Clients with construction projects seek out our attorneys for counsel on a range of legal issues. Perkins Coie is a nationally recognized leader in construction law. Our team of construction attorneys practices all types of construction law on behalf of owners, contractors, suppliers, architects, engineers, consultants and governmental entities in all stages of construction projects--from procurement through project management to dispute resolution. We draft and negotiate a wide variety of contracts on a broad spectrum of projects nationally and internationally. In recent years, the combined annual value of contracts we have prepared has been well in excess of $1 billion.
We deal on a daily basis with the issues faced by participants in the construction process on both public and private projects, large and small. We know the participants, we know the trends, and we know the construction business. This experience allows us to prevent problems from arising and to resolve problems efficiently when they do arise.
Core Practice Areas
At the outset of a project, we advise on site acquisition issues, including finance, real estate, land use, zoning, and environmental regulations. We also advise on project structuring options, such as joint venture and partnering arrangements, as well as project delivery options, including design-bid-build, GC/CM, design-build, design-build-operate-maintain, EPC and job order contracting. We help prepare pre-qualification, bidding and other "front-end" documents and otherwise assist in the selection and engagement of the project team.
For public projects, we advise clients on a range of procurement issues, including invitations for bid and bid solicitations, bid submission compliance, bid protests, reformations and withdrawals, as well as qualification for and compliance with disadvantaged business and minority programs.
Contract Preparation and Negotiation
Careful and creative preparation of contract documents can prevent costly problems later in a project. We prepare and negotiate the full range of construction documents — project management, design, construction, supply, and the like. Our broad experience has made our contracts the "industry standard" in some regions and frequently emulated elsewhere. On a regular basis, we work with AIA, AGC, EJCDC, ConsensusDOCS, DBIA, FIDIC, ICE, and other standard forms. Our broad industry experience, supplemented by our knowledge of emerging trends such as Building Information Modeling ("BIM") and "green" construction, gives our clients a distinct advantage throughout the process of contract preparation and negotiation.
Our clients typically maintain our involvement in projects after contracts are completed to provide knowledgeable legal advice on issues that arise during performance. We find that working with clients throughout their projects to address contract administration problems as they arise helps to prevent small issues from expanding into full-blown disputes.
Our lawyers assist in identifying actual and potential contractual compliance issues to develop legal and practical strategies to enable our clients to minimize or avoid disputes. In addition, we assist in creating programs, training and advice on proper documentation and fact preservation in order to promote successful resolution of contract administration disputes should they occur. Our services involve the analysis of a wide range of contract administration issues, such as design errors, change orders, cost overruns, delays, unforeseen conditions, and defective work. We also advise clients in handling mechanics lien and bond claims, takeover and liquidating arrangements, as well as terminations both for convenience and for cause in a variety of project workout and project closeout situations.
Our firm's multi-disciplinary practice allows us to counsel our clients on legal issues that go well beyond the narrowly defined construction arena. This breadth of practice enables us to assist clients in areas such as site acquisition, environmental assessments and land use requirements, project financing, tax analysis, insurance, workers' compensation, bonding, and regulatory compliance. In addition, we provide advice on a variety of labor issues, such as "double-breasted" operations, union certification or decertification campaigns, picket control, union trust fund audits, Davis Bacon and similar state prevailing wage compliance audits, and OSHA and state citations. We also represent clients regarding accessibility requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Fair Housing Act and building code requirements. The scope of our practice areas helps us deliver a prompt and highly integrated approach to construction problems – an approach that yields significant cost savings to our clients as well.
Claims and Negotiation
Our lawyers have extensive experience in preparing, negotiating, defending, and, when necessary, litigating claims for adjustments in contract price and contract time. Most claims involve some element of delay and disruption. We are very familiar with many of the consultants and experts who work in this area, and are able to identify the most appropriate persons to assist in specific cases. With our expertise in such methodologies as Critical Path Method ("CPM") scheduling and damage calculation approaches, we are well-equipped to assist our clients in developing optimal strategies to resolve claims of every variety.
Litigation should be a last resort that is required only when businesslike efforts to resolve construction disputes have been unsuccessful. We take pride in our long-term relationships with our clients – relationships built on our proven ability to keep them out of trouble. But when disputes cannot be resolved, we have broad experience in state and federal trial and appellate courts as well as alternative dispute resolution. We have successfully helped clients pursue and defend claims of all sizes involving bid protests and disputes, construction delays and impacts, cost-overruns, breaches of contract, design and architectural errors and omissions, construction defects, surety issues, fraud, termination, natural resources, insurance coverage, and just about every other kind of construction dispute.
We have pioneered the use of alternative dispute resolution techniques in construction law. To resolve disputes, our attorneys have successfully participated in mediation, mini-trials, dispute resolution boards and arbitration through the American Arbitration Association, the International Chamber of Commerce and other bodies.
Dispute Resolution Support
The resolution of construction disputes often requires the assimilation, analysis and presentation of large volumes of complex project documentation and data. Our lawyers employ appropriate technology to support our dispute resolution efforts, including document management, cost accumulation and assessment, and graphic presentations. Additionally, our E-Discovery Services & Strategy (“ESS”) Group provides comprehensive information and records management, litigation readiness, and electronic discovery services to construction clients facing electronic data management and discovery challenges by developing comprehensive and defensible practices and procedures that fulfill legal obligations, minimize risks and control costs.
In addition to our strong capabilities in the core areas of project front end work, contract administration and dispute resolution in both the public and private arenas, we have in-depth experience in several other related areas as described below.