Construction law, whether commercial or residential, is extremely complex. The reason for this complexity is that there are many different stakeholders in every project that each have their own interests. Thus, when these interests conflict, litigation or a form of alternative dispute resolution is necessary to ensure that the project will be completed on time.
Stakeholders in Construction Projects
The District of Columbia arbitration and litigation lawyers at Antonoplos & Associates can provide cost-effective representation and advice to those involved in construction disputes, including:
- Condominium Boards
- Construction Managers
- Equity Investors and Equity Lenders
- Design and Build Contractors
- Designers, Architects, and Engineers
- Investors, Lenders, and Bondholders
- Insureds, Insurance Brokers and Insurers / Underwriters
- Managers and Employees
- Master Builders (Design and Build)
- Lenders and Borrowers
- Managers and Employees
- Mortgage Brokers
- Mortgagees and Mortgagors
- Private and Institutional Lenders
- Project Managers
- Syndicated Lenders
- Purchasers, Tenants, and Interim Occupants
Common Causes of Construction Disputes
Construction disputes can arise in several contexts, including:
- Condo Construction Disputes
- Bidding, Tendering, and Procurement
- Broker Commission Disputes
- Contractual, partnership, and joint venture disputes between stakeholders
- Construction Lien and Trust claims
- A Construction Management Agreement Disputes
- Construction Loan Litigation
- Fraud, including Schemes, False Invoices, Inflated Invoices, or Fictitious supplies
- Delay Claims
- Employment and contractor disputes, including construction lien claims and project management disputes
- Disputes relating to procurement, bidding, and tenders
- Disputes with purchasers and pre-construction purchasers regarding delays or changes to the project, including claims for extras and variations
- Environmental compliance
- Financing disputes with lenders, both institutional and private
- Project Litigation – Project Development Disputes and Project Finance Disputes
- Lending and Borrowing Litigation
- Project Finance Litigation
- Project Management Agreement Disputes
- Regulatory and municipal law compliance
- Termination, Cancellation, Force Majeure Suspension of Contracts
It is important that you obtain legal representation that can effectively represent and advise you in any area of law that may arise as a project is constructed.
Partnership and Joint Venture Disputes
In most cases, construction projects require that multiple parties work together to complete a project. Because entities need to partner in order to achieve the desired outcome, these collaborations will often take the form of a partnership or joint venture.
A joint venture agreement allows two or more businesses to merge their entities—or a portion of their products or services—to start a new business activity. Furthermore, each business contributes assets to the joint venture and the parties agree on how to divide the income and expenses that come from this partnership. In some cases, a joint venture is the structure chosen because the members of the agreement are located in different states or countries. While this agreement is contractual in nature, certain courts have held this agreement to mean the same thing as a partnership. However, other courts have considered the relationship merely contractual and not a partnership. A myriad of considerations have been used by the courts in determining whether a joint venture is a partnership. Furthermore, the courts consider the structure and management of a joint venture when considering whether this entity comprises a partnership.
Bidding and Tender Disputes
Whether you are a bidder on a construction project or a person initiating the tender process, legal issues may occur. For example, if you are bidding on a construction project, you may claim that your contractual or common law rights were breached by a property owner that is trying to say that you will get the contract if you forgo certain rights. However, If you are an entity initiating the tender process, you may seek legal assistance if the contractor that secured the bid lied to you about their skills or the price that they were willing to do the project for. Thus, both bidders and property owners require legal representation and advice to properly assert or defend against such claims.
Construction fraud may occur before, during, and after a construction project. Furthermore, this fraud can occur in a multitude of ways whether it is through fraudulent billing, misrepresentation of skills going into a project, or the surveyor that reviewed the land and its possible commercial abilities. If fraud occurs, it is extremely important that you immediately consult a construction attorney to minimize the possibility of further financial damage. Additionally, the longer you wait to file your claim, the more difficult it will be to win a case. Thus, it is critical that you consult a District of Columbia arbitration and litigation lawyer immediately.
Immediate Legal Assistance
Depending on the severity of the dispute, the project may require immediate legal attention in order to save the project’s viability. Furthermore, any unforeseen legal delays could permanently disrupt the project. Thus, it is extremely important that you seek legal assistance to preserve your interests and avoid significant financial harm. Typically, is you need immediate legal assistance, a construction lawyer will use one of the following legal remedies:
- Enforce and cancel construction liens and other charges
- Specific performance by contractors or subcontractors
- Recover assets obtained by construction fraud
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