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Construction Law

Overview

DC's Construction Practice provides efficient and high quality legal service to assist those involved in construction projects. DC's Construction Team has developed a deep understanding of the construction process from both business and building perspectives. Our team has extensive experience in all phases of construction – RFPs, bidding, contract award and monitoring. We have seen how projects work well, and we have helped resolve problems. From inception through close-out, our team provides strong support.

The Construction Team regularly assists clients in all aspects of construction. We

  • counsel on labor and employment matters,
  • draft and negotiate contracts for various project delivery systems,
  • assist in project administration and procurement.

We endeavor to minimize expenses and litigation by highlighting delay and claim prevention practices, risk management, planning, and early intervention. But, if a dispute arises, our team is ready to assist and resolve issues before they result in protracted litigation. In the event of litigation, our attorneys use their skills in mediation, arbitration and litigation to develop, present and defend construction claims. Types of claims include contract disputes, change orders, delays, unforeseen conditions, workmanship and construction defects, among others. DC's goal is to assist our clients in achieving the best, and most beneficial result.

Arbitration and Mediation

The Construction industry always has favored the use of mediation or other alternative methods of dispute resolution as opposed to litigation. AIA and other industry contracts will promote and at times require Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) to resolve claims and other disputes. South Carolina and other courts are beginning to require ADR as a tool to reduce the amount of litigation in the court system. Our construction practice remains up to date on the newest methods to resolve disputes and regularly uses that knowledge and experience to represent clients before arbitration panels, mediators and other forms of alternative dispute resolution.

Bid Protests and Bid Mistakes

Whether the owner is a public or private entity, the bid process can bring about a variety of legal issues. From bid calculation or "responsibility" determinations, all parties must ensure compliance with the requirements provided in the invitation for bids or the applicable procurement code. A successful contractor may have difficulty enforcing a subcontractor's bid due to a mistake or other issue. Regardless of the issue, DC has the experience and knowledge to represent our clients in bid matters. We advise clients from the outset by reviewing proposals for compliance with applicable procurement requirements to award. If a bid protest is filed, we advocate our clients' interests before procurement review boards and other entities.

Construction Claim and Contract Dispute Resolution

DC's Construction Team regularly counsels clients in contract disputes and claims over interpretation. We review contracts and advise clients on risk reducing strategies. The majority of construction cases involve the interpretation of provisions within the construction contract. For that reason, we actively collaborate with our clients to ensure they enter into legally enforceable agreements. If a dispute arises, our team is fully prepared to advocate the interests of our clients. Claims over contract interpretation often involve complex issues, including issue of notice, damages, payment, indemnity, and allocation of risks. DC's understanding of the issues raised in contract claims assists us in providing clients with the best way to reach a resolution.

Contract Preparation and Negotiation

The first step to evaluating any construction claim is to review the contract. The contract creates the basis and controls the majority of relationships in construction projects. All parties' intentions and agreed upon goals must be clearly drafted in the construction contract. There are many standard commercial contracts which may be used in projects, but these forms simply do not meet the needs and intentions of each party on every project and could require substantial modifications to protect clients' interests. DC has the experience to draft, modify, and customize contracts to meet the specific needs of its clients. DC understands the construction industry and knows how to apply the various legal principles governing construction matters. We have the ability and knowledge to meet all of our clients' contract review and drafting needs. DC's construction team has extensive experience in negotiating complex owner/contractor agreements. We pride ourselves on being able to minimize our clients' exposure to litigation while minimizing their legal expenses, and in doing so we regularly advise clients to ensure they take careful consideration in entering into appropriate construction contracts.

Construction Litigation

When litigation becomes inevitable, DC has the knowledge and experience to advocate our clients' interests in state and federal court. Our attorneys have experience litigating claims brought by or against owners, developers, contractors, subcontractors, construction managers, suppliers, manufacturers, design professionals, and sureties. The phrase "time is of the essence" generally applies to most construction projects. DC's Construction Team efficiently and competently works toward a resolution most advantageous to our clients.

Public and Government Procurement

South Carolina governmental agencies such as school districts and local municipalities are mandated to adopt competitive procurement requirements for construction projects. The South Carolina Consolidated Procurement Code is the playbook by which all contractors and government agencies must comply and presents many unique statutory and regulatory issues. DC's Construction Team has the expertise and familiarity to assist clients engaging in governmental procurement at the local, state, and federal levels. DC has represented governmental agencies in procurement issues for over 30 years and is well versed in procurement laws and procedures. We provide counsel in all stages of the procurement process from the initial solicitation to project close-out. We understand the special requirements of the government and its agencies and can assist clients in contract negotiations, regulatory compliance and, when necessary, contract litigation.

Termination and Default

Terminations and defaults will bring about many issues in a project and present difficult decisions whether you are the owner, the general contractor, or a subcontractor. The costs of a wrongful termination and the effects of mitigating the default through a surety contractor can overwhelm a project. Despite the challenges associated with termination, there are instances where terminating the contract is the proper approach to a situation such as where the owner is wrongfully withholding payments, the contractor is failing to adhere to critical schedules, or the contractor's quality of work is inferior. DC attorneys have the experience and knowledge to navigate these situations and advise clients on the proper course to proceed.

This website is for informational purposes only. A result achieved on behalf of one client does not necessarily indicate similar results can be obtained for other clients.

 

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