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Construction Law

Construction Law

From project planning through resolution of complex construction disputes, Fahl & Donaldson represent clients that design and construct commercial buildings, industrial and manufacturing facilities, heavy civil public works projects, power generation plants and transmission facilities, refineries, chemical plants, pipelines, maritime-related projects, hospitals, schools and higher education facilities, churches and multi-family residential projects. Owners, engineers, EPC contractors, general contractors, construction managers, design-build contractors, lenders, sureties, subcontractors and suppliers consistently retain Fahl & Donaldson for guidance and representation through all phases of a construction project.

Certain issues arise again and again in construction, often leading to schedule erosion and cost overruns. We routinely defend and prosecute delay and disruption claims, extra and additional work claims, unanticipated site condition claims, and payment claims (including mechanic’s and materialmen’s liens, performance bond claims and payment bond claims). We have significant experience in construction defect cases alleging patent or latent defects due to defective work, defective materials, and defective design. We have advised and represented clients in all types of legal forums, including state and federal courts, administrative hearings, mediations, and arbitrations. We pursue favorable resolutions in our clients’ best interests and proactively advocate on their behalf throughout the course of construction projects and dispute resolution process.

Project Development, Design & Procurement

We provide legal services to our clients during project development, design and procurement phases, including:

  • Front end engineering contracts
  • Detailed engineering and design contracts
  • EPC Contracts
  • Master Services Agreements
  • Professional Services Agreements
  • Plant Maintenance and Construction Agreements
  • Procurement Agreements
  • Owner-Contractor Agreements – Stipulated Sum (Lump Sum)
  • Owner-Contractor Agreements – Cost of the Work Plus a Fee (with or without a guaranteed maximum)
  • Construction Management Agreements – At Risk and Advisor.
  • Design-Build Agreements
  • Owner- Contractor Energy Savings Performance Contracts
  • Owner-Architect Agreements
  • Owner-Engineer Agreements
  • Subcontract Agreements
  • Risk Management Programs

Dispute Resolution

Real time resolution of disputes involving scope of work, changes in the scope of work, schedule delay and disruption, payment, defective design, defective construction, loss or damage to the project, default and termination, final completion and start-up, mechanics’ and materialmen’s liens and payment bond claims, warranty, and other matters that arise during the design and construction of a project. We work to resolve disputes as they arise. Our experience allows our construction lawyers to timely negotiate practical and reasonable resolutions, while keeping the project moving forward to completion. In most cases, litigation or arbitration can be avoided, preserving business relationships.

Payment & Performance Bonds

Failure of a contractor or subcontractor to pay its subcontractors and/or suppliers usually results in work stoppage, delay to the schedule, breach of a contract, default and termination. The payment bond surety must determine if the claims are valid and if the claims are perfected. We have the experience to work with the contractor, subcontractor and suppliers to determine if a claim is valid, and also determine if a claim has been perfected under the Texas Property Code, the Texas Government Code or the Miller Act.

Default and/or insolvency of a contractor-bond principle renders the contractor unable or unwilling to complete the project. When this occurs, the owner-bond obligee will declare the contractor-principle in default and make demand on the performance bond surety to complete the project. Our experience allows us to help the performance bond surety, the contractor-principle and/or the owner-obligee navigate a bad situation and assist in determining (a) the scope of work required to complete the project; (b) if the defaulting contractor should be assisted in completing the project; (c) if a completion contractor should be tendered; (d) if the bond proceeds should be paid to the obligee; or (e) do nothing at all. Third parties, such as lenders, taxing authorities, etc. become involved with competing claims to the contract balance and claims against the performance bond and (occasionally) the payment bond. Insurance companies that have provided liability, property or builder’s risk insurance to the owner, contractor or subcontractors often become involved in claims involving defective design, defective construction, or damage to the work. Often the surety and the insurance companies become adverse parties. This situation can be difficult when the bond principle and the insured are the same party. We have sailed these stormy waters, and have the experience to assist our clients through the process.

Litigation & Arbitration

Unfortunately, disputes often cannot be resolved by the parties, and a third party must resolve the dispute for them- a judge, a jury or an arbitration panel. Our construction team has extensive experience throughout Texas with litigation and trial of disputes in state and federal court, as well as arbitration of disputes before arbitration panels.

For information, contact:

Glenn Fahl
direct dial 346-202-0501
cell phone 713-818-8776
[email protected]
Kelly Donaldson
direct dial 346-202-0502
main (713) 627-7800 ext. 3302
[email protected]