Construction (including construction litigation) in United States

Holland & Knight LLP

Holland & Knight LLP provides construction counsel to high-profile clients across the US from its Florida, Washington DC, New York, California and Illinois offices. Washington DC-based Stephen Shapiro recently acted as project counsel on a $6bn engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract to build an LNG export facility in Texas, advising a joint venture formed by three of the largest global industrial and infrastructure contractors. Shapiro was supported by Orlando-based duo Ben Subin and Monte Starr. The trio also combined to assist a contractor consortium with a P3 project to upgrade a state highway, with the project value exceeding $2.5bn. On the contentious side, Shapiro represented Barton Malow Company in disputes against the electrical contractor concerning the expansion of the Notre Dame football stadium in Indiana. He also acted for Lendlease in disputes with the owner of a high-rise condominium project in Baltimore, with claims totaling over $10m. Bryan Phillips, who is based in Washington DC, advised The Bernstein Companies on construction contracts relating to the Marriott Hotel project in Washington. New York-based Frederick Rohn is also recommended.

Jones Day

The construction practice at Jones Day is especially skilled in assisting troubled projects with successful completion and litigation avoidance. San Francisco-based Rowan Mason, who was recently promoted to the partnership, was part of the team that supported San Francisco-based Stephen O’Neal in a $2.2bn defense of Chevron against multiple claims by CPB Contractors. Claims brought against Chevron's US-based entities were successfully resolved; litigation continues in Australia. Kent Lindsay and David Wallach, who are based in the firm's San Francisco office, were also part of the team. In other headline litigation work, the firm is representing the Transbay Joint Powers Authority, one of the primary parties in the San Francisco Millennium Tower project; the dispute concerns defects with the tower, which have led to sinking and tilting among other issues, and amounts at stake total to more than $1bn. Los Angeles-based Daniel McMillan leads on the matter and has extensive experience in complex disputes; he is supported by a sizable team including of counsel Jeffrey Kirzner, who is based in Irvine, and counsel Jacqueline DeCamara, who is in the Los Angeles office. McMillan also has notable transactional expertise, which was evident in his advice on construction contracts for the next phase of the City of Hope project, which totals $750m. He was supported by Dallas-based Peter Laun. Andrew Ness retired.

Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton

The construction team at Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton is praised for its 'understanding of the needs of in-house lawyers' and 'takes the initiative and is well organized'. Lee Mann leads the practice, and recently represented heavy equipment supplier Andritz in a dispute with the owner of an ethanol production facility, with over $42m at stake. He was supported by Hayley Ambler, who also acted alongside Brian Corgan and Daniel Swaja in representing Westinghouse Electric Company in matters arising out of the design and construction of new nuclear units; the group resolved $1.6bn federal court litigation in favor of the client and is now finalizing matters and winding down negotiations. According to clients, Swaja and Randall Hafer 'best embody' the qualities of the firm, namely that they are 'extremely efficient and always well prepared'. Hafer successfully represented Liberation Capital as the owner in $24m arbitration arising out of a waste energy project in Ohio. Also of note is Houston-based Patrick Gaas, who represented an EPC contractor in transaction disputes with the owner totaling over $1bn. He was supported by a Houston team including Daniel Shank and counsels Heather Asselin and Sumit Arora. All named attorneys, unless otherwise stated, are based in the firm's Atlanta office.

Peckar & Abramson, P.C.

Construction specialist Peckar & Abramson, P.C. 'excels at handling disputes involving complex issues related to delay and disruption' and is considered by some to be 'the premier construction boutique firm in the country'. It has offices across the US, and primarily works with general contractors and construction managers on transactional and contentious matters. The team has undergone a period of relative transformation recently, with three new arrivals, namely Los Angeles-based Ronald Helmuth, previously head of his own firm, Barry Brooks in Dallas from McGuire, Craddock & Strother, P.C., and Austin-based Karla Pascarella from Isolux Corsan. Helmuth recently acted for a joint venture comprised of two national contractors in contract negotiations for a new major airport terminal. Supported by New York-based chairman Steven Charney and Los Angeles-based Alex Baghdassarian, Helmuth also represented the client in multiple claims associated with the project. In another highlight, New York-based Gregory Chertoff led a team defending significant claims brought against a major construction company for alleged negligence related to floodwater damage. Washington DC-based Christopher Sweeney, who was recently promoted to senior counsel, is noted for his litigation expertise. Founding partner Robert Peckar, who is based in New York, is another key contact.

Akerman LLP

Akerman LLP's construction group is led by the experienced Jeffrey Gilmore, who divides his time between the firm's Tysons Corner and Washington DC offices. Especially skilled in contentious disputes, Gilmore is representing Rizzani de Eccher, the prime contractor on the $2bn construction of the Al Udeid Airbase in Qatar, in claims brought by US federal agencies and the armed forces. Gilmore also successfully obtained a favorable ruling for the Denver Federal Center in disputes arising from the design-build contract for the Recovery Tier III Data Center in Colorado. On the transactional side, Fort Lauderdale-based Stacy Bercun Bohm and Leslie Miller Tomczak advised the Faena Group on the $700m development of the Faena District in Miami Beach, which includes a $250m hotel construction as well as an $80m arts center. In addition, the duo assist Fort Capital Management as owners and developers of Surf Club and the Four Seasons Hotel in Surfside, Miami Beach. Washington DC-based Owen Shean is also assisting with this $500m project. Neisen Kasdin, who is based in Miami, is also noted.

Eversheds Sutherland

At Eversheds Sutherland, practice head Lee Davis is experienced in resolving disputes across industrial and commercial construction projects. He recently represented the electricals subsidiary of an international manufacturer in a dispute with federal authorities relating to a multibillion-dollar plant project. The group works closely with the energy team, as was the case when advising one of the largest energy companies in North America; with the energy team having compiled the financing orders, the construction team, including Davis and counsel Jesse Lincoln, analysed construction contracts, and acted for the client in pursuing claims against contractors relating to failures in the foundations of a Texas solar plant. Davis, Lincoln and litigation specialist Jack Massey also represented a multinational energy transportation company in disputes arising from the construction of a major natural gas pipeline.

Jones Walker LLP

Jones Walker LLP's construction practice is co-chaired by Atlanta-based Chad Theriot and New Orleans-based Michael Drew; the duo primarily specialise in high-profile complex litigation. Theriot recently represented Bollinger Shipyards against the City of New York, Department of Environmental Protection concerning costs overrun for a barge construction contract. Supported by highly commended associate William Underwood, Theriot successfully resolved the matter in favor of the client, including securing unprecedented recovery of delay and acceleration damages against the City. In another highlight, Tyler Scarbrough, who was recently made up to partner, together with Theriot and Underwood, acted as lead counsel to voestalpine on the $740m greenfield development of a HBI plant in Texas. The team have also acted for the client in contract disputes against two contractors arising out of the project. Also recommended is Neal Sweeney, who represented an international EPC contractor in litigation against the owner of a $60m windfarm project concerning unpaid balances and change orders; he was supported by associate William Shaughnessy.

King & Spalding LLP

The team at King & Spalding LLP has a strong track record in energy infrastructure projects, including LNG and petrochemical plants, as well as contentious disputes. Scott Greer leads the transactional side, and recently advised LNG Canada on a $31bn export terminal in British Columbia, the first in Canada's history. Counsel Rajesh Patel and Washington DC-based Cynthia Stroman were also involved. Greer is supported by counsel Rob Garner, who divides his time between Atlanta and Houston, in assisting Motiva Enterprises with the development of a new petrochemical project to be built in Port Arthur, Texas. On the arbitration side, experienced litigator Mike Stenglein, who is based in Austin, is representing Reficar in ICC arbitration against CB&I relating to disputes arising from the construction of the Cartagena Oil Reifnery. He was assisted by Adam Gray, who splits his time between the Austin and Houston, and Doak Bishop. Named individuals are based in the firm's Houston office unless otherwise stated.

Mayer Brown

The team at Mayer Brown handles construction matters primarily out of the firm's Chicago and Houston offices and provides 'high quality legal work', delivered 'in a timely fashion' by attorneys who are not only 'fun to work with' but also 'very knowledgeable regarding their practice areas'. Joanna Horsnail leads the practice from the Chicago office, and recently acted for Bristol-Myers Squibb on drafting and negotiating construction documents for a new $900m manufacturing facility in Ireland. In this, Horsnail was supported by Chicago-based associates Sara Hess and Jeffrey Edwards, who is 'very knowledgeable' and 'strong on industry-related business terms'. Hess and Edwards were also part of a team led by Joseph Seliga, and also including Stephanie Wagner and associate Rachel Smith, that acted for the Texas Department of Transportation on two interrelated projects totaling over $1.25bn, namely advising on the P3 project for the SH 183 highway and assisting with finalizing design-build agreements for the Southern Gateway project. Seliga has also advised the same client on all aspects of bidding, procuring and negotiating more than ten highway projects throughout Texas, including the SH 288 Toll Lane project in Houston; he was supported by Mitch Holzrichter, as well as a number of associates. In other work, Holzrichter and Seliga led the advice on the $2bn Interstate 10 Mobile River Bridge and Bayway Project for the Alabama Department of Transportation; associate Nicholas Vallorano was also part of the team.

Moye, O’Brien, Pickert & Dillon, LLP

The construction practice at Moye, O’Brien, Pickert & Dillon, LLP is, according to one client, 'the best in the US', and is led by managing partner James Moye, who is, according to some, 'the best construction lawyer and litigator in the business': his 'knowledge , commitment, instincts and strategic skills separate him from the rest', making him 'an absolute go-to lawyer'. Moye supported Mark Masterson in advising I-4 Mobility Partners as designer, constructor and operator of the $2.3bn I-4 Ultimate project for the Florida Department of Transportation. The project will add additional highways to the existing interstate while also widening the interstate through the heavily congested Florida area. The team is also representing the client in multiple claims, including a $60m claim relating to alleged extra works and delays. In other work, Moye took a lead role in assisting a joint venture of two major contractors with the $1.3bn design-build Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project; Sean Dillon, Megan Cantlebary and 'talented associates' Whitney Ellis and Marshall McDonald were also part of the team. The same group also represented the client in resolving claims for delay damages amounting to $100m. Working alongside Masterson, Moye also advised a joint venture comprised of an ENR contractor and major Texan contractor on the Loop 375 - Border Highway West Extension Project. Supported by a team including Anthony Kovalcik, the duo assisted the client with developing, pricing and initiating approximately $60m worth of claims for alleged damages against the project's designer. Named attorneys are based in the firm's Florida office.

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP's construction practice is chaired by arbitration specialist Clark Thiel. He has been involved in litigation for major high-profile projects including the Millennium Tower in San Francisco. Supported by John Heisse and Washington DC-based duo Michael Jaffe and Melissa Lesmes, Thiel represented a joint venture comprised of Clark Construction and Hathaway Dinwiddie in construction and insurance disputes, and defended claims alleged by the owners and developers against the client. Heisse, alongside Robert James, also provided legal counsel to the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District on public procurement and the contractual aspects of major expansion proposals, in addition to a multibillion-dollar railcar procurement. James also worked alongside Thiel in representing Stanford University and Hospitals on projects totaling over $5bn. These include the New Stanford Hospital and the expansion of the children's hospital. The firm has a strong track record acting for educational facilities, and Washington DC-based Jeffrey Gans represented New York University in a $1.4bn litigation filed against Turner Construction for alleged breach of contract and negligence. Michael McNamara in Washington DC, Robert Thum in Los Angeles and William Hale are other names to note. Named individuals are based in San Francisco unless stated otherwise.

Seyfarth Shaw LLP

Bennett Greenberg and Sara Farabow, who are based in the firm's Washington DC office, co-chair the 'nationwide' construction practice at Seyfarth Shaw LLP, which is praised for providing a service that has 'the feel of a local, personal nature' and 'never gives the impression that we are just one of a long list of clients'. The New York office is headed by Alison Ashford, whose primary focus is the structuring of projects and negotiating project agreements, including public-private partnerships at the government level; she also has an impressive track record in energy, mining and natural resources projects. In recent work, Greenberg is representing the Municipality of Anchorage in major litigation against participants in the Port of Anchorage Intermodal Expansion Project, totaling more than $340m. Additionally, the team, including Washington DC partners Jason Smith and David Blake, are preparing design-build and construction management contracts for aspects of the project that total $250m. Greenberg and Blake were also the key names on the $500m redevelopment of Reagan National Airport for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. In addition, Greenberg is advising the Transbay Joint Powers Authority on all construction-related matters pertaining to the $4.5bn development of the new transit center in San Francisco. Alongside Michael McKeeman and counsel Patty Lee, who are based in San Francisco, Greenberg acted for the same client in successfully resolving $35m worth of claims through an alternative dispute resolution process. McKeeman has been retained by the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art to draft and negotiate the $40m purchase order for the exterior skin of the new museum in Los Angeles. He was supported by San Francisco associate Katherine Polychronopoulos, who was also active in the representation of Vance Brown as general contractor in a $15m dispute with a developer relating to the construction of a large campus complex in the Silicon Valley. This matter was led by San Francisco partner Gregg Dulik, who is recommended by one client for his in-depth knowledge of 'our business and our industry'.

Smith, Currie & Hancock LLP

Smith, Currie & Hancock LLP 'consistently exceeds expectations', and has a strong bench strength of 'deep talent and experience'. George Wenick is experienced in both public and private contracts, and has a strong track record in construction arbitration, especially in managing bid protests. Managing partner Robert Chambers has worked across numerous environmental and site condition matters, and is noted for his expertise in offering legal counsel on large infrastructure projects, including bridges, tunnels and dams. Eric Nelson primarily handles dispute resolution, and focuses on his sector expertise of energy, including traditional and renewable. San Francisco-based Daniel McLennon 'has excellent construction industry knowledge and experience'. All named partners are based in the firm's Atlanta office unless otherwise stated.

Thompson Hine LLP

The team at Thompson Hine LLP is 'extremely knowledgeable about construction' and 'helps (clients) develop and refine business terms'. The 'professional' team of 'highly qualified, competent and reliable attorneys' is led by chairman Jeffrey Appelbaum. In recent work, he leads a team responsible for the development of design and construction agreements for the Johnson Controls Hall of Fame Village, an $800m mixed-use development in Ohio. Project Management Consultants LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of the firm, has an active role on the project. Other team members include the 'knowledgeablePatrick Sweeney, and 'extremely helpful' Erin Luke, who was recently promoted to the partnership, as well as associate Jack Clark; the trio are based in Cleveland. Applebaum also serves as lead legal counsel to The Millennia Companies, handling contract negotiations, construction and procurement agreements as well as insurance consulting. Recent projects include handling the conversion of the Statler Building, the renovation of a major Marriott hotel and new apartments and other facilities in the 925 Euclid Building in Cleveland, with project costs totaling over $550m. Sweeney and Luke have played a key role in these projects, as well as on construction projects for United Technologies Corporation, including the new $200m headquarters for the client's subsidiary Pratt & Whitney, where the 'really smart and super valuable' Alan Ritchie leads on this matter, and is also supported by Daniel Haymond. The pair also combined to advise Peco Real Estate Partners on the $95m finance and construction of The Shoppes at Parma, a multi-phase renovation of the former mall. Ritchie, Applebaum and associate Benjamin McKelvey are assisting Cobb County with construction and development agreements for SunTrust Park, the home of the Atlanta Braves. 'Outstanding' associate William Thrush is noted for his 'counsel and advice on contractual problems' and 'ability to quickly absorb and grasp issues with limited time and background knowledge'.

Watt, Tieder, Hoffar & Fitzgerald, LLP

Watt, Tieder, Hoffar & Fitzgerald, LLP handles design and construction issues and disputes encompassing international and domestic projects. Shelly Ewald and David McPherson acted for Kiewit Power Constructors in a contracts dispute with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power concerning lost productivity claims and secured an award of more than 90% of the damages for the client. Shelly also acted alongside Scott Fitzsimmons for 2Connect in claims for convenience costs after termination following a successful bid protest lodged by a competitor. Robert Barbour represented a group of secured creditors, including PNC Bank and Fireman's Fund Insurance, in a $15m claim against the United States Department of Energy pertaining to sovereign immunity and cost-reimbursable contracting. Barbour, supported by Richard Mann, was also retained to represent Louisiana-based Land Coast in a $5m dispute against SNC-Lavalin over the EPC contract for the Keys Energy Center in Maryland.  Lewis Baker and Timothy Heffernan are also of note. All named attorneys are based in the firm's McLean office in Virginia.

Zetlin & De Chiara LLP

Boutique New York construction firm Zetlin & De Chiara LLP acts for developers, owners, architects, engineers, construction managers and contractors. Founding partners Michael Zetlin and Michael De Chiara are 'superb litigators' and 'deliver results'; De Chiara recently represented Handel Architects and DeSimone Consulting Engineers in a high-profile construction dispute relating to the Millennium Tower in San Francisco. Issues with the tower are highly publicized, and the firm represents the clients in multiple actions totaling over $100m. The team includes 'excellent' managing partner Michael Vardaro, who is 'outstanding in his representation of clients and his knowledge of the law', in addition to of counsel Louis Dennis and associate Anthony Riverso. Vardaro also advised Shop Architects as one of the primary contractors on a new $1bn inner city mixed-use development project in Detroit. James Terry, who is 'extremely good at juggling a busy practice', was part of the team negotiating and drafting construction and lease agreements for the conversion of the former Bayview Women's Correctional Facility to a social services facility. He was supported by Carol Patterson, seen by some as 'one of the leaders in construction law'. Terry, as well as associates Richard Kalinowski and Chengdong Xing, was also part of a team led by Zetlin that represented a national real estate developer in disputes connected to the renovation of a transportation facility in Manhattan. Also highly recommended are senior associate Joeann Walker and Raymond Mellon, who has 'developed strong credentials with the design community', and Bill Chimos, Jaimee Nardiello and associate Roy Schwartz, who are 'all excellent and provide great value for their services'.

Baker Botts L.L.P.

Baker Botts L.L.P.'s construction practice is largely based in New York where Stuart Solsky heads the team, although a significant portion of the work is centered in Texas. In recent work, Solsky advised Alaska Gasline Development Corporation on contracts relating to the development and financing of a gas treatment plant, pipeline and a liquefaction plant, totaling $43bn. Houston-based partner Joseph Colagiovanni advised Hines on the construction and design agreements for a $1bn commercial office tower development in Boston. Senior associate Daniel Kruger, who is also based in Houston, is experienced in EPC contracts and regularly advises developers and owners of power generating facilities across the US. AES Corporation is also a client.

Bricker & Eckler LLP

With offices across the US, Bricker & Eckler LLP coordinates its construction practice from its Columbus, Ohio office, where Jack Rosati, Jr. chairs the group. He worked alongside fellow Columbus partner Sylvia Gillis as construction counsel for MetroHealth on the $400m transformation of the client's facilities portfolio, including new health centers. Associate Laura Bowman, who focuses on transactional aspects, assisted on this matter. Bowman and Rosati also combined to provide construction counsel to the Columbus Metropolitan Library on branch transformations and the $35m renovation of its key library. Doug Shevelow worked closely with Rosati on projects totaling $1.3bn for Indiana University Health, including construction of two new campuses. Shevelow is most active on the disputes side of the practice, and successfully prosecuted a water treatment manufacturer in an $80m case for the City of Canton. Christopher McCloskey and Cincinnati-based Benjamin Hyden are also key names in the construction group.

Cozen O'Connor

The construction group at Cozen O'Connor operates from Philadelphia, and acts for both developers and construction contractors on projects across the US. Chair Bruce Ficken and vice chair Raymond DeLuca cover both transactional and contentious aspects, and have assisted Energy Transfer Partners with project delivery and change orders in addition to handling litigation for the client; the duo most recently defended a $55m claim by a terminated general contractor. Associate Jeffrey Mullen was involved in this matter, and has worked with DeLuca for Toll Brothers on its $324m liability relating to water and building deficiencies in its Mid-Atlantic residential homes portfolio. In another notable matter, Ficken and DeLuca acted for long-term client Allan Myers in successfully overturning an initial ruling that allowed the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to include a contentious project labor agreement in a highways project. James Kwartnik and associate Kenneth Cushing were also part of the team on this matter.


Dentons' network of offices across the US assists clients with large-scale construction projects. John Haug, who heads the practice from St Louis, provides ongoing legal services to long-term client McCormack Baron Salazar on the construction of residential units totaling more than $750m. New York partner Philip White primarily handles contentious matters, and has represented Dutch contractor Mammoet Holding in a complex $300m cross-border dispute against the City of New York in both bankruptcy and federal courts over the stalled Staten Island observation wheel project. White was similarly responsible for representing MAP Energy Solutions in a $200m case concerning breach of governing agreements and interference with efforts to develop solar power projects across both the UK and US. Jonathon Jemison, who is located in Short Hills, and Robert E Richards, of Chicago, are also of note.

DLA Piper LLP (US)

DLA Piper LLP (US) is frequently engaged by owners and developers in complex transactional and contentious construction matters. The team is spread across a number of the firm's multiple US offices, with practice co-chairs Robert Crewdson and Anthony Meagher in Atlanta and Baltimore respectively. Crewdson was recently enlisted by new client Brandywine Realty Trust to defend against delay claims brought by the construction manager and structural engineer. The claims concern a forty-story mixed-use development project in Philadelphia, and culminated in a huge success for the client. Meagher was the key name in successfully acting for Buzzi Unicem in complex arbitration proceedings centering on the client's $300m cement plant. The firm also has a strong track record in stadium projects, and has recently worked alongside the Milan office on the new AS Roma stadium, with costs totaling over $2bn. Atlanta partner Brian Fielden led on this matter, supported by a team including Virginia partner Mark Whitaker and New York partner Richard Rubano. Similarly, Fielden has been assisting Nashville Holdings with negotiating design and construction agreements for the construction of a $250m stadium in Nashville, currently under construction.

Duane Morris LLP

Duane Morris LLP handles construction matters primarily from its office in New York, where chair Mark Canizio heads the team. Canizio has extensive experience in complex arbitration, and recently defended Columbia University in a $16m lawsuit over the construction of an educational center on the site. On the transactional side, Kenneth Lazaruk has provided construction-related services to the same client concerning redevelopment of an area in Manhattanville. John Wojak, Jr. was the key name supporting Canizio, and the duo also combined to advise The Chapin School in defense of a $34m wrongful termination allegation.

Farella Braun + Martel LLP

Farella Braun + Martel LLP supports public and private owners, contractors, suppliers and designers on both domestic and international projects, including transport and energy infrastructure projects. Richard Van Duzer leads the team, and recently represented CIM Group with its ongoing construction and development of One Mission Bay, a residential and mixed-use unit located near AT&T Park in San Francisco. Supported by senior associate Christopher Gribble, Van Duzer has handled a number of disputes for the client against the architect, including alleged breach of contract and professional malpractice. The duo also represented The Murieta Inn in connection with multimillion-dollar delays and cost overruns arising out of the construction of the Murieta Inn and Spa in California. Gribble also supported of counsel Jeffrey Sykes in representing Pauls Corporation in a dispute with the client's general contractor on a Californian condominium project. The lawsuit includes significant delay claims based upon the general contractor's alleged failure to complete the project on-time. Adam Dawson and Charles Higley advised MidPen Housing Corporation on design and construction contracts for an affordable housing unit along the Highway 12 Sonoma Valley Corridor, in addition to counseling on cost overruns, liens and project close-out issues. Mark Peterson is also noted for his trial expertise. Named attorneys are based in the firm's San Francisco office.

Foley & Lardner LLP

Foley & Lardner LLP provides 'quality, cost-effective representation' in addition to 'prompt interaction and thoughtful client engagement'. The 'excellent group of lawyers' received a significant boost this year, with four new arrivals following the firm's merger with Gardere Wynne Sewell. Practice group chair Jeffrey Blease, who is based in Boston, led on a high-profile and complex dispute for the Catholic Cathedral Corporation of East Bay, relating to the Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland, California. Completed in 2008, the structure was subsequently found to have serious construction flaws, and the team represented the client as owner in claims against the architects, engineers, suppliers and general contractors. Fellow Boston-based partner Lisa Glahn and Jacksonville-based partner Ryan Maloney, who are vice-chairs of the construction group, supported on this matter, in addition to San Diego-based senior counsel Benjamin Morris and Boston associates Jasmine Coo and Olivia Luckett. Glahn also advised an international group of private companies on the design and construction of several projects both at the Gillette Stadium and in the larger Patriot Place entertainment complex. 'Outstanding' of counsel Ralf Rodriguez, who is based in Miami office, is 'very knowledgeable in multiple facets of construction law' and 'never loses his cool'. His 'methodical and sharp' approach make clients feel 'valued'; he recently acted for Belfor in a contract dispute relating to the El San Juan Hotel Project and damage caused by Hurricane Maria.

Gibbs, Giden, Locher, Turner, Senet & Wittbrodt

The team at Gibbs, Giden, Locher, Turner, Senet & Wittbrodt has 'significant experience and expertise' and are considered 'experts in the field' with 'a great reputation in the construction industry'. The 'top-notch' team is led by managing partner Richard Wittbrodt, who recently acted for HNTB in a design dispute concerning the $1.5bn Expo Line in Los Angeles. Supported by Sara Kornblatt, Wittbrodt represented the client against the prime contractor, Walsh Shea Corridor Construction. In addition, Wittbrodt successfully defended Layton Construction against alleged claims of delayed opening, missed payments and incurred costs. Kornblatt was also active on this matter. The 'standout' Glenn Turner is noted for his litigation expertise and is 'an experienced, thoughtful, practical and effective advocate'. Ted Senet and Barbara Gadbois are 'talented and experienced lawyers', who, alongside Christopher Ng, 'provide excellent legal work within their areas of expertise'.

Greenberg Traurig LLP

Greenberg Traurig LLP assists clients from initial conception of projects through delivery and any subsequent dispute resolution, acting for developers, owners and contractors. Robert Epstein and Michael Thomas co-chair the construction practice from New Jersey and Miami respectively. Both are equally adept at transactional or contentious matters; Epstein recently acted for State Farm Insurance Company in pursuing claims against subcontractors and designers for alleged defective construction, while Thomas is acting for The Related Group, the developer of a Sunny Isles Beach luxury residential tower with a value of over $1bn. In the latter, Thomas was assisted by shareholder Christopher Barnett and associates Julia Jeffrey, Graham Smith and Nicole Sohn, all of the Miami office. From the New Jersey office, shareholder Jacqueline Greenberg Vogt acted alongside Epstein in the defense of Dormitory Association of the State of New York against actions by a contractor seeking damages for alleged wrongful termination and delays. Fellow New Jersey-based shareholder David Jensen is also noted.

Hanson Bridgett LLP

California firm Hanson Bridgett LLP acts for clients from a range of industries including healthcare, academic, commercial and entertainment, with especial focus on West Coast IPD work. Active in transactional and contentious matters, San Francisco-based Howard Ashcraft worked with Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) on the $100m construction of three new facilities at Chalk River Laboratories, supported by associate Lauren Pon. In addition, the team advised CNL on an request for proposal for the construction of a further $370m facility to develop nuclear science research. Fellow San Francisco partner Scott Hennigh, formerly of Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP, is an experienced trial attorney and is particularly noted for complex residential and commercial construction projects. He is representing a joint venture contractor against the design engineer in a dispute works costs for the $700m Route 91 improvement project; a trial has been scheduled for April 2019. David Buoncristiani, Batya Forsyth and counsel Brian Schnarr, who are based in the firm's San Francisco office, have also been involved in this matter.

Nixon Peabody LLP

Nixon Peabody LLP primarily represents owners of public and private projects, as well as developers active in mixed-use, energy, hospitality and residential projects. Anthony Barron, managing partner of the San Francisco office, recently represented 5th Rock LLC, the developer of the Hard Rock Hotel in San Diego, in a dispute brought by the owner seeking approximately $80m in alleged damages and lost revenue in connection with the potential temporary closure of the hotel. Barron, supported by fellow San Francisco partner Matthew Richards, also represented the University of California in $40m claims for breach of contract and negligence brought against the designers, contractors and suppliers of utility piping at the client's Mission Bay campus. Alongside Los Angeles-based Justin Thompson, Barron supported San Francisco partner John Foust as construction counsel to Oceanwide, the owner and developer of $1.6bn worth of developments in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Boston-based Jeffrey Brenner and Rochester-based Bruce Baker assisted North Hill Needham  with review and analysis of contractor claims and change orders resulting from a $30m multi-year expansion project in Boston.

Pepper Hamilton LLP

Pepper Hamilton LLP focuses its construction practice on contentious litigation, with a strong team of lawyers specializing in trials and dispute resolution. The team counts a number of contractors among its clients, including Bechtel, Sciame Construction and Aecom. Michael Subak chairs the group from the Philadelphia office, while Pittsburgh-based Albert Bates and Ralph Finizio are also noted.

Schiff Hardin LLP

The 'well-established team of construction attorneys' at Schiff Hardin LLP has 'a depth of experience that makes them extremely effective' and 'enables them to get to reasonable and fair solutions quickly'. Practice leader Kenneth Roberts handles transactional and contentious matters across the US from the Chicago office, including advising on contracts for the New York Racing Association relating to the renovation of its clubhouse at the Belmont Park Racetrack in New York. Roberts, working alongside New York partner Brian Lustbader, is also assisting with the construction of a new racetrack on the site, with costs totaling more than $30m. The team also included Michael Hanahan and associate Jonathon Freilich, both of Chicago, and Amanda MacVey in the Washington DC office. Roberts was also the lead name on a number of complex improvement projects for Alliant Energy; the team provided an independent evaluation of the client's $3.5bn portfolio renovations across two states, also assisting with the development and construction of two gas plants in Iowa and Wisconsin, in addition to further projects. Roberts was supported by Chicago partners Virgil Montgomery, Kevin Kolton and Diana Bowman. Kolton advised Equity Residential on multiple projects throughout the country, primarily relating to high-end apartment complexes, in addition to handling several litigation matters across different states. Kolton worked alongside Heidi Rowe, who is also based in Chicago and is described by clients as 'outstanding in every way', and who brings 'strong interpersonal skills to the table which she uses to good effect'. In other work, Hanahan was retained by Navy Pier, Inc. to advise on procurement, contract and litigation issues for the client's Centennial Vision Project, a $200m undertaking involving the redevelopment of this Chicago landmark. Hanahan was supported by Freilich and Chicago-based associate Christina Brunka.


Varela, Lee, Metz, & Guarino, LLP has 'extensive experience in construction law' and routinely handles international and domestic construction arbitration with 'attorneys who understand all facets of construction'. Name partners Paul Varela, Todd MetzJoseph Guarino, who are based in Tysons Corner, and Bennett Lee in San Francisco manage the practice. Varela is highly regarded for providing 'unparalleled effective assistance on bet-the-company type cases'. He, alongside 'outstanding litigatorChristopher Burke and Michael Suga, is representing a joint venture comprised of Balfour Beatty, DPR and Big-D Construction in arbitration relating to the $1.5bn construction of a US government facility in Utah; associate Rae Mueller, who is based in the firm's Tysons Corner office with Burke and Suga, supported on this matter. Varela also recently assisted an international developer with drafting and negotiating contracts for the design and construction of cross-border development projects in Africa, assisted by Brian Dugdale and San Francisco partner Nicholas Merrell, who is 'a highly skilled litigator'. Merrell, alongside  San Francisco associate Stephen Pessagno, supported Lee, seen by some as 'one of the top construction law attorneys in the United States', in acting for client Chevron in pursuing claims against an EPC contractor concerning delayed completion and defective work. Lee and Merrell also represent McDermott in an ongoing dispute against Sinclair Oil concerning claims totaling over $135m. San Francisco associate Vincent Sebatinelli supported the duo.

Vinson & Elkins LLP

Vinson & Elkins LLP combines 'high quality work with consistent availability', underpinned by 'a pleasant demeanor'. The team, which is praised by clients for its 'commitment to success', is led by Ferguson McNiel and Kaam Sahely, both based in Houston. The team is experienced in complex infrastructure projects and is representing Texas Central Partners as project counsel in the multibillion-dollar development of a high-speed rail project between Dallas and Houston. Mark Brasher and Sahely led, supported by a team across the firm's Dallas, New York and Houston offices, including 'fantastic' associate Stephanie Coco, who is based in Houston and is 'developing a great practice with respect to complex construction documentation'. Brasher also acted as project counsel to LNG21, which is developing a $2.4bn LNG platform in the Gulf of Mexico; the team advised LNG21 on joint venture agreements and equity negotiations. Alongside the Washington DC-based John Decker, Brasher also advised New Fortress Energy on various LNG projects. Katy Gottsponer, who is based in Washington DC, and senior associate Luke Edney in Houston supported on this matter. Edney, alongside Brasher and Coco, supported Sahely on Gulf Coast Ammonia, a joint venture that is developing and financing a hydrogen-ammonia production facility in Texas. Also active on this matter was Houston-based senior associate Alan Alexander, who is praised by one client as 'one of the best lawyers I have ever worked with' and offers 'partner counsel for an associate rate'. Houston-based James Loftis, who, alongside the London office, handled a series of arbitrations for the Panama Canal Authority relating to the ongoing expansion project, is also noted; McNeil supported on this matter.

Allensworth & Porter

Construction specialist Allensworth & Porter largely focuses on the Texan market, and handles disputes and contract formations. Managing partner Joe Basham is adept at drafting and negotiating contracts for owners, developers and contractors, and negotiated construction contracts for a prominent community bank in Austin. In addition, he represented a subcontractor in payment and scheduling disputes before the Supreme Court. Matthew Ryan has experience in major construction projects, and was the key name in negotiating architectural contracts for the new Apple Campus in North Austin. Travis Brown and Amy Emerson are also noted.

Baker & Hostetler LLP

Baker & Hostetler LLP represents clients in construction disputes concerning contract issues, bid protests and delay claims, in addition to providing legal counsel on large construction projects. Laurin Quiat is an experienced litigator, and represented a C.R. Lawrence subsidiary that manufactures window systems in a dispute against  a subcontractor; the subcontractor alleged that the windows did not meet prerequisite performance standards and that the client should be liable for repairs. Supported by associate Sammantha Tillotson, Quiat settled the case in favor of the client and obtained additional purchase of the client's product by the claimant. Quiat also represented David Boland Inc. in connection with its role as general contractor on a hangar construction project in Fort Carson, Colorado. A dispute arose between a subcontractor and the client concerning alleged damage, which the team, including Orlando-based duo Denis Durkin and associate Robert Sowell, settled at mediation. Quiat also managed a complex dispute between Lendlease and the client, Westmond Hospitality Group; the client alleged that Lendlease failed to properly manage construction on hotel projects throughout the United States. Quiat was supported by New York partner Benjamin Pergament and associate Panida Pollawit.

Baker Donelson

Baker Donelson advises on all phases of construction projects, including transactions and disputes. Representative matters include advising a joint venture on the construction of an automobile manufacturing facility and advising a food and beverages client on the design and construction of its principal manufacturing facility. John Morkan and Joseph Kovars, who are based in Baltimore, and Mark Mercante in Mandeville are the notable names.

Becker & Poliakoff, P.A.

Becker & Poliakoff, P.A. has a strong presence in Florida with offices in Miami, Orlando and Fort Lauderdale, where the firm is headquartered. Steven Lesser chairs the construction practice, and represented Mirasol County Club in a number of disputes successfully resolved in favor of the client, including those pertaining to contract breaches and delay claims. Fort Myers-based Sanjay Kurian was the lead name in successfully acting for the Towers of Channelside Condominium Association in pursuing claims concerning construction and design defects. Perry Adair, who is based in Miami, represented a condominium association in claims relating to fraud and geotechnical issues brought against a subsidiary of Hovnanian Enterprises.

Burke, Williams & Sorensen, LLP

California-based firm Burke, Williams & Sorensen, LLP has notable expertise representing clients in litigation matters connected to the design and construction of power facilities. James Wulfsberg and Gregory Aker represented the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power in a $150m dispute with an EPC contractor over design and manufacturing issues with a natural gas power plant; Timothy Colvig, David Hyndman and Todd Wulfsberg were also involved in this matter. James Wulfsberg, Colvig and David Rosenthal advised an architectural firm on negotiating Architect of Record agreements relating to the construction of a private sports arena and associated commercial development in the San Francisco Bay area.

Cokinos, Bosien & Young

Cokinos, Bosien & Young primarily operates in the Texan construction market, and handles issues across both the transactional and contentious sides ranging from defect claims to federal contract compliance. Gregory Cokinos, Patrick Wielinski and Stanley Curry are the key names in this space.

Cox, Castle & Nicholson

Los Angeles-based Cox, Castle & Nicholson advises developers, owners, contractors and investors on a wide range of project types delivered both publicly and privately. Robert Campbell and Edward Quigley are the key names, handling transactional and contentious aspects respectively. Quigley, alongside Jose Padilla, represented the Hard Rock Hotel in San Diego in pursuing a $100m construction defect claim and lost revenue for the project, including leaks in the curtain wall system and extensive mechanical, engineering and plumbing defects. Jeffrey Masters and Ken Williams advised Next Century Associates as owner of a $2.5bn mixed-use residential and commercial project in Los Angeles on design contracts as well as contractor agreements. The pair also serve as risk management counsel on the same project, including on the negotiation and implementation of a project-specific insurance program which includes liabilities clauses and coverage.

Dickinson Wright PLLC

Dickinson Wright PLLC handles matters from its Michigan, Nevada and Tennessee offices; practice chair Rob Dodson is based in the latter. He recently represented Balfour Beatty Construction in disputes with six different subcontractors over works defaults on a $40m multi-family residential project in Williamson County. In addition, Dodson replaced the existing counsel of Strong Waterproofing LLC in representing the client in a lawsuit between investors concerning breach of fiduciary duty and fraud; prior to the trial, opposing counsel requested settlement and conceded full repayment of the client's losses, totaling more than $5m. He supported member Slade Sevier, also of Tennessee, in acting for Hankook Tire America Corporation in a $50m dispute with its general contractor over delay and damages claims. Michigan-based Peter Webster is defending Oakland County clients against class actions alleging negligent drainage system design, maintenance and operation, stemming from the 2014 flooding disaster. Nevada-based litigation practice group chair Cynthia Alexander, supported by associate Taylor Anello, is representing the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in ongoing disputes relating to claims over liens against publicly-owned property.

K&L Gates

K&L Gates handles construction matters across a diverse range of industries including energy, transportation, manufacturing and commercial. With extensive experience in construction litigation, Timothy Pierce manages the team from the Los Angeles office. He recently represented a joint venture comprised of Shimmick Construction and Obayashi Corporation in a contract dispute related to the San Vincente Dam Raise project in California, successfully claiming over $30m for the client. Hector Espinosa and associates Samira Torshizi and Jonathon Kintzele, all based in the firm's Los Angeles office, in addition to Chicago-based associate Rebecca Liu, supported on this matter. Pierce also represented Suffolk Construction Company in three interrelated disputes against the Los Angeles Unified School District as general contractor on several projects. Espinosa, Liu, Torshizi and fellow Los Angeles associate Heather Frisch provided additional expertise. Pittsburgh partner Jason Richey acted for MarkWest Energy in disputes against the general contractor responsible for building the retaining wall of a West Virginia facility. The client alleges that the wall has significant defects and is suing for breach of contract and negligence. Of counsel William Wickard and associates Katherine Gafner and Travis Brannon are experienced in energy projects.

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

The 'experience, trial savvy and strategic planning provided by the team' at Kirkland & Ellis LLP is 'unmatched by any other'. James Nowacki, Elizabeth Hess and Jeffrey Willian 'stand out' at partner level. Nowacki recently advised the Shakespeare Theater on the construction aspects of the new development of a theater on Chicago's Navy Pier. The team, which includes associate trio Josh Mahoney, William O’Hara and Michael Maione, negotiated and drafted various contracts and represented the client in litigation against the project architect over alleged design deficiencies. Willian has been advising Berger Group Holdings on the legal implications of the high-profile Florida International University bridge collapse, including multimillion-dollar claims filed by decedents and injured persons. He has also been acting for CF Industries in connection with cost overrun on five separate fertilizer plants designed and constructed by the client. Named attorneys are based in the firm's Chicago office.

Porter Hedges LLP

Porter Hedges LLP handles construction matters in the commercial, industrial, energy and infrastructure sectors in the state of Texas. David Peden achieved a significant victory for Bilfinger in an international arbitration case centering on the construction of an iron ore processing facility; the client, as contractor, had its contract unlawfully terminated for alleged delays, and subsequently successfully awarded $30m after a two-week hearing. John Hawkins supported on this matter, and also represented HOK, the designers behind the University of Texas' facilities, in litigation with the university over alleged design flaws. Heather Hatfield was active on this matter. Amy Wolfshohl and Nick Simms are other notable names.

Reed Smith LLP

The team at Reed Smith LLP is 'very focused' and 'attentive' to clients' needs, with 'subject specific experience' noted as a key asset of the construction practice. Michael Dingman heads the construction team from Tyson's Corner, Virginia, and is recommended for 'addressing clients' needs in a timely and efficient manner'. Associate Peter McCall was a new hire from Parker McCay; he has a strong focus on energy-related construction matters. Ericson Kimbel and Lee Haag joined Frost Brown Todd and Adams and Reese LLP respectively, and construction litigation specialist Tarak Abdulla is now with Jones Day.

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP

West Coast-based firm Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP has offices across California, and primarily handles disputes related to public and private projects. Co-chair of the construction group Candace Matson, supported by Robert Sturgeon, defended Parsons Corporation against claims amounting to $136m relating to an accident on a cell tower site. San Diego-based partners John Yacovelle and Marisa Miller successfully secured a $152m settlement for long-term client San Diego Gas and Electric Company against Mitsubishi Heavy Industries relating to the premature shutdown of a nuclear facility. The pair were supported by Neil Popović and associate Shanna Pearce, based in the San Francisco and San Diego offices respectively. Matson worked alongside Harold Hamersmith to defend Jacobs Project Management Company in a bid protest lodged by a competitor for major works in Los Angeles. Washington DC-based Hwan Kim is also noted. Unless otherwise stated, named attorneys are based in Los Angeles.

Stein Ray LLP

Chicago-based boutique Stein Ray LLP represents clients in design and construction disputes. Name partners Steven Stein and Stephen Ray are the key names to note, and are active across the energy, manufacturing and residential sectors in complex arbitrations.