Construction lawyers handle cases dealing with building and construction, including improvements. They represent either the contractor (or other building professional such as the architect or engineer) or the owner when a question or dispute arises. They also represent individual residential owners in matters arising from the construction of their home. Whether you’re a building or construction professional, a developer or a residential owner, a qualified construction lawyer represents your interests from the initial land purchase into the post-construction warranty phase and beyond.

Construction lawyers handle cases dealing with building and construction, including improvements. They represent either the contractor (or other building professional such as the architect or engineer) or the owner when a question or dispute arises. They also represent individual residential owners in matters arising from the construction of their home. Whether you’re a building or construction professional, a developer or a residential owner, a qualified construction lawyer represents your interests from the initial land purchase into the post-construction warranty phase and beyond.

Who needs a construction lawyer?

Construction lawyers represent clients involved in all types of building projects, such as residential homes, office buildings, industrial complexes, hospitals, shopping centers, and airports. Clients include the owner and builder, interior designers, architects, engineers, building materials suppliers, general contractor and subcontractors, landscapers, insurance companies, bonding companies—anyone involved in the pre-construction, construction, or post-construction process.

What types of issues does a construction lawyer handle?

The owner and the contractor have responsibilities to one another for the duration of the construction process—they must both negotiate and act in good faith. For example, the owner has a basic responsibility to cooperate with the contractor and to avoid interfering in a manner that would intentionally delay the project. The contractor’s responsibilities not only include performing work as specified in the contract, but also include the additional responsibility of warning the owner if any of the specifications could cause damage.

Many of the issues and disputes that a construction lawyer addresses begin as misunderstandings resulting from these implicit duties between the owner and the contractor, but most do not require litigation. Construction lawyers spend a great deal of time advising clients to avoid litigation: negotiating contracts, dispute resolution, and arbitration.

Before construction, a construction lawyer advises and represents his client in matters dealing with:

  • Land acquisition
  • Financing
  • Request for Proposal (RFP)
  • Request for Qualifications (RFQ)
  • Bidding
  • Contract negotiations
  • Bonds and sureties
  • Design

During the construction phase, a construction lawyer handles:

  • Dispute resolution
  • Continuing bonds and sureties issues
  • Professional liability
  • Breach of contract
  • Scope of work disputes
  • Change orders and extra work
  • Delays
  • Default and termination
  • Property damage
  • Insurance issues and coverage

Post-construction, a construction lawyer handles:

  • Warranty claims
  • Defects
  • Liability issues

Regardless of your role in the construction process, contact a qualified construction lawyer before the initial planning phase to ensure legal oversight of your project from inception to completion.