Many subcontracts contain a provision in the default section that reads something to the effect:
“Upon any default, Subcontractor shall pay to Contractor its attorney’s fees and court costs incurred in enforcing this Subcontract or seeking any remedies hereunder.”
Oftentimes, a party may wonder as to the enforceability of the provision and how it is applied in the context of a dispute between a contractor and its subcontractor where both parties have asserted claims against the other.
In an opinion out of the Middle District of Georgia, U.S. f/u/b/o Cleveland Construction, Inc. v. Stellar Group, Inc., 2019 WL 338887 (M.D.Ga. 2019), a subcontractor and prime contractor on a federal construction project each asserted claims against the other in the approximate amount of $4 Million, meaning there was a potential $8 Million swing in the dispute.
The subcontract contained a provision entitling the contractor to recover attorney’s fees incurred in enforcing the subcontract or seeking remedies under the subcontract upon any default, identical to the provision above.