Non-U.S. companies frequently ask whether they are eligible to compete for U.S. Government construction and renovation projects, whether within the U.S. or on U.S.-owned facilities abroad. The answer is a simple “yes” in the great majority of cases, unless the project requires access to secure or classified information. Much of the work on U.S. Embassies,…

The principal weapon of the U.S. government to combat corruption in international business dealings is the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). To say that the U.S. is now aggressively pursuing FCPA cases is an understatement. In the past year, we have seen billions of dollars of fines, sting operations, and the pursuit of individuals around the world. Here are some of the latest FCPA headlines:

I thought that I would hail in the new year with an update on some interesting construction developments. Put it down to a period of reflection over the Christmas break! As I want to cover a number of areas, I have split this update into 2 postings.

In this first update, I am going to cover the latest FIDIC news and the new Bribery Bill currently going through the UK parliament. In my next posting I will look at two recent construction cases in English law, the first covering recoverability of damages and the English “remoteness” rule, the second covering treatment of contractual notice bars for claims.

In the autumn of this year I had the dubious pleasure of celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the publication of the Terms of Reference in an administered arbitration, which is still lumbering towards its own uncertain conclusion. At the time of our appointment as lawyers for one of the parties, which was shortly after the issue of the Terms of Reference, I toyed with the idea of proposing to my client a fixed fee for taking the case to conclusion. It seemed to me that this was quite a “cutting edge” concept at the time and I thought to myself that whilst the risk of such a course of action taken at the outset of hostilities could be very high, I mused that following close of pleadings and the crystallisation of the issues in dispute within the Terms of Reference, the task of assessing the likely future costs would not be beyond the whit of the reasonably experienced lawyer. I therefore felt that the risk of taking a bath on the fixed fee would not be that great. However, some little voice within me clearly counselled caution and as a result I did not make that proposal. Whilst this has saved me from a personal embarrassment and possible lynching by my partners, nevertheless my client has suffered because the case has taken a course which nobody could have predicted at the time when the Terms of Reference were agreed.

Continuing our discussion on issues to consider when litigating a dispute with French connections (see our last post “A Growing Trend In French Construction Law? The Recognition of Mandatory Rules by the Court of Cassation”), the following contribution highlights a further issue to be considered by parties to a construction contract when litigating as, or…

The spreading trend toward “green” building has resulted in a number of competing and overlapping certification systems, with only faint hope in sight of better standardization. United States builders are most familiar with the LEED system sponsored by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). Through USGBC’s association with the World Green Building Council, LEED…

In the wake of the current downturn, employers will increasingly look for greater budget certainty under EPC or Turnkey contracts. This is where the contractor undertakes all tasks – design, construction, management etc – so that, upon completion, the employer merely needs to ‘turn the key’ and operation of the plant or building can begin…

Recent examples illustrate clearly that cancelling a project can be very expensive. The City of Ottawa recently paid over C$36 million to settle claims from contractors arising from the cancellation of a light rail transit project. In Montréal, the termination of a contract to build an incinerator has resulted in years of costly litigation and…

During the 2004-07 housing boom, approximately 309 million square feet of Chinese-made drywall was imported into the United States. Since that time, nearly 1,000 lawsuits have been filed alleging that the imported drywall contains sulfur compounds which, when exposed to heat and moisture, release sulfurous acids resulting in the corrosion of metal components, such as…