McGuireWoods helps U.S. and international clients with the legal aspects of complex construction projects. We represent all major constituencies in such projects, including public and private owners, engineering and design firms, construction managers, prime contractors and subcontractors, material and equipment suppliers, sureties and financial institutions.
We advise on projects involving airports, hospitals, prisons, infrastructure, industrial/manufacturing plants and factories, high- and mid-rises, shopping centers, apartment buildings, condominiums and residential communities. We have extensive experience in the construction of energy plants, including power plants (ranging in size from small, distributed generation installations to large nuclear power), oil and gas platforms, shale gas processing and liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities.
Our construction lawyers’ backgrounds relate to construction issues, including insurance and risk management, tax law, energy regulatory, intellectual property protection, licensing and infringement, transactional, project finance, environmental, real estate and land use law, and governmental agency relations. Our large labor and employment law practice assists construction industry clients with unions, double-breasting, minority business enterprises, discrimination, immigration and ERISA issues.
A strong contract establishes the foundation of any construction project. In negotiating and documenting construction contracts, we work with all forms developed by the industry’s major professional and industry groups.
We also advise clients where standardized industry forms typically are not employed, including with customized documents developed for industrial and energy applications. In addition, we have drafted hundreds of stand-alone contracts that help protect clients from project risk. Our lawyers understand that timely negotiations are critical to keeping projects on track, and can quickly evaluate draft agreements, assess the risk allocation in those documents and provide alternative language to reallocate such risks.
We understand the range of delivery options available to developers and service providers — including design/build, design/build operate maintain, build-own-transfer, build-own-operate-transfer, general contractor, multiprime projects, construction manager, program manager, and engineer-procure-construct or turnkey agreements — and the risks inherent in each. We are also experienced with issues relating to bidding documents, completion guarantees, performance guarantees, construction lending, credit enhancement, mechanics’ liens and similar remedies.
Public private partnerships (P3s), privatization and other initiatives of U.S. and international agencies and lending institutions (such as OPIC, the Export-Import Bank and other international and U.S. governmental organizations) can have a significant impact on the construction process. We have helped numerous clients address issues that arise in projects involving agencies and domestic and foreign governments. Colleagues in McGuireWoods Consulting) often assist our construction team in fostering such business opportunities for clients, as well as with bidding and procurement issues. We are trailblazers in crafting P3 transactions. In fact, members of McGuireWoods Consulting developed model P3 legislation that has been adopted in several states.
McGuireWoods lawyers handle construction matters before all tiers of state and federal courts, administrative agencies and contract appeals boards. We also participate in domestic and international construction arbitration proceedings of all types, including private and court-supervised, commercial and labor actions. We have a long history of representing clients in arbitration and mediation, and several of our lawyers also serve as active arbitrators and mediators through various alternative dispute resolution organizations.
We advise and advocate for clients in construction disputes, including conflicts over defects and claims for extra work, as well as delay and disruption issues. We handle claims involving sophisticated scheduling analysis and project controls used to prepare and prosecute claims for additional compensation, extensions of time, relief from imposition of liquidated or actual damages, and default termination. Our team also prosecutes and defends force majeure claims.
McGuireWoods helps clients calculate extended project costs and unallocated home-office overhead, using the Eichleay and similar formulas. We handle claims arising from incomplete or defective design (warranty of specification suitability), inadequate and uncoordinated project management, excessive changes (cardinal change), impossibility and commercial impracticability, differing site conditions, slope and shoring failures, and other soils-related problems.
The team also represents clients against and in pursuit of claims involving denial of site access, defective materials and equipment, improper inspection, failures of concrete and other structural elements, safety violations, rejection and repair of nonconforming work, inadequate crew loading, environmental hazards, terminations for default and convenience, mechanics’ liens, stop notices, payment and performance bonds (including federal Miller Act and state Little Miller Act bonds), and post-completion warranty issues.
Development and Economic Policy
McGuireWoods’ multidisciplinary infrastructure and real estate capital markets legal team, along with policy professionals from McGuireWoods Consulting, stands ready to assist clients with the expected influx of real estate, construction and major infrastructure projects that may arise from legislation related to the American Jobs Plan. We leverage our collective knowledge, experience and strategic insight to help clients achieve business objectives and capitalize on economic development opportunities related to infrastructure projects across the country.
Real Estate and Capital Markets
McGuireWoods’ real estate capital markets industry team helps Fortune 100 companies, financial institutions, commercial developers, investors, buyers and sellers, and nonprofit organizations with all aspects of real estate financing and development. We recognize that success in sophisticated real estate transactions and development endeavors demands a multidisciplinary perspective. Our team draws upon the firm’s well-established experience in areas such as construction litigation, corporate transactions, environmental concerns, fund formation, financing, leasing, land use and zoning, restructuring and insolvency, and tax.
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The 2021 U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” report ranked McGuireWoods a National Tier 1 firm for our Litigation-Construction practice. Our multidisciplinary construction team is dedicated to counseling clients in all aspects of project development and all areas of litigation.