Commercial Contracts and Access Agreements

Rich, Intelisano and Katz’s attorneys have decades of experience counseling clients who are involved in construction projects as owners, contractors, design professionals and neighbors, and in drafting and negotiating the many kinds of documents needed for a successful project.

Construction Contracts:
  The Firm has experience drafting contracts for construction projects of all sizes, from individual homes to projects costing hundreds of millions of dollars; for residential, commercial and mixed-use construction, located in all five boroughs of New York City as well as in surrounding counties; and for clients involved in all phases of construction.  These contracts include general contractor, construction management, guaranteed maximum price, fixed price and design-build agreements, as well as subcontracts and trade contracts, indemnity agreements, contracts with design professionals and other consultants, and project labor agreements.  We use both modified AIA form contracts and free-standing agreements.  

With our deep knowledge of the construction field, we are able to advise clients on how to anticipate potential problems that can arise during the complex process of construction.   Construction advisory services the Firm regularly provides include the following:
  •     Negotiation with governmental agencies concerning site preparation, land use, historic preservation, abatement of hazardous materials and other issues
  •     Representation in bidding and other procurement disputes
  •     Counseling on positioning for claims and claim avoidance techniques
  •     Pre-litigation strategizing, to develop strong offensive and defensive positions in anticipation of litigated claims
  •     Development of innovative negotiation strategies to ensure project completion and minimize claims exposure
  •     Consultation on job-related problems, workouts, liens and default situations
  •     Assistance in selection and supervision of outside technical consultants to evaluate claims

Access Agreements:  The Firm has extensive experience drafting and negotiating access agreements that address the wide variety of issues that can arise between a developer and its neighbors, on projects ranging from brownstone renovations to high-rise developments.   

Negotiation of an access agreement can lead to litigation as well.  We have litigated may proceedings brought under RPAPL § 881, a statute that allows the court to order limited access to a neighbor’s property.  Such litigation can arise if the parties are unable to finalize the terms of an access agreement, or if one party refuses to negotiate.  Litigation can require retaining an expert, if there is a dispute over technical issues, such as the impact of excavation on the neighboring property.

Among the issues we have dealt with in access agreements are the following:
  •     Access fees
  •     Reimbursement for costs, including legal and design professional fees, surveys, and alteration of neighboring buildings
  •     Obtaining governmental approvals for protection, repair and shoring measures
  •     Underpinning, tie-backs, shoring, tangent and secant pile walls 
  •     Access for both parties where there are simultaneous construction projects
  •     Expert review and evaluation of underpinning during construction


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