Cozen O’Connor: Construction Law

Construction Law

Recent News:

138 Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named to the Best Lawyers in America

Best Lawyers selected 138 Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 21 of the firm’s national offices for inclusion in the 2020 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.

More

Cozen O’Connor not only knows construction law—we know the construction industry. We understand the economics, culture, language, and technology that underlie modern building projects.

With more than 40 attorneys practicing in 10 offices throughout the United States, Cozen O’Connor’s Construction Group has the depth and geographical reach to handle our clients’ most complex problems in the United States and abroad. The Construction Group includes attorneys who are ranked nationally by leading peer-reviewed publications, including Chambers USA, U.S. News/Best Lawyers, and The Legal 500

Our attorneys have been in the field and on work sites for more than 40 years, so our legal advice is grounded in that direct, practical experience. We anticipate problems, recommend creative solutions and structure practical agreements. We listen to clients’ specific needs because a “win” can mean different things in challenging construction and legal environments. Whatever the goal, we efficiently analyze the substance of construction-related claims, help our clients respond in a decisive fashion, and communicate effectively with all parties, from ironworkers and masons to engineers and experts.

Our lawyers are experienced in mediation and other alternative dispute resolution techniques. But when a fair resolution is not possible, Cozen O’Connor’s construction litigators are prepared to go to trial. We have successfully tried cases in state, federal, and international venues, earning a national reputation for skill and tenacity in the courtroom. In fact, the Construction Group is chaired by one of the few construction litigators ever invited to be a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers.

And when construction matters intersect with other disciplines, the Construction Group draws on the resources of a full-service, international law firm. Our construction clients benefit from experienced and integrated corporate, environmental, labor and white-collar practices, among others. In addition, the firm’s nationally recognized insurance team regularly advises construction industry leaders on alternative insurance coverage programs, liability and risk review, coverage issues, and claims. 

List of Services

The Construction Group’s lawyers provide the full spectrum of services necessary to serve owners, contractors, construction managers, architects, engineers, subcontractors, and suppliers, including:

Project Development

  • Counseling on  project delivery system
  • Preparation of bid documents
  • Formation of owner- or contractor-controlled insurance programs
  • Formation of captive insurance programs
  • Contract drafting and negotiation

Project Counseling and Dispute Avoidance

  • Claim evaluation and preparation
  • Contract, change order, and claim review
  • Project monitoring and assistance with early claim resolution
  • Client education programs

Litigation/Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

  • Breach of contract or contract interpretation
  • Defective specifications or design
  • Construction defects and failures
  • Payment disputes
  • Bid, payment, performance, and other surety bond claims
  • Mechanic’s liens
  • Delay, disruption, acceleration, inefficiency, and interference claims
  • Defaults and terminations
  • OSHA and Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance

Experience

Publications

PA Appellate Court Strikes Down Project Labor Agreement for First Time—Saves Taxpayers Millions

August 08, 2019

For the first time, a Pennsylvania court struck down the lawfulness of a project labor agreement (“PLA”), finding that it violated Pennsylvania’s competitive bidding laws. As a result, the pool of potential bidders on Pennsylvania public projects—both union and nonunion—remains competitive and will save taxpayers millions.

Is It a Labor Law Case? [Construction Claims]

December 20, 2018

Kristin Keehan discusses in Construction Claims Winter Edition 2018 how the first step to defending against claims of labor law violations is determining whether the statute even applies.

30-Day Warning: Major Changes to Pennsylvania’s Contractor and Subcontractor Payment Act [Construction Alert]

September 10, 2018

Kenneth Cushing discusses the very significant statutory changes relating to payment disputes on Pennsylvania private construction projects.

How the Miller Act May Help a Subcontractor Avoid the Effect of Subcontract Terms [The Legal Intelligencer]

August 04, 2018

Ray DeLuca, Fred Jacoby, and Jeff Mullen, attorneys in the firm's Construction Law Group, published, "How the Miller Act May Help a Subcontractor Avoid the Effect of Subcontract Terms" for The Legal Intelligencer.

2017 AIA Contract Documents Update [Construction Alert]

September 25, 2017

James Kwartnik and Fred Jacoby discuss the AIA's changes to A201 (General Conditions of the Contract for Construction) documents.

Indemnity and Additional Insureds: Tools for Risk Shifting

August 22, 2017

Fred Jacoby, Ray DeLuca, and Jeff Mullen, of Cozen O'Connor's Construction Law Group, published, "Indemnity and Additional Insureds: Tools for Risk Shifting," in The Legal's Construction Law supplement.

Newly Paved Path for Asserting Construction Defect Claims in Florida [Commercial Litigation Alert]

September 15, 2015

Florida Governor Rick Scott signed HB 87 into law, codified at ch. 2015-165, which amends the Florida’s Construction Defect Statute. These amendments will go into effect on October 1, 2015

That's A Wrap [Construction Today]

March 01, 2012

''Wrap'' insurance programs have become a popular alternative to traditional insurance arrangements, particularly on large construction projects. However, contractors need to be aware of some of the unique issues that arise in wrap programs - specifically, liability insurance wraps.

IDENTIFYING THE PLAYERS AND PRESSURE POINTS WITH AN EYE TOWARDS THE END-GAME [Construction Litigation]

January 04, 2012

IDENTIFYING THE PLAYERS AND PRESSURE POINTS WITH AN EYE TOWARDS THE END-GAME - Construction Litigation - Construction failures appear in many forms: fires, floods, collapses, injuries sometimes involving death to workers or third-parties. There are many varieties of construction problems leading to claims and litigation. The purpose of this discussion is not to answer every conceivable question that may arise, but to provide a basic template and methodology to approach the handling of construction claims, which are either headed to, or in litigation.

Construction Law [Oregon State Bar]

October 14, 2011

Helen McFarland authored a chapter on “The Surety Relationship and Payment and Performance Bonds” in the Oregon State Bar’s “Construction Law.”

Recovering from Construction Defect Claims [Property Casualty 360]

July 01, 2011

Recovering from Construction Defect Claims - Property Casualty 360 - In the past 10 years, more than 25 states have enacted specific builder-friendly construction defect notice and resolution statutes that may affect subrogation claims.

Bid Rigging In The Crosshairs [Construction Today]

April 01, 2011

Bid Rigging In The Crosshairs - Construction Today -

Construction Defect: New Jersey Appellate Division Leaves the Door Open for Continuous Trigger in Construction Defect Cases [Insurance Coverage Alert!]

February 17, 2011

Construction Defect: New Jersey Appellate Division Leaves the Door Open for Continuous Trigger in Construction Defect Cases - Insurance Coverage Alert! - Over the past decade, courts across the country have delivered countless number of decisions on the scope of liability coverage for underlying construction defect claims. Most of these decisions focus on whether claims of faulty workmanship constitute an occurrence, and if so, whether the business risk exclusions apply to preclude coverage. Just as important, but often overlooked, is the issue of trigger.

Are You Up To The Test? [Construction Today]

November 01, 2010

Given the myriad of research over the last decade, it is now fair to say that drug and alcohol use in the construction industry is a significant issue to all involved: workers, unions, trade contractors, developers and owners.

Colorado Legislature Poised to Alter Landscape of Insurance Coverage for Construction Defects [Insurance Coverage Alert!]

May 03, 2010

Colorado Legislature Poised to Alter Landscape of Insurance Coverage for Construction Defects - Insurance Coverage Alert! - Later this week the Colorado State Legislature is expected to pass HB 1394, a bill that will dramatically change the insurance coverage available for construction professionals arising out of faulty construction. The stated purpose of HB 1394 is to reverse General Security Indem. Co. of America v. Mountain States Mut. Cas. Co., 205 P.3d 529 (Colo. App. 2009), which held that claims for damages arising from poor workmanship, standing alone, do not allege an accident that constitutes a

Who's At Fault? [Construction Today Quarterly]

April 01, 2010

Who's At Fault? - Construction Today Quarterly -

Winning The Bid [Construction Today Quarterly]

April 01, 2010

Winning The Bid - Construction Today Quarterly - With the proliferation of public / private partnership, the potential launching of the PPIP program as part of the Federal Government’s Stimulus Plan and the need to plug financing holes with public funds on what in the past were exclusively privately funded deals, there are many pitfalls for the unwary developer / owner. One of the more unique aspects of publicly funded projects (whether in whole or in part) is the selection of contractors.

Chinese Drywall Litigation [Subrogation Whitepaper]

July 09, 2009

Chinese Drywall Litigation - Subrogation Whitepaper - In a prior Alert, Defective Drywall: The Not‐So‐Great Wall of China1, we discussed the reported problems with Chinese‐manufactured drywall (“Chinese drywall”). This whitepaper provides an overview of pending litigation
arising out of the issues associated with Chinese drywall. From 2004 through 2006, the housing boom and rebuilding efforts necessitated by various hurricanes led to a shortage of construction materials. As a result, U.S. builders and suppliers

Are You Ready For The New A1A Contract Documents [Structure Magazine]

July 01, 2009

Are You Ready For The New A1A Contract Documents - Structure Magazine -

Tips for Expert Witnesses [Structure Magazine]

April 01, 2009

Tips for Expert Witnesses - Structure Magazine -

Construction Defects - Colorado Court of Appeals Rules Faulty Workmanship is Not an Occurrence [Insurance Coverage Alert!]

March 17, 2009

Construction Defects - Colorado Court of Appeals Rules Faulty Workmanship is Not an Occurrence - Insurance Coverage Alert! - On February 19, 2009, the Colorado Court of Appeals
held that a claim for damages arising from poor
workmanship, standing alone, does not allege an
accident that constitutes an occurrence, regardless of the
underlying legal theory pled. General Security Indemnity
Company of AZ v. Mountain States Mutual Cas. Co. (Case Nos.
CA07CA2291 & 07CA2292, February 19, 2009).

Executive Insights [Construction Executive]

February 01, 2009

Under the new Obama administration, Congress is expected to pass legislation to inject much needed capital into government projects. However, in the current economic climate, the construction industry landscape is a potential legal minefield and contractors should proceed with caution. In the words of Cozen O'Connor's F. Warren Jacoby, ''With the high cost of litigation, few contractors can weather more than one significant claim, irrespective of whether or not they are liable.''

BIM! You've Been Sued! [STRUCTURE]

February 01, 2009

BIM! You've Been Sued! - STRUCTURE - It has not happened yet. To date, no law- suit has been filed based upon the use of
Building Information Modeling (BIM) in a
project. But it will. It's only a matter of time.
Up until recently, BIM has mostly been used
as a design tool in experimental, high profile,
complex construction projects like the Freedom
Tower at the former World Trade Center site,
the London Hospital project, and refurbishment

Dangerous Liaisons: What to Do Before Things Go Wrong [Constructor Magazine]

January 28, 2009

Dangerous Liaisons: What to Do Before Things Go Wrong - Constructor Magazine - An indemnification or hold- harmless clause in a construction contract shifts liability and protects parties involved in the agreement.
Take a typical scenario: an owner hires an architect and a general contractor to design and build an addition. The general contractor hires various subcontractors. During construction, a collapse occurs, causing extensive damage and injuries. The injured workers file lawsuits against the owner, architect, GC and various subs.

The AIA Contract Documents... Not the Only Game in Town [Structure Magazine]

August 01, 2008

The AIA Contract Documents... Not the Only Game in Town - Structure Magazine -

Risk Management 101 [BEST'S REVIEW]

August 01, 2008

Risk Management 101 - BEST'S REVIEW - The value of customer data is recognized by all businesses. Each piece of data brings power but also risks. You can use it, sell it, update it, ignore it - even and here's the catch - lose it.

If your business possesses personal, identifiable, information such as Social Security numbers of dates of birth, customer account information such as account numbers and expiration dates, or medical records, then you have a legal duty to maintain the privacy of that information.

Construction Contract Pitfalls [ForConstructionPros.Com]

July 10, 2008

Construction Contract Pitfalls - ForConstructionPros.Com - Whether you have a high-priced lawyer on retainer, a lawyer friend, or no legal advisor whatsoever, before you sign on any dotted line - you must personally read the contract - the whole contract - thoroughly understand it, and ensure you can live up to its terms. Many believe that as long as the business terms are
acceptable, they do not have to pay attention to all the legal "mumbo jumbo." Nothing could be further from the truth. There are a number of boilerplate terms in construction

Hiring the Right Subcontractor for the Job [ForConstructionPros.com]

July 08, 2008

Hiring the Right Subcontractor for the Job - ForConstructionPros.com - A general contractor is like the head coach of a football team: the buck stops here. When there are problems on a construction project, the owner expects the contractor to fix them.
Sometimes a contractor can compel the subcontractor who caused the problem to fix it. For example, if the HVAC system isn't working properly, the contractor can have the HVAC subcontractor patch the leaking ducts or re-balance the system. But sometimes it doesn't

The Electronic Paper Chase: What You Don’t Save Can Hurt You [Constructor]

April 01, 2008

The Electronic Paper Chase: What You Don’t Save Can Hurt You - Constructor - Over the past decade, an increasing amount of business is being conducted electronically, much of it by e-mail. It's estimated that there are more than one billion business e -mails created in the U.S. each day. Less than 20% of these are ever printed, and 95% or more of all new
documents are stored electronically. Some formal structure was needed to govern this volume of data within the litigation context.

Insurance Coverage is Not One Size Fits All [ForConstructionPros.Com]

March 25, 2008

Insurance Coverage is Not One Size Fits All - ForConstructionPros.Com - Construction contractors typically secure commercial general liability (CGL) insurance policies and assume that these policies address all of their risks. However, these CGL policies may not always apply or cover all risk scenarios that a contractor may face in a construction project. In fact, there are a variety of instances in which CGL policies may not provide the protection contemplated by a contractor. Let's discuss a few.

Contract Clauses to Know and Love [STRUCTURE]

January 01, 2008

Contract Clauses to Know and Love - STRUCTURE -

Are You Really Covered By Your Insurance? [STRUCTURE]

December 01, 2007

Are You Really Covered By Your Insurance? - STRUCTURE - Engineers and other entities in the construction industry must understand their policies, the extent of the coverage provided, the effects of various exclusions in the polices and the duties arising under the policies and applicable contracts (in terms of defending or indemnifying another contractor or subcontractor) in order to adequately protect themselves when a catastrophic event occurs during construction.

The Effect of Co-workers’ Actions in Scaffold Law Cases [The Defense Association of New York]

December 01, 2007

The Effect of Co-workers’ Actions in Scaffold Law Cases - The Defense Association of New York - The superseding actions of a third party have long been recognized in negligence cases as breaking the link between a defendant’s conduct and a plaintiff’s injury. The defense is also available when defending Labor Law § 240(1) claims, and Labor Law attorneys should keep this in mind.

The Care and Feeding of an Expert Witness - Watch Out, They May Bite! [STRUCTURE]

October 01, 2007

The Care and Feeding of an Expert Witness - Watch Out, They May Bite! - STRUCTURE -

Sorting Out Liability after a Disaster [STRUCTURE]

September 01, 2007

Sorting Out Liability after a Disaster - STRUCTURE - Architects and engineers are often involved in all aspects of planning and designing a building, perhaps supervising construction and maintaining safety standards. A person providing such professional services has the legal duty to exercise the degree of skill, care and diligence common to other professional members under similar circumstances. Because architects and engineers possess knowledge, skill and training superior to that of the ordinary person,

Pennsylvania Court Rules Insurer Has No Duty to Defend or Idemnify Home Builder Against Construction Defect Claims Under CGL Policy [Insurance Coverage Alert]

May 16, 2007

Pennsylvania Court Rules Insurer Has No Duty to Defend or Idemnify Home Builder Against Construction Defect Claims Under CGL Policy - Insurance Coverage Alert - In courts around the country, construction industry insureds are arguing that run of the mill contractual claims over faulty work by builders and/or their subcontractors are covered by standard commercial general liability policies.

Events & Seminars

Upcoming Events

Resolving Gaps in Wrap Insurance Coverage for Construction Projects

September 26, 2019 - WEBINAR

This panel will guide construction counsel in addressing the issues and pitfalls with wrap insurance programs, and the coverage issues that often arise from the perspective of both the insurer and the insured.

Past Events

2018 Construction SuperConference

December 10, 2018 - Las Vegas, NV

A Day on Real Estate - East 2018

August 23, 2018 - Philadelphia, PA

PBI Real Estate Institute 2017

December 07, 2017 - Philadelphia, PA

2017 Construction SuperConference

December 04, 2017 - Las Vegas, Nevada

Bisnow: The Future of SoCal

November 15, 2016 - Los Angeles, CA

2016 CLM National Construction Claims Conference

September 28, 2016 - San Diego, CA

2016 CLM Claims College

September 07, 2016 - Baltimore, MD

Harco Verdict Impact on Construction Industry

July 27, 2016 - New York, NY

CLM 2015 Claims College

September 09, 2015 - Philadelphia, PA

Critical Issues in Litigation – 2015

May 20, 2015 - New York, NY

Real Estate Insurance Liabilities Program

February 24, 2015 - Webinar

Construction Litigation Leaders' Forum

March 03, 2011 - Marina del Rey, CA

The CPCU Society: Insuring Defective Construction

March 10, 2009 - Online Webinar

How E-mail is Raising Your Lawsuit Risk

May 16, 2008 - King of Prussia, PA

Delaware Valley Association of Structural Engineers

April 30, 2008 - Lafayette Hill, PA

ISOTECH - The Insurance Technology Conference

October 28, 2007 - New Orleans, LA

Cozen O'Connor - E-Discovery Seminar

January 25, 2007 - Philadelphia, PA

E-Discovery Seminar

November 14, 2006 - New York, NY

In The News

138 Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named to the Best Lawyers in America

August 28, 2019

Best Lawyers selected 138 Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 21 of the firm’s national offices for inclusion in the 2020 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.

Six Cozen O’Connor Lawyers Named 2020 “Lawyers of the Year” By Best Lawyers in America

August 28, 2019

Cozen O’Connor is proud to announce that six of the firm’s lawyers have been recognized as “Lawyers of the Year” in their respective practices by Best Lawyers in America.

Legal 500 Recognizes Six Cozen O'Connor Practice Areas and Nine Cozen O'Connor Attorneys in its 2019 Legal Guide

June 14, 2019

The Legal 500 United States named Cozen O’Connor’s Aviation, Construction, Immigration, Insurance, and Maritime practices and Cozen O'Connor attorneys Scott Bettridge, Raymond DeLuca, Geoffrey Ferrer, Bruce Ficken, David Heffernan, Jeffrey Lawrence, Robert Magovern, Anne Mickey, and Jeffrey Mullen to its 2019 Legal Guide.

57 Cozen O’Connor Lawyers, 16 Practices Earn Top Recognition in Chambers USA 2019 Guide

April 25, 2019

Chambers USA, the leading annual guide to the top lawyers and law firms in the USA, has ranked 57 Cozen O’Connor lawyers as leaders in their respective fields in the Guide’s 2019 edition.

Bruce Ficken Named 2019 Influencer of the Law by the Philadelphia Inquirer

March 20, 2019

Cozen O'Connor Construction Law Practice Chair Bruce W. Ficken has been selected as a Philadelphia Inquirer 2019 Influencers of Law Award Winner in the category of Business Litigation.

Calif. Builders Strategize Ahead Of 2020 Solar Panel Rules

January 11, 2019

David Shimkin, a member in the firm's Commercial Litigation Department, was quoted in Law360's article, "Calif. Builders Strategize Ahead Of 2020 Solar Panel Rules."

126 Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named to the Best Lawyers in America

August 22, 2018

One hundred twenty-six Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 20 of the firm’s national offices have been selected for inclusion in the 2018 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.

Three Practice Areas and Six Attorneys Recommended by The U.S. Edition of The Legal 500

June 15, 2018

The U.S. edition of The Legal 500 recognized Cozen O’Connor’s Aviation, Construction, and Shipping practices as well as attorneys Geoffrey Ferrer, Bruce Ficken, David Heffernan, Jeffrey Lawrence, Robert Magovern, and Anne Mickey.

Fifty-four Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named 2018 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

June 12, 2018

Super Lawyers has named 54 Cozen O'Connor attorneys to its 2018 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists.

Fifty Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Ranked by Chambers USA 2018

May 21, 2018

Cozen O’Connor is pleased to announce that Chambers USA has recognized 50 Cozen O’Connor attorneys for 2018 as leaders in their respective fields; 12 attorneys were recognized nationally and 14 were ranked in the top band either nationally or at the state level.

Firms Add Construction Lawyers As Cities See More Cranes

May 10, 2018

Bruce Ficken, chair of the firm's Construction Law Practice, was quoted in Law360's feature, "Firms Add Construction Lawyers As Cities See More Cranes."

2018 U.S. News & World Report – Best Lawyers "Best Law Firms" Ranks Cozen O’Connor

February 01, 2018

In the 2018 U.S. News - Best Lawyers® "Best Law Firms, Cozen O’Connor is ranked nationally in 17 practice areas and regionally in 64 practice areas.

100 Cozen O’Connor Lawyers Named to the Best Lawyers in America

August 23, 2017

Lawyers were selected for inclusion in the 2018 edition based on a rigorous peer-review that has been developed and defined for more than 30 years.

Two Practice Areas and Eight Attorneys Named to the Legal 500 United States

June 19, 2017

The Legal 500 United States recommended Cozen O’Connor’s Shipping and Aviation practices and named Mark Atwood, Geoffrey Ferrer, Bruce Ficken, Mark Fink, David Heffernan, Jeffrey Lawrence, Robert Magovern, and Anne Mickey to its 2017 list.

Cozen O’Connor Earns Client Recognition in 2017 Chambers USA Rankings

May 26, 2017

Chambers USA recognized 47 Cozen O’Connor lawyers as leaders in their respective fields; 14 attorneys were recognized nationally and 11 were ranked in the top band.

Nationally Renowned Construction Law Practice Joins Cozen O’Connor

April 25, 2017

Four lawyers from Pepper Hamilton have joined Cozen O’Connor to spearhead the Construction Law Group. For more than three decades, these lawyers have successfully handled some of the largest and most complex construction litigation matters throughout the United States and abroad.

Cozen O'Connor ranked in 2017 U.S. News & World Report – Best Lawyers "Best Law Firms"

November 23, 2016

Firms included in the 2017 "Best Law Firms" list are recognized for professional excellence with persistently impressive ratings from clients and peers.

Sixty-Two Cozen O’Connor Lawyers Named to the Best Lawyers in America

August 15, 2016

Sixty-two Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 13 of the firm’s national offices have been selected for inclusion in the 2017 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.

Cozen O’Connor Earns Client Recognition in 2016 Chambers USA Rankings

May 27, 2016

Chambers USA recognized 41 Cozen O’Connor lawyers as leaders in their respective fields; 12 attorneys were recognized nationally and 11 were ranked in the top band.

Contacts

Bruce W. Ficken

Chair, Construction Law

bficken@cozen.com

(215) 665-6948

Raymond L. DeLuca

Vice Chair, Construction Law

rdeluca@cozen.com

(215) 665-6945

Fred Warren Jacoby

Vice Chairman

fjacoby@cozen.com

(215) 665-2154

People

Related Practice Areas

Upcoming Event:

Resolving Gaps in Wrap Insurance Coverage for Construction Projects

WEBINAR 09/26/2019

This panel will guide construction counsel in addressing the issues and pitfalls with wrap insurance programs, and the coverage issues that often arise from the perspective of both the insurer and the insured.

Event Details