For more than 30 years, Pierce Atwood’s Construction Practice Group has helped clients in heavy civil construction and the building industries achieve successful outcomes on even the largest and most complex private, institutional, and public projects throughout New England and nationwide.
We bring to our practice a depth of industry-specific knowledge that can only be gained through decades of representing developers, private and public owners, construction managers, general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, design professionals, and sureties through all phases of their projects—from pre-construction planning and the development of an appropriate project delivery system through final payment and close-out.
As construction lawyers, we know our role is not merely to serve as zealous advocates in times of dispute but to be proactive business and legal advisors whose goal is to ensure our client’s success in delivering the project. We guide our clients through the complicated legal and regulatory environments in which they must operate. We work to anticipate and prevent disputes and claims that can threaten a project’s success and our clients’ relationships with other project stakeholders. When disputes do arise, we draw upon the wealth of mediation and other alternative dispute resolution methods available to best serve our clients’ interests in delivering projects safely, on time, and on budget. And, in an industry where controlling costs is both a challenge and a necessity, clients find our legal fees to be transparent and predictable, which helps them manage their budgets confidently and effectively.
Our construction attorneys stay up-to-the-minute on issues impacting the industry by serving in leadership positions in trade groups, testifying before state legislatures on matters impacting the industry, and regularly publishing and speaking on today’s critical, cutting-edge issues. Additionally, we bring the resources of a highly respected, interdisciplinary firm accustomed to addressing significant contemporary issues in finance, insurance, real estate law, environmental and land use regulation, labor and employment, and other areas of expertise critical to a project’s success.
Areas of Expertise
Pre-Construction and Planning Phase
From the earliest stages of project development, we give advice and guidance to commercial developers, colleges and universities, public authorities, and other owners regarding modern project delivery systems, including such advanced concepts as integrated product delivery, and other innovative solutions that best serve the project goals. As part of this process, we help to formulate and define the legal relationships and responsibilities between stakeholders to best promote project efficiencies and prevent costly changes and disputes as the construction proceeds.
At the procurement stage, we do more than just draft and negotiate contracts for owners, construction managers, general contractors, and their subs. We advise on procedures for vetting documents, structures to minimize uncertainties and future disputes, means to effectively manage risk, and other aspects of the transaction that require the specialized knowledge of professionals versed in both the building industry and the law.
Construction Phase and Claim Avoidance
During the project, we provide real-time advice and guidance on issues as they arise, whether they concern unforeseen conditions, project changes, contractual relationships between project stakeholders, labor and employment issues, or actions by government regulators. We offer training for client personnel on how to manage the unexpected and how to respond so as to avoid, resolve, or minimize potential claims before they become costly or threaten project schedules.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
When disputes do arise, we work to resolve them in a manner that protects our clients’ rights without jeopardizing the project or our client’s critical working relationships. We have mediated, arbitrated, and litigated billions of dollars worth of construction claims over the past 30 years.
Neutral Mediator and Evaluator Services
Our leadership in alternative dispute resolution is such that we regularly serve as mediators, arbitrators, referees, and special masters for large industrial, commercial, and public project construction disputes thought the United States.
Should the need for litigation arise, we are tenacious litigators with extensive experience preparing, prosecuting, and defending complex construction claims. Construction cases are often factually-intensive and involve highly-technical issues. We understand these challenges and work to ensure that cost-effective, winning strategies are implemented for our clients.
Even after delivery, we continue to assist clients such as owners, construction managers, trade contractors, suppliers, sureties, architects, or engineers—regarding the issues and claims that may arise with respect to final payment, liens, close-out, design defects, and bond claims.
Federal, state, and municipal public projects have their own unique challenges, and we advise owners and bidders regarding all aspects of such projects. Whether the questions concern qualifications for public bidding, the bid package or process, bid challenges, project labor agreements, regulatory compliance, or challenges to state or local laws and ordinances, we have the knowledge and experience to guide our clients efficiently through these complex and often daunting administrative and legal processes.