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Construction and Risk Management

Ernstrom & Dreste, LLP understands construction, the forces that shape the industry and what motivates our clients.  We have the ability to aid our clients in managing the risks associated with construction.  We work with our clients to avoid and manage disputes, to better structure transactions and to draft better contract documents.  We guide our clients through the complex issues and risk allocation considerations presented by construction, from what project delivery system to use to what surety and insurance products to purchase.  We help our clients identify the risks to be managed so as to avoid the conflicts that can lead to litigation.  When disputes cannot be avoided, we are aggressive and hard-nosed litigators who employ a well-planned strategy for every phase of the litigation.

Through its construction and risk management services, E&D can:

  • Establish contractor risk management approach and program, including pre-contractual and post-contract processes;
  • Train personnel in conducting pre-contractual review of projects and proposed contracts;
  • Analyze, prepare and negotiate construction, design, design-build and construction management contracts, material and equipment purchase orders, joint venture agreements and payment and performance bonds;
  • Develop a master subcontractor program for the establishment of long-term contract relationships and to decrease project transactional costs;
  • Develop a master subcontract agreement consistent with a company’s risk management approach;
  • Provide guidance in preservation and prosecution of mechanic’s lien rights and claims, including both insurance and bond claims;
  • Represent construction clients in connection with bids and bid disputes;
  • Train personnel in recognizing potential claims and assistant in preservation and pursuit of complex contract claims against owners, other contractors, architects/engineers, or subcontractors for delay or extra work claims, whether in litigation (state and federal courts), arbitration, mediation or other alternative dispute resolution forums;
  • Arbitrate, mediate and litigate construction disputes;
  • Represent clients with respect to scheduling issues and claims for delay, acceleration, inefficiency and loss of productivity;
  • Defend against claims brought against contractor or contractor’s surety.

Construction Defects/Defense

Our services also include defense of personal injury and property damage claims arising from defective construction and construction operations.  We defend contractors in both self-insured retention and fully insured matters.  Our solid base of construction knowledge strengthens our ability to effectively handle the defense of claims based upon construction defects and other negligence in construction operations.