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Pepper Named Construction Law Firm of the Year, Capping Record-Setting Year for Construction Practice Group

6/19/2018
Pepper Named Construction Law Firm of the Year, Capping Record-Setting Year for Construction Practice Group

In May, Chambers USA named Pepper Hamilton the Construction Law Firm of the Year at its 2018 Chambers USA Awards. The award capped an exceptional two years for the Construction Practice Group, during which the group added new depth to its bench and services and continued to deliver significant wins for clients in the most sophisticated construction matters in the world.

“When we shared the Chambers news with a longtime client, he remarked that Chambers figured out what he had known all along, namely that we are at the top of the list for construction groups in the United States,” said Michael P. Subak, partner and chair of Pepper’s Construction Practice Group. “We’re very proud of this award, but what we value most is that our clients continue to turn to us with their most sensitive and important matters and then keep returning to us because we deliver results.” Pepper’s clients include some of the largest engineering and construction firms in the world, as well as a range of extremely successful regional construction companies.

Below are some recent highlights from the Construction Practice Group in 2017-2018.

Meeting Clients’ Needs

Over the last few years, the group has counseled clients on some of the largest construction projects and won victories in some of the most complex trials. Our recent successes include:

  • achieved an extremely favorable result for a longtime client in a substantial domestic infrastructure project across multiple states; what set this result apart is that we were able to achieve success through a full commitment to mediation, which resulted in a settlement and allowed the client to avoid the costs and distraction associated with litigation

  • advised a multinational engineering firm on disputes valued in excess of $100 million

  • advised the Chilean subsidiary of a European company on a multibillion-dollar hydroelectric project

  • completed a multimillion-dollar arbitration involving U.S. and European law for an engineering firm related to the construction of an ammonia production plant

  • successfully concluded an arbitration for an energy client related to a multimillion-dollar heat and power facility project

  • advised a large China-based development company on an ongoing Los Angeles development project valued in excess of $700 million

  • counseling on several large projects in the New York area, including the multibillion Tappan Zee Bridge project, the Second Avenue Subway project and the George Washington Bridge development project

  • advising a world leader in municipal and industrial water and wastewater treatment systems in a series of multimillion-dollar disputes throughout the world

  • achieved a victory in a three-year arbitration for a water client related to a $100 million liquid waste facility

  • advising the contractor on the multibillion-dollar construction of a 50+ story skyscraper

Building the Bench

In 2015, based on feedback from our clients, we targeted growth in three areas: California, New York City and international arbitration. In the last few years, the group has added depth to its team in each of these key areas.

In California, we added partner Marion T. Hack in Los Angeles, enhancing the strong practice established by partner Ted R. Gropman. Ms. Hack has 20 years of experience practicing in construction and commercial litigation. She is a first-chair trial lawyer specializing in multimillion-dollar claim disputes involving high-profile, complex construction projects, achieving either favorable settlements on behalf of her clients or taking those cases to trial resulting in positive verdicts or judgments. She is recognized as a leading construction lawyer by Chambers USA.

In New York City, we added of counsel Vincent J. Torna. Mr. Torna has spent more than 30 years representing contractors in litigation involving infrastructure, transportation, public works, and high-rise and institutional buildings. He has represented clients in state and federal courts at both the trial and appellate levels, as well as administrative proceedings and arbitrations. 

In Pittsburgh, we added Albert Bates Jr., who leads our international construction arbitration team. Mr. Bates focuses his practice on the resolution of U.S. and international construction disputes, particularly in the areas of power generation, infrastructure and heavy industrial process facilities. He also advises clients on project planning and execution strategies, project management and project controls strategies, and change management on large construction projects. He has a "Band 1" rating in Construction in Chambers USA and is a Fellow of the American College of Construction Lawyers.

In 2018, Robert A. Gallagher was promoted to the partnership. Mr. Gallagher, resident in Pittsburgh, has represented construction clients on projects ranging in size up to $4.5 billion and in dispute proceedings ranging in magnitude up to $400 million in 30 states, the District of Columbia, Canada, South America, the Middle East, and Europe. He has significant experience with process plants, including water and wastewater treatment, heavy industrial process facilities, and power plants.

Over the last two years, the practice group has also expanded its bench with several associates with significant construction experience, further strengthening the group’s services for clients.

Achieving Recognition

The Chambers Construction Law Firm of the Year honor is just the latest accolade for Pepper’s Construction Practice Group. The group was shortlisted for the same award in 2017, and is ranked nationally and in Pennsylvania and California in the 2018 edition of Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business.

Chambers writes of the Construction Practice Group that it is an “Experienced group with a strong presence across the country. Often handles high-profile projects for major construction groups and owners, and possesses a high-caliber litigation and trial team that regularly appears in high-value disputes arising from projects. Also noted for its representation of leading contractors and design professionals. Further recognized for representation of international clients drawn from the Americas, the Middle East and the UK.”

The Construction Practice Group is also recommended in the 2018 edition of The Legal 500 United States and was named a “top firm” in the JD Supra 2018 Readers’ Choice Awards in the construction category, which recognizes reader interest in construction-related matters, including subcontractors, construction defects, urban planning and development, public projects, OSHA and workplace safety, among others.

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