Sutherland has significant experience in real estate related litigation and an extensive construction litigation and alternative dispute resolution practice. We have represented owners and developers for many years in disputes and lawsuits between the various entities involved in the development process (i.e., developer-owners, contractors, management companies, brokers, lenders, sureties, architects and engineers, local and state governments and investors). These matters include:
- Rezoning and permitting appeals, both administratively and in state and federal courts
- Suits relating to long-term management agreements
- Joint-venture and partnership disputes
- Title insurance matters
- Commercial, office and industrial leasing disputes
- Brokerage commission claims
- Complex guarantor litigation
- Restrictive covenant/boundary disputes
- Condemnation, including “business loss” cases
- Negotiating and preparing contracts
- Project financing
- Bid submissions and protests
- Bonding issues
- Anticipation, avoidance and early resolution of construction problems
A representative sampling of such cases includes the following:
- Suits on behalf of owners to terminate long-term management contracts and to recover damages for mismanagement. This has included, for example, the successful representation of the owner of a large luxury hotel which terminated its management company under a long-term management agreement and took back possession of the hotel through self-help. We planned and directed the successful takeover of the hotel, successfully defended resulting lawsuits for damages and the return of possession of the hotel, and recovered over $1 million in damages for mismanagement.
- Successful defense of a suit by an alleged owner of a part interest in a large real estate project, who was seeking to prevent the sale of the project to a third party. We have handled several suits involving similar claims, where one party claims a partial interest in a project by virtue of an alleged joint-venture agreement or some other arrangement.
- Defense of several suits by real estate brokers for commissions in connection with the sale of real estate. Although normally we have defended against such commission claims, we recently tried a case in which we recovered a substantial commission for a broker.
- Successful suits on behalf of owners to recover amounts due under complex management and guarantee agreements, where the managers/guarantors tried to avoid their obligations to make cash flow and other guaranteed payments to the owner once their management contracts were terminated.
- Suits on behalf of owners and developers to recover damages for defective work and construction delays. For example, on behalf of an owner we recently obtained an arbitration award for approximately $1 million against a management company/contractor for defective work in connection with a large apartment project.
© 2013 Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP