Defaults and terminations of contracts on major construction projects are last resort actions that should be preceded by concerted efforts to mitigate the circumstances that have brought the parties to the brink of legal action.
Dunn & Black, P.S. represents owners and developers, general contractors, subcontractors or suppliers in scenarios of threatened termination or alleged default. Simultaneous with exploring all remedies to prevent contract termination, we advise clients on the prudent steps to protect their rights and significantly reduce potential liabilities if the contractor relationship cannot be salvaged.
Our firm is a recognized leader in construction law and litigation, with over 25 years of experience with construction default claims and related disputes such as construction claims and mechanics’ liens. With offices in Spokane and Seattle, we serve clients with projects in diverse geographic areas such as Hawaii, Alaska, Washington, Montana, Oregon, California, Nevada, Arizona, and internationally, including:
Defaults and terminations
Owners contemplating contract termination because of delays, cost overruns, failure to provide materials or manpower, failure to build to specs, or other performance issues
Contractors considering terminating a non-performing subcontractor, or themselves facing default
Subcontractors who were fired (or expect to be fired) by the general contractor or the owner.
Exploration of Remedies … And Positioning for Default
Terminating a contractor is the worst scenario from either party’s perspective. Our attorneys include accomplished arbitrators and mediators who will explore all options to avoid this drastic recourse. It might be prudent to supplement the downstream contractor/subcontractor rather than terminating and starting from scratch. A court order for specific performance may prompt compliance. Or, a judge or arbitrator may determine an “equitable adjustment” of the costs or schedule that allows the contractual relationship to continue.
If default is unavoidable, we can initiate proceedings and follow through with calculation of damages, enforcement, and collection. First, we evaluate performance per the contract and whether or not requirements were met for notice and cure. The upstream party may have an obligation to clearly explain the deficiency through written notice and to provide the downstream party an opportunity to cure it. Our lawyers also have years of experience working with surety companies in default and termination situations.
See examples of our Representative Work page for favorable resolutions on behalf of clients.
Contact Dunn & Black, P.S. today to discuss our experience with construction default. We pride ourselves on responsive service and solutions that make business sense.