Gregory Cokinos, President and CEO, Cokinos | Young
First, experience in the construction industry is of primary importance and vital to successfully negotiating construction contracts and handling construction claims and disputes. Even a mildly complex construction dispute is more than most non-construction lawyers can properly handle. Issues concerning scheduling, productivity, change management and risk shifting (among many others) are complex and unique to construction and can be further complicated by the procedural and substantive law that differs from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.
Second, it is essential that your law firm has a culture of representing construction professionals. Understanding construction nomenclature and how construction projects are staffed, organized and documented saves time and money in an already expensive and time-consuming process.
You cannot overstate the advantage of shared resources within an established construction firm when evaluating and handling construction matters. A law firm that dedicates a significant portion of its practice to the construction industry is uniquely positioned to realize this advantage. Finally, as I tell our young lawyers, “success” only comes before “work” in the dictionary. Hard work is the key to successfully negotiating a contract or executing a litigation plan in this complex industry. So, look for a firm that is not afraid of working long days and weekends to achieve success.
Reprinted courtesy of Donald Berry, Construction Executive, a publication of Associated Builders and Contractors. All rights reserved.