Thoughts on construction law from Christopher G. Hill, Virginia construction lawyer, LEED AP, mediator, and member of the Virginia Legal Elite in Construction Law

2011 Year End Construction Law Musings and Reflections

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Wow! Another year has passed and 2012 is just about upon us! I hope all of you had a great year and I look forward to a wonderful 2012 here at Musings.

As I sit here reflecting (or “Musing”) this day after Christmas, I am amazed at how quickly the first full calendar year of my solo practice has passed. It seems like only yesterday that I was announcing the move and receiving the great response to that move. Now, with that first full year under my belt, I am more sure than ever that my move was a great one. Solo practice really suits me, and also lends itself well to my area of practice, construction law. Where having a staff of one may have its outward limitations, the flexibility and sense of piloting my own ship more than makes up for this apparent limitation. Judicious use of the cloud (through Clio, my Blackberry Playbook, my ScanSnap scanner, and other web based technology) makes this apparent lack of administrative support almost a non-factor.

I’ve also found that my potential client base (contractors, subcontractors and other construction professionals) find my solo status to be a strength rather than a weakness. More flexible billing options, being a fellow business owner, and the responsiveness linked with a smaller structure are factors that my construction clients have seen as a bonus. In short, those worries that I may have had relating to my move are no longer there.

This year I was honored to be named to both the Virginia Super Lawyers Rising Stars and the Virginia Business Legal Elite in Construction Law. Add this to my new membership on the Board of Governors of the Virginia State Bar’s Construction Law and Public Contracts Section and appointment to the Executive Committee of the Richmond Chapter of the AGC of Virginia and this was a great year over all. Thank you to all of you that were involved with these great honors.

On the Construction Law Musings front, the year has been an interesting one as well. There was big news in 2011. As my readers know in spades, the construction economy has been rocky to say the least. The Virginia General Assembly made some key changes that will affect Virginia construction projects. We found out that the Chinese Drywall claims in Virginia will be a sticky situation (also search Musings for “Dragas” for more on this issue). Also, with the economy the way it is, sticking to the letter of your contract documents and getting written change orders is even more imperative. I encourage you to peruse the various pages of Musings for some of the other 2011 developments in Virginia construction law.

Of course, 2011 would not have been such an interesting year here at Construction Law Musings without the wonderful Guest Post Friday contributions. These posts ranged from IPad apps to green building to insights into federal contracting and claims. These last few links are only a few of the great posts and perspectives provided by the wonderful guest contributors to this construction law blog. Thank you to everyone that contributed (and continues to contribute) to the Guest Post Friday series here at Musings, this blog would not be the same without you.

Thank you to all of you who read and comment to this blog on a regular basis. Your thoughts and support keep me going when the creative juices seem dry. The encouragement provided by the knowledge that folks are out there reading is a real blessing.

Most importantly, and saving the best for last, thank you to my wonderful wife and great kids for the support, laughter and encouragement throughout 2011. That support and love made the good times sweeter and the inevitable and occasional struggles worthwhile.

As always, I welcome your comments below. Please subscribe to keep up with this and other Construction Law Musings.

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