Practice Areas & Industries: Smith, Currie & Hancock LLP


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Practice/Industry Group Overview

Smith, Currie & Hancock LLP is one of the oldest and most well-respected law firms in the country serving the construction industry. Over the last half century, the Smith Currie brand has become synonymous with common sense construction law. We were one of the first law firms in the country to recognize the need for legal services focused on the construction industry and the construction process, and provide these services to clients throughout the United States and internationally.

Since our founding in 1965, Smith Currie has emphasized goals of excellence, cost-effective representation, and appreciation for the legal service needs of the construction industry. To help achieve those goals, we provide the industry and our clients with practical, timely insights that affect our client’s business operations on a daily basis. While the industry’s “hot" topics and trends have changed and evolved over the years, the value of practical and timely information has not.

Over the past five decades, generations of Smith Currie construction attorneys have provided advice, counsel, and assistance on virtually every topic and issue confronting the industry, including:

  • Contract Drafting
  • Project Delivery Systems
  • Contract Risk Assessment
  • General Advice
  • Contract Negotiation
  • Bidding and Procurement
  • Contract Review
  • Project Documentation
  • Contract Compliance
  • Ethics Compliance
  • Contract Terminations
  • Contract Disputes
  • Claim Avoidance & Resolution
  • Cost Overrun Disputes
  • Risk Identification and Claim Avoidance Strategy
  • Local, State, and Federal Government Contracts
  • Environmental Risks
  • Claims Preparation
  • Materialman’s & Mechanics’ Liens
  • Delays, Scheduling & Acceleration
  • Litigation & Arbitration
  • Mediation
  • Changes & Designs Issues
  • Bid Mistakes & Bid Protests
  • Negotiation
  • Dispute Review Boards
  • Faulty Products & Failures
  • Green Buildings
  • Mold and Sick Buildings
  • Differing Site Conditions
  • Construction Accidents
  • Defending Claims
  • Construction Defects
  • Warranties
  • Bond & Insurance Claims
  • Insurance Coverage Disputes
  • Defective Plans & Specifications
  • Design Errors & Omissions
  • Architect and Engineer Malpractice Claims
  • Impact & Inefficiency Claims
  • Negligence Claims
  • Project Counsel
  • Practical Documentation
  • Construction Law Seminars

Many clients call upon us at the outset of a project to assist in drafting, reviewing, and negotiating design, construction, and consulting contracts and to assist in taking affirmative steps at the front-end of a project, which are designed to minimize the likelihood that claims and disputes will arise later.

We also are often called upon during the course of a project to assist as issues arise so that claims can be avoided if possible. When claims, disputes, litigation, mediation, or arbitration proceedings do arise, we routinely handle those as well. Many of our attorneys are trained and experienced as arbitrators and mediators of complex construction disputes. Our extensive experience in presenting, defending, negotiating, arbitrating, mediating, and trying complex construction claims and disputes—and the insight we have gained from that extensive experience—help us to better anticipate and avoid the problems that can arise on a construction project, and thus better serve our clients who call upon us for front-end contract preparation services.

Our construction lawyers work diligently each day to provide effective assistance with identifying, addressing, and efficiently resolving both one-time and reoccurring problems and issues faced by any one of a myriad of participants involved in the construction process. Our collective knowledge and experience is unmatched in the industry and attracts clients from the entire spectrum of the construction industry and process. Our nationwide and international list of clients include private and public owners, contractors, subcontractors, material suppliers, architects, engineers, real estate developers, construction managers, construction trade associations, lending institutions, insurance companies, payment and performance bond sureties, manufacturers, tool suppliers, equipment suppliers, and others. Smith Currie enjoys a long and proud tradition of serving a very broad and diverse spectrum of clients ranging from small family-owned companies to Fortune 500 corporations and international concerns.

The avoidance of unnecessary claims and lengthy disputes is essential to the protection of every project’s bottom line and, therefore, a priority for those in the construction industry. A thorough grasp of the construction industry coupled with an in-depth understanding of construction law concepts is necessary to assist construction project participants in recognizing, avoiding, and resolving disputes arising out of the project so that the project participants can focus on what they do best—building the project and protecting the project’s bottom line.

Smith Currie is here to help. Our deep bench of construction attorneys has had broad exposure to the construction industry and speaks your language. No matter what type of issue arises on a construction project, the odds are that we have helped clients with the same issue before. Many of us worked in the construction industry before practicing construction law, and many also have engineering or construction management degrees and related diverse construction industry experience. Our well-known construction law desk book, Common Sense Construction Law - Fourth Edition, published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. draws on this tremendous, diverse, and unparalleled industry experience. Not surprisingly, it is a recognized teaching tool in the course curriculum of numerous college construction management programs and is found on the desks of many skilled construction professionals throughout the country.

We invite you to review our vast national and international construction experience in our Experience Matrix.

Articles Authored by Lawyers at this office:

Project Labor Agreements in Public and Private Contracting
Jonathan R. Mayo, November 29, 2016
Finding and hiring qualified construction workers is a growing challenge for contractors across North America. One method of securing labor is through a Project Labor Agreement (PLA). A PLA is a pre-hire agreement between a project owner or contractor and one or more labor unions that establishes...

California Court of Appeal Confirms the Power of Subcontractors' Bid Conditions
Daniel F. McLennon, November 14, 2016
General contractor Flintco Pacific, Inc. (“Flintco”) bid to construct a new building at Diablo Valley College (“DVC”) in Pleasant Hills, California. TEC Management Consultants, Inc. (“TEC”) submitted a written bid to Flintco to perform glazing work for...

Court of Appeal Confirms the Power of Subcontractors’ Bid Conditions
Daniel F. McLennon, November 11, 2016
General contractor Flintco Pacific, Inc. (“Flintco”) bid to construct a new building at Diablo Valley College (“DVC”) in Pleasant Hills, California. TEC Management Consultants, Inc. (“TEC”) submitted a written bid to Flintco to perform glazing work for...

New Regulations Make Avoiding Labor and Employment Disputes a Criterion for Award of Federal Contracts and Subcontracts
Douglas L. Tabeling,Brian Shannon Wood, September 16, 2016
On August 24, 2016, the FAR Council released a final rule implementing the 2015 Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order. The Department of Labor issued guidance on the final rule the same day. These regulations place new obligations on contractors that work with federal government agencies and...

Where Does the Duty of Care Flow? Limiting the Potentially Broad Liability of Construction Managers
Steven J. Stuart, April 28, 2016
Construction managers are often in an unenviable position. With expansive contracts, construction managers perform multiple tasks that may impact many different people. With the general charge of managing a construction project comes the potential of broad liability to those involved with the...