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Building A Foundation Of Trust.

When a large construction project involves hundreds of people, there is more potential for claims to arise. Land disputes, zoning regulations, payment disputes—anything can affect the course of a project. From pre-planning to project completion, our attorneys work hard to ensure that all parties minimize their risk and meet their contractual obligations. We also try to anticipate potential legal roadblocks so that the project stays on time and budget. We help secure permits, comply with environmental regulations, negotiate contracts, resolve payment disputes, and address contract claims. We have experience working with all participants in the process: owners, developers, architects, engineers, environmental consultants, sureties, contractors, banks and financing sources, and state and local governments.

Our goal is simple: to reduce risk before, during and after the construction process. This helps to ensure a more profitable and efficient project for everyone.

For more information about construction law, contact Tom Knab, chair of the practice group.

For more information about construction law, contact Tom Knab, chair of the practice group.



  • Negotiation with other professionals (architects, engineers, accountants, general contractors)

  • Application assistance with venture capital sources, bank financing, local, state and federal government assistance programs

  • Negotiation and preparation of construction financing and, if eligible, development grants and tax incentive programs (e.g., Historic and Brownfield tax credits)

  • Introductions to and assistance with applications to county Industrial Development Agencies for construction assistance, real property tax relief and beneficial income tax credits

  • Real estate acquisition and transfer assistance, including purchase and sale agreements, property title issues, options and rights of first refusal

  • Recommendations to limit liability on construction projects and formation of appropriate legal entities (limited liability companies or corporations) to shield investors and principals

  • Negotiation and preparation of specific development documents, including AIA agreements, for general contractors, project managers, construction managers and subcontractors

  • Assistance in obtaining permits including presentations to local governments, State Environmental Quality Review Act review, zoning and planning board approvals

  • Environmental due diligence assistance, including review of Phase I and II environmental reports, property transfer analysis and liability assessment under applicable state and federal statutes

  • Brownfields redevelopment under New York’s Brownfield Cleanup Program, Environmental Restoration Program and Brownfield Opportunity Area Program


  • Assistance in wage issues including prevailing rates on public projects

  • OSHA compliance issues and investigations

  • Worksite accident claims, including negligence and New York scaffolding law issues

  • Asbestos abatement claims, defense of New York and EPA enforcement matters and cost recovery claims against subcontractors and responsible entities for causing dry removal or releases

  • Securing and negotiating payment and performance bonds

  • Negotiating takeover and completion agreements for sureties, owners and contractors

  • Change order review, negotiation and documentation

  • Labor law questions regarding employee organizing, picketing and other issues


  • Assistance in transforming construction financing into permanent mortgage or other long-term financing

  • Review government compliance and completion issues, including reports to Industrial Development Agencies

  • Resolving payment and breach of contract disputes through mediation, arbitration or litigation

  • Prosecuting and defending payment and performance bond claims

  • Preparation and enforcement of mechanic’s liens, lien foreclosure and Lien Law Article 3-A trust fund diversion claims

  • Resolving delay damage, extra work, change order, project impact and wrongful termination claims

  • Defending unpaid wage claims or employee benefit claims


Thomas F. Knab

Thomas F. Knab

Buffalo, NY

George S. Van Nest

George S. Van Nest

Buffalo, NY

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