Construction

Construction

As a full-service construction law practice, Doerner lawyers advise a wide range of the industry’s key players in Oklahoma: owners, general and subcontractors, material suppliers and lenders.   We have in-depth knowledge of what it takes for successful completion of construction projects such as office, retail, churches, manufacturing and distribution facilities, as well as specialized projects like commercial equipment and oil and gas pipelines. 

Our lawyers emphasize careful negotiation and drafting of contracts and loan documents at the start of every project, involving colleagues in our firm to resolve key tax, finance, safety, real estate and environmental issues.  Once work is underway, we proactively help clients anticipate any questions or assertions that may later arise, which often enables disputes and claims to be settled through mediation or arbitration rather than more costly lawsuits.

When projects run into financial difficulties, owners, general contractors, subcontractors and suppliers rely on our skill managing payment and performance bond claims, and handling mechanic and materialman liens.  Clients frequently call on us to help with construction defect, delay, and changed conditions claims.  If a matter requires, we rely on Doerner’s bankruptcy lawyers to handle the details of project restructuring or maximizing recovery on unpaid claims.

With extensive practical experience in construction projects, Doerner lawyers offer clients the kind of broad capabilities that smaller firms can’t match.  Equally important, our clients know that we are “pain free” and easy to work with.  Our focus is on business solutions, not problems, and we are committed to doing whatever is necessary for the full realization of our client’s goals.

Recent Doerner Experience

  • Executed a successful strategy for a Fortune 500 company to work out and resolve scores of contract and lien claims by subcontractors and suppliers after the general contractor filed bankruptcy and defaulted on a series of retail construction projects.
  • Defended a national construction company against multi-million dollar property damage claims arising from alleged construction defects after partial collapse of a glass and aluminum curtain wall on a high-rise office building in downtown Tulsa.
  • Negotiated documentation for the purchase of our client’s nationwide construction company, including resolution of issues arising from an extensive number of projects in process.
  • Represented the owner in negotiating and documenting contracts for a multi-story office building and parking garage, including work on extensive site improvements.
  • Acted on behalf of a manufacturer in negotiating and documenting contracts for constructing an international manufacturing facility and installing plant equipment, including development of the specifications for capacity and performance standards, as well as the negotiation and documentation of the project financing.
  • Helped an Indian Nation negotiate and prepare documentation for financing and construction of a gaming casino.
  • Negotiated contracts to construct a railroad spur line for a public utility.

Top Areas of Focus

  • Representation of numerous owners, contractors, subcontractors and suppliers in construction disputes involving breach of contract, delay and defect claims, payment bonds, and foreclosure of mechanic and materialman’s liens.
  • Advice for owners, contractors, architects and lenders at every stage of the construction contracting process, detailing all commitments at the project’s inception and continuing to manage project documentation and work orders through completion.
  • Assistance with construction loans and public project financing, as well as representation of lenders, owners and contractors in workouts of troubled or defaulted loans.
  • Counseling on the purchase and sale of construction companies, with special skill at transactional valuation of a contractor’s projects in process.
  • Guidance on all aspects of contractor operations, from employment law concerns to occupational safety and health compliance.

Case Study:  Bringing Complex Claims to a Negotiated Solution

  • Opportunity:  Our environmental contractor client was hired for a remediation project at an industrial site. As the project neared completion, undisclosed conditions and interference by the owner compromised the cleanup, causing delays and major cost overruns. This led to a disputed shut-down of the project and the owner asserted significant property damages against our client.
  • Solution:  After talks among the parties failed, we brought suit on behalf of the client against the site owner and project engineer for concealing the undisclosed conditions.  We also prepared to demonstrate claims of defective design, negligence and tortious interference with contract, in order to counter the site owner’s own claimed damages.
  • Result: After conducting intensive discovery and involving experts from multiple fields, we were able to resolve the “bet-the-company” claims against our client in a successful, confidential settlement, avoiding a lengthy, costly trial and returning the client to an excellent economic condition.

Case Study: Preparing Unique Project Documentation

  • Opportunity:  Our client wanted to expand its office facilities by adding a multi-story office building and covered garage, with extensive site improvements.
  • Solution:  Doerner was asked to prepare the construction documents for the project.  Our challenge was to adapt the contracts in a way that allocated the responsibilities among the architect and project manager in a manner consistent with the intent of the owner.
  • Result:  Working in close consultation with our client and the project manager, we customized and adapted basic American Institute of Architects (AIA) contract forms and used them to negotiate the contract documents for the construction manager, architect and other parties.  By focusing the negotiations on how to identify and resolve potential problems, we laid the contractual foundation for a successful project.

Take Action

At Doerner we know that construction is a high-intensity environment, and are ready to deal with our clients’ toughest problems and tightest deadlines. We make it our business to thoroughly understand the details of each project, and we adapt and adjust to changing demands as needed.  We are just as skilled at helping contractors sell their businesses or helping project owners handle international installations. We have a full-service practice, and we will do whatever is necessary to ensure that projects are successfully completed and disputes fully resolved.

Key Contacts

Partner
P: 918.591.5256
F: 918.925.5256
Partner
P: 918.591.5228
F: 918.925.5228

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Rebecca D. Bullard

Rebecca D. Bullard

Rebecca represents clients primarily in labor and employment
litigation and counsels clients regarding everyday employment matters. 

Oklahoma Employer's Law Blog

 


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