Construction is one of the largest industries in the U.S. and the laws are correspondingly complex. The industry is also changing rapidly with new technologies and materials. With different actors like owners, developers, contractors, subcontractors and workers, there are bound to be conflicts. Construction attorneys covers everything under construction law, including both from transitional and litigation cases. Construction employment law firms help to mediate labor disputes.
Construction law deals with complex issues
Construction law is a special field of practice connected with the construction industry and the issues that arise therein. With multiple actors and a great deal of money, time, materials and other resources at stake, most companies need a construction and employment law firm to defend their interests. In the past year, the value of the construction industry in the U.S. was estimated to be worth $1,162 billion.
In addition, the construction industry is growing and evolving rapidly. New technologies like drones and 3D printing are transforming worksites. Colin Guinn of 3-D Robotics believes that engineers and architects can use drones to carry out construction tasks more effectively. New materials like concrete made from 3D printers are revolutionizing the industry.
Issues in construction law
For a large and complex industry, the legal framework is likewise complex. It covers transactional and litigation cases, and touches upon other areas like commercial litigation, labor law and employment law. Construction and employment law firms provide a range of legal services to project managers, subcontractors, general contractors and sureties.
These can cover a number of issues, including
- Contract drafting and negotiation
- Change order and scope claims
- Differing site conditions
- Disputes like defaults and termination, performance and warranty disputes, payments
- Surety claims, construction defect claims, lien and bond claims
- Worksite injuries and safety
- OSHA and federal compliance
- Insurance and risk management
In all areas of the construction industry, including commercial, industrial, civil, pipeline, offshore, heavy highway, and residential, disputes can arise as a matter of course. For most companies, construction and employment law firms are ian essential condition of doing business.
ADR is preferred in the construction industry
Construction law forms also provide arbitration services to help resolve issues like those listed above. In fact the American Arbitration Association reports that alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is preferred to litigation to resolve conflicts in the construction industry. That’s because ADR is quicker and less costly.
In 2015, the median time frame for construction Arbitration cases was just under eight months. As of 2015, 551 construction cases with claims over $500,000 were administered by the American Arbitration Association. The largest claim mediated in the construction industry was worth $2.6 billion.
The construction industry is growing rapidly and construction law is highly complex. Different actors in the industry like owners and developers, general contractors, project managers, design professionals, subcontractors, material and equipment suppliers, sureties, insurance companies, and lenders have different interests and these can sometimes come into conflict. For most companies, having a reliable and experienced construction and employment law firm on their side can make it easier to negotiate this high stakes world.