Construction and Design

Stradling represents clients at every stage of the construction process, from predevelopment to design and construction. We have substantial experience negotiating all types of construction contracts, including preconstruction services contracts, design agreements, and construction contracts for design-bid-build and design-build forms of project delivery. In addition, we represent our clients in various forms of dispute resolution that frequently emerge during the course of major construction projects, including change order negotiations, close out settlements, mediation, arbitration, judicial reference, and other forms of dispute resolution.

With our assistance, many of our clients have achieved successful results by utilizing a negotiated approach to project delivery. This approach entails contracting with all relevant parties at the outset of a project instead of competitive bids at each project stage. To facilitate this method of project delivery, we draft and negotiated the agreements by which the design team, the general contractor and key subcontractors are engaged at the commencement of design (or during other stages of design, such as design development) and collaborate together through the phases of the project design process. We also assist our clients with building information modeling and drafting BIM agreements. The purpose of this approach is to minimize errors, omissions and conflicts in the drawings and specifications, maximize value engineering opportunities, and obtain reliable cost estimating.

In addition, we also help our clients manage construction risk and liability through the establishment of appropriate insurance programs for each project. These programs have included a variety of insurance products, including project-dedicated insurance, wrap-around professional liability insurance, builder’s risk or course-of-construction insurance, and owner or contractor-controlled insurance programs.

We work closely with our clients’ in-house architects, engineers, construction managers, facilities managers, and attorneys through all design and construction phases. When our clients lack facilities or construction management capabilities or availability, they call upon our attorneys to negotiate construction management contracts with independent contractors or construction managers. We routinely help our clients prepare requests-for-proposals for their projects and they have requested us to participate with their board of directors or other decision making bodies in selection deliberations.

When drafting construction contracts, our lawyers take great care in negotiating key provisions such as change orders, construction change directives, delay and damages for delay, and the Contract Sum and Contract Time assumptions, exclusions, and qualifications. We have used many of these provisions successfully to negotiate change order claims, to close out projects, and to avoid surprise adjustments in contract sum and time.

Our lawyers have served as primary design and construction counsel on such projects as the following:

  • Represented a major California medical institution in the design and construction of more than US$1 billion in state-of-the-art medical and hospital facilities. Our continuing representation includes contract preparation and negotiation of the owner/architect, construction management, pre-construction services, and owner/contractor contracts for the construction of a research building, an imaging center, a critical care hospital tower, the central plant for the medical campus, an ambulatory care and research facility, and design contracts for a new hospital. This representation has included the successful negotiation and settlement of change order claims, including final project close out settlements.
  • The financing and construction of a software company headquarters building, consisting of approximately 15,000 square feet in the Los Angeles area.
  • The acquisition of land and the subsequent construction in Texas of two new campus headquarters buildings consisting of 175,000 square feet each, for the financial services division of a Fortune 300 publicly trade information services company.
  • The construction of a vascular care center in North Carolina.
  • The construction of a non-profit organization’s state of the art headquarters in the San Diego area.
  • The construction of a major museum in the Los Angeles area, and various interior projects thereafter.
  • Regular representation of tenants in the layout, design and construction of tenant improvements.