Project Advice & Counsel

Project Advice & Counsel

In addition to litigating construction disputes and drafting contracts, we also provide day-to-day advice and counsel clients with ongoing construction projects.
We think of this kind of work as the construction-law equivalent of preventive medicine.  Getting sound advice before a problem escalates can avoid future litigation and improve the outcome if claims are inevitable.

  • Change orders. We help clients evaluate and manage change orders, especially ones with significant cost and schedule impacts. Among other things, we can help ensure compliance with the contract documents, including the relevant notice provisions, while reserving rights when appropriate.
  • Time extensions. As with change orders, we help clients prepare and respond to time extension requests, often in conjunction with an outside schedule consultant retained and directed by us for the purpose of preserving attorney-client privilege and the attorney work-product doctrine.
  • Licensing issues. Clients often seek our counsel when issues arise regarding compliance with California’s State Contractor Licensing Law, including the departure on a qualifying individual (RMO or RME).
  • Insurance issues. We counsel clients on every kind of insurance-related issue that can arise on a construction project, whether that be builder’s risk, CGL, contractor’s pollution, professional liability, OCIP, OPPI, or others. We help ensure that clients take the steps needed to maximize the potential for coverage, and we advise on how to trigger and maintain coverage and assist with tenders to carriers.
  • Encroachments. Construction projects can often cause problems with adjacent property owners, particularly in cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles where zero-lot-line construction is common. We can help negotiate agreements for temporary encroachments for site logistics like cranes and scaffolding. We can also negotiate indemnification agreements and monitoring programs when the construction of a deep foundation will potentially lead to basal heave or soil settlement at adjacent parcels.
  • Terminations. Terminations, whether for cause or convenience, are a fact of life in construction. They are also a point-of-no-return that frequently leads to litigation. Bringing us on board before a termination has occurred can help avoid a lawsuit or arbitration. And in those cases where litigation does occur, bringing us on board early allows us to shape the correspondence that will later be used as exhibits.
  • Close-outs. On complicated projects, we often assist owner clients with preparing and evaluating contractor close-out packages, including outstanding change orders.

Relevant Experience

We advise the owner on the largest construction project in downtown Los Angeles with a construction value of approximately $1.7 billion.

We advise a major health-care provider in connection with the design and construction of new hospitals and capital improvement projects.

Partners John Foust and Aaron Gruber represented MGM Resorts and its partner Dubai World on the largest privately-financed construction project in US history, where we advised on issues regarding mechanic’s liens, change orders, the termination of the general contractor, and more than a billion dollars in subcontractor close-outs.

We advise the owner in connection with the construction of a mixed-use multi-building campus in Burlingame, just south of SFO.  Our services included the negotiation of a GMP of approximately $430 million and assisting with issues involving the construction financing.