- Several law firms, including U.S.-based Peckar & Abramson, have formed the Leading Construction Lawyers International Alliance, which will provide legal services for construction industry clients throughout Europe, the Americas, Asia and the Gulf region.
- In addition to Peckar & Abramson, the LCL International Alliance includes French law firm Altana, the German law firm Breyer Rechtsanwälte and the consulting Paris-based dispute resolution firm PS Consulting. The group will serve a wide range of construction sectors — infrastructure, transportation, energy, oil and gas, industrial and building.
- The alliance consists of more than 130 professionals and technical consultants — many highly recognized in the fields of construction and infrastructure law — throughout Europe and the U.S. Despite the working relationship, each alliance member firm and their respective lawyers will remain independent.
The need for an international construction law resource, said Steven M. Charney, chairman of Peckar & Abramson and co-founder of the LCL International Alliance, is because the construction and infrastructure industries have become increasingly international.
"Thirty years ago," Charney said, "few, if any, contractors in the U.S. were owned or controlled by companies outside of the US. That has changed dramatically, with many U.S. contractors owned by international, often European, parents.
"Additionally, international companies have set up operations in the United States even without acquiring U.S. companies."
The same goes for project finance, development companies, specialty contractors and other construction industry players, he said.
"U.S. companies are operating outside the U.S., and foreign companies are operating in the U.S.," Charney said. "Too often difficulties stem from not clearly recognizing how construction and development practices, including legal systems or norms, from one country will or will not apply in others."
Charney said he expects contractors who already do business in several countries to enjoy the benefits of having one firm that can represent them in all locations, but the ultimate goal is for clients to reap those benefits through the engagement of the alliance's member firms with each other.
"By creating an international alliance of leading construction law practitioners with a genuine commitment to exchanging and sharing multinational perspectives and insights," he said, "clients, academia and the industry as a whole should benefit."
Clients operating from or in North America, Eastern and Western Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa will see the most immediate benefit from the LCL International Alliance, Charney said, but the alliance also has strong working relationships in Central and South America. Additionally, Peckar & Abramson has its own network in Central and South America, including through an association of construction law practices called Construlegal.
"As a result, we hope to bridge the benefits of the LCL International Alliance to Central and South American countries as well," he said.