The construction, infrastructure, and engineering industry is fast-paced and often governed by strict deadlines. Completing a successful project requires cooperation and teamwork among all project participants. Our Construction and Infrastructure lawyers are global leaders in construction law. Their knowledge and understanding covers all aspects of a project’s life cycle, from the early stages of finance, development, and design through implementation, construction, and project close-out. Our lawyers draw upon their legal and technical experience to work with clients to minimize disputes and accomplish common project goals on a local, national, and international scale.
With full-time, dedicated construction lawyers located in most major cities across the United States, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Australia, our firm has one of the largest and most geographically diverse Construction and Infrastructure law practices in the world. Our extensive global footprint allows us to service our clients’ needs on a multijurisdictional basis and provide insight into the local legal and cultural issues that commonly arise in particular jurisdictions.
We have considerable experience in all major national and international standard forms of construction contracts including FIDIC and NEC as well turnkey EPC and EPCM contracts, target prices, guaranteed maximum price contracts, and alliancing and partnering contracts. Further, many of the group’s lawyers have worked in the construction industry. This practical, real-world experience, combined with the breadth of our practice, allows us to guide our clients through the myriad of problems that can arise during any phase of a complex construction project.
We have advised on some of the most challenging and ambitious construction projects in the world, including major multibillion dollar energy and transportation infrastructure projects in Africa, the Americas, Asia, and the Middle East.
Our capabilities include:
Contract Negotiation and Construction Project Support
We assist our clients with the acquisition of new work through our vast network of industry contacts and a wide range of legal services ranging from advice on procurement and contract strategy, pre-bid specification review and bid protests to contract and project finance negotiation, insurance, and contract drafting and support during project execution. We also act for public sector clients in drafting and negotiating public tender documents.
Project Development and Finance
Our project lawyers respond to the diverse, detailed, and innovative legal and commercial requirements applicable to the process of structuring, developing, constructing, and operating economically and legally independent projects and facilities. In developing and structuring projects, we assist in multiple sectors, including governance arrangements and tax-efficient entity structures. We are familiar with international procurement laws, such as the EU procurement directives, which increasingly impact international projects. In the financing phase, our lawyers implement traditional project financing, structured finance, taxable and tax-advantaged debt, equity, and intercreditor arrangements.
Contract Negotiation and Preparation
Proper documentation is a key element of successful project delivery and dispute resolution. We provide clients competitive advantages with assistance in contract negotiations, contract preparation, and coordination and structuring collaborative procurement arrangements such as joint ventures, alliancing and teaming agreements, partnering, and integrated project delivery. Our Construction and Infrastructure team has a strong reputation in advising clients on the drafting and negotiation of all forms of industry contracts, including EPC and EPCM contracts, PPP contracts, consultancy agreements and FEED contracts; standard forms such as FIDIC and NEC, bonds, guarantees, letters of credit, and other forms of security; takeover agreements and amendments to standard forms of contracts; and structuring complex transactions for development of major infrastructure projects, waste-to-energy plants, coal-fired power plants, cogeneration plants, and industrial plants of all kinds; as well as conventional and unconventional development arrangements for government projects and commercial, retail, and residential projects. Our lawyers also advise clients on international transactions in and with foreign countries, including project and development finance transactions and transactions involving currency hedges and resale of commodities.
Our lawyers actively work with clients to manage the complex relationships that keep a project moving forward. Contract administration and project support services often take the form of “real-time” analyses of notices and correspondence, variations and change orders, delays, cost overruns, defective specifications, changed conditions, and similar occurrences. We also provide training on the correct operation and administration of the contract and claims procedures. The early and continuing involvement of our lawyers in a project assures appropriate project documentation, knowledge preservation, and contract compliance, thereby enabling clients to make informed decisions consistent with contractual requirements and their overall business objectives, while at the same time making decisions that help avoid claims and litigation down the road.
Handling Financially Troubled Projects and Bankruptcy Proceedings
Our lawyers are experienced with lien rights and priority disputes that are typical of inadequately financed or unsuccessful projects. We work with our Construction Lending and Bankruptcy lawyers to find workable solutions on troubled projects. We have represented project owners and employers, lenders, and contractors with respect to a wide variety of issues in construction-related bankruptcy and insolvency proceedings, including representing project owners seeking to reorganize under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code as well as creditors and creditors' committees. Our lawyers have also represented receivers in complex insolvency proceedings. In addition, we have substantial experience working with financially troubled projects and advise clients on means and methods of avoiding bankruptcy and helping to ensure project completion.
As new issues arise that change the way construction, infrastructure, and engineering companies do business, our lawyers likewise adapt to provide skilled counsel.
Integrating Intellectual Property and Technology into Projects
Our Construction and Infrastructure lawyers work with our Intellectual Property lawyers to advise construction industry clients on doing business in a technology-intensive environment, as well as on construction projects for technology-based clients. We bring innovative strategies for working in Building Information Modeling (BIM) and similar environments. We have worked on traditional energy, alternative energy, data center, clean room, and other technology-related projects throughout the world. In additional to transactional work, our lawyers have advised and represented clients in disputes related to the construction, design, performance, and maintenance of these facilities. Along with our Intellectual Property lawyers, we vigorously secure and protect the copyright and ownership of design drawings, secure patent rights, and take other steps to protect emergent building and design technologies. We have developed sophisticated intellectual property protection strategies for cutting–edge, sustainable building design, and other construction and design technologies.
Clean Tech and Alternative Energy
We regularly assist clients who are committed to the development of clean and alternative energy technologies such as solar, wind, hydro, and geothermal. Our Construction and Infrastructure lawyers, in collaboration with lawyers across our wide spectrum of practice areas, provide services throughout the process of invention, design development, piloting, scale-up, development, financing, commercialization, regulatory authorization, construction, commissioning, and performance testing. Our lawyers draft contracts for all aspects of design, manufacturing, construction, and retrofitting efforts using a wide variety of delivery systems and innovative approaches. As necessary, our litigators assist with disputes involving protection of inventions, delays, disruptions, cost overruns, and warranties that can occur on process and alternative energy plant and retrofitting projects.
Sustainability and Green Building
Having more than 60 lawyers that are LEED® Accredited Professionals, we are well equipped to advise clients regarding the fast-developing and ever-changing sustainable building certification process, legislation, and incentive programs being instituted at local, regional, and national levels in countries throughout the world. We assist clients with contract and lease negotiation and drafting on retrofitting, new construction, build-outs, and other sustainability/green building projects, as well as advise clients on the novel liability and insurance coverage issues associated with these projects.
New Building Product and Material Failures
Our lawyers keep abreast and advise clients concerning the latest developments in building products and materials defects claims, whether the problem involves toxic mold, exterior insulation finishing systems (EIFS), or prematurely deteriorating “next generation” roofing systems. We have advised owners of buildings (both commercial and residential), developers, manufacturers, architects, engineers, and contractors on liability, insurance coverage, investigation, testing, and remediation methods when defective products are suspected or alleged.
Our clients include a wide range of telecommunications infrastructure and service providers from local telephone companies to wireless operators and domestic and international backbone providers to broadband service providers. We advise these clients on all aspects of network build-out and operations and serve as lead telecom regulatory and land use counsel in connection with numerous domestic and international undersea and terrestrial fiber optic cable projects, permitting and zoning issues associated with tower siting, rights-of-way and deployment of wireless facilities, and obtaining permits and approvals required for the deployment of cross-border telecommunications facilities.
In the United States, our offices are actively engaged in policy and legislative initiatives at the federal, state, and local levels and designed to remove barriers to the deployment of telecommunications and broadband facilities. We also advise clients on land use issues under federal and state telecom laws and have handled numerous judicial appeals under the Communications Act of 1934, as amended.
Our work in the United States regularly involves working with agencies at all levels and branches of government, including federal agencies, such as the Bureau of Land Management, National Forest Service, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Army Corps of Engineers; state departments of natural resources, environmental protection, coastal commissions, transportation, and parks; and numerous local governmental entities, including city and county councils, zoning boards, and public works departments. The firm has significant experience obtaining the permits and approvals required for the deployment of cross-border telecommunications facilities and has had extensive dealings with the White House, the U.S. State Department, the International Boundary and Water Commission, relevant congressional committees, and the Federal Communications Commission in connection with such projects.
We have extensive global experience advising project participants on social infrastructure projects. Such projects encompass health care systems (including acute care hospitals, treatment centers, mental health facilities, and the provision of primary care), educational and research systems (including elementary and secondary schools, universities, colleges, and research institutions), social welfare systems (including social housing, extra care housing, and adult social care facilities), and emergency services (including police, ambulance, and fire and rescue). We have been able to use experience gained in the United States and United Kingdom for structuring social infrastructure projects in emerging markets such as India and Jordan. Similarly, our U.S. Tax Increment Financing (TIF) experience gained over several decades can be applied to the United Kingdom, which is beginning to develop this financing mechanism.
In our experience, social infrastructure project participants need comprehensive legal advice from lawyers who have the commercial and market knowledge, technical and regulatory experience, and project management skills to support them in all aspects of project procurement. Our lawyers' backgrounds in finance, corporate, construction, engineering, procurement, and government policy enable them to apply their institutional knowledge to deliver creative, cost-effective solutions to social infrastructure projects within the procuring authorities' established structures and procedures. We have successfully represented all types of market participants including the sponsors or promoters of projects as well as authorities, lenders, investors, vendors, landowners, contractors, operators, and equipment suppliers. Our lawyers advise on all phases of the project from the initial concept, structuring, and development through bidding, financing, construction, and beyond.