King & Spalding was one of the first full-service law firms in the world to establish a practice devoted to construction law. Today, King & Spalding has one of the largest transactional construction and procurement practices in the world, with deep experience and expertise in representing owners, developers and lenders in drafting and negotiating construction-related agreements for their global projects, totaling hundreds of billions of dollars.
- Legal 500 US 2015 recognized King & Spalding as having one of the top five construction practices in the United States (a “Tier 1” National Construction practice);
- The annual Chambers guides consistently rank our construction practice and its lawyers among the best in their regions.
- Chambers USA selected King & Spalding as one of five finalists for its 2015 Global Projects & Energy: Oil & Gas Firm of the Year.
- In 2015, Who’s Who Legal recognized King & Spalding as having one of the top fifteen construction practices in the world.
- In 2009, King & Spalding’s construction team was a finalist for the Chambers USA Award for Excellence in Construction.
- According to Chambers USA, “[King & Spalding has] a distinguished team with great experience on international projects,” and “knows all the ins and outs of the construction business and how to protect [their] clients….Energy is the forte of the team.”
King & Spalding’s construction practice is unique in the industry, and consists of lawyers with hands-on construction industry experience. Many of the team’s lawyers are former engineers, who are comfortable “rolling up their sleeves” and working with the owner’s engineers, architects and consultants to coordinate the terms and conditions with the technical exhibits and to help prevent common pitfalls that occur in technical documentation. Our team’s lawyers, augmented by the firm’s premiere international arbitration and business litigation practices, have extensive prior experience arbitrating and litigating construction disputes, giving them a strong understanding of problems that can arise during projects and how to avoid or mitigate against them. Our construction transactional team has represented primarily owners, developers and lenders. Our lawyers have drafted and negotiated thousands of construction-related agreements for major projects in North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, the CIS, Africa and Asia ranging from as little as US$10 million to over US$40 billion in value, including:
- liquefied natural gas (LNG) regasification facilities
- natural gas liquefaction facilities
- natural gas pipelines
- natural gas storage facilities
- offshore oil production facilities
- wind farms
- petrochemical facilities
- cement manufacturing facilities
- steel manufacturing facilities
- copper and coal mining facilities
- hydrocarbon extraction
- major transport projects
- water treatment plants
- thermal power plants (nuclear, coal, combined cycle and gas fired)
- uranium enrichment facilities
- hydroelectric plants
- compressed air energy storage facilities
- desalination facilities
- office towers
- mixed-use developments
- hospitals and other healthcare facilities
These include some of the largest projects in the world, as well as first-of-its-kind projects, such as the world’s largest cement manufacturing facility; the first LNG import terminal constructed in the U.S. in almost 30 years; the first LNG export project constructed in the continental United States (valued at about US$ 20 billion); the world’s largest power and desalination plant (over US$3 billion); the largest greenfield petrochemical facility (valued at approximately US$20 billion); the first nuclear project to be constructed in the U.S. in almost 30 years; and the infrastructure and stadiums for the Atlanta Olympic games.
King & Spalding’s lawyers are well-versed in all forms of contract structures and types and project delivery systems, including engineer-procure-construct (EPC) contracts, engineer-procure-construction management (EPCM) contracts, design-build, construction, construction management (at risk and agency), multi-prime, development, program management, engineering, architectural, consulting, front-end engineering design (FEED), equipment purchase and lease agreements, operating and maintenance (O&M) agreements, and long term service agreements (LTSA).
Our construction transactional practice has represented primarily owners, developers and lenders. Because of this concentrated practice, we are routinely involved at the inception of projects, advising clients on the applicable project delivery system and structuring, drafting and negotiating engineering and construction contracts. We are experienced in all aspects of the project planning, including counseling on the structuring of contracts to obtain the best tax treatment, negotiating “financeable” deals for a financed project, and providing advice on insurance strategies for reducing cost and risk. Along with other significant factors, project planning is critical to a project’s success, but is often ignored by lawyers not experienced in complex, construction transactional work.
Our construction transactional lawyers are devoted solely to the practice of construction law. We believe this devotion is essential. The engineering and construction of large, complex projects is rife with risks and responsibilities that often lead to change orders and disputes, resulting in mediation, arbitration or litigation. We are fully attuned to the construction industry and, therefore, understand the many significant associated risks. We mitigate against risks through selection of appropriate insurance and use of progressive contractual risk-shifting provisions. Our construction transactional team is adept at negotiating and documenting contracts with contractors and are aware of the strategies used when negotiating and executing construction contracts. Without such a dedicated approach to construction, we believe it is impossible for lawyers to advise their clients fully on the many aspects associated with large, complex construction projects.
We understand the technical complexities of projects and handle the associated risks.
Many of the firm’s Construction and Procurement Practice lawyers are former engineers and/or have extensive experience in the engineering and construction industry. We excel in preparing uniquely structured contracts for first-of-its-kind construction projects because we understand the complicated engineering and technology involved, and are accustomed to dealing with innovations in the construction industry. We have developed the skills and confidence to work through complex issues side-by-side with the owner’s engineering, construction, legal and commercial advisors. We do not simply draft and negotiate the body of a contract, but, with the client’s approval, are heavily engaged in the drafting and advising of the scope of work, design basis, performance guarantees and other contract exhibits. This cooperative approach is the best way to ensure that the client has a cohesive document that adequately addresses the significant legal, commercial and technical challenges of a large, complex project.
We have witnessed and know how to mitigate the complex “game strategies” involved in the negotiation of construction contracts, as well as resolve problems that inevitably arise during a project (including those that result in arbitration or litigation) in a timely, effective matter. A number of the firm’s Construction and Procurement lawyers have prior litigation and arbitration experience, and the group itself constantly interacts with King & Spalding’s International Arbitration Practice Groups numbering over 50 lawyers located in Houston, New York, London, Paris, Austin, Atlanta, Dubai, Singapore, and Frankfurt.
Therefore, we have a real-world understanding of the many ways in which engineering and construction contracts are tested on a day-to-day basis. As a result of our comprehensive construction experience and our understanding of the litigation and arbitration issues which may arise during or after construction of the project, we are able to advise our clients upfront during negotiations. Firms that lack concentrated and focused construction contract negotiation and drafting experience may not have the necessary resources to anticipate and resolve critical issues associated with construction projects. We have the essential knowledge to understand fully all of the critical issues associated with large, international construction projects, such as understanding the various insurance products available in the market, tax implications and project finance-related issues.