Category Archives: General

Exit Strategies: Construction & Engineering UK

By Vijay Bange and Tanya Chadha

It was announced on Sunday 5 April that Keir Starmer was selected as leader of the Labour Party. Whilst the current Covid-19 outbreak has no basis for political jostling, he raised a very important question, namely, what is the government’s “Exit Strategy” to eventually get us back to a sense of normality.

The point raised by Keir Starmer is of wider economic relevance. Save for key workers, most other business sector activities have come to a halt. This is largely (but not exclusively) the case for construction and engineering projects. Continue reading Exit Strategies: Construction & Engineering UK

Challenging Times: Construction and Engineering in the UK

By Vijay Bange and Tanya Chadha

The COVID -19 pandemic has already had a massive effect on global economies. Its impact has been unprecedented and there is a degree of uncertainty on almost every facet of daily life.

This article seeks to touch upon issues that may affect those in the UK construction industry specifically, but certain elements will no doubt equally apply across other sectors. Continue reading Challenging Times: Construction and Engineering in the UK

Construction During the COVID-19 Pandemic – Essential, Nonessential or What?

As more and more states and localities shut down entire industries and order workers and citizens to stay home and shelter in place, many companies are asking “How does this affect my operations?” In this Alert, we focus on the construction industry and how “essential” is being defined across the federal, state and municipal level.

To read the full text of this Duane Morris Alert, please visit the firm website.

New York State Halts Nonessential Construction

As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, many states are implementing increasingly strict measures to prevent further spread of the virus. These measures include travel restrictions, extended school closures and requirements that individuals stay at home except as necessary to provide certain essential business and government services. Until recently, New York state considered construction to be an essential business, as outlined in Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Order 202.6.

In the wake of pressure from various labor organizations and community groups, however, Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order 202.13, dated March 29, 2020. The new Executive Order states, in pertinent part, as follows:

Executive Order 202.6 is hereby modified to clarify that construction which was an essential service not subject to the in-person work restrictions is modified to provide only certain construction is considered exempt from the in-person restrictions as of March 28, 2020.

To read the full text of this Duane Morris Alert, please visit the firm website.

 

CARES Act Impacts Engineering and Construction Sector

COVID-19 precautions continue to impact construction by delaying material shipments and reducing labor availability, as well as governmental orders to halt many construction projects. Some ongoing or planned construction projects are at risk of being suspended or terminated because of reduced demand in various sectors, such as hospitality or oil and gas, because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many engineering and construction companies have shifted tasks to remote working arrangements and must invest in IT infrastructure and training to limit efficiency losses. Some companies have been forced to lay off employees because of delayed and canceled construction projects.

To read the full text of this Duane Morris Alert, please visit the firm website.

Coronavirus and Construction in the UK: The Time to Talk Is Now

In an industry of seemingly ever-tighter margins across the board, it is perhaps unsurprising that the construction industry has fought to continue through the current coronavirus crisis as much as it has.  However, many in the industry have stopped work and shut down sites and, despite the current and perhaps somewhat over-optimistic view from the government that work can continue whilst still complying with social distancing rules, it seems inevitable that all non-essential work will stop very soon. Continue reading Coronavirus and Construction in the UK: The Time to Talk Is Now

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to Award Contracts to Convert Existing Buildings into ICU-like COVID-19 Treatment Facilities, Starting in New York

During a press conference on March 20, 2020, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) discussed plans to assist state-level COVID-19 relief efforts. USACE support will include the conversion of existing, underutilized buildings such as hotels, college dormitories and potentially large spaces into ICU-like treatment facilities.

To read the full text of this Duane Morris Alert, please visit the firm website.

Coronavirus and Construction Contracts

As of March 17, Boston halted all construction jobs in the city for two weeks due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This decision has affected approximately 21.4 million square feet of new or renovated development across 97 projects. Other municipalities have implemented travel restrictions and shelter-in-place orders requiring individuals to stay at home except as necessary to provide certain essential business and government services. These domestic actions, coupled with tighter border controls and quarantines at the international level, will inevitably result in supply chain disruption and labor force shortages.

As COVID-19 continues to spread throughout the country, it will impact project performance. There are some important contract considerations that parties should keep in mind as they evaluate their response to project delays and closures, safety concerns, and vendor and workforce unavailability.

To read the full text of this Duane Morris Alert, please visit the firm website.

NY Governor Vetoes Bill To Allow Delay Damages On Public Contracts

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo ended 2018 by vetoing New York Senate Bill 6686 to amend the state finance law by adding a new section 138-b to allow contractors working on public construction projects seek delay damages against government agencies. The vetoed bill would have required all public contracts to contain a clause allowing a contractor, subcontractor or supplier to make a claim for costs due to excusable delays resulting from actions or omissions by a public owner or any of its representatives. The bipartisan bill sponsored by Senators Michael Ranzenhofer (Republican) and Luis Sepulveda (Democrat) passed the Assembly by a vote of 103 to 40 and the Senate 59 to 0. The text of the bill can be seen here.

Jose A. Aquino (@JoseAquinoEsq on Twitter) is a special counsel in the New York office of Duane Morris LLP, where he is a member of the Construction Group and of the Duane Morris Cuba Business Group. Mr. Aquino focuses his practice on commercial litigation with a concentration in construction law, mechanics’ lien law and government procurement law. This blog is prepared and published for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the author’s law firm or its individual attorneys.