Archive for the ‘Construction Law’ category

Leading Lawyers Profile of Laurie & Brennan Partner, Erin E. Krejci

January 16, 2019


Laurie & Brennan is proud to report that our own Erin Krejci is featured in the Leading Lawyers Magazine – Real Estate, Construction & Environmental Edition for 2019.

Erin is an experienced construction attorney who concentrates her practice on complex construction and real estate disputes. Erin litigates claims involving construction contracts, construction defects, delay claims, design errors and omissions, and mechanics liens.

Erin’s Leading Lawyers profile details her experience, highlights some of her noteworthy skills, and shares client and colleague testimonials commending her knowledge and practical approach to the resolution of construction claims.

To view Erin’s full Leading Lawyers Magazine – Real Estate, Construction & Environmental Edition profile, click here.  To contact Erin, please visit our website at


Purchasers Beware: Major Change to the Implied Warranty of Habitability in Illinois Construction Defect Cases

January 4, 2019

On December 28, 2018, the Illinois Supreme Court made a major change to the law of the implied warranty of habitability.  Overruling just over 35 years of precedent, the Court held that purchasers of newly constructed homes may not pursue claims for breach of an implied warranty of habitability against a subcontractor with whom the purchaser does not have a contractual relationship – regardless of available remedies against the seller.  Sienna Court Condominium Association v. Champion Aluminum Corporation, 2018 IL 122022 (December 28, 2018).

The case was initiated by the purchasers of condominium units in a newly constructed 111-unit property located in Evanston, Illinois.  In 2013, the purchasers filed suit seeking recovery for construction defects.  Among other claims, the purchasers asserted implied warranty of habitability causes of action against the developer which sold the units, the general contractor, and several of the general contractor’s subcontractors.

The subcontractors filed a joint motion to dismiss the implied warranty of habitability claims filed against them.  Eventually, the issue made its way to the Illinois Supreme Court.  The Illinois Supreme Court agreed to resolve the following question:  may the purchaser of a newly constructed home assert a claim for breach of an implied warranty of habitability against a subcontractor who took part in the construction of the home, but did not have a contractual relationship with the purchaser?

The Court answered this question in the negative.  The Court determined that the loss that could be recovered by the purchasers under the implied warranty of habitability involves disappointed commercial expectations – i.e., pure economic loss.  The Court reasoned that economic losses are contractual in nature and, therefore, require contractual privity between the parties.

The Sienna opinion includes two important findings.   First, the Court addressed Minton v. The Richards Group – a case on the books for just over 35 years.  116 Ill. App. 3d 852 (1983).  Minton provided an exception to the privity requirement in situations where the purchaser had no recourse against the builder-vendor and sustained loss due to faulty work caused by a subcontractor.  The Sienna opinion expressly overrules Minton, holding that the Minton exception is no longer available to purchasers. Second, the Sienna opinion reaffirms the economic loss rule set forth in Moorman Manufacturing Co. v. National Tank, 91 Ill. 2d 69 (1982), which provides that claims for disappointed commercial expectations – such as an implied warranty of habitability – are generally limited to parties in contractual privity.

The effect of the Sienna ruling will depend on the player.  On one hand, the ruling is concerning for purchasers. Though purchasers may have a reasonable expectation that their general contractor’s subcontractors will perform work on their new home competently, Sienna may ultimately preclude such purchasers from holding subcontractors responsible, even in the face of an insolvent developer or general contractor.  On the other hand, subcontractors that do not have a contractual relationship with a purchaser will likely welcome the ruling because it allows such subcontractors to depend on their own contracts to protect and define their project risks and economic expectations.

Are You Ready to Bid Farewell to the AIA 2007 Forms?

October 29, 2018

Many players in the construction industry rely on the American Institute of Architects (AIA) form contract documents.  In just a few short days the 2007 edition of many of the key AIA construction forms will no longer be available.  On October 31, 2018, the 2007 AIA forms will be retired and access to such forms will be terminated.

If your company routinely use such forms, it is imperative that you familiarize yourself with recent changes, make appropriate adjustments, and take the steps necessary to ensure a smooth transition to the 2017 forms.

If you need assistance bidding (a seamless) farewell to the AIA 2007 forms, Laurie & Brennan is here to help.  Please visit our website at or contact Krista Kapp at (312) 445-8783, Dan Brennan at (312) 445-8782, or Bill Toliopoulos at (312) 445-8784

UPCOMING SEMINAR ALERT: Construction Risk Management Strategies for Retail Developments

October 8, 2018


Bill Toliopoulos, Partner

On Friday, October 26, 2018, Laurie & Brennan partner Bill Toliopoulos will be presenting in Orlando, Florida at the U.S. Shopping Center Law Conference sponsored by the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC).

From design and construction contract provisions, to insurance choices, to surety bonds – risk management tools are necessary to anticipate, mitigate, and avoid project risks.  Bill, joined by industry colleagues Anthony Meagher and Trip Thomas, will lead an in-depth discussion of construction risk management tips, tools, and strategies for retail developments.

For more information on ICSC’s U.S. Shopping Center Law Conference, please click here.  If you would like to contact Bill, please visit Laurie & Brennan, LLP’s website at

UPCOMING SEMINAR ALERT: Selecting the Right Delivery Method for Your Project

September 26, 2018

           On Thursday, October 4, 2018, Laurie & Brennan founding partner, Dan Brennan, will be speaking at the ABA Forum on Construction Law’s 2018 Fall Meeting in Montreal, Quebec.

Dan Brennan

         Dan will be co-presenting Plenary Session 1, Getting Started: Selecting the Right Delivery Method for Your Project.  Dan, and his industry colleagues Howard Ashcraft and Lizz Patrick, will discuss the various project delivery systems and share insights as to why some delivery systems may be better than others for certain types of projects.  While the choice of the project delivery system ultimately lies with the Owner, Dan and his co-panelists will also address critical delivery method issues from the perspectives of Design Professionals, General Contractors, Construction Managers and other affected parties.

         For more information about the ABA Forum on Construction Law’s 2018 Fall Meeting, please click here.  If you would like to contact Dan, please visit Laurie & Brennan, LLP’s website at

UPCOMING SEMINAR ALERT: How To Avoid Unenforceable Construction Contract Provisions

September 18, 2018


Ryan Hiss                                     Bill Toliopoulos, Partner

     In negotiating construction contracts, professionals should be armed with knowledge of what terms are either too good or too bad to be true. When parties enter into a contract with false expectations of rights and responsibilities, it becomes a recipe for conflict.

On September 24, 2018, Laurie & Brennan partners Ryan Hiss and Bill Toliopoulos will be providing 2018 CFMA Midwest Regional Conference attendees with practical tips on avoiding unenforceable construction contract provisions.  Ryan and Bill’s presentation will focus on what types of contract terms and provisions are unenforceable under Illinois (and adjoining states) law as well as the necessary negotiating strategies to pave a path for project success.

For more information or to sign up for the CFMA Midwest Regional Conference, click here.  If you would like to contact either Ryan or Bill, please visit Laurie & Brennan, LLP’s website at

2018 NAWIC Annual Conference

August 29, 2018

Laurie & Brennan partner, Kendall Woods, recently participated in the National Association of Women in Construction’s 2018 Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida.


NAWIC is an organization dedicated to enhancing the success of women in the construction industry.  Kendall currently serves as the President of the Chicago Metro Chapter of NAWIC and enjoyed networking, sharing the successes of the Chicago Metro Chapter, and learning how other NAWIC chapters help women grow and succeed as leaders in the construction sector.

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