Resolution

Claims over contract interpretation often involve complex issues, including issues of notice, damages, payment, indemnity, and allocation of risks. Our understanding of the issues raised in contract claims and our relationships with industry experts on the complex issues allow our lawyers to represent the client’s interests. We emphasize pro-active steps to assure that our clients enter contracts capable of enforcement. Our goal is to educate the client and to agree on the best way to resolve the dispute.

  • Construction Finance/Lender Liability

We understand construction finance and represent contractors and owners in their relationships with construction lenders. On behalf of our contractor clients, we become involved in the payment process by developing and negotiating construction escrows and construction loan documents. When the construction payment process is interrupted or delayed, we pursue construction lenders who misuse the control granted in the construction loans to the detriment of our contractor clients.

  • Contract Preparation & Negotiation

One of the best litigation preventative measures is for our clients to enter thoughtful and appropriate contracts for their projects. Our Construction Industry Group has extensive experience in drafting, modifying, and customizing contracts to meet each specific client’s needs. Because we understand the construction industry and construction-related issues, as well as the various legal principles governing construction in the various states, the Construction Industry Group provides clients with an unparalleled resource for their contract review and drafting needs.

  • Design-Build

The Construction Industry Group represents design-build participants on a variety of projects. With design-build delivery systems becoming increasingly popular among project owners, our experienced attorneys are equipped to negotiate and draft design-build contracts and to handle the unique challenges and disputes that design-build contractors regularly encounter. Because design-build systems emphasize a rapid delivery, our Group works swiftly to resolve design-build disputes early in order to maintain a timely and profitable project.

  • Licensing

The Construction Industry Group understands licensing laws and how important proper licensing can be to our clients. Because licensing requirements are constantly changing, we work with our clients to assure that they are aware of the current licensing laws and license application requirements. Should licensing related problems arise, such as improper licensing or complaints to licensing agencies, the Group has extensive experience in successfully representing our clients before various licensing review boards.

  • Mechanics’ Liens

Ogletree Deakins routinely represents owners, general contractors and subcontractors on filing, responding to, discharging, and contesting claims of lien throughout the country. We assist claimants in developing their claims as well as in preparing, serving and filing the correct documentation to establish lien rights. Once the claims are made, we work to resolve the underlying disputes in advance of litigation. If settlement is not possible, we move rapidly to litigate the matters and obtain recoveries. We manage several nationwide mechanics’ lien matters and claims dockets for our contractor clients.

  • Payment & Performance Bonds

Our attorneys are regularly involved in performance and payment bond claims and disputes. Our practice is focused primarily on the representation of contractors and subcontractors, but has also included the representation of owners and payment bond claimants. We have obtained an in-depth understanding of the unique claims and defenses which may be asserted on private projects, as well as on public projects. We assist clients in making an early assessment of their bond claim dispute; develop a strategy for resolving the bond claim if possible; and vigorously represent their interests in state or federal court if necessary.

  • Project Administration

Our Group emphasizes a preventative approach to project administration. We conduct routine on-site training which emphasizes a practical approach to avoiding costly legal problems. Company officials consult firm attorneys on an ongoing basis before making decisions that may have adverse legal consequences. When problems arise during a project, our lawyers step in to help resolve the issues before they develop into litigation.

  • Project Closeout

We assist our contractor clients with all aspects of project closeout from closing individual subcontracts to closing the owner/contractor relationships and obtaining payment. We often deal with title companies, lenders, suppliers, subcontractors, designers and owner’s representatives in this process of resolving disputes and forcing the parties toward final project conclusion.

  • Public & Government Contracting

We have represented clients with matters from simple supply contracts to complex multimillion dollar design-build projects. We understand the special needs of public sector contracting and can assist clients in contract negotiations, regulatory compliance and, when necessary, contract litigation.

  • Residential & Multifamily

Ogletree Deakins represents both homeowners and builders in residential and multifamily disputes. Our experience with working with building inspectors, review boards, and experts allows us to efficiently and economically represent our clients and to resolve the disputes at a reasonable cost.

  • Termination & Default

We have significant experience in evaluating termination and default claims. We assist our clients in evaluating the practical effect of termination, in weighing benefits and risks of terminating the opposing party, or, of refusing to perform as demanded. We also assist our client in evaluating potential solutions other than termination.

Group Insights