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What is a construction lawyer?

Construction lawyers give expert advice regarding building construction, development and engineering. Construction projects come large and small and may include the building of small residential premises or larger commercial developments or government projects. Construction law is complex and contains many regulations surrounding safety and compliance. Lawyers that work within construction have expertise in advising clients regarding these regulations and where disputes arise during a project.

Primarily construction lawyers give advice to developers and builders with specific focus on the practices and policies they have implemented in their projects to ensure safety and compliance. Additionally, these lawyers will devise any required legal documents not only to comply with safety regulations but also when a developer decides to contract work out to specialist workers.

What can a construction lawyer do for me?

A construction lawyer can advise you whether or not you are complying with local, state and federal legislation surrounding safety and building compliance. Additionally, they can develop and negotiate agreements between different construction stakeholders, this will include contractor and employment agreements along with insurance and workers compensation claims. They will also advise you regarding any claims or disputes against you by workers or other stakeholders.

5 tips when hiring a construction lawyer

Once you have decided a construction lawyer will be right for the job, consider these tips before consulting a lawyer:

  1. If you need employment or contractor agreements, determine if there are any specific terms you want to include. This might include terms of work or safety obligations.
  2. Read up on the lawyer you choose, consider who they usually represent. A lawyer with experience in construction will have the expertise to ensure your project runs smoothly.
  3. Ensure the lawyer you are engaging understands you local laws and regulations, there are many construction regulations that you will need to abide by and this will change depending on the state or territory.
  4. Determine if the construction lawyer is well known in the industry. Often, a well connected lawyer will be able to deal with lower cost and effective construction stakeholders.
  5. Read the retainer your lawyer provides. This will inform you of the obligations held by both you and your lawyer, it should also outline the likely costs involved.