Fifteen former senior managers of Hillier Architects, a practice that sold itself to Scotland-based RMJM in a deal completed in 2007, have filed a lawsuit in New Jersey state court to force RMJM to pay bonuses that were promised as part of the sale agreement. In completing the $24-million buyout of Princeton-based Hillier, RMJM agreed to pay-to-stay bonuses, in cash and stock, for senior Hillier managers. But as the economy worsened in 2009, RMJM CEO Sir Fraser Morrison, citing delays in projects, informed the senior Hillier managers that it would be unable to pay the bonuses on schedule and instead
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.