Innovative Project Delivery Systems & Financing

Seyfarth Shaw’s construction practice has a wealth of knowledge concerning the evolution of project delivery, the role that procurement choices play in a project’s success, and the strengths and weaknesses of the various project delivery systems used throughout the world.

Our attorneys use this depth of knowledge to comprehensively evaluate projects so clients can make informed and appropriate procurement decisions. 

Project Management

The project management delivery system offers great potential for the knowledgeable, and tremendous risk for the unwary. The combination of construction and design management responsibilities under an agency agreement requires attention to issues not present in other delivery systems. Our attorneys have counseled clients on numerous projects delivered under project management agreements, and we have seen first hand the risks and benefits of this approach. We offer unique products and services, such as written agreements that have withstood the test of project disputes and litigation, fresh insights into insurance needs, and other risk avoidance and management tools peculiar to this delivery system.

In addition to counseling and transactional advice, our attorneys are adept at resolving disputes that arise on projects delivered under project management agreements. By utilizing our thorough understanding of the complex relationships and responsibilities under this delivery system, Seyfarth has reached fast and favorable settlements for our clients. 

Construction Management

The construction management delivery system presents its own set of significant risks and benefits. One such risk concerns the professional nature of the services offered by the construction manager. Our construction attorneys routinely assist clients in understanding this and other key distinctions between agency construction management agreements, and “at risk” general contracts. We are particularly knowledgeable about the additional licensing, registration and other business requirements associated with the construction management form of contracting. 

Our attorneys have drafted, reviewed, edited, and negotiated countless construction management agreements for both owners and construction managers. We thoroughly understand the financial, business, and insurance issues associated with construction management. Through our broad experience with this delivery system, we are skilled at positioning our clients strategically throughout the course of a project in order to maximize the return on their time and investment. 


The design-build delivery system, in which a single entity is responsible for the design and construction of the project, has grown in popularity in recent years. This delivery system is advantageous for both the owner and design-builder, as it permits them to deal with a single party and it promotes consideration of constructability and cost issues during the design phase. It is also well-suited for projects where it is important to achieve a state-of-the-art end result.

The design-build delivery system can pose certain challenges for contractors, especially when it is employed on a fast-track basis. It is particularly important that the parties’ respective roles be clearly defined and that contract administration procedures be streamlined and well planned. 

We have been in the forefront of drafting, negotiating, and administering design-build contracts that meet these important goals. Our attorneys are responsible for drafting the design-build contracts currently promulgated by the Design Build Institute of America and through that exercise have developed a detailed knowledge of all forms of design-build contracts including those drafted by the Engineers Joint Contract Documents Committee, Associated General Contractors, American Institute of Architects, International Federation of Consulting Engineers, and others.


Our attorneys have extensive experience drafting “turnkey” contracts, whereby, in addition to providing design and build services, the contractor provides other services such as financing, maintenance, and operations. Advising clients on this type of delivery system requires a greater depth of business knowledge and greater breadth of legal expertise. Drawing on the full range of capabilities of  Seyfarth Shaw’s other legal disciplines, our construction attorneys offer clients the resources and proven experience required to generate the results they expect.


In close cooperation with the firm’s real estate practice, our construction attorneys assist parties in the structuring of arrangements to pay the cost of construction. These financing options include:

  • Turnkey
  • Build-operate-transfer
  • Government bonds
  • Third-party payments
  • Conventional owner construction loan financing