Construction Law

Much Shelist is known for our depth in the real estate industry, including the important area of construction law. Our knowledge and experience have made us a "go to" firm for many local, regional and national real estate and construction professionals who are involved in the complex construction process.

We are one of the few Chicago law firms with experienced construction law attorneys who also have substantial, hands-on training in the architectural and engineering professions. As a result, we offer a compelling and unique blend of legal knowledge and practical industry experience that allows us to advise our clients through every phase of the construction process.

  • Contract drafting and negotiation
  • Construction lending and borrowing
  • Payment issues
  • Mechanics liens
  • Construction defect claims
  • Design defect claims
  • Differing site condition claims
  • Delay and disruption claims
  • Financing
  • Bond claims
  • Insurance issues
  • Joint ventures
  • Project closeout
  • Site acquisition
  • Construction-related bankruptcy and insolvency

An Effective Business Resource

Construction law attorneys are an effective business resource. We help owners and developers in managing expectations and understanding risks throughout the course of a construction project. Our attorneys are well-versed in the myriad legal issues that are involved in the construction process, including design, construction, project delivery, project management and regulatory issues. We work closely with clients throughout the lifecycle of a project to identify business objectives; negotiate design and construction agreements that will help achieve those goals and identify and manage risk; communicate clearly with vendors, consultants and contractors throughout the construction of a project; and, when necessary, resolve disputes.

We assist public and private owners, developers, manufacturers, contractors, architects and engineers in a full range of construction-related issues. To that end, we provide advice in connection with negotiating, drafting and enforcing a wide range of design and construction agreements, including owner representative, construction management (both "at-risk" and "not at-risk"), design-build and multiple-prime contracts. Likewise, we advise clients on time-sensitive transactions (including financing and real estate sales and purchases) that require immediate action, but also have long-term consequences. Our attorneys also advise clients regarding accessibility issues related to Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Fair Housing Amendments Act (FHAA) requirements, as well as state and local accessibility laws.

Much Shelist is also able to provide insurance counseling tailored to the construction process. Our attorneys assist in the development of insurance and indemnity requirements during the initial stage of the construction process, which provides owners, contractors and design professionals with an important risk management tool.

Since Much Shelist is a full-service law firm, when required, our construction law attorneys are able to draw upon the broad resources of our other practice groups, including Business & Finance, Policyholders' Insurance Coverage, Labor & Employment, and Creditors' Rights, Insolvency & Bankruptcy.

Litigation

While Much Shelist attorneys are skilled at resolving construction-related disputes before they escalate to litigation, our construction law attorneys are also experienced trial lawyers. This combination allows us to quickly analyze the strengths and weaknesses of a case, which fosters the early resolution of disputes. Our goal is to help clients resolve conflicts while protecting their financial interests, whether in court or through alternative dispute resolution options, including mediation and arbitration. We have successfully represented clients in multimillion-dollar delay and disruption disputes, breach of contract matters, design- and construction-defect claims, scheduling controversies, and mechanics lien and fee disputes.

Title insurance defense work is another significant part of the group's practice. In this highly technical and sophisticated area of real estate litigation, our attorneys have represented most major title insurance companies in the defense of substantive claims and in matters related to coverage.

Industry Leadership

We further demonstrate our commitment to clients and their needs through our leadership roles in legal and construction industry organizations. Our attorneys are members of the Society of Illinois Construction Attorneys, the American Bar Association's Forum on the Construction Industry (and its steering committee for the Design Division), the Chicago Bar Association (and its Construction Law & Mechanics Lien subcommittee) and the Illinois State Bar Association's Section on Construction Law. One of the group's lawyers served on the Joint CBA-ISBA committee that drafted comprehensive revisions to the Illinois Mechanics Lien Act, which were enacted in 2005. We are also regular panelists and presenters at seminars and conferences, and are frequent contributors to legal and construction industry journals and blogs.

Additionally, our attorneys are recognized by industry and legal peers for their knowledge of construction law and their skill as litigators in both state and federal courts.