Development Risk Management

Development Risk Management


Cox, Castle & Nicholson proactively assists its clients with identifying, managing, and insuring operational risks. Our approach is holistic and integrated so that each risk management tool is implemented to be consistent with and support the others.

Contractual Risk Transfer

We negotiate, draft, and enforce major risk transfer provisions in real estate and construction documents, including purchase and sale agreements, design, consulting, and construction contracts, partnership and LLC operating agreements, leases, and other documents. These provisions include:

  • Compliance with laws
  • Indemnification
  • Insurance requirements
  • Limitations of liability and disclaimers
  • Remedies and alternative dispute resolution
  • Warranty and guarantee provisions

Operational Risk Management Counsel

We counsel our clients on a wide range of operational risk management issues, including:

  • Construction contract administration, including management of insurance coverages provided by other parties
  • Due diligence in connection with acquisition and disposition of land, partially- and fully-entitled projects and other assets
  • Effective customer service and warranty programs, including training for our clients
  • Entity selection, structuring, and dissolution
  • Quality assurance and forensic inspection programs for design and construction

Project Documentation

We draft client-protective provisions in residential and commercial project documents, including:

  • CC&Rs and other project governance documents
  • Residential consumer sales agreements and other sales materials
  • Specially tailored disclosures

On-Call Strategic Advice

We provide strategic legal advice to clients in crisis settings, both prelitigation and in litigation. We assist with:

  • Applying effective media relations tactics
  • Combating solicitation efforts by plaintiff lawyers
  • Marshalling our clients' and other parties insurance resources
  • Negotiation and documentation of interim settlement, standstill and tolling agreements to preserve the parties' rights but permit development, construction, sales, and leasing to continue
  • Selection, engagement, and management of consultants

Pre-litigation Claims And Litigation Counsel

We regularly serve as pre-litigation and litigation counsel for our clients including in a wide range of complex real estate, construction, and insurance coverage matters. We also serve as trial counsel and as mediation advocates, including disputes involving construction defects, project close-outs, construction delays, payment issues, design professional errors and omissions, and class actions. We are also adept in the structuring and enforcement of alternate dispute resolution provisions.


Assisted numerous clients throughout California, Nevada, and Arizona in creating and implementing anti-plaintiff lawyer solicitation strategies and protocols.

Assisted clients in structuring components of distressed asset (residential/mixed-use) acquisition to avoid Title 7 (SB 800) liability.

Developed consultant investigation, communication, and documentation protocols for numerous public and private developers to maximize confidentiality and minimize disclosure liability exposure.

Served as risk management counsel for a national developer in connection with the disposition of a high-rise condominium project with both sold and unsold units, including resolution of a dispute with the buyer regarding potential future construction liability issues through negotiation of risk transfer and insurance provisions

Served as risk management counsel for the developer of a 16-story condominium tower in Southern California, including negotiation and drafting of architect, engineer, and general contractor agreements and legal review and negotiation of insurance policy forms and endorsements for the project-specific OCIP and professional liability insurance programs.

Defended a national public homebuilder in a homeowner class action suit involving alleged soils and structural code violations and other deficiencies in over 400 homes.

Attorneys &

Name Title City Phone  
Masters, Jeffrey D. Partner Los Angeles 310.284.2239
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McGovern, Patrick Senior Counsel Los Angeles 310.284.2298
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Musitano, John R. Partner Los Angeles 310.284.2212
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Williams, Kenneth Partner Los Angeles 310.284.2209
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