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Lendlease Construction Inc. v. Circa 1200, et al.



IMS Consulting & Expert Services worked closely with our client Perkins Coie for more than a year and a half leading up to and throughout this 12-week proceeding. Perkins Coie represented Lendlease Construction, Inc., one of the world’s leading real estate development and construction companies.

Lendlease was terminated from the Circa LA project—a twin-tower, 400-foot skyscraper complex in downtown LA that is an award-winning and prominent landmark—as it neared completion. Lendlease brought suit against Circa 1200, the buildings’ owner, due to wrongful termination and failure to make proper payments for approved work performed by subcontractors.

The Challenge

This complex breach of contract dispute required the development of clear and compelling visuals to educate jurors about the construction process and help them understand the roles and responsibilities of the different parties, the process for communicating and implementing design changes during the production phase, and how subcontractors were scheduled.

To help convey the key case issues, our client sought multiple experts to speak on commercial and residential development in metropolitan areas. They needed to find a general contractor with substantial experience in multi-million-dollar projects and expertise in contract development, stipulations, and terminations. Requirements for the second expert included extensive experience in residential and commercial real estate development and asset management in large metropolitan areas. The client wanted both experts to be from a particular geographic area and have experience testifying at trial. Counsel needed to retain the experts within five days to meet disclosure deadlines.

The Solution

The IMS expert witness search team located eight expert candidates for each set of specifications within 24 hours of our client’s request. An IMS recruiter vetted each expert’s credentials, and profiles were sent to the client by the second business day. They were able to begin expert interviews the next day, and three experts were ultimately engaged to consult and testify in this matter.

The chosen candidates included a general contracting expert with more than 40 years of experience as a licensed General Building Contractor in residential, commercial, industrial, and mixed-use development for large-scale private and public projects, as well as two real estate development experts with a combined 80 years of experience in luxury real estate development and management. They brought academic credentials in real estate and planning, and industry expertise in financing, capital development, equity, fiduciary duty, and market analysis.

IMS trial consultants and graphic designers worked with the Perkins Coie litigation team for 18 months before trial, as well as on site through the proceedings, to create extensive multimedia presentations for jury research, mediation hearings, and trial. Our team assisted expert witnesses in illustrating major case points, including the underlying design problems, the impact of incessant design changes, the subcontractor procurement process, the contract requirements, and schedule delays. Visuals were also designed to support the testimony of Lendlease project executives and project managers who led the construction effort. The 577-slide closing argument pulled together all the strands into a clear timeline and a coherent summary of the case, and it provided jurors with a roadmap to navigate the verdict form.

The Outcome

Jurors returned a speedy and unanimous verdict in our client’s favor on all eight counts. Jurors praised the Perkins Coie trial team for their skill and professionalism, and they universally complimented the trial graphics. The jury foreperson stated that the closing argument and the “Hollywood-level production” that accompanied it pulled everything together and made it easy for jurors to find in Lendlease’s favor.

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