Bringing a construction project to fruition involves significant risks to project owners, designers, and contractors. Many of those risks will be allocated in the parties’ contracts, in turn requiring those parties to obtain insurance and further allocating risks to insurance companies. Several commonly used insurance policies are at the heart of any construction project insurance

If a contractor cannot meet deadlines on a construction project or a subcontractor pulls out of a new project bid in order to pursue a more attractive opportunity, the project owner and/or prime contractor face potentially significant damages, which can include corrective work, costs of completion or substitute performance, and delay. In my latest column

In a recent article in the ABA’s “Under Construction” publication (link here) the author describes a trend among some major contractors, including SNC-Lavalin, Fluor Corporation and Granite Construction, to leave the DB and EPC space.  Other large contractors have announced similar intentions.  The problem appears to be that the DB and EPC delivery methods

Scammers are always seeking new ways to target victims for Business Email Compromise (BEC) scams, where they leverage email to try to convince you to give them credentials, send them confidential information like W2s, send them money by changing things like direct deposit instructions, or give any other data that can help them profit from committing fraud.  They are getting more and more sophisticated in their deceptions, and targeting those areas they see as ‘weak links.’

Construction companies however face a particular threat, as there are a number of services and private and government web sites to which companies can subscribe to learn about construction projects that are open to bid. Often, the winning bidder ends up becoming public knowledge – either because that information is posted publicly, or because the contract company advertises they were awarded the project. And of course, these contracts always carry a price tag that is attractive to scammers.

Fraudsters can use information from these same web sites along with other research to learn which construction companies have applied for and ultimately won bids. The higher the price tag, the bigger the target. Once the scammers get their fake web site set up (they can use tools to copy the real contractor’s web site almost exactly), they’ll then send an email to the victim posing as the contractor, including a direct deposit form (likely doctored with the contractor’s logo) and instructions to change payment information to a new account controlled by the scammers.  They might even try to play this trick on the construction company and pose as a vendor the construction company regularly pays. Once the money is transferred, it can be difficult – and often impossible – to recover.  Even if the victim has cyber insurance, whether or not any losses are covered depends on the policy.  Any access and information they obtain can also compromise the construction company’s information security, potentially increasing the likelihood of privacy breaches, ransomware attacks, or other serious security risks.

Some economic indicators point to a recession in the not-too-distant future, and parties involved in construction projects should take steps to avoid (or perfect) liens and protect their rights if there is a downturn. The complexities of Oregon’s lien laws are best negotiated with the assistance of experienced counsel. In my inaugural article for the

Seattle and Bellevue’s strong real estate markets present a plethora of lucrative business opportunities for Canadian product manufacturers and suppliers.  Because Washington-based developers and contractors are perhaps more litigious than their Canadian counterparts,  Canadian-based product manufacturers and suppliers should consider a full spectrum of risk management and mitigation strategies before engaging in cross-border business activities.

President Trump’s new tariffs and ongoing trade negotiations concerning building commodities like steel, aluminum, and lumber have resulted in uncertain market conditions for those in the construction industry, making it nearly impossible for owners, developers, contractors, and suppliers to accurately analyze and allocate risks during construction contract negotiations. In my latest article for the Daily

DSC_0180 DSC_0989 DSC_1057 (2) DSC_0013 (1) DSC_0031 (1) DSC_0056 (1)Stoel Rives is proud to have co-created and been the leading sponsor in the first annual “Oregon Women In Construction Conference” hosted by the University of Oregon last Thursday, April 27.  The event was emceed by City of Portland construction attorney Molly Washington (who led all aspects of the event including topics, speakers, locale, etc.)