Duane Morris and its attorneys have been recognized for many years for their work in the construction and engineering sector, assisting clients in all legal and regulatory aspects of construction, engineering and related contracting. Our attorneys understand the full scope of issues involved in the design, development, financing, performance and management of major construction and engineering projects. We handle all aspects of contracting, including government procurement contracts, and help a variety of clients navigate complexities throughout a project’s lifecycle.
Duane Morris’ Construction Group has been consistently ranked among the industry leaders by Chambers USA, U.S. News-Best Lawyers and Law360, including multiple law firm of the year honors.
Duane Morris attorneys regularly represent public and private owners and developers, prime contractors and subcontractors, construction managers, equipment suppliers, architects/engineers and other design professionals, and sureties. Our experience includes work on complex, high-visibility projects in major cities across the United States and elsewhere around the world. Our lawyers have previously served in in-house positions with large construction companies, as well as in government and military procurement and contracting roles.
With lawyers around the world in an array of disciplines, Duane Morris attorneys assists clients with the many related areas that construction and engineering projects often raise, including tax, finance, real estate, employment, environmental, energy and, when necessary, white-collar criminal defense, corporate investigations and regulatory compliance.
Range of Services
Litigation and Dispute Resolution
Duane Morris represents clients in all forms of litigation arising out of construction projects, including protests, claims for changed or unforeseen conditions, delays, disruptions, loss of productivity, acceleration, payment disputes, property damage, insurance coverage and allegations of defective design or construction. Whenever possible, we seek to achieve an early and fair resolution of construction disputes through alternative dispute resolution. When early resolution is not possible, we have considerable experience litigating complex, highly technical construction claims in trial and appellate courts at state and federal levels, before contract appeals boards and other administrative tribunals, as well as arbitrating before domestic and internationally sanctioned panels.
Contract Formation and Performance
Duane Morris develops contracts and documents that expressly allocate the risk, responsibility and rewards for proper performance. We draw on our extensive experience with construction and engineering contracts, from customized forms to standard industry and government forms, such as contracts of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), Consensus DOCS, the Engineers Joint Contracts Documents Committee (EJCDC) and the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA), to develop the most appropriate contract forms for any project or task. We regularly assist owners, developers, prime contractors, subcontractors, engineers, architects, other design professionals, sureties or other project team members, in forming and managing contractual relationships to help prevent costly claims or delays.
Government Contracts and Bid Protests
Duane Morris provides a full range of services in connection with government contracting at the local, state and federal level, and with international agencies. Our attorneys have litigated precedent-setting cases involving procurement laws and the awards process, and have written extensively on competitive bidding and related subjects. We assist public owners, contractors, subcontractors, engineers, architects, suppliers and sureties with a full range of litigation and counseling services on:
- Bid protests
- Claims and disputes
- Intellectual property and data protection rights
- Subcontracting, joint ventures and strategic alliances
- White-collar crime and fraud
- Regulatory and transactional compliance
Public-Private Partnership (P3) Projects
Duane Morris provides a full range of legal experience to complete sophisticated, highly structured domestic and international project financings and project development. Our lawyers have been active in project finance, project development and adaptive re-use transactions for decades, representing public-private partnerships, private owners and governmental entities.
Duane Morris lawyers have skillfully negotiated numerous arrangements in a variety of P3 projects and are experienced in working for U.S., state and local governments, as well as developers, lenders and other private sector firms. Our work has included some of the largest and most complex projects ever undertaken. The blend of experience coupled with our real estate, construction and project finance team offers our clients a unique perspective that is often critical in establishing properly aligned incentives that are the foundation for successful public-private partnerships.
Duane Morris provides a full range of legal experience to successfully complete sophisticated, highly structured domestic and international project financings. Our Construction and Engineering attorneys work closely with financing attorneys to develop traditional project finance models as well as a full array of project finance vehicles, off-balance sheet and limited recourse financing, leveraged lease and other structured equipment financing, industrial revenue bond financing, and build-own-operate/build-own-transfer (BOO/BOT) structures. Our attorneys often develop innovative project finance vehicles, such as lease-securitized tax-exempt bond financing and 144A debt offerings.
Duane Morris attorneys counsel clients engaging in a wide range of industrial and infrastructure projects, including power generation, waste management, water and mineral resources, air and surface transportation facilities, and other infrastructure projects, as well as telecommunications, healthcare and divergent industrial and manufacturing facilities worldwide.
Duane Morris represents a wide range of land developers and property owners in multiple jurisdictions at the local, state and federal levels. Our real estate development and land use attorneys have extensive experience with site assemblage and acquisition, planning, zoning, subdivisions, use permits, environmental issues and construction contracts. Duane Morris attorneys coordinate all of the disciplines involved in land development, from federal and state environmental and coastal regulation, climate change, air and water quality, discharge permits, water supply, endangered species and critical habitats to vested rights, development agreements, exactions and affordable housing and redevelopment. We even assist clients with obtaining acquisition, construction and mezzanine financing. Our real estate development and land use attorneys are well-versed in the wide variety of regulatory matters that need to be addressed in relation to development projects.
Architects, Engineers and Other Design Professionals
Duane Morris represents architects, engineers and other design professionals in contractual issues related to project delivery systems such as design-build, design-bid-build, fast-track or any combination, and advising on their relationships with owners, consultants, contractors or subcontractors, during the pre-design, design, construction and post-construction phases.
Labor and Employment
Duane Morris employment lawyers regularly counsel construction industry clients on compliance with federal, state and local employment laws with the goal of increasing workplace efficiency and preventing potentially disruptive litigation. We also represent management interests in responding to union organizing campaigns, negotiating collective bargaining agreements, handling administrative agency investigations and defending employment-related litigation. We regularly assist clients with
- Equal Employment Opportunity Commission concerns
- Wage-and-hour (Davis-Bacon) matters
- Personnel administration, Americans with Disabilities Act and Family Medical Leave Act compliance and related matters
- Compliance with affirmative action requirements and First Source requirements (when applicable) at the bidding stage and with any audits or investigations
- Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) compliance
- Health and safety regulations of federal, state and municipal agencies to protect individuals and property in the workplace.
Duane Morris’ environmental lawyers advise clients on environmental matters arising under an array of federal laws and their state equivalents, including, the federal Clean Air Act (CAA), Superfund, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, Clean Water Act (CWA), National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and state “mini-NEPAs” and the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and state counterparts. We regularly represent environmental engineers, contractors, owners, sureties and insurance carriers in assessing environmental risk and resolving environmental issues in construction projects and have been involved in developing and leading cutting-edge challenges to various CAA enforcement matters.
Our Construction and Engineering attorneys work closely with our tax lawyers to structure and effectuate complex transactions from a tax perspective to better fit our clients’ business objectives. We seek to minimize our clients’ tax exposure and maximize tax-savings throughout a construction project.