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.

Representative Experience

Construction Projects in China

Bridge Project in Florida

Fire Damage Claim Regarding High-End Apartments in Atlanta

Las Vegas Casino, Hotel and Resort Project

High-Rise Office Building in Atlanta

Corps of Engineers Gabion Revetment Project in Sabana Grande, Puerto Rico

U.S. Navy Seabee Maintenance Facility - Roosevelt Roads Naval Station, Puerto Rico

Cable-Stayed Bridge in Georgia

Highrise Condominium Projects in Jacksonville, Florida

Construction of Motor Vehicle Facilities, Military Barracks, Dining Facilities and Operational Support Facilities

Bridges and Roads in Florida

Recycling Facility in Georgia

UST Environmental Remediation in Alabama

Wal-Mart Stores

School Projects in Florida

Apartment Complex in Georgia

Modular Retaining Wall in Georgia

Representation of Engineering Company on Multiple Geotechnical Matters

Roof Projects

North Carolina Hotel Project

Multifamily Residential Project in North Carolina

Public High School Project in North Carolina

Moody Air Force Base Privatized Military Housing Project

New Bank Building, Crestview Florida

Defense of Bid Protest Regarding Electrical System Project for Georgia College

Public Sewer Projects at Multiple Alabama Locations


 
 
Articles Authored by Lawyers at this office:

Does an "Unrealistically Low" Price For a Fixed Price Contract Permit an Agency to Simply Eliminate a Proposal from Competition?
Alan I. Saltman, January 05, 2016
The Court of Federal Claims just issued a significant opinion in KWR Construction Inc. v. United States, regarding an agency's rejection of a proposal on the basis that the offeror's price was unrealistically low. The procurement was for a multiple-award construction contract and was set aside for...

Special Considerations for Subcontractors and Suppliers on P3 Projects
Todd M. Heffner, December 08, 2015
Public Private Partnerships, or P3s, are aptly named because they truly mix aspects of public and private construction. But does that mean they are like public projects and subject to state or federal bonding requirement and prompt payment obligations? Or are they like private projects with lien...

Are Public-Private Partnerships Subject to Prevailing Wage Laws?
Stephen J. Kelleher, November 17, 2015
Public-Private Partnerships, often referred to as P3s or PPPs, are experiencing a growing popularity in construction. One reason for this is quite straightforward: as public entities, whether they be cities, states or public agencies, continue to experience tightening budgets, creative means of...

P3s: Opportunities for Green
Sarah E. Carson, October 23, 2015
The public infrastructure of the United States is crumbling. While state and local governments face budgetary restrictions, they are also requiring more costly repairs through increasing mandates for green building. The United States Environmental Protection Agency describes green building as the...

Play It Safe: Public Bidding Laws and P3s
Jonathan R. Mayo, September 14, 2015
Public-Private Partnerships (“P3”) are a popular project delivery method for many state and local agencies across the nation. A key question that private parties interested in pursuing a P3 project should answer before diving in is whether the P3 procurement is subject to, and in...

Contractual Considerations for Melding BIM with Integrated Project Delivery
Eugene Polyak, July 30, 2015
Building Information Modeling (“BIM”) is increasingly used within the construction industry by design professionals, contractors, construction managers, and owners. BIM is particularly well suited to Integrated Project Delivery (“IPD”), a project delivery method where...

Collecting Judgments Across State Lines
Joseph J. Dinardo, July 09, 2015
In recent years, many in the construction industry have found themselves in the situation of having obtained a judgment against an owner, general contractor, or subcontractor in one state only to find out that the debtor has moved its operations or assets to another state to avoid its creditors....

Erosion of the Spearin Doctrine of Implied Warranty in Alternative Project Delivery Methods
Joseph R. Young, July 09, 2015
The United States Supreme Court ruled nearly a century ago that a contractor is not responsible for consequences of defects in the plans and specifications when that contractor is bound to build according to plans and specifications prepared by the owner. U.S. v. Spearin, 248 U.S. 132 (1918). This...

Should You Agree to Provide Performance Guarantees and Warranties? It Depends On the Project Delivery Method.
Jay R. Houghton, July 09, 2015
When confronted by a project delivery method other than the traditional design-bid-build method, owners and contractors must be cognizant of exactly how that changes the project’s risk profile. One obvious risk on every project is whether the project will satisfy the owner’s performance...

Not Your Average Bond - Design Services in Alternative Project Delivery Methods
Alyssa M. Bussey, June 02, 2015
The rise in popularity of alternative project delivery methods that combine design services complicates the already opaque world of surety bonds. As a general matter, for any project type, a bond is a tripartite transaction in which the contractor pays a percent of the penal sum of the bond to the...

First Things First: Registration and Licensing Requirements for Contractors Working in Foreign Jurisdictions
Lochlin B. Samples, April 07, 2015
Construction companies’ increasing opportunities to perform work across state lines poses unique challenges and requirements, not the least of which are general business registrations and licensing requirements. While the exact requirements will vary from state-to-state, virtually every state...