We represent landowners, general contractors, and subcontractors in the drafting and negotiation of contracts, counseling at all phases, and the litigation or arbitration of disputes that arise regarding contracts and warranties.

A major construction project can be one of the most expensive, stressful, and time-consuming activities a property owner may ever experience. For contractors, the stakes are also high. Government has boards and departments that regulate licenses, permits, code enforcement and inspections. These officials are not really in a position to provide advocacy to parties in construction disputes. To address the risks and opportunities presented by construction contracts, Cowherd PLC provides professional assistance in the review, drafting and negotiating of construction contracts and warranties. Unfortunately, many construction projects get off to a bad start because the parties use a written agreement drafted for a different situation, contain ambiguous or lopsided terms, or fail to reference drawings or applicable warranty documentation. When an opponent threatens to stop paying, kick someone the job site, makes confusing demands, or refuses to correct or finish work, Cowherd PLC helps clients evaluate their rights under the contract documentation and the status of the job to mitigate the stress associated with decision making.

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John Cowherd is familiar with the language that frequently appears in construction contracts which may appear mysterious to parties who have not dealt with it before. In construction disputes, parties frequently feel like their money, resources, and energy are trapped in a project veering out of their control. While Cowherd PLC makes every effort to explore alternatives to litigation of construction contract, warranty or mechanics lien disputes, when such are necessary or unavoidable, the experience of John Cowherd trying construction cases is used to make the process as effective as possible. John Cowherd works with engineers and experts who can help maximize results. Cowherd PLC’s construction litigation practice keeps in mind that the use of the property is essential to the owner’s or tenant’s present life or future. The focus of the Cowherd PLC construction law practice also includes structural defects, disputes over party walls (or other adjoining owner concerns), the management of warranty claims, and use of consumer protection laws. While Cowherd PLC has substantial experience litigating defect claims after possession of the property is turned over to the owner, the focus of the practice is on representing owners or contractors in decision making or dispute resolution before or during the construction phase with broader considerations than the sum of a monetary damages award.

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For example, the client may need to know whether to kick the contractor off the job or insist that they complete the work, file or resist a mechanics lien, decide whether to accept or reject an unexpected change order, or address permitting or inspection problems. Cowherd PLC’s construction law practice is integrated with its community associations and neighbor law practices, where issues often intertwine, and the client needs an integrated approach to resolve seemingly intractable problems. Some people will say ANYTHING to get what THEY want, and Cowherd PLC protects clients against such people, whether in determining what the contract is and what it means, working with an expert to evaluate the sufficiency of work, or cross examining an opponent at trial.


Service Area

Fairfax County, Fairfax City, Falls Church, Arlington County, Alexandria, Prince William County, Manassas, Loudoun County, Montgomery County, Frederick County, Howard County, Prince George’s County, and Washington, D.C.

  • Virginia, Maryland & Washington D.C.

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