Construction and Design

The Dorsey Construction and Design group is nationally recognized for its ability to assist clients at all stages of construction projects. From conceptualization through project closeout, Dorsey lawyers help our clients establish and maintain the working relationships necessary to successfully complete their projects. When disputes arise, our trial lawyers have a track record of obtaining early resolution, and when not possible, obtaining successful results in all forums, including state and federal courts, appellate courts, before federal and state regulatory bodies and before arbitration panels around the world.

Across the U.S. and around the globe construction industry and design professionals count on Dorsey. Combining a solid understanding of the “big picture” with in-the-trenches construction and design project experience, our lawyers provide proactive solutions to a diverse client base from every side of the construction industry. Dorsey Construction and Design lawyers are involved in some of the most innovative, sophisticated and technologically complex construction projects in the world, including:

  • Airports
  • Agricultural Facilities
  • Casinos
  • Commercial Leasing
  • Condominiums
  • Chemical and Pharmaceutical Plants
  • Computer Facilities and Clean Rooms
  • Dams
  • Data Centers
  • Educational Facilities
  • High-Rise Office and Residential
  • Highways and Bridges
  • Hospitals and Healthcare Facilities
  • Hotels and Resorts
  • Indian Land Construction
  • Industrial Plants
  • Landmark and Historic Building Restorations
  • Libraries
  • LNG Regasification Plants
  • Manufacturing Plants
  • Marine Construction
  • Mining Facilities
  • Museums
  • Nuclear Facilities
  • Pipelines
  • Petroleum Refineries
  • Power Generation Plants
  • Pulp and Paper Facilities
  • Residential Construction
  • Scientific Research Facilities
  • Shipbuilding and Repair
  • Ship Terminals and Port Facilities
  • Shopping Centers
  • Sports Arenas and Stadiums
  • Steel Mills
  • Symphony Halls, Opera Houses and Other Performing Arts Centers
  • Telecommunications Facilities
  • Transportation Systems
  • Tunnels
  • Urban Development Projects
  • Waste-to-Energy Facilities
  • Water, Desalinization, and Wastewater Treatment Systems
  • Wind Technology

With offices located throughout the U.S., Canada and abroad, Dorsey’s Construction and Design practice group can support your business across the globe. We are superbly positioned to assist you with complicated or challenging problems using a seamless, integrated team that anticipates what’s next in each phase of your project’s lifecycle. Our ability to work efficiently across offices allows us to provide superior client service in a cost-effective manner all phases of your project.

Project Planning, Design and Formation

Clients depend on us to protect their interests by anticipating and solving a wide array of issues and problems that arise during the planning, design, and formation stages of construction projects. These can include complicated project financing arrangements, joint ventures and other teaming arrangements, public-private partnerships, privatization, complex project delivery systems, bid questions, environmental and other regulatory compliance issues, labor agreements, work visas, and much more.

Our lawyers understand the benefits and risks of the project delivery systems used in today’s global marketplace, and we help our clients identify and fairly allocate the risks inherent in each system.

In addition to drafting original, project-specific contract documents, we routinely work with all of the standard form construction and design agreements.
Our team also assists clients with the many unique challenges that impact construction projects, including:

  • Insurance coverage
  • Competitive bidding processes
  • Compliance with special requirements set forth in contract documents 
  • Compliance with federal and state procurement statutes, and government regulations
  • Bid protests
  • Permits

Construction Phase Project Administration

Dorsey regularly handles construction and design claims that arise during construction:

  • Denial of site access
  • Design deficiencies
  • Environmental hazards
  • OSHA compliance
  • Structural failures
  • Differing site conditions and changed conditions
  • Slope and shoring failures
  • Concrete failures and defects
  • Claims for additional compensation for performing extra work
  • Delay 
  • Disruption and lost productivity claims
  • Acceleration
  • Excessive work scope changes (cardinal change and cumulative impact)
  • Interference
  • Inadequate project management / lack of proper coordination
  • Inadequate inspection
  • Failure to meet performance standards and guarantees
  • Construction defects
  • Late project completion
  • Terminations for convenience and default
  • Work-site accidents and safety violations post-completion warranty claims
  • Warranty
  • Fraud
  • Performance / Payment bond
  • Personal injury
  • Operation and maintenance disputes

Project Closeout

Our construction lawyers have extensive experience working with clients through the multitude of issues that must be completed to successfully close out construction projects. These include:

  • Systems acceptance, performance standards and guarantees, punch list, warranty, and other issues
  • Outstanding change orders and pending claims – including Miller Act and little Miller Act, mechanic’s lien, performance and payment bond, and retainage claims
  • Time extension and liquidated damages issues
  • Governmental requirements, including those for payment, occupancy, and operation
  • Project finance requirements and conversion of construction loans to permanent financing

Litigation and Dispute Resolution

Disputes are a fact of life in large construction projects. How they are handled often determines whether a project is successful. Dorsey’s construction lawyers have a proven track record of managing and finding solutions to disputes of all kinds. Our lawyers have substantial experience in:

  • All aspects of submitting and resolving claims, including claim identification, preparation, calculation, analysis, and settlement negotiation
  • All forms of alternative dispute resolution including mediation and other dispute resolution processes
  • Managing often complex and arcane proceedings before federal and state administrative agencies and specialized boards which handle contract appeals
  • Arbitration in private proceedings and before major domestic and international arbitration forums
  • Dorsey’s construction lawyers have extensive experience litigating matters in trial courts and throughout the appellate process in both state and federal court settings

Firm Wide Collaborations

Dorsey’s full range of practices allows its Construction and Design Group to access sophisticated knowledge in the many areas that frequently arise on any particular project. This collaborative approach has included issues involving many of the firm’s practice groups, including:

  • Anti-Corruption
  • Bankruptcy and Financial Restructuring
  • Closely Held Businesses
  • Corporate Governance and Compliance
  • Energy
  • Environmental
  • Employee Benefits
  • Health Strategies
  • Infrastructure
  • Insurance
  • Labor and Employment
  • Mining & Natural Resources
  • Products Liability
  • Project Development and Finance
  • Public Finance
  • Real Estate and Land Use
  • Regulatory Affairs
  • Tax
  • Trademark, Copyright, and Brand Management
  • White-Collar Crime and Civil Fraud