Legal Services to Construction Companies
Disregarding the negotiated construction contract process leads the parties directly to the court, in which judgments often go against the expectations of the parties.
A properly drawn up construction works contract secures the rights of the contractor from such legal risks as: calculation of contractual penalties for construction delays, reduction of the lump sum remuneration for defects in works, extension of the construction at the contractor’s expense, increase in the scope of lump sum construction works, lack of works, delays in payments for the works performed and inability to withdraw from the construction works contract. A professional construction works contract organises and regulates the construction process and the activities of its key participants.
Construction correspondence and the execution of rights under the contract and the Civil Code and other legislation are equally important areas of legal services in the construction industry. In court, in case of conflicts, the evidence will be documents and correspondence, and not the construction itself as it is usually already completed. The documents show its course. The construction logbook as the basic construction document should reflect the events on the construction site accurately and reliably.
Rights and obligations of subcontractors of construction works should first of all secure their right to claim remuneration jointly and severally from the Investor. In the event that the general contractor becomes insolvent, only the investor may be the guarantor of receiving the full remuneration for the works performed by the subcontractor.
Industrial construction is nowadays an important area of investment. Production plants with foreign and Polish capital are expanding in Poland in order to increase production capacity or introduce new products to the market. In most cases, these are steel industrial halls with lightweight casings – sandwich panels. The particular feature of their construction is a short period of implementation of the facility and contact with the facility in which production is carried out. Securing the production plant in a construction contract is of key importance here. A construction lawyer secures all risks related to the construction and disruption in the manufacturing process.
One of the areas of legal services provided to a construction company is public procurement law. The specific nature of the rules of conducting investments by public entities is expressed in the formalised procedure of selecting the contractor and the limitations of introducing changes to the contract for construction works. A design & build agreement based on a detailed ToR (Terms of Reference), as well as a PFU (Functional-Utility Program), requires discipline and analysis of tender documents. Reference to the NAC (National Appeals Chamber) is a means of combating unfair practices in public tenders.
Court cases in construction are frequent and difficult to conduct due to poor understanding of technical-engineering issues by the judiciary. The specific nature of the civil lawsuit is the reliance on expert opinions; it is the court appointed construction experts who de facto determine the verdict. Construction expert opinion determines whether a case is won or lost. A construction expert should be selected by a lawyer and appointed by the court according to our expectations – as an expert with a high level of knowledge in a given construction field. The guarantee of success is a proper selection of evidence, witnesses and the selection of an expert. He who knows when he can fight and when he cannot will be victorious (Sun Tzu). This is the basic principle of the assessment of odds in the construction trial. A lawyer who is familiar with construction law and technical aspects of construction will greatly increase the chances of winning the construction lawsuit.