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Real Estate & Construction

Real Estate Law

Shumway Van has a regional and local practice providing considerable ability and experience in practically all real estate related matters. The attorneys in our Real Estate Practice Group most often represent clients in a broad variety of sophisticated real estate related transactions and offer a complete range of legal services associated with the acquisition, sale, leasing, development, financing, joint endeavor, use and management of real estate.

Because our attorneys have experience in a range of real estate market cycles, our law firm understands the difficulties in both the up-cycles and slumps and have the depth and experience needed to recommend to clients legal strategies related to a variety of concerns. Many of our attorneys have had the opportunity to resolve complex and seemingly unsolvable dilemmas that require strong working relationships within the industry and a high level of understanding of the nuances of deals, leverage and collateralization of assets. Our law firm’s primary focus is on discovering useful and innovative solutions to facilitate our clients’ goals and closing transactions both advantageously and successfully in a timely and efficient manner.

The credibility of the attorneys in our Real Estate Practice Group is built on their profound understanding of the real estate industry and how real estate businesses work. Additionally, because real estate transactions and real estate related projects frequently involve a variety of legal practice areas, our law firm brings together the resources and experience needed by clients, offering each client access to skills and resources found in other practice areas, such as business, construction, securities and bankruptcy, and with attorneys whose practices overlap with various other disciplines. Our law firm’s “team” approach to legal issues makes it possible for clients to make the most of our resources which often results in smooth, value-added, high-quality legal representation.

With a detailed understanding of real estate and economic cycles, our law firm’s Real Estate Practice Group covers a broad variety of complex real estate related practice areas. Our principal areas of practice include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Real Estate Development
  • Acquisitions and Dispositions
  • Financing
  • Leasing
  • Construction
  • Environmental Matters and Sustainable Development
  • Eminent Domain, Condemnation and Property Valuation
  • Joint Ventures
  • Real Estate Investment Management
  • Hospitality and Gaming Industry
  • Distressed Real Estate
  • Zoning and Land Use
  • Condominium and Homeowners Association Documentation and Registration
  • Affordable Housing

Construction Law

Shumway Van’s Construction Practice Group recognizes and understands the complicated and varied dangers dealt with by the construction and development industry. Whether or not you are heavily involved in the construction industry and have been for years, or just getting started and need some initial guidance, our Utah attorneys can lead you through the labyrinth of difficulties that occur throughout the planning, design, building and operation of practically every type construction project. Our construction attorneys are adept with dealing with tasks of all shapes and sizes, consisting of, but not restricted to, the following:

  • Airports
  • Hospitals and medical centers
  • Strip malls
  • Apartments and condominiums
  • Hotels and convention centers
  • Industrial projects
  • Casinos
  • Public and private schools
  • Colleges and universities
  • Resorts
  • Retail and warehouse
  • Factories
  • Shopping centers
  • Warehouses
  • Highways
  • Office buildings

Our law firm’s Construction Practice Group consists of recognized and experienced attorneys. Michael C. Van, Esq. in particular, has decades of experience representing some of the largest construction companies in the region. Each of our Utah attorneys provides clients with pragmatic answers to the many technical and legal concerns which emerge during the course of a representation and strive to do so in a timely and efficient manner. Having represented contractors and others related to the construction industry during the most recent massive recession, we know how to keep costs low while maintaining very high quality.

Conflict Resolution. Many of our attorneys are experienced construction litigators, having dealt with a variety of construction related claims. Our construction attorneys have experience that spans all shapes and sizes of construction conflicts including cases including:

  • Acceleration
  • Change orders
  • Construction defects
  • Delay and disruption
  • Denial of access
  • Issues with differing conditions
  • Environmental concerns
  • Faulty plans and design specifications
  • Improper and/or negligent project management
  • Mechanic’s liens
  • Non-conforming work
  • Performance and payment bonds
  • Termination for default or convenience
  • Warranty and project closeout issues

Representative Clients. The attorneys in our Construction Practice Group represent owners and developers, general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, design and engineering companies, sureties and guarantors. We primarily represent local, regional clients and individual entrepreneurs.

Our construction related services are generally described as follows:

Agreement Preparation and Negotiation. We prepare and negotiate complex design and construction agreements, whether based upon lump sum, guaranteed maximum price, cost plus, expense plus fixed with fee, expense plus percentage of cost, and a variety of other types of contracts.
Contract Review and Risk Assessment. We assess proposed and existing agreements and recommend adjustments and identify terms that present significant threats to our clients. Our attorneys propose procedures and document controls to reduce the expense and schedule risks enforced by those contract terms and conditions that cannot be modified.
Accident Response. Our construction attorneys provide immediate feedback to assist clients in issues including construction accidents involving tragic loss, including major injury or death of employees, or the collapse and/or failure of equipment, structures or shoring.
Claims Avoidance and Management. We assist clients in adopting and embracing practices and procedures to avoid claims and/or to handle claims in a way that dramatically reduces the costs associated with them.
Dispute Resolution. Our attorneys have dealt with construction disputes of every kind, shape and size, and have access to experience of every kind with respect to both construction and development. This allows our law firm to resolve disputes effectively and strategically for our clients so that they can continue focusing on their core business.

Project Development & Finance

Shumway Van’s Project Development and Finance Group provides extensive legal guidance to clients engaged in infrastructure-related businesses. Our attorneys have considerable transactional, financing and regulatory experience in a variety of project development and finance sectors. This experience gives our attorneys a strong basis to provide practical and creative guidance to clients participating in project development in almost any way.

The attorneys actively participating in the Project Development and Finance Practice Group have experience in a variety of legal disciplines essential to produce a successful project despite its current phase of development. That breadth of that experience is supported by our law firm’s various other practice groups, including the Bankruptcy, Corporate and Securities, Intellectual Property, Lending and Structured Finance, and Real Estate Practice Groups. Having a full-service law firm allows us to offer clients a completely integrated legal team with the optimum breadth of expertise in order effectively take care of the many intricate legal issues connected with a development project. The following are a few of the specific areas in which our attorneys can offer assistance:

  • Project Structuring: Development of project ownership and funding arrangements designed to limit liability and permit efficient funding of a project, while at the same time following applicable regulatory requirements.
  • Documentation of Agreements: Drafting and negotiation of pertinent project related documents including, but not limited to, partnership agreements, asset purchase agreements, fuel supply and transportation contracts, operating agreements, lease agreements, engineering agreements, construction agreements, equipment purchase contracts and long-term service contracts.
  • Debt Financing: Representation of lenders, clients, companies and underwriters in furnishing or acquiring interim and long-term financing.
  • Equity Financing: Representation of purchasers and sellers in the acquisition and sale of equity interests.
  • Detailed Due Diligence Activities: Design and execution of comprehensive legal due diligence examinations of agreements and various other papers pertinent to the assets or company being acquired. Review of laws and regulations that could detrimentally impact the acquisition, construction or operation of the project.
  • Preliminary Development: Preparation of confidentiality, non-disclosure and non-circumvention contracts, engagement letters with project related consultants, letters of intent with potential business partners. Our attorneys likewise carry out a preliminary analysis of regional laws, normally with the assistance of local legal counsel or other local experts, to figure out whether a sufficient legal framework exists to support the investment.
  • Bankruptcy: Expert counsel to borrowers, lenders, secured creditors and committees of unsecured creditors.
  • Business and Securities: Expertise in a broad variety of transactional practice areas, including mergers and acquisitions, spin-offs and reorganizations, private placements of equity, investor arrangements, and employment and consulting contracts.

Zoning & Land Use

Those individuals and businesses that participate in today’s highly competitive real estate market often require more than just recommendations and guidance on complicated legal deals from their attorneys, they need a competitive advantage. The attorneys that make up our law firm’s Zoning and Land Use Practice Group are able to comprehend the myriad of legal issues that exist in relation to many real estate transaction and projects that exist today and provide years of experience and a unique ability to integrate of a variety of practice areas in order to provide a comprehensive and logical solution to a zoning and land use problem. This inter-disciplinary technique has allowed our attorney to develop relationships with federal, state and local regulatory agencies, developers, property owner’s associations, and market experts, ensuring that our client’s interests are well represented in all aspects of their particular land use matter. This understanding translates into our attorneys having the capability to determine both potential issues and specific options which provide our clients a valuable advantage whether they are purchasing, selling, or developing real estate assets.

The attorneys in our Zoning and Land Use Practice Group represent clients in a significant number of facets of national, regional and local land use matters including office, industrial, shopping centers, mixed use developments, resort developments and hospitality projects. From massive residential communities to the development of infrastructures for major cities, our attorneys are able represent clients on land use, regulatory and development issues. The following is a list of very general areas in which our attorneys are able to assist clients:

  • Planning and zoning approvals
  • Subdivision approvals and variance applications
  • Comprehensive plan amendments
  • Annexations
  • Facility siting
  • Infrastructure assessment
  • Site plans

The attorneys in this practice group serve as legal counsel to numerous businesses and people on zoning, planning and development matters while representing a range of commercial businesses, nationwide and local retailers and developers of real estate projects throughout the regions in which our law firm has attorneys practicing law. This breadth and depth of experience enables clients to have access to a fully incorporated land use team with experience throughout the country. Our dedication goes beyond traditional legal representation and provides these attorneys with the ability to bring new ideas and fresh, proactive, solutions to our clients.

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