Our lawyers are experienced in handling all kinds of construction claims and can deal with any problems encountered during and after completion of the project.
Payment: Mechanic's Liens and Collection
Getting paid and exercising the right to withhold payment are critical issues our clients deal with on a daily basis. We know the importance of cash flow in any construction project and have the experience to resolve payment issues. Our lawyers contributed to AGC of Washington's Lien and Bond Claims Manual, and we also publish SCB's Manual for Lien and Bond Claims on Washington Construction Projects, which has proven to be an important resource in our clients' daily work activities.
Impact Claims Due To Delay, Suspension,
Acceleration or Disruption
Maintaining and strictly following a project schedule is the key to any successful construction project. When things do not go as planned, our expertise in scheduling issues helps our clients both pursue and defend time- and cost-related claims.
Differing Site Conditions
Our lawyers are experienced in dealing with differing site condition issues encountered during the project, as well as defending and prosecuting these issues during the dispute resolution process. We have successfully represented clients in connection with differing site condition issues on private contracts as well as state and federal public contracts.
Defective or Ambiguous Specification Claims
With the trend in the delegation of design responsibilities in construction form contracts, our lawyers are keenly aware of the shift in the law concerning liabilities arising out of insufficient plans and specifications, and the defenses that may be raised against such claims. Our lawyers have represented design professionals defending against such claims as well as contractors and owners pursuing these claims against design professionals.
Construction Claims Avoidance
Because clients do not always benefit from the cost and time required to litigate claims, we work with our clients both during and after the construction to control and manage claims, and are committed to making full use of the dispute resolution processes afforded to our construction clients to avoid the more costly alternative of arbitration or litigation.
Mediation, Arbitration and Litigation
Even with the best intentions, disputes arise and sometimes arbitration or litigation is inevitable. We aggressively represent our clients’ best interests through case management and utilizing legal rules and procedures. Our actions frequently result in published decisions favorable to our client and the construction industry, such as the Washington Supreme Court's decisions in, to name a few: Eastlake Construction Co., Inc. v. Hess, 102 Wn.2d 30 (1984); Lindbrook Construction, Inc. v. Mukilteo School Dist. No. 6, 76 Wn.2d 539, 458 P.2d 1 (1969); Industrial Electric-Seattle, Inc. v. Bosko, 67 Wn.2d 783, 410 P.2d 10 (1966); and Bignold v. King County, 65 Wn.2d 817, 399 P.2d 611 (1965).
We represent contractors, subcontractors and suppliers on various issues that arise in connection with contracting with public entities both under state and federal laws. Our lawyers have appeared before state courts as well as federal courts and administrative agencies on issues pertaining to contract disputes. We have also represented Washington public entities in connection with claims arising out of construction contracts. We understand the nuances involved in contracting with public agencies and constantly strive to maintain effective and efficient public procurement rules and regulations by drafting and reviewing new legislation.
Our lawyers have represented some of the world's largest sureties, as well as regional sureties and bond producers in every phase of construction and in every aspect of a bond dispute. In the event the surety finds itself facing the claim of a bankruptcy trustee or secured creditor, we understand the strength of the surety's equitable subrogation rights and the importance of protecting bonded contract proceeds. We have the experience and expertise to assist the surety in a number of areas.
Performance Bond Defaults
An unfortunate reality in the construction industry is the decision to default and/or terminate a contractor's contract during the course of construction. At that juncture, it is important that the surety, as well as its principal, be prepared to investigate, evaluate, and respond to what will inevitably be a claim against the performance bond. Our lawyers are skilled in working with our surety and contractor clients to minimize exposure and costs. We are prepared to argue for reinstatement or conversion of a default termination to one of convenience or, if the facts warrant, negotiate an agreement that extracts the surety from the problem (finance, tender, takeover, or completion agreements) without exposing the surety to additional liability
Payment and Performance Bond Matters
Our lawyers are well versed in the law of suretyship and have worked extensively representing the rights of the principal, obligee and surety. We represent our clients on surety issues on private projects, as well as bonds issued under state public procurement laws and the Miller Act.
We have extensive familiarity with a surety's general agreement of indemnity or master surety agreement, and know that a surety's contractual rights under such agreements are often times the tools that must be used to secure information, obtain access to records, and minimize losses through indemnity. In the event the surety has sustained a loss, we are prepared to evaluate the merit and feasibility of recovery through affirmative claims on the bonded project and/or from the principal's indemnitors. We are experienced in prosecuting the surety's rights in state, federal, and bankruptcy courts.