Groff Murphy lawyers are focused on the practice of Construction Law. We work with general contractors, engineering firms, and public and private owners as they navigate the legal landscape before, during, and after their projects. We are experienced advocates for construction industry clients, skilled at handling all of the issues that can arise at the stages of a project from procurement to claim resolution. Our clients include some of the country’s largest and most sophisticated contractors, engineers and owners.
As a member of our client’s team, our job is not to just identify legal risks and obstacles. We understand the industry and the business needs of our clients and provide practical and productive solutions to their legal challenges. We act as outside general counsel to many of our clients. We strive to keep our clients out of trouble, but where alternative dispute resolution or litigation is necessary, we bring a wealth of experience representing clients in small disputes or very large, complex cases.
Our first responsibility is to keep our clients out of trouble. With this in mind, we believe that preventive practices are especially important. We provide preventive legal counseling on a daily basis to help our clients achieve their business goals with an eye toward minimizing legal risk and expense. We are familiar with all forms of construction contracts and methods of project delivery, including GC/CM contracts, design build agreements, and teaming agreements. Our deep knowledge of the applicable law and recognition of the practical realities of design and construction allow us to foresee and forestall potential problems that can arise on a project.
If trouble does arise, we have the experience and resources necessary to successfully handle any size dispute. The firm has a long record of leadership in alternative dispute resolution, with particularly extensive experience in mediation and arbitration. We have ably captained our clients through every size of arbitration and litigation proceedings, including numerous major, complex cases. We have the experience, knowledge, and artistry needed to get results for our clients in and out of court.
Following a two week arbitration, Groff Murphy prevailed on behalf of an earthwork subcontractor seeking compensation for 250+ extra work claims arising from three separate commercial construction projects in the Seattle region. The Arbitrator awarded the bulk of these claims, for a total award of more than $4 million in addition to attorney fees and prejudgment interest, which were also granted. Despite a challenging documentary record, Groff Murphy successfully argued that the prime contractor waived contractual notice provisions by its course of action, notwithstanding Washington’s uniquely strict application of such provisions under Mike M. Johnson, Inc. v. County of Spokane, 150 Wn.2d 375 (2003). Groff Murphy highlighted extensive contractor actions that established that the prime contractor waived strict compliance by directing the subcontractor to perform myriad extra work items without regard for the subcontracts’ formal notice and claim provisions. The arbitrator agreed with Groff Murphy that the prime contractor could not later rely on notice requirements as a bar to the subcontractors’ claims, validating the subcontractor’s claims and preventing the prime contractor from retaining the benefit of extra work without due compensation.