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Eye on Construction

We ask CLM members and fellows about trends in construction.

September 26, 2020 Photo

"What is one trend you’re watching closely in the construction industry?"


“As a result of the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions on litigation, we expect to see dispute resolution through virtual mediation on the rise. COVID-19 mandates from states have also caused construction projects to be delayed, abandoned, or shut down altogether, which will naturally lead to a significant increase in construction-delay-and-fee claims, as well as an uptick in mediation versus arbitration.”

 Wendy D. Testa, Partner, Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP. CLM Member since 2011.


“I’m looking closely at the impact that revised procedures and scheduling, due to COVID-19, are going to have on delay claims, as well as on future defect actions due to projects taking longer to complete and therefore being open to the elements longer than we typically see.”

Alex Chazen, Partner, Kahana & Feld LLP. CLM Member since 2017.


“Innovation has rapidly changed the construction industry as we know it. With an increased use of AI-driven technology in construction, it’s amazing to both use and see the data captured by these innovative solutions and how they adapt and integrate with other sophisticated tools that provide evidence that can be forensically reviewed, analyzed, and relied upon in ways we never could before.” 

Terence Kadlec, Practice Leader, Construction, Envista Forensics. CLM Fellow since 2017.


“COVID-19’s impact on construction litigation is still emerging. Stay-at-home orders; court closures; virtual depositions and settlement conferences; and unknown/vacated trial dates impact the complexion of construction litigation. Key events thought to require in-person attendance to formulate defenses and evaluate liability and damages are delayed or hamstrung. Collaboration is a challenge with people working remotely.”

Stephen Henning, Founding Partner, Wood, Smith, Henning & Berman LLP. CLM Member since 2012.


“Since COVID-19, I’ve noted an upswing in property owners pursuing construction-defect actions prior to completion. It is unclear if COVID-19 is a factor in ownership’s and investors’ return on investment (such as lost rents or construction cost overages) such that they are looking at litigation as an immediate source of funding. It also remains to be seen if the recent building boom will taper off due to potential hesitation to break ground.”

 Megan Ferris, Shareholder MacMillan, Scholz & Marks. CLM Member since 2016.



Percent of construction projects worldwide that were put on hold in Q2 2020.

Source: Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors


7.29 million

Estimated number of workers in the U.S. construction industry as of 2018.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

About The Authors
Phil Gusman

Phil Gusman is senior managing editor for CLM Magazine and Construction Claims magazine.  phil.gusman@theclm.org

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CLM’s Construction Community provides a forum for construction-related claims and litigation professionals to exchange ideas and share best practices. The community identifies trends and creates needed resources to meet the needs of the industry.

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