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Construction

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Our Industry Knowledge

McNair’s lawyers use an understanding of the construction process and experience representing a wide range of project owners and contractors to resolve construction issues. We have counseled large national builders, multinational corporations and building owners, as well as contractors and subcontractors involved in projects ranging from manufacturing plants and highways to single-family homes.

If you are a contractor or an owner, we can represent you in controversies that involve:

  • Bid protests and mistakes
  • Cost disputes
  • Claims for delay and disruption
  • Materials failure and design error
  • Defective installation and workmanship
  • Contract disputes
  • Mechanics’ liens
  • Insurance Coverage for construction defects.

Handling Contract Issues

We represent owners, contractors, architects and lenders in concerns that arise at every stage of the contracting process for construction – from detailing all commitments at the project’s inception to core construction law claims of extra work, acceleration, warranty claims and a host of related contractual issues.

We are able to take standard AIA or AGC contract terms and customize them to particular projects, whether from the owner’s or the developer’s perspective. No matter which side of the negotiating table you’re on, you get our focus on your unique business needs as we work closely with the engineers, contractors and other team members on a project. We understand the importance of time in a successful project, and focus on identifying and solving legal issues and problems to get the job done.

Example of our Services
Construction disputes often involve complex contractual issues, and McNair knows how to resolve them. We handled an arbitration proceeding for a subcontractor when the prime contractor on a project terminated our client as the result of terminating another contractor that the client had not worked with at all. Our claim alleging tortious interference with a contract was heard under American Arbitration Association (AAA) rules, and we achieved a favorable result for our client.

Litigating Construction Disputes

Because of their complexity, even the best-planned construction projects have disputes that need to be resolved. McNair lawyers work to avoid or resolve issues that can lead to litigation, and apply our experience in the mediation and arbitration of disputes involving claims over cost, design error and project management.

Example of our Services
McNair defended a manufacturer of soil anchors used to secure mobile homes, in a class action lawsuit that was heard by the South Carolina Supreme Court. Not only did we win summary judgment for our client, we also subsequently secured partial coverage for some damages and attorneys’ fees from the client’s insurer.

Representing Project Owners

From national home builders and commercial developers to manufacturers and retailers, we represent the interests of building owners when controversies arise over project defects or delays. We help our clients prepare architectural, design, construction and construction supervision contracts that work to reduce the likelihood of disputes.

Our goal is to tailor contract provisions to limit your risks as a developer or owner and ensure timely completion. However, when disputes arise, we are skilled at working with our clients to identify and analyze project documents and correspondence, including change orders, to determine the responsibility for defect and design claims.

Example of our Services
A manufacturer of chemical treatments for fabric products engaged McNair when multiple defects emerged in a newly constructed production line. Using nearly a dozen expert witnesses to support our case, we obtained at mediation a settlement that made our client whole by covering the defective work and the profits lost from downtime on the defective production line.

Handling Public Infrastructure Controversies

Our lawyers defend general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and construction managers against allegations of defective construction in large public infrastructure projects such as hospitals, government buildings and highways. These often-lengthy cases typically involve numerous plaintiffs and defendants, multiple technical disciplines and large volumes of paperwork.

We are skilled at working with colleagues throughout the firm to mount a defense based on practical industry knowledge and the law. When disputes involve major public infrastructure projects, our understanding of how government works enables us to advise clients on proper management of all project documents and correspondence, including change orders, to identify the responsibility for claims. This kind of thoroughness often is essential to a successful settlement.

Example of our Services
We defended a contractor in an arbitration involving delay claims against the South Carolina Department of Transportation. Our client sought damages from DOT to cover the additional cost of delays in a major highway repaving project. The dispute stretched over several years, was heavily defended by DOT, and involved production of more than 200,000 documents. However, we ultimately prevailed and secured a favorable multi-million dollar verdict for our client.