Construction payment issues and contract disputes happen regularly on projects. When you want to foreclose a mechanics lien or run into a legal dispute, it’s reassuring to have an experienced construction lawyer’s support. Below, you’ll find a list of the top construction lawyers in Chicago and the greater metro area.
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When do you need a construction lawyer?
Construction projects can be complex. It can be just as complicated for contractors to get paid on a project as it is to complete the job itself. Contractors and suppliers not only have to do their job, but also ensure that they get paid on every job.
Construction lawyers support the construction process by making sure contractors protect their legal rights. They can help property owners, contractors, and material suppliers by drafting and reviewing contracts, litigating a breach of contract claim or work dispute, or foreclosing on a mechanics lien if necessary.
The Top Construction Lawyers in Chicago
These attorneys on this list were selected because they meet a significant number of the below criteria:
- Focus their legal practice on the construction industry
- Work on construction cases in northeast Illinois
- Are thought leaders in construction law
- Hold a Construction Law Certification from the Illinois State Bar Association
Charles B. Lewis
Charles B. Lewis has been serving the construction industry as a mediator in over 350 construction disputes in the Chicago area. Charles is a partner at Duane Morris, which services the infrastructure industry with offices across the nation. Charles is a member of Duane Morris’ national Construction Practice Group. He’s also the head of their Chicago office Construction Practice Group, and focuses his practice on construction law and litigation.
Charles has worked all parties of the construction industry. His experience representing construction clients includes contract negotiation, breach of contract claims, claims for subs, loss of productivity, out-of-scope work, and more. Charles is a Fellow of the Construction Lawyers Society of America, and he’s also a Fellow of the American College of Construction Lawyers. In 1976, Charles graduated from the University of San Francisco School of Law and later from the University of Michigan.
Timothy R. Conway
Timothy R. Conway is a founding partner of Conway & Mrowiec. His firm includes five lawyers based in Chicago that represents all participants in the construction process. In 2019, Timothy’s firm was named to U.S. News Best Law Firm list as a Tier 1 Construction Litigation firm. Over the years, Timothy has taken part in arbitrations, trials, and meditations for his construction clients. He’s also represented builders in construction projects for both public and private jobs.
In 2012, Timothy was named “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers for construction litigation in Chicago. He’s also been to Super Lawyers in Chicago and to Chambers and Partners in 2018. Over his career, Timothy has arbitrated disputes on a variety of job sites, including power plants, monumental public projects, prisons, wastewater treatment plants, and more. He’s confronted many legal issues for contractors, including but not limited to:
- Mechanics lien and bond claims
- Termination and performance
- Design Deficiencies
- Differing Site Conditions
John S. Mrowiec
John S. Mrowiec is the second half of Conway & Mrowiec. He limits his practice to clients in the construction industry, which has made his firm one of the most touted agencies in Chicago for construction law. John works with contractors when dealing with contract drafting, contract administration, claim preparation, and dispute resolution. John has also drafted and negotiated more than two billion dollars in construction, construction management, design/build, design and trade contracts throughout his career.
In 2019, John was named by Best Lawyers as the “Lawyer of the Year” for construction litigation in Chicago. In 2014, he was awarded the same honor for construction law and has also been named to Super Lawyers. John is the co-author of several chapters in “Construction Change Order Claims 2d” and has written over 90 construction law articles.
Some of John’s more significant recent construction law engagements include:
- $90M Chicago suburban office complex renovation and new construction
- $200M condominium and hotel project in River East, Chicago
- A forty-one-story apartment tower on Michigan Ave., Chicago
Robert J. Harris
Robert J. Harris has been a construction lawyer in Chicago for over 25 years while covering litigation matters. He’s a partner and co-founder of Harris Winick Harris LLP and has handled construction disputes for GC’s, owners, engineers, architects, and developers.
Robert is also a Charter Fellow of the Construction Lawyers Society of America and is a member of Super Lawyers for Illinois. Recently, Robert has been on an arbitrator panel deciding delay and other claims in connection with a large Chicago hotel and condominium project.
In 1985, Robert received his juris doctorate from Yale Law School and his bachelor of arts degree from Hamilton College in 1982. Robert is admitted to practice construction law in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, the United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the Supreme Court of the United States. He also serves as an Adjunct Professor at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law and is a lecturer at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
Eric A. Berg
Eric A. Berg represents contractors through construction law in both litigation and transactional work. He is of counsel with Ogletree Deakins and represents all parties of the construction industry. Eric has worked on several diverse construction projects, such as the Willis Tower in Chicago.
Before joining Ogletree Deakins, Eric was Deputy General Counsel at Great Lakes Dredge & Dock, in Oak Brook, Illinois for three years. There, he provided counsel to contractors on several construction topics such as mechanics liens, contract drafting, extras claims, and payment disputes. In 2020, Eric was recognized by Best Lawyers in America for work in construction law. He’s also been ranked by Chambers and Partners and Illinois Super Lawyers.
Edward B. Keidan
Edward B. Keidan centralizes his practice in construction law matters through design-defect related actions, delay and disruption claims, labor productivity, contract interpretation, drafting of contracts, differing site conditions, surety bond, and mechanics lien claims. He is of counsel with Stein Ray LLP and has commercial litigation experience aside from construction law.
Through trial, arbitration, and mediation, Edward has worked with GC’s and subs on a variety of projects in Chicago. Some of his cases have involved job sites at casinos, commercial buildings, arenas, and power plants. Edward has worked antitrust claims with GC’s, defended subs from lower tier claims, and has worked recovery for subs on mechanics lien claims against bankrupt providers. He’s also a member of Illinois Super Lawyers and he received his juris doctor from the University of Michigan in 1995, cum laude.
Clifford J. Shapiro
Clifford J. Shapiro is a construction attorney and partner at Barnes & Thornburg LLP. Clifford is the chair of his firm’s Construction Law Practice Group as he solves claims and disputes for contractors. He’s been honored by several entities for his performance in the construction law:
- Chambers and Partners as a 2019 Top-Ranked Lawyer
- The Best Lawyers in America, 2007-2020
- Recognized by U.S. News
Clifford serves contractors in construction related disputes. He has experience in construction negotiation and mediation, as well as arbitration or litigation. Clifford can also assist contractors with his knowledge of construction-related insurance coverage and the legal issues associated with it. He has over 36 years worth of experience covering construction and insurance coverage claims. Clifford received his B.A. from Washington University and his J.D. from George Washington University Law School.
Alexandrea R. Cole
Alexandrea R. Cole is a partner with Perkins Coie. She has been named to Chambers and Partners 14 years in a row. Alexandra is also a member of the Society of Illinois Construction Attorneys. She focuses her real estate practice in construction law and real estate transactions.
Alexandrea represents all the various parties in the construction and development process. She has worked construction and renovation cases tied to several plants, industrial complexes, hotels, shopping centers and other commercial projects across the country. Aside from the Illinois Bar Admissions, Alexandrea also holds a certification with the State Bar of Wisconsin.
In 2018, Alexandrea was named by Best Lawyers as the Lawyer of the Year in Chicago for construction law.
Daniel A. Dorfman
Daniel A. Dorfman is the Chair of the Construction Law Practice for Fox Swibel in Chicago. He typically represents Chicago-based and nationally prominent construction owners and developers. Daniel has drafted and negotiated complex agreements for contractors, and he’s litigated commercial construction disputes.
Daniel is also the Acting General Counsel for construction industry clients with Fox Swibel. He is a member of Construction Law360’s Editorial Advisory Board and has been named to Best Lawyers in America for his construction law work. Daniel is a member of the Chicagoland Associated General Contractors, DRI’s Fidelity and Surety Committee, and the Sustainability Commission of the Village of Deerfield, Illinois.
Ty D. Laurie
Ty D. Laurie is founding partner of Laurie & Brennan, LLP, which deals exclusively with construction law. Some of his construction law background includes sports facility disputes, capital improvement and replacement projects for hospitals and medical facilities and construction of skyscrapers. He has also worked with several Fortune 500 companies while providing construction counsel and construction law advice.
Ty is is deeply involved in a high number of professional construction groups, including:
- American Bar Foundation
- American College of Construction Lawyers
- Society of Illinois Construction Lawyers
- American College of Civil Trial Mediators
Ty has also been recognized as a Member of the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals. He’s been featured on Best Lawyers and also with Leading Lawyers Network as a top construction lawyer in Illinois.
Mark B. Grzymala
Mark B. Grzymala is president and founder of Grzymala Law Offices, P.C. Mark has 18 years of legal experience and has focused his career in construction law and mechanics liens. He has worked with Chicago subs, GC’s, supplier, and designers through contract disputes construction defect claims, mechanics lien claims and foreclosure, bond claims, and construction payouts.
Mark is an active member of the Chicago Bar Association, where he works with the Committee on Real Property and Construction Law and Mechanics Liens. He is also a part of several other legal and construction committees:
- Illinois State Bar Association
- American Bar Association (member of the Construction Law Forum)
- Charter Member of the Construction Lawyers Society of America
Get payment & legal answers in Chicago and beyond
There are many prestigious and knowledgeable construction lawyers to sift through in Chicago and across Illinois. We hope this list has helped you orient yourself with some of the best legal talent at your disposal.
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