On June 7, 2021, Ken Roberts was quoted in Construction Executive on how the legal landscape is changing, and on how legal teams are helping clients sharpen their contract language and pivot in response to challenges in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
While the pandemic has slowed considerably and many states are returning to business as usual, a continued labor shortage, rising materials prices, and decreasing availability have continued to be thorns in the side for many project owners and contractors looking to effectively manage risk and avoid profit fade.
The initial surge to procure materials coincided with a dip in production at the peak of the pandemic, creating a perfect storm of high demand and ever-increasing prices amid dwindling supply. Steel, lumber, and copper remained at historically high prices at the beginning of May, and, while they are by no means the only materials experiencing price hikes in recent months, they are a prime example of why contractors need to plan carefully in advance for every project—and why contract language matters.
“Cost escalation and price volatility have led many of our clients to buy materials well ahead of schedule to ensure that they can obtain those materials for a certain price,” says Roberts.
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