Surety and Fidelity

Overview

The collective experience of Robinson+Cole's Construction Group extends to all contract and miscellaneous commercial surety instruments. Our lawyers are thoroughly familiar with all manner of construction industry forms of agreements and contract surety bond forms. We work comfortably with the complexities of scheduling and cash flow issues, appreciate the art of construction pricing, and are fully knowledgeable in the area of damages and cost accounting.

Our Services

We regularly coordinate with in-house counsel, bond claim representatives, and other third parties involved in the claims process. We handle every aspect of the investigation as well as surety bond claims, including negotiating and drafting completion, tender, and takeover agreements following contractor default. We also have a full understanding of a surety's right to indemnity and subrogation. At all times during client representation, we remain highly sensitive to issues of confidentiality and privacy. This sensitivity is bolstered by a thorough understanding of the intricacies of such matters as the attorney-client privilege and the work product and common interest doctrines.

In the area of fidelity bonding, we can assist in banker's bonds, financial institution bonds, commercial crime policies, and other types of bonding vehicles. We are equally knowledgeable about the charter provisions of financial institutions and the regulatory rules and agencies governing the industry.

Our Team

No matter the bond-related issue, our lawyers understand and can implement the steps that will minimize the potential for loss and avoid the need for litigation. Despite the best risk management strategies, disputes inevitably arise from such complex transactions. In the event this happens, Robinson+Cole is adept in managing complex litigation, mediation, and arbitration.

We have overseen a wide variety of disputes involving bid bonds, performance bonds, and payment bonds, including federal Miller Act and state Little Miller Act claims, bad faith claims, and matters involving the bankruptcy courts. Our lawyers routinely appear in state and federal courts, before administrative law tribunals, and before local, state, and federal agencies.

We are actively involved in local, state, and national construction and surety trade and bar organizations. Our lawyers frequently lecture and author articles on topics of interest to the construction and surety industries. We also organize and conduct seminars and training sessions designed to keep claims personnel up-to-date on changes and new developments in the law.

    • Experience
      • Successfully argued on behalf of a surety in a certified question before the Connecticut Supreme Court concerning the proper interpretation of the statutory public works payment bond claims procedures and defeated effort to read implied judicial default provision into the statute.

      • Litigation

      • Presentation of an oral argument to the Connecticut Supreme Court on behalf of a town and construction contract surety and successfully obtained affirmation of lower court's decision finding that the town had absolute discretion under Connecticut's subdivision statutes to forego calling subdivision bond posted by developer. *

      • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of a surety client under a performance bond on the basis that the bond obligee failed to provide notice of default in accordance with the requirements of the construction contract, the surety bond, and existing case law; in doing so, the District Court also dismissed a bad faith claim against the surety. *

      • Representation of a construction surety and obtained a summary judgment ruling against the bond principal and indemnitors, defeating claims of bad faith and obtaining judgment for all of client’s losses, costs, and expenses pursuant to the General Agreement of Indemnity. Action was pending in the Connecticut Complex Litigation Docket. *

      • Obtained decision confirming a surety's right to arbitrate claims against the owner through rights reserved in the takeover agreement. *

      • After a two-week trial, obtained jury verdict against three defendants on claims of employee dishonesty, fraud, conversion, and violations of M.G.L. 93A, including award of treble damages. *

      • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of a surety client, defeating bond principal and indemnitor's claims for bad faith, and in favor of surety as to substantial claims for indemnity under surety’s agreement of indemnity. *

      • Transactional

      • Oversaw the administration of payment and performance bond claims for the construction of military housing projects throughout the country, financed via a public-private partnership (PPP) between the United States Air Force and a private developer. Represented the surety concerning demands against each of the performance bonds from secondary obligees, resulting in a potential additional exposure of up to $50 million. Negotiated on behalf of the client with the developer/principal, multiple financing entities, and the Air Force to transfer control of all projects to a new developer, through which the surety received a full release of all performance bond liability. *

      • Representation of a surety engaged in the completion of several heavy/highway projects in Massachusetts and Connecticut with an aggregate value of over $55 million. Negotiation of takeover agreements with public owners, completion agreements with successor contractors, and subcontractor ratification agreements. Included preparation, presentation, litigation, and negotiation of affirmative claims on behalf of the surety.

      • *These matters were of counsel prior to an individual attorney joining Robinson+Cole.
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    • News
      • October 8, 2015

        Construction Lawyers Present at NASBP Regional Meeting

        • » more info
      • February 14, 2012

        Construction Attorneys Author Article Regarding Subdivision Maintenance Bonds

        • » more info
      • June 20, 2011

        Construction Attorney Presents Paper and Moderates Discussion at Defense Research Institute's Fidelity and Surety Roundtable

        • » more info
    • Publications + Presentations
    • "Deciphering and Navigating the Terms and Conditions of Industry and Modified Bond Forms," co-presented by Peter E. Strniste Jr. and Todd R. Regan, at National Association of Surety Bond Producers' Regional Meeting (9/28/2015)
      • » more info

Our Team

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