Material differences in the project’s site can have large impacts upon the project’s budget because of change orders and the overall cost of completing the project. This emphasizes the importance of thoughtful and forward-thinking drafting for provisions in the project’s construction contract and proper protection of those provisions during negotiations with general contractors.
By contrast, contractors and subcontractors have an additional interest in protecting their own investments and margins whenever an unforeseen condition arises. If a project takes longer because of a discovery or condition that was not the responsibility of the contractor, costs still increase, overhead is still incurred, and the project is still delayed. Further, contractors and subcontractors face a variety of construction contract pitfalls related to notice, preservation and presentation of claims under the provisions of the project’s contract. Further, if the claims process cannot resolve the issues, a contractor or subcontractor may have to process to mediation if mandated by the construction contract, or even arbitration or litigation if the dispute proceeds.
The attorneys and counselors of Shields | Mott have a wide range of experience in addressing the issues that arise in unforeseen conditions from the perspective of owners, general contractors, and subcontractors. From contract drafting to ensure that risk is properly shifted, to initial site inspection, to general advice during the course of a project to ensure that all of the notice and written notice requirements, construction delay calculations, and other necessary actions for parties to protect their claims, the lawyers there have experience in protecting their clients’ interests. Additionally, the attorneys at Shields | Mott are well-versed in mediation, arbitration, other forms of alternative dispute resolution, and have extensive experience litigating unforeseen conditions lawsuits and claims in both state and federal court.