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Practice Overview

Construction Law

Olshan’s real estate clients face increasingly complex issues in their development and construction projects, from towering office, specialty and residential developments to high end retail lease fit-outs. Our in-depth knowledge and experience helps clients navigate these issues. Our practice is focused on representing owners, developers and tenants ranging from institutions, corporate owners and private developers to retailers and other businesses in identifying and resolving the multifaceted challenges involved in their construction projects.

Olshan lawyers have been the lead development and construction negotiators for projects ranging from school district facilities upgrades to new multi-use developments in excess of $500 million.

Our attorneys are also experienced in construction phase consulting, project close-out, mechanic’s liens and alternative dispute resolution procedures. Our construction attorneys work closely with our Litigation Group to arbitrate or litigate construction matters when necessary.

Our services include:

  • Assisting in the selection of appropriate development and construction project delivery methods;
  • Counseling on development, design and construction team selection (including RFP preparation and response evaluation);
  • Reviewing deal and loan terms relating to design and construction requirements;
  • Framing, drafting and negotiating development, design, consulting and construction contracts and ancillary agreements;
  • Review of and counseling on project requirements (special work rules; integration with lease, lender requirements; integration of insurance requirements; LEED; tax credits; bonding; etc.);
  • Project monitoring and counseling (for interim dispute and change order resolution);
  • Framing, drafting and negotiating project close-out agreements (under amicable or adversarial conditions);
  • Framing, drafting and negotiating adjoining property license and access agreements;
  • Claim evaluation and counseling (including mechanics' liens, warranties, and delay and other "impact" claims);
  • Representation in alternative claim resolution procedures (DRB's, mediations and arbitrations);
  • Representation in construction litigation.
  • Representing the developer in connection with the design and construction of the historic 5 Beekman Street, one of New York’s first “sky scrapers.” The project involves the restoration of the historic building into a boutique luxury hotel and the addition of a new 600 foot residential condo tower.
  • Representing nationally known developer in connection with the design and construction of three new residential towers in New York, one of which will be the tallest residential building in Lower Manhattan.
  • Successfully represented Le Parker Meridien against its neighbor, blocking the neighbor’s attempt to forcibly move a sidewalk bridge and scaffolding erected by our client. Olshan won two appeals, completely vindicating Le Parker Meridien and defeating the neighbor’s claims.
  • Construction related legal services for a boutique downtown developer of hotels and high-end residences, including the preparation and negotiation of design, construction and ancillary agreements, the review of change order claims, and the resolution of close-out and delay claims with its construction manager.
  • The preparation of design and construction agreements, and counseling on change order and close-out claims, for a not-for-profit charter school developer with construction underway for projects in NYC totaling in excess of $100 million.
  • Preparation of design and construction agreements for nationally known developers of hotels, residential rental and condominiums, and office developments across the United States.
  • Represented an affiliate of Forest City Ratner in the recovery of a $700,000 advance made to an electrical contractor, who later withdrew when the parties could not come to terms on a final contract. Persuaded the Judge that the work could not be substantiated, and the Court awarded a judgment for virtually all of the amount advanced. The award provides protection for developers when wayward subcontractors do not return funds that are advanced.
  • Counseling a Westchester County school district on all aspects of its campus construction over the past 5 years (valued at approx $40M), including the preparation of all design and construction RFP's and contracts, and dispute resolution with contractors and design professionals.
  • Resolution of multiple adjoining-owner claims necessary to pave the way for new projects in Manhattan, the Bronx and Brooklyn, including the development of a strategy for community involvement, DOB action, and necessary litigation.
  • Resolution of close-out claims and mechanic's liens against a "failed" multi-home residential development in NYC, including the defeat of a $4M claim for "extras" brought by a terminated CM. The project involved dispute resolution and litigation on multiple levels for multiple claims, and also required the development of a strategy for dealing with lender and title issues related to the liens.
  • Represent national hotel developers in dispute with construction manager on locations in Florida and Los Angeles.
  • Representing developer in negotiating the construction management agreement for one of the largest apartment buildings in New York City.

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