Ferrara Fiorenza P.C.

For Your Next Capital Construction Project, Consider a Retainer Agreement to Save on Legal Costs

In order to assist school district and BOCES clients in their efforts to reduce expenses associated with much-needed capital construction projects, some school attorneys (including our law firm) have developed a new fee arrangement for legal services provided on such projects. Specifically, our firm has developed a new retainer agreement that will allow a school district to budget for its school district attorneys’ fees much in the same way it does with its bond counsel, architect and construction manager.  We believe that through this arrangement our clients will be able to avoid and/or resolve disputes in their construction projects without worrying about hourly attorney fees. 

Our hope is that under this arrangement administrators will not be as reluctant to involve their school attorney early and often throughout the project, rather than waiting until a major problem has occurred and parties’ positions have become cast in stone. By involving your attorney this way, you may be able to resolve issues quicker or correct the actions of non-conforming contractors to keep your project on-time and on-budget.  

Discuss this type of retainer agreement with your school attorney.  We recommend that you establish this relationship as soon as you are considering undertaking a capital project.  Under our retainer arrangement, we will provide your school district with pre-referendum agreements with the architect and construction manager and work with your school district to ensure that the SEQR process is properly completed prior to the board proceeding with the referendum. The retainer will also cover working with your school district to either issue Requests for Proposals for architects and construction managers or negotiate contracts with your existing architect and/or construction manager.  Check with your school attorney for the existence of similar cost-saving arrangements. 

If you have any questions about these retainer agreements for capital projects, please feel free to contact Joseph Shields at 315-437-7600.