Construction Law


Since the construction industry functions in a landscape of complex regulatory, contractual and business operations issues, it is important to have a partner early on. The Dykema Construction Law team works with clients upfront to anticipate problems, reduce risk, and set the foundation for successful projects and strategic growth. In the end, this proactive process saves our clients valuable time and money. The team's attorneys bring a wide range of relevant skills to the table and are committed to partnering with clients to ask the right questions, remove barriers, foresee issues and facilitate timely and efficient project completion.  Every category of construction has specialized issues and requirements. Our team's experience reflects an impressive range of project work that allows us to serve a diverse client base. Our project experience includes, medical facilities, schools, office buildings, industrial facilities, manufacturing facilities, retail centers and buildings, multi-family buildings, housing developments, parking structures, power plants, sports arenas, brownfields, and remedial projects.

Representative Experience

Construction Transactions

  • Represent an engineering company in connection with highly engineered projects that are destination leisure facilities.
  • Advising client with respect to design, procurement and construction of many projects pertaining to data centers and infrastructure related to client facilities. Dykema is advising on transaction structure and project delivery systems; drafting and negotiating various agreements, such as large purchase orders, and various design agreements and construction contracts, and development agreements; and reviewing and advising client with respect to other agreements, such as power purchase agreements.
  • Serve as General Counsel to the developer of a modern streetcar transit project in Detroit being developed through a public-private partnership.
  • Successfully represented Detroit-based non-profit agency before the Detroit Zoning Board of Appeals (and Wayne County Circuit Court in related appeal) in its opposition to the construction of a concrete-crushing facility on an adjacent parcel.
  • Representation of developer in negotiation, construction, operation and maintenance of world’s largest biosolids disposal facility in public private partnership with the Great Lakes Water Authority in the City of Detroit.
  • Representation of national engineering firm in negotiation, performance, mediation, arbitration and litigation of multi-million dollar waste-water and CSO remediation projects throughout the country.

Construction Litigation

  • Provide representation in mediation, arbitration and litigation for numerous design professionals, general contractors, subcontractors, owners, lenders and suppliers in a wide range of business matters, including defense and prosecution of claims relating to damages for delay, differing site conditions, construction change directives, extra work, cost overruns, owner interference, design errors/omissions, payment disputes, acceleration and contract interpretation in connection with public and private construction projects (commercial, institutional, and industrial).
  • Resolve a range of disputes including: structural steel, wall systems, foundations, roofs, mechanical, electrical, plumbing and water and waste-water treatment systems, sealants, glass, underground pipeline, concrete, remedial action work, demolition, abatement of asbestos and lead paint, and many other industry-related systems and technologies.
  • Represent a bank in a dispute regarding nature and quantity of repairs to be made to a major commercial parking garage located in a vertically subdivided high rise building.
  • Successful representation of nationwide construction company in suit brought by landowner following rupture of large gasoline transmission pipeline.
  • Representation of the owner of the Grand Hyatt Project in San Antonio concerning claims related to construction of the Project. The matter included representation of the client in numerous cases related to the amounts due for the construction of the Project. Defended the client by obtaining summary judgment and dismissals of claims based on defenses related to the payment bond on the Project.
  • Representation of South Texas municipality owner of public works project in construction dispute with performance bonding company, completion contractor and completion subcontractors.
  • Representation of general contractor for public works auditorium project in Austin, Texas in dispute against electrical subcontractor.
  • Representation of out-of-state general contractor in Miller Act claim by concrete subcontractor on federal public works project in San Antonio, Texas.
  • Negotiated a settlement between a developer and an environmental group on multifaceted wastewater construction dispute.
  • Represented global manufacturer of heating and cooling systems in construction dispute involving product defect and warranty claims and successfully obtained favorable settlement for client.
  • Successfully represented Detroit-based non-profit agency before the Detroit Zoning Board of Appeals (and Wayne County Circuit Court in related appeal) in its opposition to the construction of a concrete-crushing facility on an adjacent parcel.
  • Represented nationwide financial institution in various construction lien disputes and guaranty actions, which included settlement closing among more than 120 construction lien claimants.
  • Represented San Antonio-based construction company in large arbitration with a joint venture partner involving a dispute over millions in joint venture distributions.
  • Represented a national developer in a high-profile case involving demolition of a building to construct a residential complex in furtherance of the City of San Antonio's efforts to revitalize downtown. Defeated attempts to obtain a temporary injunction preventing the demolition, thus allowing the project to move forward.
  • Representation of subsidiary of Mexican corporation in dispute with general contractor over completion of corporate headquarters in San Antonio, Texas.
  • Representation of national footwear retailer in dispute with general contractor over leasehold improvements project in major shopping mall in San Antonio, Texas.

Construction Surety

  • Provide representation to and advise surety companies on performance bond defaults, payment bond claims, takeover agreements, indemnity claims, and subrogation claims.
  • Provide representation for preservation and assertion of surety bond claims.
  • Mediate, arbitrate or litigate all manner of claims on payment and performance bond matters.
  • Successfully represented surety company in connection with complex construction defect litigation arising out of failure of several gas processing plants in Louisiana. After a five-month jury trial, obtained favorable multimillion-dollar jury verdicts in favor of surety client and contractor on various breach of contract, quasi-contract, and tort claims, including punitive damages in favor of insurance company client.
  • Successful negotiation on behalf of a municipality of a tender agreement with performance bond surety and completion contract with tendered completion contractor.

Construction Defects

  • Provide representation to governmental and private business owners or homeowners on claims involving improper or incomplete construction of their facilities or homes; and representation of contractors, subcontractors and design professionals if defense of claims for defective construction and/or design.
  • Obtained arbitration award in favor of school district for full amount of damages sought against roofer in negligent construction case where high school had suffered significant water damage.
  • Obtained a multi-million dollar settlement for a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Corporation against a real estate developer for fraud and construction deficiencies in connection with a condominium building in Beverly Hills.
  • Representation of South Central Texas regional hospital facility in a major construction defect claim against design/builder and subcontractors of hospital facility.
  • Representation of general contractor on claims by power plant owner and subcontractor for bond claims for alleged concrete construction defects and amounts owed.

Professional Errors and Omissions

  • Provide representation to all disciplines of design professionals in claims involving allegations of design defects or deficiencies.
  • Representation of foreign automobile manufacturer parts supplier building owner against engineer/architect and contractor regarding faulty foundation design/construction in San Antonio, Texas auto production facility.
  • Represented one of the world's leading mechanical and plant engineering firms in a construction dispute with a subcontractor related to the construction of the Harley Davidson plant in York, PA and another dispute in Tennessee.
  • Representation of landscape architect against design defects in landscaping and irrigation design for alleged water intrusion claims by independent school district.
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of architect in multimillion dollar suit alleging breach of contract and violations of express and implied warranties related to significant construction defects and maintenance defects in 35-floor condominium building.

Alternative Project Delivery Mechanisms

  • Provide representation of construction and/or design entities involved in alternate project delivery mechanisms, most notably negotiation and implementation of all facets of public private partnerships, including finance, design, build, operate, maintain agreements, or any combination thereof.
  • Advising client and negotiating economic incentives for development of a new manufacturing facility and related infrastructure improvements. Advising on transaction structure and project delivery methodologies; drafting and negotiating various agreements, including a design and procurement agreement, and an EPC Agreement.
  • Assisted an energy company that provides electricity, natural gas and sustainable solutions to residential and business customers sign a deal to design, build and operate a 27-megawatt biogas co-generation power plant in Los Angeles. The Dykema team guided the development of what eventually became (at Dykema’s recommendation) a two-part agreement: one part covering engineering, procurement and construction, and the second addressing operations and maintenance of the facility, once completed. The power plant will help lower emissions and provide a new energy source for one of the world’s 10 largest wastewater treatment facilities.
  • Advising client in the day-to-day administration of a major intermodal warehouse distribution facility, and handling and resolving claims as they arise.

Events & Speaking Engagements