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February 24, 2017

Division 8 (International Construction)

James Butler

International Construction’s Mission is to provide education, resources and assistance regarding project structuring, design, procurement, construction contracting, dispute resolution, financing and other issues relevant to international construction projects, transactions and legal disputes.

We have an open border’s approach to the practice of construction law, seeking out the best construction attorney’s worldwide to participate in our division substantive programs and hot topic calls.  We believe that through cultural and educational exchange our clients, respective firms and industry are best served.

Initiatives include:

International Construction holds monthly division calls on the third Thursday of each month at 1 PM East.  As part of our monthly division calls we hold Bi-Monthly educational topics.

We host and/or coordinate with another division to present substantive programs during the National Meetings (Mid-Winter,  Spring, Fall). Our topics focus on the needs of the international corporate counsel and construction attorney.  We typically invite corporate counsel to participate in these programs under the premise that by hearing what the client expects will enable our membership to be the best construction lawyers worldwide.

We also actively participate in the development of plenary sessions for the National Meetings via a concepts book.  Pending presentations –  Hot Topic, Division Event or Plenary include:

  • Joint program International Society of Construction Law
  • P3 Canadian vs United States
  • Product Liability Cross Border
  • Adjudication
  • Professional Liability Cross Border (domestically and internationally)
  • Discussion of P3 and IPD Contract Enhancements-look at South America
  • FDIC Contract Comparison
  • Enforcement of Arbitrator Awards Internationally
  • Doing Business in America as a Foreign Entity  (NY Convention)
  • Discovery Issues and Data Privileged Issues
  • Require Contract to specify central repository to store project documentation from the beginning
  • JV’s-agreement/hybrid contracting entities to make it work (IPD)
  • Inbound Perspective from a Domestic Attorney for international contractors doing projects for the first time in the US (A How to Guide)
  • “Globalization Effect”-How clauses are beginning to migrate due to this effect
  • Payment Security

International Construction hosts a database of construction counsel and consultants worldwide and manages introductions when queried by potential clients.

We have country representatives who are tasked with knowing the legal “climate” any and all changes to the practice of law, nuances within our industry, codes and approaches to matters.  In addition to this the country representatives are tasked with industry outreach with a goal of ensuring we have the best attorneys in our database while expanding our brand internationally.

International Construction collaborates with associations also involved in construction internationally  such as the International Bar Association/International Construction Projects Committee; Canadian College of Construction Lawyers; Society of Construction Law; and Latin American Construction Law Forum. With our industry colleagues we coordinate sessions and speaking opportunities for our membership, while inviting their leadership and members onto our panels ensuring an open exchange of ideas and knowledge.

Our leaders and members are active in publications – we have coordinated, edited and authored the American Bar Association Book “International Construction” and regularly submit articles and white papers to Under Construction and The Construction Lawyer.

International Construction is in the process of preparing guidelines, methods and modes of assisting in disaster relief and recovery domestically and internationally via contracts, a direct referral service/database (NGO, agencies, hotlines), from our ABA webpage.

We are also in the process of preparing continuing legal education, training and certification for adjudication for both domestic and international construction attorneys.

International Construction also believes that social interaction leads to lifelong friendships and helps our members gain a deeper understanding of the cultural aspects, social mores and behaviors requisite to being successful in the business environment in any country.  In addition to the educational aspects International Construction holds no-host dinners at each of the National Meetings.  Each dinner is held at a restaurant with international cuisine.  We also host a reception during the International Bar Association celebrating our Global Friendships, inviting the attendees, our membership and local Forum attorneys and consultants.

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James Butler

Division 8 Chair