Building a Lower-risk Construction Project

October 15, 2014 – In The News
Corporate Counsel

Douglas Hibshman was quoted in the Corporate Counsel article, “Building a Lower-risk Construction Project.”Full text can be found in the October 15, 2014, issue, but a synopsis is below.

Getting through a construction project without ending up in court is harder than ever.According to Douglas Hibshman, “the best defense to avoiding disputes is to conduct significant upfront planning before the project starts.”

It is crucial that all parties read the contract and understand exactly what they are getting into. With respect to government contractors, Hibshman says, many often do not completely understand the contract documents until a dispute occurs.Hibshman explains that “many clauses have rigid notice provisions that require a contractor to submit formal notice of a dispute shortly after it arises, or run the risk of waiving that dispute forever.”

Having realistic expectations is also essential. Hibshman notes that “schedules should be well-planned to take into account the contingencies that tend to appear during construction disputes.”A single delay at the beginning of a project can cause a snowball effect down the road, Hibshman says. If a delay occurs, inform all parties and revise the set schedule.

Hibshman’s last tip is to document everything. Project issues should be documented in real time, using daily reports detailing the work that was done, who was doing it, and any problems that may have occurred.“Solid daily reports provide you an upper hand in a dispute, whereas deficient daily reports put you at a significant disadvantage,” Hibshman notes.