Koen De Puydt

Koen De Puydt heads the business law and public law department and is responsible for all real Estate / construction Law and intellectual property matters.

Koen DE PUYDT graduated in 1998 as a degree in Communication Sciences (VUB), while he worked for the independent music magazine RifRaf as a journalist. After his studies, he continued his career as a music journalist with De Standaard and Studio Brussel . At the same time he obtained his Licentiate Degree in Law, specializing in Public Law at the VUB (2002). In 2009 he obtained a Master in Business Law at the University of Antwerp.

In 2002, Koen joined a Brussels niche firm specializing in Administrative Law (urban planning and environmental law, expropriations, government contracts, and protection legislation). In the meantime he remained responsible at De Puydt van Caluwelaert for the files relating to commercial law and intellectual property law.

Two years later, Koen started working full-time at the Puydt van Cauwelaert. He was responsible for matters relating to urban planning and environmental law, real estate law, government contracts, contracting law, business law, corporate law and intellectual property law. He also publishes on these matters.

In 2010 the Puydt van Chauwelaert and GD & A Advocaten merged. Koen de Puydt, as partner, headed the Real Estate / Construction Law and Corporate Law units.

Since 2002 he has been lecturer “Contracts, Assignments and Mandates” at Syntra Brussels in the vocational training for real estate agents. In the course for Real Estate Experts, Koen lesson on construction law. He is the initiator of the Property Codex , a collection of legal texts tailored to the real estate professional. The codex is used throughout Flanders in the vocational training of the real estate agents within Syntra.

In August 2012, Koen co-founded the law firm ORYS. In April 2019, Koen together with Leo Peeters of Peeters Law have decided to set up a new law firm under the name of “Seeds of Law”. 

Koen developed a business pack. This pack allows companies to engage in legal aid without losing control of the cost of this assistance. You pay a fixed rate and enjoy numerous benefits, such as free first-line assistance, free credit management and conducting certain procedures at flat-rate prices.

Publications

Koen DE PUYDT, Ulrike BEUSELINCK en Stéphane DE KEYZER, Nieuwe woninghuur in Vlaanderen en Brussel: uw 60 antwoorden, Intersentia, 2019, 187 p.

Koen DE PUYDT, Marc LOYENS, Julie LAUWERS en Stéphane DE KEYZER, Vastgoedcodex 2018-2019, Mijnwetboek.be, 2018, (volledige editie).

Stéphane DE KEYZER en Koen DE PUYDT, “Le pouvoir discrétionnaire de l’administration. Une mise à l’épreuve en marchés publics”, Jaarboek overheidsopdrachten/ Chronique des marchés publics 2017-2018, Brussel, EBP Publishers, 2018, pp. 467-495.

Koen DE PUYDT, Marc LOYENS, Julie LAUWERS en Guy BAELDE, Stéphane DE KEYZER, Vastgoedcodex 2017-2018, Mijnwetboek.be, 2017, (volledige editie).

Stéphane DE KEYZER en Koen DE PUYDT, “Des standards privés en marchés publics. La normalisation en droit de la passation et en procédure d’exécution des marchés”, Jaarboek overheidsopdrachten/ Chronique des marchés publics 2015-2016, Brussel, EBP Publishers, 2016, pp. 753-772.

Koen DE PUYDT, Marc LOYENS, Julie LAUWERS en Guy BAELDE, Stéphane DE KEYZER, Vastgoedcodex 2016-2017, Mijnwetboek.be, 2016, achtste editie.

Stéphane DE KEYZER en Koen DE PUYDT, “Des droits de propriété intellectuelle en marchés publics“, Jaarboek Overheidsopdrachten/ Chronique des marchés publics 2014-2015, Brussel, EBP Publishers, 2015, pp. 699-712.

Koen DE PUYDT, Marc LOYENS, Julie LAUWERS en Guy BAELDE, Vastgoedcodex 2015-2016, Mijnwetboek.be, 2015, zevende editie (1ste, 2de jaar en volledige editie).

Bert KELCHTERMANS, Koen DE PUYDT en Stéphane DE KEYZER “ Enkele van de meest in het oog springende nieuwigheden met betrekking tot wijzigingen, herzieningen en onvoorziene omstandigheden in de uitvoeringsfase van overheidsopdracht“, Jaarboek Overheidsopdrachten/ Chronique des marchés publics 2013-2014, Brussel, EBP Publishers, 2014, pp. 951-965.

Koen DE PUYDT, Marc LOYENS, Julie LAUWERS en Guy BAELDE, Vastgoedcodex 2013-2014, Mijnwetboek.be, 2013, zesde editie (1ste, 2de jaar en volledige editie).

Koen DE PUYDT en Sofie ALBERT, “Schorsingsprocedure bij uiterst dringende noodzakelijkheid – Betichting van valsheid – Vertrouwelijke stukken”, noot onder arrest RvS van 23 augustus 2011, nr. 214.846,  T. Aann. 2013/2, 167-177

Koen DE PUYDT en Ulrike BEUSELINCK, “Verrijking zonder oorzaak – geval van zeldzame toepassing in het kader van overheidsopdrachten”, noot bij RB Dendermonde, 18 december 2009, T.ann. 2013, afl. 1, 75-83.

Koen DE PUYDT, Marc LOYENS en Julie LAUWERS, Vastgoedcodex 2012-2013, Mijnwetboek.be, 2012, 638 p., vijfde editie.

Raoul M. DE PUYDT, Deontologie van de Vlaamse advocaat, Intersentia, 2009, 263 p., zesde bijgewerkte en herziene editie.

Raoul M. DE PUYDT, “Overzicht van rechtspraak: Professioneel recht Vlaamse advocatuur (1987-2007)”, In: T.P.R. 2007, nr. 3, Kluwer, pp. 1733-1816.

Jan GHYSELS en Koen DE PUYDT, Parlementair Ontleed: Het Milieuvergunningsdecreet: Het basisdecreet, Uitgeverij Intersentia, Nov. 2004, 603 p.

Jan GHYSELS en Koen DE PUYDT, Parlementair Ontleed: Het Milieuvergunningsdecreet: De wijzigingsdecreten, Uitgeverij Intersentia, Maart 2005, 789 p.

Laurette Gallagher

Laurette Gallagher is Managing Director of Construction Expert Services Limited, a company providing quantum expert evidence for construction disputes proceeding to arbitration or litigation.

A Quantity Surveyor with over 30 years of experience in construction and has worked for leading international contracting and consulting organisations. Laurette has been involved with projects in Bahrain, Dubai, Hong Kong, Pakistan, Qatar, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and the UK.

She has experience in airports (terminal buildings), bridges, commercial, hotel, public facilities and residential building projects, computer installation works, geotechnical works (marine and land), grouting works, hydro-electric and oil/gas fueled power plants, infrastructure projects, long distance horizontal directional drilling, marine structures, pipe-jacking works, process plant, rail projects, specialized foundation works, transport facilities, tunnels, utility plant and viaduct projects.

Laurette has been involved in expert work since 2003. She now concentrates on expert evidence services for matters of quantum addressing the valuation of additional and omitted works, disruption and prolongation claims, termination of contracts and common law claims for damages – in short, all financial claims made under a contract or at common law that are to be resolved through arbitration or litigation. Laurette deals with financial claims ranging from US$10 to in excess of US$200 million.

She has been involved in over 38 expert appointments in a supporting role or as Expert. Further as Managing Director of Construction Expert Services Laurette has provided guidance on a further number of appointments.

Laurette has worked with international law firms operating out of Dubai, London, Hong Kong and Singapore in respect of appointments received from contracting organizations, developers, education institutions, governments, insurance companies, power generation companies, resort hotels and casinos, for projects in Central America, Middle East, South and East Asia.

Laurette holds the Chartered Institute of Arbitrator’s Diploma in International Commercial Arbitration and has a, MSc in Construction Project Management.

In addition to expert work Laurette has also acted as Mediator and represented contracting organisations in arbitrations and mediations.

During her career Laurette has sat on the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators East Asia Branch Committee and Young Members’ Sub-committee and on the Hong Kong Mediation Council’s Construction Group Sub-committee. She has also spoken at various seminars and written articles on arbitration proceedings, mediation approaches and quantum issues.

As well as being a Quantity Surveyor, Laurette is a Member of the Hong Kong Institute of Construction Managers, Practising Associate of the Academy of Experts, Member of the Institute of Arbitrators, a Qualified Dispute Resolver of the Academy of Experts and an Accredited Mediator Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre Panel.

Construction Expert Services:

CES provides expert witness evidence for construction arbitration and litigation, for financial claims made under a contract and at common law. We provide expert evidence in respect of measurement; valuation of work; valuation of variations; disruption claims; prolongation claims; cost claims; and damages.

We have been appointed in many large and complex disputes involving projects for commercial, public and residential buildings; airports; bridges; marine works and structures; process plants; rail; road; tunnels; utility infrastructure; and viaducts.

Collectively, CES’ Directors and Associate Directors have a wealth of construction knowledge and have provided expert evidence for over 20 years in over 80 projects at hearings in Dubai, Hong Kong, London, Macau, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Qatar, for disputes ranging from US$10 to US$200 million.

What sets CES apart is our construction knowledge; our experience in providing expert evidence; our full understanding of the role and responsibilities of giving expert evidence; and our integrity.

Jordon J. Kimura

Jordon Kimura is a partner in the firm’s Litigation and Trusts, Estate Planning, and Wealth Management practice groups. His practice focuses primarily on civil, commercial, construction, and probate (wills and trusts) litigation, health care law, medical malpractice defense, and estate planning.

Mr. Kimura’s key litigation accomplishments include obtaining a dismissal of a construction lawsuit for a large bridge defect case on the basis of the economic loss rule and dismissal of claims against a health care plan provider for purported wrongdoing with respect to health care coverage. As a member of the Firm’s Trusts, Estate Planning, and Wealth Management Practice Group, Mr. Kimura brings his litigation experience and expertise to effectively counsel clients on asset protection planning while also planning for the surviving spouse and helping to ensure a continuing legacy.

Born and raised in Honolulu, Mr. Kimura graduated summa cum laude from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee with a degree in mathematics, achieving the highest honors designation in his major. He then returned home to attend the University of Hawai’i, William S. Richardson School of Law (“Richardson”), where he received numerous scholastic awards, including the Phi Delta Phi Balfour National Scholarship for scholastic merit and awards for obtaining the highest grades in Advanced Torts & Insurance Law, Negotiation/Alternative Dispute Resolution, and Second Year Seminar. Mr. Kimura served as a Comments Editor for Richardson’s law review and a Senior Writing Associate & Teaching Assistant for the Richardson Writing Center Board. In 2009, he graduated summa cum laude from Richardson.

Mr. Kimura has served on the firm’s marketing committee and is currently chair of the hiring committee. As part of his commitment to giving back to the community, Mr. Kimura provides pro bono assistance to the Sex Abuse Treatment Center at Kapiolani Medical Center and is an officer and director of the non-profit Hawaii Coalition Against Sex Assault.

The Estate & Trust Law Practice:

The estate planning and probate group concentrates on the areas of estate planning, probate, elder law, and estate/trust administration. Services encompass estate tax planning and preparation of estate planning instruments, including trusts, wills and estate planning entities such as family limited partnerships. The Group is involved in domiciliary and ancillary probate matters, and counsels clients in Medicaid and other planning areas affecting senior citizens.

McCorriston Miller Mukai MacKinnon:

Trusting the right law firm to represent you or your business is essential. That firm should understand you or your company, offer creative solutions to your commercial and legal challenges, and always maintain a keen eye on the big picture.

At McCorriston Miller Mukai MacKinnon LLP (M4), we understand that the most valuable legal advice comes after walking in our client’s shoes. Our clients demand real world advice, not law school answers. We meet their demands by providing the same sort of advice we would want: solution-oriented, practical, and timely.

William E. Franczek

Bill Franczek is a partner with Vandeventer Black and is in the Firm’s Norfolk office. Bill was formerly a civil engineer working in construction, and his practice focuses on construction law, public contract law, and alternative dispute resolution. His extensive background in the construction field includes commercial building projects, highway projects, power plants, pulp and paper mills, rail projects, petrochemical facilities, airports, and marine terminals.

Regionally, nationally and internationally, Bill handles claim preparation, negotiation, and litigation/arbitration on behalf of construction industry clients. His experience includes privately-owned projects; federal, state and local public projects; and hybrid developments such as public-private partnership projects. His clients span across the construction industry and include owners and developers of large projects, general contractors, subcontractors, design professionals, and suppliers. Bill has also served in leadership roles in many construction trade associations, including the ABA Forum on Construction Law, The Associated General Contractors of Virginia, Builders and Contractors Exchange of Hampton Roads Virginia, The Associated Builders and Contractors of Virginia, and the Hampton Roads Chapter of the Design Build Institute of America.

Bill is regarded as an expert in mediation, arbitration and conflict management. He is a member of the American Arbitration Association’s National and International Construction Panel for arbitrators and mediators as well as its Mega Project Panel List, from which he has served across the nation as a neutral in all types of construction disputes. Bill is also a Fellow in the College of Commercial Arbitrators and has served on over 200 ADR matters both privately and for the AAA. He is also currently a member of several Dispute Resolution Boards across the country.

Bill was recently inducted as a Fellow into the American College of Construction Lawyers, a national organization of lawyers who have demonstrated skill, experience and high standards of professional and ethical conduct in the practice of construction law, and who are dedicated to excellence in the specialized practice of construction law.

The Construction Law Practice:

Our Construction attorneys team with our construction clients to help them achieve business vision and goals, solve problems, and resolve disputes. Our mission doing so is to provide our construction clients with excellent, innovative, and cost effective legal services for our clients. In fulfilling that mission, we bring our Construction Practice Group’s wide array of both legal and practical construction project experiences to our clients.

Vandeventer Black’s Construction Law services include:

· Contract negotiations and preparations, including company formations, teaming agreements, joint ventures, and project financing
· Contract and other disputes resolution, including claims analysis, claims preparation, and claims resolution through mechanic’s liens, payment bonds, mediation, arbitration, litigation or other disputes processes
· Safety, environmental and other regulatory compliance, including assessments, action planning, administrative hearings, and appellate proceedings
· Employment contracts, wages and regulatory compliance, including wage determinations, benefits, right-to-work laws, labor agreements, and non-competes
· Procurement fraud compliance, including false claims acts, qui tam actions, whistleblower matters, crimes against corporations, and white collar criminal actions

Our Construction Law experiences include projects of varied sizes, types, and complexity, including vertical, horizontal, heavy civil, and industrial construction projects, and including many types of projects within those sectors such as commercial buildings, multi-family housing projects, airports, marine terminals, shipyards, bridges, highways, schools, hospitals, electric power generation facilities, and wastewater treatment plants. Our clients include Fortune 500 companies, state and local government agencies, architecture and engineering firms, international, regional and local contractors, specialty subcontractors, and suppliers.

While disputes are an unfortunate aspect of construction, we focus on preventive law to help our clients evaluate risks and avoid disputes, but for those that cannot be avoided identify issues early to help develop prompt, effective and cost-efficient solutions. Our training and internal assessments improve our clients’ business processes, and when needed we provide in-the-field assessments and advice to identify issues and formulate solutions for them.

Our Construction Team members include attorneys with field experience, civil and mechanically degreed engineers, a registered professional engineer, and a registered architect with extensive experience in forensic architecture. Our Construction Team attorneys are licensed in a variety of states including Virginia, North Carolina, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Florida, Louisiana, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and New York, and have handled construction matters nationally and internationally.

Vandeventer Black LLP:

We are a dynamic business and litigation law firm established in 1883. We focus on responsiveness and results while providing internationally recognized services across a wide variety of legal sectors. Headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia, our accomplished attorneys assist clients from offices located in Virginia, North Carolina and Germany.

At our firm, you will know that you are important. Our size and collective experience allow us to offer you the best legal advice available with the personal attention and value you might expect from a much smaller firm.

We take an integrative approach to client services. We are a firm that represents clients across a broad spectrum of industries. Our AV® rated attorneys include qualified arbitrators and mediators for the American Arbitration Association, architects, and mechanical, chemical and civil engineers. Others hold MBAs or other advanced degrees in their areas of practice and are recognized by their peers as being among the best in the legal profession.

When you sit down with us, we will bring the highest level of legal talent to the table. Our expertise spans many disciplines, including bankruptcy and collections, commercial transactions, creditors’ rights, criminal defense, director and officer liability, eminent domain and land use, environmental, ERISA, intellectual property, labor and employment, maritime and admiralty, professional liability, regulatory compliance, trust and estate planning, and workers’ compensation. Vandeventer Black routinely represents clients in administrative proceedings, alternative dispute resolution, litigation, and appeals.

Michael L. Burnett

Michael L. Burnett focuses his practice primarily on construction litigation and all aspects of construction law, with a concentration on the representation of owners, general contractors, subcontractors and others in the construction industry.

He assists clients through all stages of construction projects, including preparing and negotiating construction contracts, advising owners and contractors during the project so as to avoid and resolve disputes during projects, and litigating disputes subsequent to project completion. Michael has tried lawsuits to verdict in state and federal courts, both in Texas and outside of the state. In addition, he has tried a number of domestic and international arbitrations.

The Construction Law Practice:

Greenberg Traurig’s Construction Law Practice assists clients from the initial conception and delivery planning of a construction project, through procurement and bidding, in the negotiation and drafting of contracts, throughout construction, to project close-out and the resolution of disputes. Our experience is rooted in a diverse client base, which includes developers, public and private owners, designers and consultants, general contractors, construction managers, subcontractors, suppliers, sureties, insurance companies, and lenders. Our lawyers are recognized locally and nationally as leaders in the area of construction law and the majority of our construction lawyers practice only construction law, either transactional or arbitration and litigation.

We believe that GT’s construction transactional practice makes us better litigators, our construction litigation practice makes us better transactional lawyers, and our combined practices give us unique insights that distinguish us from other firms. Supported by the multidisciplinary resources of one of the country’s largest law firms, GT applies its deep knowledge and experience to effectively address all of the issues that commonly arise on construction projects.

Greenberg Traurig:

Greenberg Traurig, LLP (GTLaw) has more than 2,000 attorneys in 38 offices in the United States, Latin America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. One firm worldwide, GTLaw has been recognized for its philanthropic giving, was named the second largest firm in the U.S. by Law360 in 2016, and among the Top 20 on the 2016 Am Law Global 100.

Michael K. De Chiara

Known for strategic thinking and successful representation of numerous clients in some of the most high profile construction cases of the last 20 years, Michael K. De Chiara is one of the pre-eminent construction lawyers in the country. Mr. De Chiara regularly represents clients in domestic and international construction disputes where the hard dollar amounts in controversy exceed $100 million.

For example, he defended the engineer in the collapse of a major casino, and the resultant claims of over $300 million. He prevailed on behalf of another (engineer) in a suit brought by a large California hospital where the claim exceeded $150 million. Mr. De Chiara is the only construction attorney in private practice who has represented the Federal General Services Administration, defending it against a claim in excess of $100 million in connection with a major Federal office building. Mr. De Chiara has also represented the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority in several major litigations. Mr. De Chiara is currently involved in the most high profile construction dispute in the United States involving a large condominium in San Francisco. Mr. De Chiara is also highly regarded in the area of construction contract negotiation and drafting. For example, he represented the United Nations in developing their model design build agreement to be used throughout the world. He has drafted owner-contractor agreements for construction budgets up to $850 million on behalf of New York City’s most prominent real estate owners.

Recently, Mr. De Chiara was retained to negotiate the largest private Project Labor Agreement for a single building in the history of the United States. He has been involved in Public Private Partnership ventures and has negotiated and drafted contracts for Integrated Project Delivery projects. Mr. De Chiara was involved in negotiating and drafting the engineering contracts for the rebuild of the World Trade Center buildings in New York, representing clients dealing with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and Silverstein Properties. He negotiated the architectural contract for the World Trade Center Memorial, the engineering and architectural contracts for the Hudson Yards Development, the largest private building development in the history of the United States, and architectural and engineering contracts for virtually every other building type in the country. Mr. De Chiara is active in many organizations and serves on the Boards of Directors of The New York Landmarks Conservancy and The New York Building Foundation.

In addition, Mr. De Chiara serves as the General Counsel for the American Institute of Architects, New York State and the American Council of Engineering Companies of New York. On a pro-bono basis, he litigated to protect and preserve the famous Picasso work Le Tricorne, which was located in the Four Seasons Restaurant in the Seagram Building in New York City. Mr. De Chiara is a recipient of the AIA New York State President’s Citation for Outstanding Service, and the March of Dimes’ Thomas E. Diana Spirit of Volunteerism Award in recognition of his dedication to the community.

Zetlin & De Chiara LLP:

Zetlin & De Chiara LLP is a leading national construction law firm committed to providing sophisticated and innovative legal and business advisory services related to real estate, design, and construction for a wide spectrum of industries.

Our attorneys include individuals with in-house construction counsel experience, architecture and engineering degrees, and LEED accreditation. The firm provides counsel throughout the planning, design and construction process, from drafting and negotiating contracts to outlining risk management strategies. We have extensive experience representing clients in litigation and alternative dispute resolution, and also advise on business formation, licensing and corporate issues.

Zetlin & De Chiara has extensive experience in both traditional and emerging contracting methodologies for Owners and Developers, Architects, Engineers and other Design Professionals, Construction Managers and Contractors, Insurance Carriers and Financial Institutions.

Kory D. George

Kory George is a member of the Firm’s Management Committee and is co-chair of the Firm’s Construction Law, Commercial Litigation, and Dispute Resolution practice groups. He has practiced law with Woods & Aitken LLP since 2003, with an emphasis in construction law, construction litigation, and commercial litigation. His experience includes advising and representing construction industry participants and commercial entities in all aspects of claim and dispute resolution proceedings, including mediation, arbitration, dispute review boards, and litigation at the state and federal court levels. Kory has experience representing clients on a multitude of projects both regionally and nationally. In addition, he also has extensive experience in contract drafting, contract negotiations, and the legal aspects of project management.

Kory has presented nationally at the ABA Construction Industry Forum, Construction SuperConference, and Concentrated Course in Construction Contracts. He has made numerous national, regional, and local presentations for various construction industry associations, such as the AGC, ABC, ASA, CFMA, DBIA, AIA, NECA, IEC and various other trade and professional organizations. He has authored several articles published in periodicals such as The Construction Lawyer and The Journal of American College of Construction Lawyers. Kory was lead editor on a number of contract drafting working groups for ConsensusDocs. He is an active member in the ABA Forum on Construction Law and several other regional and local industry trade organizations.

Kory is recognized as an AV Rated Attorney by Martindale-Hubbell and is repeatedly selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© in the field of Construction Law. He is a prior recipient of the Attorney Council Member of the Year by American Subcontractors Association of Colorado (ASAC).

The Construction Law Practice:

Woods & Aitken LLP’s national construction law practice group has counseled clients in the construction industry throughout the United States since the Firm’s founding in 1921. This tradition and dedication to the construction industry provides the experience and knowledge from which creative, value-driven, and ethical solutions to the challenges facing our construction clients can be achieved. Our service-oriented philosophy fuels our commitment to long-term client relationships and enables us to provide effective solutions consistent with the goals and business propositions of our clients.

Woods & Aitken counsels companies from all facets of the construction industry. Our clients include general contractors, trade contractors, specialty subcontractors, project owners, architects, engineers, suppliers, and sureties working on a variety of types of construction projects. We have experience in all legal aspects of the construction process from bid to project closeout.

When disputes arise, Woods & Aitken strives to work with our clients to identify the key issues and develop efficient and cost-effective approaches to early resolution. We have obtained favorable settlements for our clients through mediations, dispute review boards and other early resolution processes. However, if resolution cannot be achieved short of trial, our team has extensive experience in construction litigation having achieved success in arbitrations, state and federal courts, and other evidentiary proceedings.

Woods & Aitken LLP:

Since 1921, Woods & Aitken LLP has focused its practice of law on achieving long-term client success on local, regional, and national levels. Our commitment to client service has fueled the expansion from our original Lincoln, Nebraska office to offices in Denver, Colorado; Omaha, Nebraska; and Washington, D.C. We are at our best when we focus on leveraging our firm’s broad expertise to assist individuals and businesses reach their goals.

Client service is the hallmark of everything we do. Integrity, hard work, an understanding of the law, and an even deeper understanding of our clients’ concerns are the foundation upon which we serve. To excel, we believe our commitment to service must be delivered by attorneys who demonstrate the highest levels of academic achievement, strive to be world-class in their chosen area of practice, and understand their success as legal professionals is first and foremost determined by their ability to provide superior legal solutions to their clients.

James P. Houghton

Jim Houghton has more than 40 years’ experience practicing law in New Mexico. He joined Modrall Sperling in 1973 and was elected shareholder in 1979. He serves as Chair of the Construction and Design Industry Service Group. His practice encompasses transactions, litigation and alternative dispute resolution in the areas of real estate, construction and design law, commercial leasing, and land use (including development, zoning, and subdivision). Best Lawyers in America® has recognized Jim twice as “Lawyer of the Year” in Albuquerque, in 2018 for Litigation-Construction, and in 2013 for Construction Law.

Jim has had mediator training through the Attorney-Mediators Institute and advanced arbitration training through the American Arbitration Association. He has handled arbitrations through the Second Judicial District Court-Appointed Arbitration program.

The Construction Law Practice:

New Mexico has extensive and complex statutory and regulatory requirements that apply to most aspects of construction and design work in the state. Construction and design professionals, including engineers, architects, other design professionals, general contractors, subcontractors, and surveyors, are each covered by separate licensing requirements and regulations. New Mexico also has state-specific statutes and regulations establishing requirements for bonding, procurement bids and protests, indemnification restrictions, liens, collection against bonds on public works projects, and special lender considerations for construction loans, among other special laws. We are well-versed and experienced in assisting the full range of construction industry participants with these requirements, including specialized expertise for contracting in Indian Country.

Our lawyers have successfully represented private and public entities in various dispute resolution strategies, including partnering, mediation, arbitration, and litigation, particularly in the areas of bond claims and contract disputes.

Our attorneys are active members in industry and professional groups throughout New Mexico and across the United States, including Associated Builders and Contractors of New Mexico, the American Bar Association Construction Forum, and the USLAW Construction Law Practice Group. We have published numerous articles and written New Mexico chapters for national compendia on construction and design law. We also present at and sponsor construction law CLE programs.

Modrall Sperling:

Modrall Sperling is the counsel of choice for complex business, litigation and natural resources challenges anywhere in New Mexico. In many specialty areas of practice, we are retained to work on issues throughout the Southwest and across the nation.

To solve their key challenges, clients rely on our depth of experience of our legal teams, which are built across a wide range of practice areas. We offer well-developed legal niches involving schools, railroads, banks, mining, oil and gas development companies, Native American and public lands, energy and utilities companies, healthcare providers, and Native American law, among others.

Knowing our clients’ business – together with the regulatory and competitive environments in which they operate – enables us to spot developments that may affect them so that together we can take action.

Clients hire Modrall Sperling for our experience. They keep us for our counsel.

Henry G. “Chip” Bachara

There’s a reason for the row of hard hats hanging on the wall in Chip Bachara’s office. The founding partner of Bachara Construction Law group has spent his entire life in and around the construction industry.

Following in the footsteps of his father, a WWII veteran who returned from the Pacific and became a homebuilder in Jacksonville, Chip literally learned the business from the ground up. He worked as a laborer for his father’s company while in high school, then earned a degree in Building Construction from the University of Florida and obtained his certified general contractor’s license.

After working for two of Jacksonville’s largest commercial construction companies, Chip earned a law degree from Mercer University. Since that time, he has practiced exclusively in the area of construction litigation. He served as an associate with Bedell, Dittmar, DeVault & Pillans (now known as the Bedell Firm), and as an associate and partner with Baumer, Bradford & Walters, which later merged with Smith, Gambrell & Russell. He formed Bachara Construction Law group in 2007 to represent a full range of clients including government entities, private developers and owners, contractors, trade contractors, sureties and insurers in construction disputes, including construction defect claims.

Chip is Board Certified in Construction Law, serves an arbitrator for complex construction disputes, and is a Florida Supreme Court-Certified mediator. Committed to the highest standards of excellence, he has been AV-rated by Martindale Hubbell since 1991 and named multiple times in Florida Trend’s Legal Elite, Florida Super Lawyers and Best Lawyers in America®, which recently named him Jacksonville’s “Construction Lawyer of the Year” for the third time. Chip was reappointed for a third term on the Fourth Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission in 2018. Originally appointed in 2011, he served as chair from 2012-2014. In 2016, he was named to the inaugural class of Jacksonville’s “Ultimate Attorneys” by his peers and the Jacksonville Business Journal.

In addition to being active in professional organizations, including service as a former chair of The Florida Bar Standing Committee on Professionalism and as a member of The Florida Bar’s Construction Law Institute Committee, Chip has served on the board of the Northeast Florida Homebuilders Association and is a former chair of the Florida Home Builders Association Legal Action Committee. A Trustee of JaxChamber (the Jacksonville Regional Chamber of Commerce) and a 2018 graduate of Leadership Jacksonville, he has also served as a member of the St. John’s Cathedral Properties Committee since 2011.

Chip is a lifelong resident of Jacksonville. He and his wife of more than 25 years, Carrie, are the proud parents of a daughter and a son.

Bachara Construction Law Group:

With decades of collective experience in all aspects of construction law, the team at Bachara Construction Law Group is qualified to handle every type of construction dispute.

In the courtroom or at the negotiating table, our goal is to handle your legal needs in the most timely and cost-effective manner possible, so you can get back to doing what you do best. We also provide mediation and arbitration services and regularly negotiate and draft contracts on behalf of our clients.

Named one of the Best Law Firms in America by U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers in 2014 and 2018, BCLG’s commitment to construction law is based on experience and rooted in family tradition. Our founding partner, Chip Bachara, comes from a construction background and worked extensively in the industry before becoming a lawyer, and our team brings its “A” game to every case.

Although the Bachara Group is a relatively small firm, larger firms regularly refer their most complicated construction matters to us. We also partner with other firms and public entities, such as the City of Jacksonville’s Office of General Counsel, on large cases. As a result, we have been involved in nearly every major construction dispute in Northeast Florida – and others in South Florida and Georgia – since our founding in 2007.

Charles Vantine

Charlie is a member of Dentons’ Construction Practice Group. He has represented a wide variety of clients in all project phases, including project contracting and procurement, project administration and dispute resolution. His clients have included project owners, general contractors, subcontractors, sureties, design professionals, utilities and manufacturers.

Charlie’s experience in the pre-construction transactional phase of construction projects includes a broad range of project delivery methodologies, including traditional design-bid-build contracts, design-build contracts, construction management contracts, EPC contracts, EPCM contracts, development contracts, professional services contracts and other contractual arrangements on multi-million dollar projects. Moreover, Charlie regularly counsels clients in real-time throughout the course of construction as issues arise on projects.

Charlie has handled complex issue and multiple party dispute resolution at the state, federal and appellate level, as well as in the alternative dispute resolution forums of mediation and arbitration. Charlie has experience in prosecuting and defending significant construction disputes, including but not limited to design and construction defect claims, schedule/delay claims, contract default claims, mechanic’s liens, improper workmanship claims, error and omission claims, payment and performance bond claims, UCC claims, and other contractually based disputes.

Experience

  • Represented luxury resort developer in connection with the construction of an ultra-high-end luxury casino hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.
  • Represented quasi-public utility board of directors with respect to nuclear power facility in South Carolina.
  • Represented well known film producer in the development of expansive movie studio property in Georgia.
  • Represented solar developer with respect to engineering, procurement and construction agreements for future developments.
  • Represented client with respect to engineering, procurement and construction contract disputes relating to a coal-fired power facility. The claims involved schedule and defect related issues.
  • Represented an industrial manufacturer with respect to an engineering, procurement and construction management agreement in connection with a new production facility.
  • Represented a renewable developer with respect to an engineering, procurement and construction contract in connection with a wind generation facility.
  • Represented design-build JV in connection with a dispute relating to an ethanol production facility, which included schedule and delay claims and claims of construction and design defects.
  • Represented natural gas supplier with respect to an engineering, procurement and construction management agreement in connection with a natural gas storage and compression facility in Louisiana.
  • Represented natural gas supplier with respect to an engineering, procurement and construction management agreement in connection with a natural gas pipeline project in Louisiana.
  • Represented natural gas supplier in a dispute relating to an engineering, procurement and construction management agreement in connection with a natural gas compression, storage and pipeline project in California.
  • Represented owner of a biodiesel production facility relating to project delays, defect claims and mechanic’s liens.
  • Represented Native American hotel and casino operator in connection with facility design and construction issues.
  • Represented multi-unit residential developer in connection with all aspects of the design and construction of mixed use facilities.
  • Represented major hotel operator in dispute with regard to design and construction defects.
  • Represented major hotel operator in dispute regarding improper installation of flooring in rooms that created cupping of wood floors.
  • Represented Native American casino operator in dispute regarding design defect in raised flooring.
  • Represented major hotel operator in dispute regarding incomplete work and mechanics liens in property relating to contractors failure to pay subs money paid by owner.
  • Represented major developer with regard to hotel construction contract for high rise hotel in suburban Kansas City.
  • Represented Native American hotel and casino operator with regard to construction and engineering contracts and transactions for a casino hotel in California.
  • Represented infrastructure contractor in various bid protests and other contractual disputes.
  • Represented professional sports team with regard to certain disputes relating to a civic facility.