Construction

Thompson Coe’s construction law experience is extensive. Our firm’s history at representing general contractors, subcontractors, public and private owners, developers, design professionals and sureties stretches back more than 50 years. Much of our work focuses on litigation of claims in these key areas:

  • Construction defect and delay controversies
  • Contract claims involving default, interpretation and payment
  • Professional liability allegations against design professionals
  • Workplace safety issues involving accident and injury.

Our lawyers frequently represent clients at trial in construction litigation throughout Texas, but we are equally skilled at alternative dispute resolution through arbitration and mediation. In addition to lawsuits involving contract claims, defects, injury and professional liability, we represent key industry members in a variety of other litigation and non-litigation matters, including contract negotiation and preparation, employment law, mechanic’s and materialman’s liens, surety bond controversies, real estate, and bankruptcy.

Group Highlights: Construction Attorneys
  • Team members who are certified in both Civil Trial Law and Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Specialization
  • Substantial experience working with the major insurance carriers that provide liability coverage to construction industry clients
  • Solid capabilities in arbitration and mediation
  • Lawyers who know the construction industry and are leaders in key industry organizations.

Litigation and Dispute Resolution

Because of their complexity, even the best-planned construction projects can require dispute resolution. Many members of the industry turn to us for representation – owners, general contractors, subcontractors, material suppliers, architects and engineers. Their projects span the full spectrum of industry activity: from roads and bridges, schools and other public works, to commercial, residential, industrial.

We represent our clients in controversies that involve:

  • Contract disputes
  • Cost and delay disputes
  • Lien and bond claims
  • Project management disputes
  • Allegations of design error and defective installation
  • Bid protests and mistakes.

These controversies typically involve multiple parties and are highly fact-intensive, and we use our industry knowledge to resolve the problem in ways that minimize expense and time for our clients – often through alternative means such as mediation and arbitration.

Professional Liability

Thompson Coe defends architects, engineers and other design professionals against construction-related tort claims alleging financial or physical loss due to professional malpractice and breach of contract.

Our lawyers understand the construction business and the unique relationships among the various professionals and contractors on a jobsite. Our work with numerous liability insurance companies, skill at contract negotiation and interpretation, and knowledge of construction industry practices form the core of our ability to provide effective counsel to:

  • Architects, both commercial and residential
  • Civil, structural, mechanical, and geotechnical engineers
  • Construction Managers
  • Interior Designers.

We understand the way that architects and engineers interact in the design process. Often a problem with a complex project involves many design professionals in litigation over alleged negligent error or omission. We use our industry knowledge to effectively resolve claims of errors and/or omissions, malpractice, cost overrun and other liability claims through mediation, arbitration or trial.

Labor and Employment

Construction projects and labor and employment issues go hand in hand. Thompson Coe’s lawyers provide strategic legal counsel to help employers navigate the rapidly-changing maze of federal, state and local laws that apply to the jobsite. When litigation is necessary, our lawyers thoroughly investigate and aggressively defend the litigation. We understand the importance and cost-effectiveness of early case analysis and risk assessment in order to quickly identify those cases which should be settled, as opposed to those which have little merit or damage exposure.

Thompson Coe provides quarterly newsletters, as-needed e-bulletins, and an annual labor and employment seminar to keep its clients informed on priority topics for the industry, including “card check” legislation, immigration compliance and enforcement, staff reductions, and Davis-Bacon/prevailing wage.

Workplace Accident and Injury

Thompson Coe’s national reputation for effective trial defense of personal injury cases is a particular strength of our construction practice. Our lawyers use their litigation skills to work in partnership with clients and their insurers to resolve injury and damage lawsuits. Thanks to our extensive insurance defense practice, we have unsurpassed skill at preventing spoliation of evidence and preserving the injury or damage scene before evidence is destroyed.

Our emphasis on timely accident investigation and early retention of experts has absolved our clients from injury or damage liability in numerous cases. And we are equally effective at proactive counseling that helps contractors and other clients develop written safety standards, conduct safety compliance audits, and respond to federal and state Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) inspections and notices of violation.

Contract Preparation

Our lawyers emphasize careful negotiation and drafting of architectural agreements, construction contracts, construction management agreements, and loan documentation right from the start of every project. We are familiar with the major industry contract documents offered by AIA, AGC and other organizations, and we can develop “proprietary” documents to meet a client’s specific needs. We regularly negotiate and prepare project-critical documents such as:

Agreements between and involving owners, design professionals, sureties, construction managers, general contractors, subcontractors and suppliers

  • Developer agreements
  • Builder take-down contracts with developers
  • Closing documentation
  • Real estate sale and purchase agreements
  • Reciprocal easement and operating agreements.

We represent owners, contractors, architects and lenders in concerns that arise at every stage of the contracting process for construction – from detailing all commitments at the project’s inception to core construction law claims of extra work, acceleration, warranty claims and a host of related contractual issues.

Summary: Construction Industry Knowledge and Understanding

With broad experience in the representation of the construction industry, extensive liability insurance knowledge and experience on all sides of the table, Thompson Coe can assist in resolving disputes and facilitate the completion of construction projects. We understand the practices and traditions of the construction industry, and use that insight for creative, responsive solutions to our construction clients’ litigation and business needs.