Construction and Real Estate LitigationMany of our clients are involved in the real estate development and construction industries. In many cases, real estate holdings represent a very significant portion of our clients’ assets and it is crucial for them to be able to protect their interests, to ensure that their development or other objectives relating to such assets are enforced or protected, and to prevent others from taking actions that might adversely affect their value or intended use. Also, the development and improvement of real property and related construction activities often involve the complicated coordination of owners, developers, contractors, subcontractors, design professionals, material and equipment suppliers, government entities, and many other players. Needless to say, such activities can result in complex contractual and other disputes, which must be addressed and resolved by experienced and strategically far-sighted counsel.
Our construction clients focus on a wide range of commercial, industrial, residential, infrastructure, and energy/utility projects. They include owners, investors, lenders, real estate developers, general contractors, subcontractors, architects, engineers, construction managers, and program managers. Having first-hand experience in the construction and commercial real estate industries, we are uniquely qualified to handle the often complex issues arising from real estate development and construction related negotiations and disputes. For example, before becoming a lawyer, Bill Hine majored as an undergraduate in nuclear engineering, managed construction projects while serving as an officer in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, became licensed as a professional civil engineer, and worked for years as a general contractor engaged in residential and commercial development projects on Long Island.
And as lawyers, we have represented numerous clients in the construction and real estate businesses, including in construction contract and partnership disputes, material supply and distributorship contract disputes, lending and financing transactions, purchase contract disputes, insurance coverage and related disputes arising from construction accidents and associated completion delays, and arbitrations concerning incentive payments and scheduling delays. We have also been involved in internal investigations involving multi-billion dollar oil & gas, power plant and pipeline construction projects concerning safety, quality control and construction management issues and associated contractual disputes. In addition, we have authored a chapter in a leading legal treatise on Infrastructure Litigation. We bring these credentials to, and draw on this unmatched experience, in every engagement.
On the projects in which we are engaged, we are advocates and offer sound practical judgment, but most of all, we seek to be partners with our clients so that their goals and visions can be met efficiently. We are seasoned professionals who understand the challenges faced by the players on all sides of the construction table and are well equipped to assist clients in achieving successful outcomes in a cost-effective and timely manner. Our firm helps clients navigate their way through the obstacles and challenges that they face throughout the lifecycle of each construction project, offering guidance on planning and development, financing, bid processes and procedures, contract drafting and negotiation, claims and insurance matters, surety/bonding issues, environmental issues, labor relations, risk management and mitigation, change orders and delay/impact claims, and litigation. We are skilled at drafting, reviewing, and negotiating all varieties of construction contracts including engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) and design-build agreements, professional services agreements, joint ventures, and teaming agreements.
When litigation is necessary, our team aggressively, strategically and effectively prosecutes and defends claims in and out of court across the country and around the world. We understand that construction litigation brings its own complexities including multiple parties and detailed documents as well as intricate fact patterns. Our firm has the experience to navigate these challenges in a cost-effective manner while maintaining the focused and aggressive advocacy for which our clients depend on us. Be it through mediation, arbitration, or traditional courtroom litigation, we consistently achieve great results for our clients.
- North Shore Window & Door, Inc. v. Andersen Corporation and Fenetres MQ Inc., 19-cv-6194 (ENV)(ST) (E.D.N.Y.) – represent plaintiff distributor in cross-border lawsuit against multi-national luxury window manufacturers (from the U.S. and Canada) concerning the enforcement of a multi-state exclusive distributorship agreement and claims under various state franchisee protection statutes.
- Secured Capital Partners, LLC v. Wansdown Properties Corp., N.V., Index No. 150780/2018 (Sup. Ct. N.Y. County) – successfully defended foreign owner of historic $20 million Manhattan townhouse against improperly asserted lis pendens and claims of specific performance of sale contract, securing dismissal of entire case, vacatur of lis pendens, and award of attorneys’ fees.
- Kleen Energy Systems, LLC v. ACE American Ins. Co., et al. (Conn. Superior Ct.) - and - O&G Indus. Inc. et al. v. ACE American Ins. Co., et al. (Conn. Superior Ct.) – successfully represented insurance policyholder Kleen Energy, a 620 megawatt dual-fuel electric generating facility located in Middletown, Connecticut in connection with major losses suffered as a result of a catastrophic explosion at its power facility. Successfully prosecuted and obtained recovery for Kleen Energy in insurance coverage litigation seeking over $50 million in business interruption losses, requiring extensive discovery and litigation regarding pre and post-incident construction activities, property/equipment damage and associated delays with respect to brownfield re-build of electric generating facility.
- Hernandez v. K-W 650 Associates, LLC, Index No. 703835/2020 (Sup. Ct. Queens County) – successfully defended building sponsor sued in personal injury action alleging, among other things, violations of New York Labor Law §§ 200, 240, and 241.
- Stephen P. Wald Real Estate Assocs. v. 136 Loft Corp., Index No. 652723/2018 (Sup. Ct. N.Y. County (Commercial Division)) – successfully represented real estate broker asserting claim for unpaid commissions in connection with $6 million sale of air rights for commercial development for Manhattan residential building.
- Centragas v. Techint Construction Corp., No. 10690 (International Chamber of Commerce) – international arbitration respecting contractual claims concerning pipeline construction project in Colombia, South America.
- In re Royal Group Technologies Securities Litig., No. 04 Civ. 9809 (HB) (S.D.N.Y.) - represented former CEO of Canadian building materials company against securities law and other claims in putative U.S. class action.
- Confidential Matter -- Represented major U.S. oil and gas company in investigating construction defects and safety issues relating to construction of multi-billion dollar natural gas mining and pipeline project in Asia.
- Nordic Residential Partners, LLC v. Cordoba, Ltd., C.A. No. 1089-N (Del. Ch. Ct.) – represented executors of bankruptcy estate in this and other lawsuits involving allegations of fraud arising from real estate development and housing projects in New York City.
- In re Anthracite Capital, Inc., No. 10-11319 (Bankr. E.D.N.Y.) – successfully represented on a contingency fee basis the trustee of a bankrupt REIT in bringing claims of, inter alia, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, and fraudulent transfer against BlackRock Financial Management, Inc. and individual BlackRock defendants arising from investments in commercial mortgage backed securities (CMBS) and related instruments, ultimately resulting in substantial settlement for the estate.
- Pembrooke Calox, Inc. v. Greka Energy Corp., No. 604905/99 (Sup. Ct. N.Y. County) – defended oil company in lawsuit and trial concerning real estate sale and mineral rights agreement.
- Accent Associates v. Wheatley Construction Corp., No. 98-015694 (Sup. Ct. Nassau County) – successfully defended real estate developer in lawsuit involving claims under construction contract.
- Kerbis v. Wheatley Construction Corp., No. 98-029763 (Sup. Ct. Nassau County) – represented real estate developer in construction contract lawsuit, involving compliance with contract specifications.
- Zeiler vs. Three Lincoln Center (N.Y. Sup. Ct.) – successfully defended clients in nuisance, property damage and personal injury action involving luxury residential high-rise building in Manhattan; all claims dismissed.