Government Construction Lawyers
Call Our Government Construction Lawyers Toll Free 1-866-601-5518.
Government construction contracts are some of the most risky in federal procurement. Small businesses and large prime contractors all face the possibility of unpaid construction claims; terminations for default or convenience; disputes with scope changes and Requests for Equitable Adjustments; and litigation in construction bid protests. Dealing with all of these areas can impact your bottom line in some form or fashion.
With law offices in Washington, DC and Colorado, the federal construction attorneys at Watson & Associates, LLC offer decades of experience and utilizing its diverse government contracting expertise to help prime and subcontractors to resolve disputes in the most cost-effective manner possible.
- Scope Changes
- Schedule Delay and Disruption
- Payment Claims
- Termination Claims
- Delay Claims
- Cost of Corrective Work
- Assess Construction Risk
- Construction Productivity Loss
- Construction Means and Methods
- Unforeseen and Differing Site Conditions
- Management Issues
- Assessment of Force Majeure Events
- Defective and Deficient Contract Documents
- Constructive and Directed Change
- Construction Acceleration
- Construction Claim Presentation and Negotiation
- Requests for equitable adjustments
- Teaming and joint ventures
- Mentor Protégé relationships
- Prevailing wages
- Construction proposal writing See our 2012 training classes.
Government construction and claims defense for developers, builders, subcontractors, design professionals, sureties and more.
Construction Litigation Services
- Bid protests to GAO or Court of Federal Claims (COFC)
- Breach of contract representation
- Show cause notices
- Termination for convenience or default
- Construction claims
- Miller Act disputes
- Novation agreements
- Suspension and debarment
- Litigation and appeals
- Small business matters
- FAR interpretation and guidance
- Wrongful Contract Termination or Suspension
We offer free initial consultations. Call toll free 1-866-601-5518.
Manage Construction Claims
A significant portion of our practice involves representation of federal contractors in contract administration disputes under the Contract Disputes Act of 1978.our construction law attorneys help large contractors and small businesses to prepare claims for submission. In addition, our attorneys can litigate and appeal claims denials and final decisions on claims before the boards of contract appeals and the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. Our clients include contractors in the information services, financial services, aerospace, defense, construction industries and commercial service industries.
Do not fall prey to acceleration claims: Acceleration in federal construction projects can occur if n contracting agency or prime contractor (in the case of a subcontractor) directs you to perform all or a portion of its work prior to its anticipated completion schedule. Acceleration can often lead to increased costs for the contractor. Watson & Associates’ government construction lawyers help you to assess and pursue acceleration costs. Acceleration costs include:
- Premium portion of overtime and the inefficiencies associated with extended overtime
- Higher wage rates of added shifts
- Vendors’ premiums for expedited delivery of materials
- Equipment increases required to support added crews
- Extra hours associated with revised work
The successful prosecution or defense of claims demands that your construction law attorney be aware of the critical facts concerning construction claims. If necessary, Watson & Associates can obtain subject matter experts to support the important details for your claim.
Avoid the following at all cost.
- Taking direction or relying on COR / COTR direction that will modify the terms of the contract (they have no legal authority to bind the government)
- Failure to include the contracting officer on all correspondence
- Hesitating to bring up potential problems early – never wait until they actually occur
- Waiting until there is an actual dispute to involve counsel – remember, you are building a record that could be hard to undo.
Get help with differing site conditions: First you should protect your interests by filing a construction claim to the government under the Contract Disputes Act to recover additional costs incurred on the project. Differing site conditions usually occur as a result of inaccurate information in the government’s solicitation (drawings and specs). The differing site conditions must not only be different, but materially different.
Get help meeting the legal requirements: For a differing site condition claim on a government construction project, a contractor must establish by the preponderance of the evidence that:
- The conditions indicated in the contract differ materially from those actually encountered during performance;
- The conditions actually encountered were reasonably unforeseeable based on all information available at the time of bidding;
- The contractor reasonably relied upon its interpretation of the contract and contract-related documents; and
- The contractor was damaged as a result of the material variation between expected and encountered conditions.
Note: As your government construction attorneys, we also find it strategically sound to show that the actual conditions encountered were reasonably unforeseeable at the time of bidding.
Tip: Always ensure that you provide prompt notice to the government upon noticing the differing site condition. Make sure that even if you speak to a government representative that you follow up with a fax or email. Notify the government immediately.
Challenge Constructive Change Disputes: A constructive change arises where the government orders the contractor to perform work that is not specified in the contract documents. For example, if specifications provided two or more alternative methods of accomplishing the work, and the government requires that you accomplish the construction project with a specific method, then the government’s request is tantamount to an order to perform work not required by the contract and, thus, constituted a constructive change. See Ace Constructors, Inc. v. United States, 70 Fed.Cl. 253 (2006).
Construction Cardinal Changes. Cardinal Change” in the federal courts recognizes that construction projects could be so altered during construction that the project no longer resembles the bid project. Cardinal change is usually based upon a substantial and material change in the project scope.
- Disruption due to owner-caused events may not always qualify as a cardinal change.
- Cardinal change is difficult to substantiate and depends on the circumstances of each project.
- Under a cardinal change, you may be able to submit a claim for all of its reasonable costs.
Avoid costly mistakes when requesting equitable adjustments (REA): Having a government construction law firm to assist you with requests for equitable adjustments is critical to your recovery of claims because all too often the government often insists on its right to make changes during contract performance. You have a right to submit your claim. However, if you do not meet the burden of proof, your REA may be rejected. Our federal construction law attorneys help you to show:
- A need for the adjustment (harm)
- The reasonableness of the REA adjustment amounts (quantum)
- The connection of the stated circumstances and amounts of the contract (entitlement)
Note: If the amount of your Request for Equitable Adjustment is more than $650,000, you must certify the claim under the Truth in Negotiations Act.
To be able to respond to a contractor’s claim for an equitable adjustment, the government must know the amount of the claim (quantum), the fact that a claim is being submitted, and the basis for the claim (entitlement). The Construction Contract Changes Clause at FAR 52.243-4 applies only to construction contracts and states that only costs incurred within 20 days from the time that the contractor gives notice are recoverable. The Notification of Changes Clause at FAR 52.243-7 requires that the contracting officer be notified of a constructive change promptly, usually within 30 days.
Protect your rights in a construction bid protest. Federal government construction is tough business. When you bid on federal construction projects, the results can be shocking and you want to file a bid protest. The question of where is the best place to file a construction bid protest for optimum results. You can file a GAO construction protest or you can also file a Court of Federal Claims (COFC) protest. Statistics show that COFC tends to offer better results for contractors. However, the cost of litigation for a bid protest to the Court of Federal Claims can be more expensive than a GAO protest. In either event, our government construction lawyers are ready to provide rigorous representation. This can be construction bid protest defense situation or if you want to file a construction bid protest, our attorneys can help.
- Assess the right bid protest court to get better results.
- Get legal representation that focuses on overturning the agency’s decision.
Get help with federal construction small business matters: government construction law includes a wide array of complex regulations that dictate how you perform on a construction project. For example, small businesses are restricted to certain guidelines under teaming agreements and joint venture contracts. At the law office of Watson & Associates, our government construction law lawyers provide legal advice on matters pertaining to:
- Prime and subcontracting agreements
- Size standard disputes
- Subcontracting plans
- Teaming agreements
- Joint venture agreements
- Filing construction claims
- Addressing construction defect disputes
Challenge unwarranted contract reviews: If you believe that the agency is issuing you unwarranted performance reviews, let our federal construction attorneys help you before it is too late. Agencies believe that contract administration simply can keep a challenge from review at the GAO level. Although GAO cannot review issues pertaining to construction contract administration, a federal court has jurisdiction under the Contract Disputes Act does in fact allows for judicial review of procedural propriety of performance evaluations.
Protect your right to challenge performance evaluations
CPARS and CCASS ratings can impact your ability to get federal construction contracts
Termination of Government Construction Contracts
In recent years, the government has been shutting down construction projects through its unilateral right of termination for convenience. You should be aware of ways to maximize your damages and the types of costs allowable under the termination for convenience clause. If you are facing contract termination, let our experience government construction law attorneys help you through the process.
- Get assistance with quantifying and qualifying termination damages
- Settlement proposal development and submission
- Negotiation of construction contracts
- Litigation and appeals
Government Construction Proposals
One of the hardest things facing a government construction contractor is adjusting to the new developments in agency source selections. In fact many are not even aware of them. As federal government construction law lawyers, we often see trends in source selections during our bid protest litigation cases. When it comes to construction proposals, we help contractors to:
- Prepare better construction proposals
- Improve technical proposal and avoid some of the common landmines
- Develop construction proposal writing strategies that force trade-offs and better value.
Note: many of our firm’s members have actually sat on source selection teams and understand what it takes to win.
Other Federal Contracting Services
Watson & Associates not only offers construction law services. It is also recognized as one of the best law firms for broader government procurements services. They include:
- Inspector General (IG) Audits and government investigations;
- Defective pricing;
- Ethics and contract compliance;
- False claims;
- International contracting
- Legislation and FAR guidance;
- Small Business Program matters;
- 8a Certification
- Suspension and debarment;
- Contract management
Washington DC, Virginia, Maryland and Nationwide Representation
Federal law allows our government construction lawyers to represent clients regardless of their resident state. Watson & Associates, LLC, can represent businesses in Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Washington, DC, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Our US firm also helps DOD contractors in Afghanistan and Iraq construction efforts.
Cities in which we practice federal construction law include Anchorage, AK; Atlanta, GA; Austin, TX; Chicago, IL; Colorado Springs, CO; Dallas, TX; Denver, Colorado; Indianapolis, IN; Las Vegas, NV; Los Angeles, CA; Miami, FL; Philadelphia, PA; San Antonio, TX; San Diego, CA; San Francisco, CA; San Jose, CA; Santa Clara, CA; and Tampa, FL.
Contact Our Government Construction Procurement Attorneys
Please contact the construction law attorneys at Watson & Associates, LLC regarding any legal matter related to a Colorado private or federal project. Our lawyers can be reached toll free at 866-601-5518 or by e-mail, our by filling out the contact form on our Contact page.