Construction law is complex everywhere, but especially in Texas, where the regulations can be confusing and poorly written. Whether you’re looking for a construction lawyer in Dallas to negotiate a contract or litigate construction payment disputes, you want a law firm with deep knowledge of Texas-specific construction requirements, not a “generalist” law firm that also happens to do some work in construction law. You don’t want to end up paying a lawyer by the hour to brush up on deadlines for mechanics liens in Texas.
When your money, reputation, and future business are on the line, you can’t afford to hire second-rate representation. You need the top construction lawyers in Dallas on your side.
(Not sure if you actually need a construction lawyer yet? Brush up on exactly what a construction lawyer does – and when they’re necessary.)
If you’ve got a problem that only a construction attorney can solve, we’ve done the research to help you get the right help. This is our list of the 5 Best Construction Law Firms in Dallas.
Table of Contents
1. Best Boutique Law Firm – Griffith Davison
Griffith Davison is a firm with skill, experience, and capability in construction law. With 15 lawyers on staff, the firm is focused on the construction industry in a way few other smaller legal groups can match.
- Public, private, and commercial
- High-density Residential
- Heavy Highway
They focus their efforts in the areas of:
- Claims Analysis
- Bond & Lien claims
- General Counsel
Drafting and negotiation of construction contracts, contract disputes, equipment and material fails, and a myriad of other legal services are available from Griffith Davison and all are available with a close eye on the costs involved. This is a firm focused on construction law in Dallas that takes great pride in caring about its clients and their checkbooks.
Griffith Davison was named as one of “The Best Law Firms in 2019” by U.S. News & World Report. The firm ranked in Tier 2 for the Dallas/Fort Worth area in Construction Litigation and in Tier 3 in the areas of Construction and Real-Estate Law.
Kimber Davison, the Managing Shareholder of Griffith Davison, was recently appointed to the TEXO Association Board of Directors, a clear sign that they stay on top of what is happening in the construction industry (TEXO Association is the largest commercial contractor group in the state of Texas). That’s vital to helping a client understand the constantly changing landscape of construction law in Dallas.
2. Best Growth Law Firm – Saunders, Walsh & Beard
Saunders, Walsh & Beard have made their commitment to construction law as clear as glass. They put Construction Law as the primary practice area on the Client Services webpage. Located just outside downtown Dallas in McKinney, this law firm has lawyers endorsed by the Construction Lawyers Society of America™. That’s a rare honor for a firm that’s only been around since 2012; it means they’ve got talent and know how to get problems solved.
Led by partner Mark Walsh, who focuses on contracts, construction and development, the firm performs many of the same services as others in the construction law world, including:
- Negotiation, review, and preparation of prime contracts and subcontracts
- American Institute of Architects (AIA) documents
- Lien waivers
- Surety bonds
- Joint check agreements
- Contract assignment actions
Saunders, Walsh & Beard have represented numerous large and small construction companies and they are experienced in large industrial and commercial projects like water treatment plants, stadiums, schools, and hospitals, as well as smaller residential and office build-outs.
3. Best Northern Texas Bullpen – Barnes & Thornburg
Barnes & Thornburg is one of those law firms that gets into every aspect of building projects. Even before the work begins, there are a lot of legalities that must be considered. From start to finish and beyond, Barnes & Thornburg can make a difference. Their website includes a blog devoted solely to current construction law issues – a clear sign that they are on top of the latest news among construction lawyers in Dallas.
Led by construction-focused partners John Corbett, the firm can tackle just about any issue pertaining to construction law. Project financing, tax considerations, local and federal government regulations and codes, and a literal spider’s web of interconnected documents. Many of the stickier issues involve environmental concerns, permits, and compliance in the areas of hazardous materials remediation and wetlands permitting. This firm is noted for its expertise in the areas of green building and LEED certification.
Barnes & Thornburg work closely with clients in the non-profit sector as well as with businesses developing commercial, medical, government, and educational facilities. Their Dallas office is one of fifteen locations across the United States.
4. Best Peer Reviewed Law Firm – Peckar & Abramson
Peckar & Abramson is one of the biggest construction-focused law firms in America, with construction lawyers in Dallas, Houston, and Austin, as well as other major US cities. They’ve received lots of awards from U.S. News & World Report’s The Best Lawyers / Law Firms in America 2019 publication. They’re also listed in Who’s Who Legal, Chambers and Partners USA, and many other highly respected publications with verified peer reviewed rankings.
Led by partners Jeffrey Ford and Timothy Matheny, this firm puts serious resources into construction law. For over 40 years, Peckar & Abramson have set the standard for construction law practices. Their practice areas include:
- Construction dispute resolution
- Project agreements/disputes
- Construction regulations
- Project funding
5. The Big Kahuna – Alston & Bird
Alston & Bird is the construction law firm with the most lawyers, most offices in America, most international offices, greatest longevity in the field of construction law, and the most lawyers receiving the most awards and honors in lawyerdom. That’s a lot to say in one sentence, but it’s all true.
According to U.S. News & World Report, this is the construction law group, with 44 National and 115 Metro rankings, along with a slew of individual high ratings for the attorneys on their staff. After being rated as the Best Construction Law Firm in America, there’s not much room left for argument.
With construction lawyers in Dallas and many other major cities in America, and around the world, Alston & Bird have a deep appreciation of construction law no matter where the client or project may be located. Founded in the late 1800’s, Alston & Bird has been deeply involved in the world of construction as it has evolved over the decades. Their roster of award-winning lawyers give their clients confidence that they have the “top guns” of the construction law world on their side.
5 steps to reduce your need for a construction lawyer
A good construction lawyer is worth their weight in gold. But you don’t always need to spend that gold in order to get results. Here are 5 steps you can take to improve your on-the-job communication with other stakeholders and cut back on your need for legal representation.
- Make sure your contract or work agreement is solid. Brush up with our Guide to Common Construction Contract Parts. Our in-house lawyer team has also prepared a boilerplate construction contract that is available to download for free.
- Get in the habit of sending a preliminary notice when you start every job. In some states, you’re required to send a notice in order to protect your right to file a lien in the future.
(You can send a preliminary notice for free here.)
- Communicate clearly during the project to set clear expectations for the project owner or GC. Sending something as simple as a project awareness letter can have an outsized impact. If the GC hears from you when you’re on the job site, they’re more likely to remember you when it comes time to cut the checks.
- Send invoice reminders. If you haven’t gotten paid for a job yet, it may just be that your invoice got lost in the shuffle. Sending an invoice reminder to the GC or property owner won’t just jog their memory; it also shows them that you’re seriously organized.
- File a mechanics lien with a lien filing service. Generally, it’s easy to do this without the need for a construction lawyer. Many lawyers will actually refer their clients to a lien filing service first because a lien, if prepared and filed correctly, makes it easier for them to enforce or foreclose on the lien should payment not be received.
If you need more help deciding what to look for in a construction attorney, download our free guide, How to Find a Construction Lawyer.