K&L Gates Named a “Go-To Construction Law Firm”
What’s in a Name? Recent Case Determines Using a Trading Name Does Not Invalidate a Notice of Adjudication
Technological Advances in Construction Payment Management

K&L Gates Named a “Go-To Construction Law Firm”

K&L Gates is pleased to have been named the “Best Firm to Handle the Construction Project of the Future” by Above the Law.

“The construction industry has been around for centuries, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t adapted to the changing times. The Construction and Infrastructure Group at K&L Gates draws from vast past experience to focus on ensuring that construction projects are sustainable for the next generation. The firm’s lawyers specialize in niche areas like integrating technology and IP into construction projects and incorporating clean energy and green initiatives. When you’re planning a construction project for a better tomorrow, K&L Gates is thinking ahead.”

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What’s in a Name? Recent Case Determines Using a Trading Name Does Not Invalidate a Notice of Adjudication

By Nita Mistry and Victoire Courtenay

Recently, in the case of MG Scaffolding (Oxford) Ltd v Palmloch Ltd [2019] EWHC 1787 (TCC), the Technology and Construction Court (TCC) held that the adjudicator did not lack jurisdiction and the notice of adjudication was valid, in circumstances where the adjudication was commenced and pursued against the responding party’s trading name.

The adjudication was commenced by MG Scaffolding (Oxford) Limited (MGS) against “MCR Property Group” (MCRPG). This was in fact a trading name for the correct contractual counterparty called Palmloch Ltd (Palmloch).

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Technological Advances in Construction Payment Management

By Jesse G. Shallcross and Daniel E. Raymond, K&L Gates, Chicago

A number of technology companies offer construction billing-management software designed to assist in the construction invoicing and payment collection process by electronically integrating billing, process claims, lien waiver collection, statutory declarations, sub-tier waivers, compliance management and payments.

Construction billing-management software has become increasingly popular among general contractors; a major reason is the simplification of the lien wavier collection process.  Before construction billing-management software, most general contractors managed the lien waiver process manually by creating a spreadsheet of all prime subcontractors, sub-tier contractors, and suppliers.  This process was time consuming, prone to error, and required updating.  Construction billing-management software eases this process by streamlining the collecting and tracking of lien waivers.  When a general contractor uses construction billing-management software, prime subcontractors are required to submit their contractor and material supplier information at the beginning of the project or the start of a new contract.  The information input by the prime subcontractors automatically appears in the general contractor’s master tracking index.  Further, the master tracking index is updated any time a prime subcontractor enters a change—thereby easing the general contractor’s burden of manually creating a spreadsheet and updating it.  The real benefit to general contractors, however, comes from construction billing-management software’s automated prime and sub-tier lien waiver collection process.  The software allows for electronic signature of prime and sub-tier lien waivers, and the general contractor’s master tracking sheet is updated as the electronic lien waivers are received.  As a further benefit, construction billing-management software automatically prevents payments to subcontractors that are missing or include incorrectly submitted lien waivers.  As a result of using construction billing-management software, general contractors can be assured a streamlined and efficient lien waiver process.

But, construction billing-management software’s efficiency does not come without a cost.  Often, subcontractors are unaware that projects they are bidding on require the use of construction billing-management software; accordingly, subcontractors take a significant financial hit by being unable to include the subscription cost in their bid.  The American Subcontractors Association, Inc., addressed this issue with a leading construction billing-management software company a few years ago; in response, the company altered its pricing from pre-transaction to a subscription model, with the idea this would simplify pricing.[1] With the addition of possible fees for the use of construction-billing management software, subcontractors should be even more vigilant in determining whether a general contractor requires the use of construction billing-management software before bidding on a contract.

[1] Letter from Walter Bazan Jr., President, American Subcontractors Association, Inc., to membership (September 2013), available here.

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