For clients throughout the construction industry—including owners/developers, general contractors, architects, subcontractors and material suppliers—Balch attorneys serve as a critical resource recognized for their efficient approach to client service. We aim to provide clients with practical advice during all phases of the construction project, from inception and financing to project closeout and dispute resolution. Our philosophy and commitment involves becoming deeply entrenched in the client’s business and being on the ground, at the site, to truly understand all aspects of the project.
With a keen focus on delivering top level legal and risk management services within a value-based model, our construction team collaborates with each client to tailor a legal solution aligned with their goals.
We know that understanding and partnering with our clients is fundamental to our collective success. From offering "start-up" packages of core documents for a new business, to working alongside established contractors on a daily basis, our team is always focused most on the client’s business goals – we understand that every business is unique and are dedicated to developing solutions that fit the needs of our clients. Ultimately, we believe that clients want lawyers who know their business, know their challenges, understand their risks and can help them achieve their goals in a way that is affordable and predictable. Our practice includes former in-house counsel with previous experience working with construction industry clients. Our team has a hands-on, roll up your sleeves approach with an emphasis on the value of spending time onsite at projects and being face-to-face with clients.
We are recognized for our active participation in industry trade organizations and regularly keep our clients updated on emerging trends. In 2018, Balch attorneys Chuck Burkhart and Conrad Anderson IV authored the Alabama Construction Law Manual, the state’s first treatise on common legal issues encountered in the construction industry to be published in more than a decade. The Manual serves as a resource for developers, contractors, and other construction professionals to proactively address repetitive problems faced at any point throughout a project, and provides practical guidance on issues that often negatively impact budgets and lead to delays in completion. With helpful tools such as simple checklists and “practice pointers” from the perspective of both owners and contractors, the Manual provides a foundation for approaching almost any issue.
Our attorneys proactively counsel our clients on all aspects of construction projects, including the following:
- Licensing (General Contractors, Subcontractors and Homebuilders)
- Procurement and Bidding
- Project Delivery Methods
- Contract Drafting and Negotiations
- Insurance and Bonds
- Mechanic’s Liens
- Defective Design and Construction
- Delay and Inefficiency Claims
- Corporate Governance
- Infrastructure Projects: Airports, Bridges, and Roads
- Major Capital Projects
- Project Controls/Contract Administration
- Power Plants and Energy
- Public and Government Contracting
- Regulatory Consulting
- A/E Representation
- Americans with Disabilities Act
- Sustainable Design
- BIM and LEED methodologies
Our expertise in construction is reflected by the diversity of our client base, which includes owners and developers, general contractors, architects, subcontractors, suppliers, utilities, retail management, lenders and other third-party financiers, material suppliers, and residential builders, all of varying size and sophistication. And the matters in which we have represented these clients is likewise varied, including:
- Owners and general contractors on dozens of multi-million dollar student housing and multi-family housing projects across the country including everything from contract preparation and negotiation to litigation with subcontractors and government agencies;
- Subcontractors and fabricators in contract negotiation and construction disputes in public and private works projects in more than a dozen different states;
- Smaller start-up residential and landscape contractors in corporate structuring and template contract preparation;
- Safety and labor law compliance, including immigration issues, for all clients ranging from large commercial contractors to smaller residential homebuilders;
- Real estate purchases, sales, and title issues associated with new projects;
- Architects and specialty subcontractors in contract preparation, negotiation and project management;
- Collections actions on behalf of general contractors, subcontractors and materialmen and suppliers;
- Claimants and debtors in bankruptcy proceedings;
- Obtaining general contractor’s, subcontractor’s and residential home builders licenses for all levels of builders;
- Filing and clearing mechanic’s liens for owners, general contractors and subcontractors.
Contract negotiation and drafting: We build strong foundations for our clients’ projects by creating clear, understandable contracts that manage risk and achieve our clients’ goals, while seeking on the front-end to minimize or avoid disputes. We do this by staying abreast of industry trends and developments, and by drawing on our own years of experience. We recognize that some participants in the chain of delivery have less control over the terms of their contracts; in those circumstances, we counsel our clients on legal obligations and risks so that they can make informed decisions.
Development: We prepare owners and developers during the planning phase of a project and provide counsel from inception to completion, including working with officials on land use and zoning issues. Our experience includes a variety of projects ranging from mixed use communities, residential subdivisions, large private student housing developments and multi-family communities, to industrial parks, manufacturing-industrial facilities, schools, quarries and shopping centers.
Dispute resolution: We have experience litigating and trying all manner of construction disputes, whether in state or federal courts, before regulatory agencies, or in an arbitral forum. These matters encompass claims related to bidding, acceleration damages, design and performance defects, scope disputes, change order disputes, rejection of nonconforming work, site conditions, and delay and disruption.