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Overview

With a leading reputation in New Jersey and New York, our Construction practice group understands the diverse regional challenges and risks faced by the construction industry. Owners and contractors rely on our extensive experience to guide them through the myriad legal issues that can arise — and potentially derail a project — during the planning, design, building and operation of virtually every type of construction endeavor. Representing the full range of construction industry participants, we advise governmental entities, owners and developers, public utilities, general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, design and engineering firms, sureties and guarantors.

Our team is comprised of a group of lawyers with substantial experience in all aspects of construction and development, from single-family homes to office towers, shopping centers and power plants. Through direct experience and our ongoing interactions with architects, engineers, accountants and other experts, our lawyers have substantial knowledge of the complex technical details involved in construction matters. Armed with this extensive understanding of the industry, we provide essential advice and counsel; draft, review and negotiate contracts; analyze, prepare, prosecute and defend contract claims; mediate or arbitrate; and litigate at both the trial and appellate levels.

We’ve had a dramatic influence on the law: one of our founding partners served as counsel to the authority that built the Garden State Parkway. When we successfully sued the State of New Jersey on behalf of a contractor for overwork, our team helped bring about the abolition of New Jersey’s longstanding sovereign immunity doctrine, which governed negligence claims against public entities. The Associated Construction Contractors of New Jersey (ACCNJ) has relied upon our lawyers as general counsel for more than 30 years. Recognized for their preeminence in the field of construction law, our lawyers are frequently invited to speak at construction-related conferences, write articles for publication and conduct client seminars.

A Spectrum of Services

Our legal services fall within the following comprehensive categories:

  • Contract Formation and Transactions
  • Contract Administration and Performance
  • Construction Claims
  • Defective or Improper Design and Construction
  • Change Orders
  • Construction Delay, Acceleration and Disruption Claims
  • Construction Accidents — Structural Failure and Collapse
  • Bid Protests
  • Distressed Project, Lien Filings and Foreclosure Intervention
  • Default/Termination Claims and Surety Claims
  • Environment and Green Building Construction

 Contract Formation and Transactions

We are skilled in drafting and examining the details of all forms of agreements, such as turnkey agreements, general construction contracts covering contractors and subcontractors, and construction, design and facilities management retention agreements. We also handle all documentation relating to the formation and dissolution of partnerships, joint ventures and corporations, including drafting operating, shareholder and management agreements. Our lawyers can address discrepancies and help maximize opportunities in various other construction transactions involving condominiums, commercial and retail leases, property management, subdivision and development, TIC agreements and Section 1031 exchanges, and protection of confidential or competitively sensitive information. The primary goal of our broad array of contract and transactional services is to help our clients control risk, meet schedules and minimize overall project costs.

Contract Administration and Performance

Our deep bench of experienced, knowledgeable and talented lawyers ensures consistency of communications and effective resolution of all business, technical and legal concerns during the course of a project. Our clients benefit from skilled construction, finance, real estate and corporate lawyers who can provide counsel on the terms of project financing and assure risk is properly assessed. We provide advice on a wide range of project needs, including cost accounting and management, insurance policies, payment issues and non-performance, labor-related problems or takeover agreements.

Construction Claims and Disputes

We handle construction claims and disputes with an eye towards an economical and fair result. We have unsurpassed experience in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), having mediated and arbitrated disputes to successful conclusion across hundreds of cases. We routinely handle motions to compel arbitration and file proceedings to enforce awards. Our team includes designated arbitrators by the American Arbitration Association and New Jersey Construction Advisory Council of the American Arbitration Association. When alternative resolution is not possible, our lawyers have exceptional experience litigating complex, technical construction claims in trial and appellate courts at state and federal levels, as well as administrative tribunals.

  • Defective or Improper Design and Construction

Our team includes engineers and lawyers with years of experience in design and construction, enabling us to assess technical issues and direct the most appropriate resources to each client’s case. From building structure problems, such as cracked foundations, to poor workmanship that has resulted in leaking windows and roofs and to code violations or personal injury matters, we thoroughly review each construction defect case for its potential for litigation. We work with many recognized forensic experts to investigate the cause of construction and design defects. 

We have extensive experience with complex litigation matters arising from large construction projects involving major roads, tunnels and bridges, water treatment facilities, energy facilities, garages and all types of structure and infrastructure projects. Our experience allows us to explore relevant legal theories in arbitration and litigation, including breach of contract, breach of implied warranties, negligence and fraud/negligent misrepresentation.

  • Change Orders

Our team works with clients to prepare for, address and negotiate discrepancies between project bids and project costs, including changed or unforeseen conditions, and to respond to requests for equitable adjustments related to all kinds of construction projects.

  • Construction Delay, Acceleration and Disruption Claims

Our lawyers are well-versed in handling claims for changed or unforeseen conditions, delays, disruptions, loss of productivity and acceleration. We work closely with experts and consultants to maximize claims or minimize risk.

  • Construction Accidents — Structural Failure and Collapse

Our lawyers are recognized by the legal community for their skill and legal acumen in dealing with accidents and other crisis management issues that could potentially involve state, local and federal regulatory agencies.

Bid Protests

Our knowledge of state, local and federal bidding laws and procedures allows us to advocate for our clients and to effectively pursue bid protests and related litigation.

Distressed Project, Lien Filings and Foreclosure Intervention

Our group integrates with our banking and finance colleagues, who have experience with bankruptcy, foreclosures and other financial complexities that put completing projects at risk, to strategize and find creative ways to evaluate options for:

  • Construction contract retainage and contract balances
  • Construction or Mechanics’ Lien avoidance, judgments and release
  • Contract assumption or rejection of contracts and subcontracts
  • Project termination
  • Securing the work site, equipment or materials
  • Workout loan negotiation and bond enforcement
  • Executory contracts with bankruptcy trustees or debtors-in-possession
  • Preferential or fraudulent transfer in bankruptcy

Default/Termination and Surety Claims

With years of experience litigating claims involving contractor and subcontractor default terminations — and with the know-how to address the subtle nuances of the highly technical and complex language of insurance coverage policies and bond forms — our lawyers adeptly handle numerous payment and performance bond claims and default or termination of bonded contractors.

Environment and Green Building Construction

Combining our up-to-date green building and general real estate knowledge with our experience in construction law and industry practices, we are uniquely suited to counsel our clients on alternatives available to address sustainable/high energy efficiency/green building design and construction.

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