Practice/Industry Group Overview
Sutherland has problem-solved and resolved disputes for construction industry clients for more than 40 years.
Sutherland understands the complex needs of construction industry clients, and we have successfully resolved hundreds of construction cases throughout all fifty of the United States, Canada, Mexico and overseas. Because our lawyers focus exclusively on construction, we are intimately familiar with the individuals, entities, projects, and practical considerations common in the industry, as well as the legal issues and business cycles affecting the construction industry in the United States and overseas. This helps clients achieve either early resolution of disputes or highly successful and cost-effective dispute resolution.
We guide clients from all sides of the construction industry through every step of the construction process. We provide a full scope of services based on our clients’ needs, from advice delivered in a single phone call to directly handling complex lawsuits involving hundreds of millions of dollars and the production of millions of documents. Between those extremes, we perform a full range of services for our construction clients, including bid protests, negotiation and preparation of contracts, advice and counsel during contract performance, dispute avoidance, claims preparation and analysis and various forms of dispute resolution. We have extensive jury trial, bench trial, arbitration and mediation experience.
When issues arise, we guide clients through all their options, helping them analyze the advantages and disadvantages of every approach. We have honed skills that help our clients avoid or minimize risk and disputes, with an eye toward preserving business relationships, reducing costs, and keeping projects moving forward. Our attorneys counsel clients to structure their contracts and project relationships in ways that will prevent future problems, offer practical aid with problem solving, and help them anticipate and solve potential issues before they become adversarial. We frequently provide on-site assistance to safeguard our clients’ interests by establishing proper procedures for scheduling, cost-tracking, record keeping and claim notification.
Longevity in a tough industry. Sutherland has been involved in construction for more than 40 years, so we understand challenges involved in complex projects.
National recognition. We have been ranked by Chambers as a Band 1 firm in Georgia since its inaugural U.S. issue in 2003.
Global reach. Sutherland attorneys have successfully resolved hundreds of construction cases throughout all fifty of the United States, Canada, Mexico and overseas.
We serve the entire industry. Our clients include some of the nation’s largest commercial and industrial owners, construction managers, engineers, contractors, subcontractors, architects, material and equipment suppliers, real estate developers, public entities and private owners.
Comprehensive service. We advise construction clients on construction project development; negotiating and preparing contracts and documents; project financing, bidding and bonding; permit and land use; environmental compliance; employment relations; supply and distribution chain contracts; intellectual property protection and licensing; claims presentation and defense and alternative and traditional dispute resolution.
The right team. We have worked closely with hundreds of construction consultants and expert witnesses over the years and are able to offer valuable insights in the process of selecting outside assistance.
A green approach. Sutherland’s team includes a LEED-accredited professional and attorneys knowledgeable about green building standards throughout the United States and the world. We also have extensive experience with wind, solar and biomass projects.
Nuts and Bolts
Sutherland advises on the full-spectrum of construction projects and issues:
- Alternative/sustainable energy projects
- Preparation of contracts related to alternative/sustainable energy projects and consultation on the issues unique to these types of projects
- Wind-farms, waste-to-energy power generation facilities, solar energy projects and a biomass facility
- Condominiums and hotels
- We have represented various parties in numerous cases involving casino, resort, hotel and condominium projects. We prosecute and defend claims, including those involving design defect, engineering, delay and acceleration claims, pay-when-paid provisions, no damage for delay clauses and Severin doctrine, to name but a few. We also draft construction agreements for the construction of hotels, mixed-use developments and condominiums in the United States and abroad.
- Our firm provides counsel in numerous cases involving design professionals, constituting a variety of issues and legal theories. Our attorneys prosecute, defend and settle claims, including those involving design defect, personal injury, economic loss, delay, negligence and acceleration.
- Government contracts
- In addition to our experience with private and state government projects, we represent industry clients involved in projects with the federal government. Our attorneys assist clients with bid protests, prepare and defend a variety of claims, and successfully negotiate the resolution of pre-litigation disputes.
- Industrial construction
- The industrial construction cases in which our attorneys participate involve complex, high-value mechanical, electrical and instrumentation projects.
- We know the basic facilities, services and installations needed for the functioning of a community, such as transportation and communications systems, water and power lines, and public institutions including schools, post offices, and prisons, often involve complex claims and contracting issues. Our attorneys participate in matters involving bridges, heavy-highway construction and related matters.
- Power plants
- Our attorneys devote substantial time to preparing, prosecuting and resolving claims involving power plants, particularly combined cycle plants that include gas turbines fitted to heat recovery steam generators accompanied by steam turbines.
- Public and private schools
- We work with contractors in defending and preparing claims in connection with public and private school projects. Amongst other things, our firm assists private and governmental clients with bid protests, and claims by or against contractors, school boards, and school districts.
- Retail and shopping centers
- We have over 20 years of experience representing clients facing disputes involving retail and shopping center projects. Our attorneys handle claims not only across the United States, but also in international arbitrations. In addition, we are often responsible for all legal aspects of these transactions including negotiating and documenting purchase and sale contracts, leases and other real estate documents (such as site development agreements and reciprocal easement agreements); coordinating all aspects of physical due diligence activities including title, survey and environmental matters; coordinating the activities of outside planning and zoning counsel; and handling the closing process.
Sutherland provides comprehensive services to construction industry clients:
- Dispute resolution and avoidance
- Most construction contracts today contain provisions requiring parties to participate in pre-litigation negotiations and/or mediation. Additionally, many courts now require parties to resort to ADR of some type, such as mediation, before cases are tried. We have an intimate understanding of all forms of ADR, including non-traditional processes such as “mediation-arbitration” and “baseball arbitration,” in cases involving projects across the construction industry spectrum.
- Sutherland attorneys have successfully resolved hundreds of construction cases throughout all fifty of the United States, Canada, Mexico and overseas.
- Bid Protests
- We regularly guide clients to resolution through any number of bid protest processes, including before local and state agencies, the Government Accountability Office, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, and in appeals before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
- Contract Drafting
- We negotiate and draft all types of construction contracts, including AIA, AGC, DBIA, EJDC and other industry standard forms; design/build and EPC (engineer – procure – construct) agreements; agreements relating to alternative energy production and addressing current standards for green or sustainable building such as LEED standards and certification procedures; and federal CFR, FAR, HUD and other provisions and requirements.
- Transactional work
- We negotiate and document purchase and sale contracts, leases and other real estate documents such as site development agreements and reciprocal easement agreements; coordinating all aspects of physical due diligence activities including title, survey and environmental matters; coordinating the activities of outside planning and zoning counsel; and handling the closing process.
Our construction clients build with confidence, knowing Sutherland’s experience will serve them well as they adapt to the changing needs and requirements of the modern construction industry.
Sutherland prevails in complex, protracted dispute with owner of a major casino resort, hotel and retail project.
Prevailed as lead counsel to a construction manager in state and federal litigation and related arbitrations in a complex, protracted dispute with the owner of a major casino resort, hotel and retail project. After a nine-month jury trial, we achieved the largest commercial verdict to that date in the state of Nevada.
Sutherland successfully defends owner/developer in $20 million contract dispute arbitration.
Sutherland successfully defended an owner/developer against a contractor’s claim for $20 million over the contract balance. The arbitration concluded with a net award of the contract balance only and the remaining contractor’s claims for disputed change orders and delay-related damages were denied. The subcontractors, who were also parties to the arbitration, were dismissed with prejudice during the proceedings after recovering a variety of damages awards against the general contractor.
Represents the general contractor in $200 million in disputes regarding the environmental abatement and deconstruction of the last remaining building at Ground Zero.
Represents one of the world’s largest construction management companies in resolving claims for contract balance, extra work and delay arising out of the abatement and deconstruction of 130 Liberty Street (the former “Deutsche Bank Building”) in downtown Manhattan—the last building to be removed from the “Ground Zero” site.