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5 Signs You Need a Construction Lawyer

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9th Mar 2023

Since the beginning of time, man built things. Those were the first architects and engineers who gave the foundation to today's construction industry as we know it. Considering its nature, this is not an endeavor without risk and this is where a legal team steps in, to ensure the successful completion of a project. The key is to recognize signs you need a construction lawyer and here are some of the most major ones.

1.    You need to draft or sign a contract

Contracts are usually difficult to understand, so you need to make sure you have that covered. A skilled construction lawyer knows the industry both from the legal and commercial side, so they can draft contracts for you. Also, they can review them with your best interests in mind, as well as advise you whether to sign them or not.

The most prudent thing to do is not to sign any contract you don’t understand, even if it comes down to one stipulation. Then get yourself an experienced lawyer to explain the confusing parts, correct the unfavorable ones, and add what is missing.

2.    You need to keep up with laws and regulations

The legal aspect of the building industry is always changing, with new laws and regulations being adopted and bringing new stipulations. Not everyone is good at understanding the legal lingo, so hiring a lawyer is a good start to being in the know. For example, NSW Government in Australia has announced new legislation in October last year regarding the residential and commercial construction sector. Due to these changes, many contractors decided to hire a building dispute lawyer in Sydney and other relevant construction zones in this state.

But it’s not always about the new legislation. Sometimes you need to be ahead of adopting the proposed one to protect your rights. The job of your construction lawyer will include filing complaints and drafting suggestions with state officials, to improve the regulations defining your position as a business entity.

3.    You need to resolve disputes

Like in any business venture, construction is also susceptible to disputes. These can range from small disagreements to full-blown arguments that might get you before the court. Lawyers have many roles and resolving disputes is one of the most satisfying ones.

It allows for peaceful and dignified resolution of problems for all parties involved, without going into long and expensive legal proceedings. For this to happen, you need to carefully choose a person that will represent you and your interests. After all, it’s your reputation on the line and you need to make sure everything is handled properly and fairly. 

4.    You are starting a construction business

The beginning of a business is hard on itself, but starting one in one of the most competitive industries raises that bar higher. The world will always need builders, whether they are architects, engineers, or contractors, so you should be as best as possible from the beginning. Considering how many legal aspects you need to take care of, it's a good idea to have a construction lawyer as one of your first employees.

They can lead you through the process of starting a construction company, interpret regulations, prepare terms and provisions of your business policy, and other legal requirements. In a way, they are an invaluable addition to implementing plans, realizing goals, and achieving success. 

5.    You need help with negotiations

When it comes to business, you will have to rely on negotiation to create the best possible conditions for your company and future endeavors. For example, prices have gone up on all fronts, and the construction industry is not an exemption. However, you can still save money on some fronts and reach a more favorable outcome by negotiating a discount with your suppliers.

Additionally, you can negotiate the terms and costs of hiring contractors or subcontractors, as well as for other services that you may require. A lawyer who has above-average negotiating skills and knows the construction legal aspects well will be the key to protecting your interest with stakeholders. Furthermore, such a lawyer will know when negotiations are pointless and you should move on to another opportunity, to avoid investing your time and resources pointlessly.

Final words

In the end, the signs you need a construction lawyer are the issues that make you question your moves and objectives. Since this happens because you don't understand the situation completely or the intentions of the parties involved, you need someone to interpret those for you. Of course, it's always a smart move to have someone watching your back so you don't fall into the rabbit hole full of legal traps and bumps.