Overview

Construction is a difficult business. Margins are tight; risks are high. To survive in the competitive marketplace, construction firms cannot afford to make mistakes.

That’s why the country’s leading construction firms turn to the experienced and nationally ranked construction law attorneys at Stinson, with one of the largest dedicated practices of its kind. From our base throughout the Midwest, we serve clients in construction-related matters of all types across the United States. We are known for providing practical and timely assistance to our clients in an industry where time literally is money.

Our attorneys routinely advise clients of all sizes, including owners, lenders, engineers, architects, developers, contractors, designers, insurers and sureties. We also develop programs to assist construction companies in satisfying their obligation to comply with state and federal laws, and provide training to ensure that a company is complying with its own contract terms and best practices. When disputes arise, our attorneys work closely with clients to formulate strategies to resolve matters in a creative and cost-effective manner. Clients value our experience with mediation, arbitration, litigation and negotiation in highly specialized and complex cases.

In an ever-changing and highly regulated market, clients count on Stinson's construction attorneys to stay abreast of industry developments, emerging trends and current legislation. We participate in numerous local, regional and national industry-related associations, and frequently write and speak on current issues pertaining to our clients.

Experience

  • Advise clients through all kinds of project delivery systems—from design-bid-build and construction management to design-build and Public-Private Partnerships.
  • Develop programs to assist construction companies in satisfying their obligation to comply with federal and state laws, and we provide training to assure that the company is complying with its own contract terms and best practices. Our attorneys have also drafted job descriptions, policies, manuals and training programs for Chief Compliance Officers. Our industry experience saves our clients money and time.
  • Tailormade contracts, subcontracts, purchase orders, joint venture agreements, LLC formation, lien waivers and other documents to meet the specific needs of our clients. We have experience with all of the standard forms of contracts, such as AIA, ConsensusDOCS, EJCDC and government-mandated forms.
  • Work with clients on projects involving highways, bridges, refineries, industrial plants, schools, hospitals, high-rise buildings, power plants, facilities for Native American tribal entities, and energy efficiency and performance contracts.
  • Handle day-to-day issues for clients, such as insurance coverage disputes, bid mistakes/bid protests, contract negotiations, prevailing wage issues and MBE/WBE
  • Represented an architectural firm in the landmark Minnesota Supreme Court case of Helmberger v. Johnson Controls, successfully overturning a lower court ruling that had required architects and engineers performing work for a school district to allow public access to their files under the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act.
  • Conducted a construction cost audit on behalf of an owner in a $12 million residential project. After a two-week arbitration hearing, the arbitrator ruled in favor of our client on every issue in the case and required the contractor to repay substantial overbillings that the owner had paid.
  • Negotiated contracts for the original construction of the Mall of America and represented the general contractor in connection with numerous expansion and tenant build-out projects, including disputes over subcontractor defaults, personal injury claims and alleged construction defects.
  • Regularly represent contractors in connection with contract negotiation, risk management and dispute resolution in connection with energy savings performance contracts for local, state and federal projects across the nation, including matters from California to New York and Alaska to Florida.
  • Represented a specialty contractor on a $100 million highly specialized baggage handling system subcontract as part of Miami-Dade County’s $3 billion North Terminal construction project at the Miami International Airport. Our client suffered severe project delays, disruptions and compressed work and provided substantial extra work for the project. In response to our client’s request for additional compensation due to those severe impacts, the owner threatened false claim violations and possible termination of further work. We obtained an early settlement and recovered more than $10 million and a release from the owner for any alleged false claim issues or other issues—all without formal litigation and while preserving important business relationships with the owner.
  • Represented the owner and operation of a cogeneration facility that supplies electricity and steam to a chemical plant. A series of lightning strikes caused the cogeneration facility to shut down, resulting in a temporary interruption of electricity and steam to the chemical plant. The owner alleged that the chemical plant sustained damage to its equipment as a result of the temporary interruption of electricity and steam. After investigating the claim and conducting limited discovery, we obtained dismissal of the owner’s lost profit claims and subsequently settled the case favorably in mediation.
  • Obtained a successful result for our client in a $10 million insurance coverage dispute brought by its excess insurer, stemming from an explosion at the Hawthorne Generation Station in Kansas City. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit affirmed the trial court ruling that the insured owed no part of the $10 million to the insurer.
  • Defended a subcontractor in federal court against claims of defective work and schedule delays. After a three-week trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of our client and against the general contractor on all claims. The court also awarded our client attorney’s fees and costs.
  • Represented the owner of a bio-diesel facility in a dispute over additional work claims. After a one-week arbitration hearing, the arbitrator found in favor of our client and against the general contractor on all claims.
  • Served as counsel to the power division of a large architectural/engineering firm in various litigation matters arising from international power generation projects, including coal-fired, gas-fired and hydroelectric plants.
  • Represented a subcontractor pursuing claims for delay, disruption, inefficiencies, accelerated work and extra work on a $120 million expansion project for San Antonio’s convention center. We ultimately negotiated a $3 million payment from the owner without further need for litigation and helped preserve a profitable service contract and a good relationship between our client and the owner.
  • Represented a subcontractor pursuing a construction impact claim of $8.85 million on a $1 billion microchip fabrication facility project in Colorado. The project was built on a super-fast-track basis and our client suffered severe impacts to its programming and installation work for the facility monitoring system. We achieved a favorable settlement for our client without formal litigation and while preserving important business relationships among all participants.
  • Defended a subcontractor against claims arising from a 42-story commercial office complex project in Jersey City, New Jersey. Our client’s lower-tier electrical sub-subcontractor and its supplier initiated a $4 million claim against our client for extra work costs and other damages regarding fire alarm system work. We resolved the entire case successfully after settling with the sub-subcontractor, which severely undercut the supplier’s ability to maintain the lawsuit without its co-party.


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