Construction and Real Estate Development

Sutin, Thayer & Browne lawyers assist clients in all aspects of construction and real estate development litigation, transactions and financing for projects across New Mexico, representing public and private developers, sellers, buyers, borrowers and lenders. The firm’s construction law experience includes construction litigation, government contracts and procurement for private and public works projects, litigating complex construction defect cases, preparing, analyzing and enforcing prime and subcontractor construction contracts, architect's and engineer's agreements and material supplier contracts. We are familiar with standard AIA documents and have developed our own construction contracts tailored to both residential and commercial projects. We have extensive experience in bid disputes and appeals of administrative and agency decisions at both the federal and state levels. We represent clients in private arbitrations and mediations under the Public Works Mediation Act. We prosecute and defend cases under the Miller Act and Little Miller Act and handle claims and defenses in surety, performance and payment bonds. We defend design professionals in malpractice claims and with regard to licensing and registration matters. We represent developers and New Mexico land and ranch properties in subdividing, property tax components of large ranches, and special methods of valuation and exemptions. We are familiar with regulations and laws governing insurance, construction, bonding, bidding and procurement. Our work in New Mexico includes a variety of real estate issues including land use regulation, planning, annexations, financing, acquisitions, easements, sales, exchanges, leasing and zoning, and developing commercial, industrial and residential real estate. Our work includes crafting letters of intent, right-of-entry agreements, purchase agreements, option agreements and brokerage agreements, reviewing surveys and title-insurance commitments, performing due diligence on zoning certification, site development plans, certificates of occupancy and parking requirements, drafting closing documents and certificates, and closing transactions. We offer expertise in all aspects of virtually any real estate transaction undertaken by a private or public entity including transactions involving trust land.

  • We have represented clients in complex litigation relating to the defective design and construction of an ethanol plant; litigation involving hydroelectric dam construction defects; litigation representing highway contractors for major New Mexico projects; and litigation involving soil conditions, ponding problems, roof problems, and storage tanks, defective concrete, swimming pools, nuclear effluent facilities and HVAC systems.
  • We represented a public agency in two representative development projects, preparing a request for proposals seeking a development team to finance, develop, and construct a large public works project; preparing a personal services contract for an architectural consultant; and providing legal advice on bond and wage issues, the Subcontractor Fair Practices Act, the New Mexico Procurement Code, the Retainage Act and the Public Works Act,.
  • We represented a state agency in a $200 million project entailing preparation of a development agreement, negotiation of a lease with an anchor tenant, and preparation of general terms and conditions for construction contracts.
  • We represent clients under the New Mexico Mechanics Lien Act, including the filing, foreclosure and defense and enforcement of liens, on behalf of owners, insurers, contractors, subcontractors and pursuit of third-party subrogation claims.
  • We represent clients in litigation and negotiation involving the design and maintenance of public highways under the New Mexico Tort Claims Act and claims relating to eminent domain, easements and boundary disputes.
  • We represented the lead lender in a $60 million real estate secured transaction financed using a combination of a multi-participant construction and mini-perm loan, a financial contribution from the Fortune 500 Company tenant, industrial revenue bonds, and state appropriations funded through New Mexico’s Local Economic Development Act. Specifically, our work included preparation and negotiation of participation agreements and loan documents; review of the build-to-suit lease and industrial revenue bond lease; negotiation of SNDAs; preparation and negotiation of loan documents; review of the title commitment and exception documents, surveys, phase I environmental assessments, and zoning and entitlement information.
  • We obtained a defense verdict for an architect in a construction and design defect case who designed a multi-million dollar home that was severely damaged by soil subsidence and related issues.
  • We represent clients in front of Boards of Contract Appeals and defend contractors in Federal Debarment proceedings.
  • We defend contractors under the False Claims Act and Program Civil Remedies Act.
  • We represent clients in labor and affirmative action audits and qui tam actions.