Harnessing cross-discipline experience to build the right team for your project
Each highly complex construction project presents a unique set of circumstances, distinct requirements, and specialized skill sets. At Butler Snow, our construction team can provide comprehensive legal services and single-source accountability at every phase of your construction project.
You’ll have direct access to some of the top minds in every discipline—at the exact time needed. Our construction team understands the ins and outs of the construction industry and can provide expertise on all aspects of construction projects, including design and planning, contract negotiation, bidding, construction, construction management, surety/bond issues, and dispute resolution. We’ve represented owners, developers, contractors, subcontractors, sureties, suppliers and design professionals, to name a few.
In addition to decades of experience on the legal side, some of our lawyers also have backgrounds in contracting and other construction-related professions. Our team members also include an American College of Construction Lawyers Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers Fellows, and a past president of the Tennessee Association of Construction Counsel.
Construction Advice and Project Expertise
We believe a team approach helps ensure that your project starts with a good foundation. In the early stages, we can help you collaborate with architects, construction management teams, licensing boards, and others to clearly delineate the scope of work, help ensure that the project captures any available cost savings and is constructed effectively and efficiently. Our lawyers have experience drafting and negotiating project-related contracts involving design professionals, engineering, procurement and construction, equipment supply and acquisition agreements, construction contracts and construction management contracts, including our own custom form and standard industry-form agreements.
During the project, we can help smooth obstacles through our extensive knowledge of key industry issues and our network of industry connections, which have been developed over nearly 50 years of construction work.
From conception to completion, we’ll work to meet your business goals.
Construction Dispute Resolution Expertise
While we always work with an eye toward avoiding legal disputes, our construction team includes top litigators who are experienced in all aspects of public and private construction projects. We’ve handled highly complex litigation on a nationwide basis, and we have several attorneys who are certified as arbitrators and mediators.
In addition to widely varied industry-specific services, our lawyers have represented clients in the construction industry on matters such as:
- Bid mistakes and bid protests
- Administrative claims
- Delays, interference, and disruption
- Change orders
- Defective or deficient design
- Poor project management
- Cost overrun disputes
- Termination and default
- Mechanic’s liens, materialman’s liens, and bond claims
- Miller Act claims
- Defective materials, storage, and equipment
- Construction failures and warranties
- Structural concerns
- Environmental hazards
- Payment and performance bond claims
- Professional liability
At every phase of your project, we’re dedicated to timely responses and effective counsel.
Alternative fees ease budgeting concerns
Butler Snow embraces alternative fee arrangements. We actively work to establish flat fees or other pricing arrangements that encourage maximum efficiency. In fact, we specifically employ staff with extensive alternative fee arrangement expertise so we can effectively analyze proposals and provide quick turnaround. In all instances, we remain flexible and transparent in our negotiations and our ongoing fee analysis.
We believe alternative fee arrangements can be particularly beneficial for construction projects. Such an arrangement allows our clients to more accurately budget their projects, which can help them move forward with confidence.
Butler Snow’s team members participate and hold leadership positions in numerous construction-related trade associations, including the American College of Construction Lawyers, the ABA Forum on the Construction Industry, the Tennessee Association of Construction Counsel, the Surety Claims Institute, and the National Bond Claim Association. Active involvement in these organizations and others like them ensures that our attorneys are knowledgeable of issues and potential issues facing the industry and allows us to proactively provide innovative solutions to potential problems before they occur.
Highlights/ Representative Matters
Practical experience and pragmatic approaches define our management of litigation challenges. Counseling in the residential and commercial construction industry, our team represents in a myriad of different types of projects, including health care, entertainment & hospitality, industrial and manufacturing and education.
- Representation of a non-profit research hospital on various projects for more than two decades. Throughout our representation, we have represented the client in the drafting and negotiation of Lump Sum, Guaranteed Maximum Price and Design Build Agreements for numerous construction projects varying in cost from less than $1,000,000 to over $350,000,000. We have also drafted and negotiated Design Services Agreements for many of these projects. Total construction cost for projects for this client exceeds several billion dollars. Our attorneys have also represented this client in the litigation of matters involving issues of professional negligence, defective work and delays.
- Representation of an international gaming company in various agreements surrounding the design and construction of gaming properties through the United States, including Native American casino projects. Many of these projects were constructed on a fast track basis before the design of the project was fully completed. The costs for the majority of these projects exceeded $50,000,000 with some exceeding $100,000,000. Members of our team have also represented this client in litigation on projects involving issues of defective work and delay.
- Representation of a company within the hospitality industry which constructs and manages hotel properties under multiple hotel brands. We have represented this client in drafting and negotiating construction contracts and design agreements, as well as resulting litigation.
- Representation of an international airport authority in the planning, design, and construction of the entire renovation of a concourse. Members of our team have also drafted and negotiated contracts for terminal expansion projects and the construction of a $90,000,000 garage. We have also advised this client on potential litigation matters for issues involving professional negligence, defective work and delays.
- Representation of an overnight delivery company on issues involving construction defects and delays exceeding $10,000,000 in the construction of a hangar project at an international airport. This matter was concluded after a multi-party mediation shortly before an arbitration hearing was scheduled to begin.
- Representation of a multi-national company in the renovation of a paper mill. Members of our team provided assistance in drafting and EPC contract and advising the client on various issues occurring during construction. The cost for this project exceeded $300,000,000.
- Successfully mediated a dispute involving a global designer, manufacturer and installer of controls for sophisticated heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) systems in a dispute on a prison with a total cost in excess of $140,000,000. Alleged claims included delay damages caused by among other things, the alleged failure to comply with plans and specifications for the project.
- Provided construction counsel in connection with collapse of a conveyor bridge into the Mississippi River and alleged claims of defective design and construction.
- Extensive experience as lead contract and litigation counsel for multiple large-scale bridge and highway construction projects.
- Lead contract counsel for public university’s $130 million building expansion, the largest building project in school history.
- Lead contract counsel for $140 million public hospital expansion under Mississippi construction manager at risk statute.
- Lead counsel for subcontractor in federal court litigation over construction contract for nuclear power facility.
- Representation of surety in Miller Act payment and performance bond claims for various federal construction projects located in several states.
- Obtained summary judgment on claims related to construction of a university parking garage.
- Representation of design professionals in various commercial projects. Members of our team have a long history of representing architects and engineers in the defense of professional malpractice claims and other issues in public and private projects.
- Represented design professionals in defense of waste water treatment plant dispute.
- Successfully represented home owners and residential contractors in various renovation and construction matters.
- Frequent representation of clients in negotiations with local government building and planning officials.
- Frequent representation of property owners and developers in disputes concerning the legitimacy of contractor’s claims, disputes with municipalities involving zoning regulations and site plan approvals.
- Successfully represented an environmental contractor in recovering on a lien claim when the project lender filed bankruptcy.