Olshan’s Construction Law team designs forward-looking, results-driven strategies to help owners, developers, and tenants realize and protect their vision through all phases of their construction projects.
From iconic, historic, and first-of-their-kind buildings to towering multiuse, office, and residential developments and high-end retail lease fit-outs, our direct knowledge of the design and construction process helps clients identify issues, navigate obstacles, and make the practical decisions necessary to advance their projects efficiently and cost-effectively.
From preparing and negotiating all types of contracts and agreements relating to design, development, and construction through litigation and alternative dispute resolution, our Construction Law Group works seamlessly with multiple teams on all sides of a project to resolve competing requirements and priorities.
Helmed by a fellow of the Construction Lawyers Society of America, our team has successfully led development and construction negotiations for projects ranging from school district facility upgrades to new multiuse developments valued over $500 million. We are also deeply experienced with construction phase consulting, project close-outs, mechanic’s liens, insurance requirements, and indemnification issues. All told, our clients benefit from the same skill and experience as those of larger firms but with the nimble, innovative, cost-effective, and comprehensive approach of a boutique firm.
Our Construction Litigation Group has extensive trial and appellate court experience across the spectrum of complex commercial disputes and construction-related claims, including delay, construction defect, change orders, lien foreclosure, concealed conditions, bid challenges, and design professional malpractice. In addition, our attorneys routinely offer counsel on minimizing and avoiding litigation risk and help clients resolve partnership disputes, loan-related claims, real estate issues, and indemnification matters in and out of court.
Our services include:
- Counseling to determine appropriate development and construction project delivery methods
- Development, design, and construction team selection (including RFP preparation and response evaluation)
- Deal and loan term review
- Framing, drafting and negotiating contracts and agreements (development, design, and consulting contracts and agreements; GMP, lump sum, and other CM / GC and trade contractor agreements; project close-out agreements; and adjoining property license and access agreements)
- Lien law compliance
- Project requirements (special work rules, integration with lease and lender requirements, LEED, tax credits and incentives, bonding, etc.)
- Project monitoring and counseling (for interim-dispute and change-order resolution)
- Claim evaluation and counseling (mechanics’ liens, warranties, delay and other “impact” claims)
- Insurance needs and indemnification issues, including regarding asbestos liabilities, construction defects, business interruption, environmental and natural disasters
- Construction litigation and alternative claim resolution procedures (DRBs, mediations and arbitrations)
- Recovered full amount of +$500,000 bid security from a New York City agency on behalf of a Manhattan construction contractor after initiating Article 78 proceeding against the agency to declare contracts improperly awarded.
- Defeated a claim brought by triple-net tenant against landlord for +$1,500,000 in Local Law 11 costs and recovered the landlord’s attorney’s fees.
- Recovered $1,500,000 from a global construction manager on behalf of a Manhattan-based developer of luxury condominiums to cover remediation costs for construction defects.
- Counseled a developer of new +$275,000,000 luxury Sutton Place high-rise condominium through all aspects of its five-year design and construction process, including the drafting and negotiation of all associated design and construction agreements, the review, negotiation and resolution of interim claims and disputes, and the contractor close-out process.
- Represented a nationally known developer in connection with the design and construction of three new residential towers in New York, one of which is the tallest residential building in Lower Manhattan.
- Prepared design and construction agreements and counseled on change order and close-out claims, for a not-for-profit charter school developer with construction underway for projects in New York City with a value totaling in excess of $100 million.
- Prevailed for North Moore Street Developers LLC against Meltzer/Mandl Architects PC at the New York Appellate Division, First Department, achieving reversal of a lower court order and winning approval of the novel use of a liquidating agreement to enable an owner to assert the delay claims of its contractors against the project architect.
- Successfully represented investment fund clients seeking injunctive relief in connection with a proposed $2 billion merger in Delaware Chancery Court. Following expedited proceedings and a two-day trial, the Chancery Court found that the committee that had approved the transaction lacked independence and, applying the fairness standard, the court enjoined the transaction.
- Served as lead counsel for a long-standing client as respondent in a FINRA arbitration seeking millions of dollars in damages for claims relating to alleged supervision failures. Achieved complete victory after the arbitration panel dismissed all claims following a four-day hearing.
- Represented a limited partner and property manager in an AAA arbitration involving claims of fiduciary breach and breach of contract relating to the ownership and management of a 500,000-square-foot office building. Successfully avoided dissolution of the partnership, leading to the sale of the building on terms favorable for the client.
- Negotiated successful resolution of a multimillion-dollar trading dispute over corporate bonds involving allegations of back-office irregularities on behalf of a brokerage firm and handled a related FINRA inquiry.
- Guided a hospitality industry client through the development of a new restaurant project for marquee space in Rockefeller Center. Assisted with corporate formation, leasing, and negotiation of management agreements.
- Successfully defeated attempted veil piercing in New York Supreme Court following the client’s emergence from a Chapter 11 bankruptcy. After oral argument, the New York Appellate Division, Second Department, dismissed the complaint.
- Represented directors and officers of a publicly traded diversified holding company in connection with insurance coverage for merger-related liabilities.
- Represented the property owner in connection with multiple claims arising out of a real estate development project.
- Represented a life sciences manufacturer in connection with obtaining insurance coverage for alleged products liability.
- Represented a large food production company resulting in the recovery of extensive business losses, including business interruption and contingent business interruption, caused by a hurricane.
- Represented a large flavors and fragrances manufacturer in connection with multistate product liability litigation resulting in payment of considerable defense costs and indemnification for hundreds of settlements.
- Represented a company with extensive CERCLA liabilities and environmental indemnifications resulting in significant insurance recoveries.
- Represented a large international shipping company in connection with claims arising out of breaches of certain representations and warranties. Represented a former lead pigment manufacturer in recovering millions of dollars spent defending multistate product liability litigation.
- Represented a hedge fund client seeking rescission of a $3 million stock purchase agreement entered into with a public company on the basis of material misrepresentations made by the company in its offering documents. After a bench trial in the New York Supreme Court, Commercial Division, obtained a final judgment rescinding the stock purchase agreement and awarding damages of more than $3 million to our client.
- Represented a well-known real estate developer in a dispute regarding the ownership and control of a proposed mixed-use development project in Astoria, Queens, with an estimated value exceeding $300 million. The plaintiff sought damages in excess of $15 million and injunctive relief. Obtained full dismissal of all claims against our clients.
- Represented a hedge fund client seeking to enforce its exercise rights under common stock purchase warrants issued by a public company. The matter involved significant expert discovery in the areas of securities regulation, securities valuation, and GAAP. Prepared the case for a bench trial in New York federal district court in less than one year after commencement and achieved a multimillion-dollar judgment and reimbursement of nearly $1 million in attorney’s fees for the client.
- Defended a director of a public company in shareholder class action lawsuits filed in the Delaware Court of Chancery objecting to the fairness of a $120 million merger transaction. Favorably settled the case for our client on the eve of trial. Defended the hedge fund client in a $10 million action commenced by a “fund-of-funds” investor alleging breach of the limited partnership agreement, breach of fiduciary duties, and fraud arising out of our client’s election to suspend redemptions, close fund, and distribute fund assets to investors. Obtained complete prediscovery dismissal of the action; the dismissal was affirmed by the New York Appellate Division and the New York Court of Appeals. The decisions created a New York precedent for enforcement of broad contractual exculpation of fiduciary duties under limited partnership agreements governed by Delaware law.