From contract negotiation and drafting to project closeout, we know construction. Our project experience includes hospitals, office buildings, bridges, hotels, airports, radar facilities, runways, fuel transfer facilities, hangars, warehouses, public transit projects, waste water facilities, tunnels and courthouses located across the United States and overseas.  We have drafted, negotiated and resolved disputes involving all the standard forms of contract, including the AIA, DBIA, and FDIC forms, as well as municipal, state and federal government contracts for construction services.

We have a history of successfully resolving construction disputes between owners, designers, contractors, subcontractors and suppliers, and their insurers and sureties.  We regularly negotiate and litigate issues related to construction contracts with government agencies, and our experience includes pre-litigation procedures, mediations, arbitrations, trials, and appellate work. Our representation of construction clients reaches a global level, involving construction projects and clients from all over the world.  Indeed, although our office is in Seattle, we have appeared on behalf of our construction clients in federal and state courts from Alaska to Florida, as well at agency boards of contract appeals, the US Court of Federal Claims and the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

Our experience and successes include:

Contract Drafting and Negotiation

Our contract drafting and negotiation experience includes contracts for use throughout the United States and overseas and includes all varieties of project delivery methods, including design-bid-build, design-build, construction-manager-at-risk methods. We have drafted and negotiated IDIQ task order contracts for construction for both fixed-price and cost reimbursement payments. We have also drafted solicitation packages and related contracts for use by municipalities and local agencies in best value procurements for construction services. 

Contract Administration Issues

Contract administration services usually involve resolution of minor issues as they arise and before they become major issues. The early and continuing involvement of our team as a project progresses assures appropriate project documentation, fact preservation, and contract compliance, thereby enabling clients to make informed decisions consistent with contractual requirements and their overall business objectives while at the same time making decisions that help to avoid claims and litigation down the road.  We have taken these contract administration services a step further, with our innovative Project Counsel Program. For more information on the Project Counsel Program, please.

Claims and Dispute Resolution

Our dispute resolution services cover the full range of engineering/construction claims and we have successfully represented clients in geographically diverse state and federal trial and appellate courts and before domestic and international arbitration tribunals. When brought in early, we prepare a well-developed, well-supported, and persuasive claim, thereby increasing our clients’ chances of an early and successful resolution of their claims.  We work with leading consultants to develop critical path analyses and use advanced damages analyses to support or defend delay, disruption, loss of productivity, cumulative impact, extra work, differing site conditions and other types of construction claims.  We have a proven track record of using a variety of ADR techniques to resolve construction claims short of litigation, including mediation, informal proceedings before dispute resolution boards, and arbitrations (including international proceedings under the ICDR). Unfortunately, not all cases can be settled on terms that are reasonable for our clients. In those cases, we have had considerable success taking cases to trial. 

Miller Act Litigation

Miller Act (40 U.S.C. §§ 3131–3134) litigation is a subset of construction litigation peculiar to federal projects. As a remedial statute, the rights of those protected by the Act sometimes differ from the rights otherwise set forth under the particular subcontract. We have tremendous experience in Miller Act litigation on behalf of sureties, prime contractors, subcontractors and suppliers. Indeed, although we are located in Seattle, Washington, we have litigated Miller Act suits in 13 different states on a wide variety of projects on behalf of our clients. Regardless of our client’s role on a particular project, we understand their rights and responsibilities, as well as the rights and responsibilities of their contracting partners.  

Project Counsel Program

An innovative approach for clients to obtain the regular assistance of counsel during project performance to help avoid disputes and ensure smooth contract administration while avoiding significant legal bills.  For more information on the Project Counsel Program, contact us at

  • Successfully defended multi-million dollar litigation filed by subcontractor, prevailing following four-day arbitration.
  • Defended Miller Act lawsuit filed by subcontractor on a federal project in Texas; settled prior to trial for less than 2% of what the claimant originally sought.
  • Converted a default termination of a VA construction contract into a termination for convenience.
  • Defended breach of contract suit filed by subcontractor on federal project in North Carolina; settled following mediation for barely 13% of what the claimant originally sought.
April 20, 2016
Drafting Construction Contracts: Ensuring the Right to Stay Miller Act Claims Pending Arbitration and/or Resolution by the Government.
Disputes between the prime contractor and subcontractors are a common occurrence that a prime contractor should foresee—and adequately protect against—during the drafting of the applicable subcontract.

2130813_sFebruary 13, 2015
Attorneys’ Fee Clauses: Who is the Prevailing Party?

Small government contractors or 8(a) concerns that rely too heavily on another business for subcontracting may trigger affiliation under the Ostensible Subcontractor Rule. Learn more about what means for  small businesses.

columnsMay 15, 2014
Unassuming Yet Dangerous: Taking Advantage of Forum-Selection Clauses
Subcontracts commonly include forum-selection clauses whereby the subcontractor can bring suit only in the venue of the prime contractor’s choosing, regardless of where the project actually took place. In light of a recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, this may now be enforceable, putting contractors at risk.

MoneyFebruary 14, 2014
President Obama Signs Executive Order Raising Contractor Minimum Wage
On February 12, 2014, President Obama signed an Executive Order that will require many federal contractors to pay wages of at least $10.10 per hour to employees working on federal contracts. The EO provides many details about its implementation but also defers some details to rulemaking by the Department of Labor (DOL) and Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Council.