Mr. Laurie is a nationally renowned mediator and arbitrator. Mr. Laurie is an American Arbitration Association (AAA), International Mediation Institute (IMI) certified mediator, and AAA-certified arbitrator for over 20 years and has provided neutral services around the country on all types of construction disputes. He is in select company as being one of only a few neutrals who is both a AAA Master Mediator and a Mega Project Panel Arbitrator. He is also a member of the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals, and a fellow of the American College of Civil Trial Mediators.
Ty is consistently ranked as a top lawyer neutral in numerous publications. Leading Lawyers Network, which surveys other lawyers to conduct peer rankings, has identified Ty as the #1 construction lawyer and the #1 construction mediator in Illinois for 2019 and 2020. He is recognized as a top mediator in International Who’s Who of Commercial Mediation. Ty also has a Tier 1 rating for construction advocacy from Chambers and Partners, is recognized as a preeminent construction lawyer by Best Lawyers in America, Expert Guides and Super Lawyers, and is a Fellow of the American College of Construction Lawyers.
Ty has mediated numerous construction disputes to successful conclusions throughout his 25 years of experience as a certified mediator. His success rate is over 90 percent, and most of the cases he hasn’t settled as a mediator ultimately resulted in settlements due to the significant progress made during the mediations he conducted. Several attorneys, contractors, owners, design professionals, insurers and sureties can attest to Ty’s effectiveness, fairness and persuasiveness as a mediator.
A typical mediation is 2 days, with Ty’s mediations ranging from one to nine non-consecutive days. His mediations generally include 4 to 7 parties, but he has had few as 2 and as many as 26 parties. Ty’s mediations include the gambit of construction law-related disputes and include such ancillary issues as insurance coverage disputes involving commercial general liability, professional liability, property/builder’s risk and director and officers’ insurance policies, as well as surety law and general real estate/entitlement claims.
While a list of references is available upon request, below is a sampling of some of Ty’s successfully concluded mediations:
- $100 million in claims and counterclaims involving defects and delays between a structural steel subcontractor and general contractor involving steel fabrication and erection of an NFL stadium.
- $66 million insurance coverage dispute regarding defense and indemnity obligations of an underlying construction case that resulted in a judgment and payment. Several complicated insurance coverage issues involving commercial liability and design professional insurance policies were involved in this mediation.
- $60+ million in various claims and counterclaims involving various defects principally including exterior skin leakage of an NFL Stadium. This mediation took over 2 years to complete, involved over 18 parties and insurers, and included numerous insurance coverage issues.
- $55 million dispute involving the construction of a cavern storage facility for certain flammable gas products. The contractor claimed over $15 million in work performed and the owner claimed over $40 million in various types of damages. The case arose out of a default termination by owner that contractor disputed. The dispute focused on numerous technical issues involving the work and any damage to the cavern. Each side had four experts with expertise in a variety of different disciplines.
- Over $50 million in extra work, defects and delay claims and counterclaims between an owner and general contractor of a new powerhouse in an existing power plant facility.
- Over $40 million in various defects and delay claims involving four selective catalytic reduction systems installed in an existing power plant.
- Over $38 million in delay claims by an EPC contractor against a turbine manufacturer regarding the construction of a large power plant.
- $33 million dispute between engineering firm and energy producer involving construction and design of ethanol plant. Dispute centered around design errors and failure to design plant that would meet air emissions standards and could operate using lignite coal.
- $31 million dispute between municipality, engineering firm, and dredge contractor involving purported design and construction errors over a new breakwater system procured by the municipality. This dispute involved several legal complexities concerning consequential damages and insurance coverage.
- $30+ million dispute between casino owner and general contractor regarding scope of work, cost of the work, delays, constructive acceleration and change order disputes.
- $28 million dispute between a municipality, project engineer, and contractor for the construction of a highway. Dispute centered around delays that caused failure to meet the completion date and “total cost” method of proving related damages. Contractor sought damages from city and engineer for fraud, breach of contract, negligence and unjust enrichment arising out of changes in means and methods, delay, interference, lack of access and wrongful withholding of liquidated damages. City claimed that contractor’s damages were self-inflicted and that using the total cost method of proving delay damages was unacceptable.
- $27 million dispute for additional design services involving a regional transportation agency and its design engineers. The engineers claim identified changes in scope, interferences and delays.
- $25+ million dispute involving design errors and construction defects claimed by a utility against its contractor who converted the plant from coal to natural gas. Several explosions occurred resulting in property damage.
- $22.5 million dispute between an architect and a County Board of Commissioners for construction of a ballpark facility. Architect sought unpaid additional service requests and unpaid retainage fees. County claimed that architect's design errors or omissions caused County to incur additional project costs and delays, resulting in various overruns. County also claimed repair costs for various design defects. Also settled related action between contractor and county for unpaid work related in part to the claimed design errors.
- Over $20 million in claims and counterclaims between an electrical contractor and its foundation subcontractor over delays and interferences involving power plant upgrades.
- Over $20 million in claims and counterclaims involving defects and delays between an EPC contractor and one of its critical subcontractors regarding a power plant project. $20 million in claims and counterclaims between a hotel developer, its general contractor and several subcontractors centering around extra work claims, large delay damage claims and defective work back charges for a hotel on the west coast.
- $19 million dispute between a municipality, engineering firm and contractor for removal and replacement of a bridge in a metropolitan area. City and steel contractor claim that errors, omissions and flawed designs provided by the engineering firm resulted in long delays in beginning the bridgework and concrete removal due to constant modifications of the designs and failure of engineering firm to adequately estimate the timeframe of the bridge outage.
- $18 million dispute between a general contractor and a subcontractor involving construction of a hospital. Subcontractor supplied lime kiln dust and equipment for soil stabilization. Contractor claimed subcontractor supplied defective lime kiln dust, was negligent in not properly spreading the lime kiln dust; and failed to properly advise Contractor on the proper use of the lime kiln dust. Contractor sought damages it incurred conducting repairs and settling with the hospital. Subcontractor claimed it merely supplied the lime kiln dust and equipment, and that Contractor was negligent in improperly spreading the lime kiln dust, causing the foundation and flooring to heave. Subcontractor sought rescission or reformation of the contract because the subcontract was based upon mutual or unilateral mistake.
- Over $15 million extra work and delay dispute between general contractor and owner involving a high-tech, one-of-a-kind science and technology building.
- Over $15 million in various claims by a subcontractor against an EPC contractor involving construction of a new power plant.
- Over $15 million in claims and counterclaims between a university and general contractor involving construction of a new education building.
- Over $10 million in various defect, extra work and delay claims involving owner, general contractor and various subcontractors regarding the construction of eight generators for a high-tech facility.
- $10 million dispute between developer and construction manager involving construction of a senior living facility. Developer claimed construction manager failed to complete the project on time and sought damages. Construction manager claimed delay was caused by architect’s inadequate plans, specifications and design flaws and sought payment for balance of contract.
- $10 million construction delay dispute between architect, contractor and sub-contractors involving airport terminal improvement project. Enhanced and updated security equipment to be installed at the airport necessitated changes to the baggage handling system and expansion of the baggage rooms at the airport.
- $10 million dispute between contractor and design builder for construction of an ash handling system for a fossil power plant operated by a government agency. Design/builder was to provide engineering services and procuring of equipment and materials. The contractor was to provide site coordination and scheduling for the project. The electrical subcontractor hired by contractor was replaced during the project and faulty workmanship by the replacement electrical subcontractor caused delays. Contractor left the project before completion causing design builder to hire more laborers to complete the project.
- $10 million dispute involving a prominent university’s construction and design defect claims against several multi-prime contractors and design professionals, eight parties in all. This dispute included some complicated surety defenses and insurance coverage disputes.
- $9.9 million dispute involving the construction of a reservoir by a municipality for drinking water and emergency water supply. The dispute arose between the municipality, the engineering firm that provided design services, the initial contractor for the project (subsequently terminated) and the replacement contractor that completed the project. Issues presented at mediation were faulty and incomplete designs provided by the engineering firm, failure of the first contractor to adequately inspect the site and perform its obligations under the contract and disputed change orders submitted by both contractors.
- $9.8 million dispute between a regional airport, project engineer and contractor for reconstruction of a runway at the airport. The contract specified that FAA provided funding for the project through a grant and that FAA had to certify that work met specifications or payment would not be made. Airport and engineer alleged that contractor performed faulty work, failed to meet deadlines, failed to submit testing information and documents required by the contract and failed to comply with safety plan.
- Over $9 million in various claims with over 20 parties involving a large multi-housing development.
- Over $9 million in various defect claims between an owner and EPC contractor involving multiple solar panel power plants.
- $9 million dispute between a governmental regulatory agency and a contractor involving the design, site development and construction of a training facility. Dispute centered around an outdoor firing range that was designed, but never built because of disagreements on the interpretation of contract requirements for sound baffling and a roof. Contractor sought damages it claimed were caused by government agency misadministration, design demands and acts and omissions. Government claimed the contractor was solely responsible for failing to build the firing range and seeks credit for work deleted from the contract.
- Over $8 million in various disputes between an EPC contractor and manufacturer involving a selective catalytic reduction system.
- $7.8 million dispute between a stadium and convention building authority, project engineer and contractor involving construction of a sports stadium. The dispute focused on the failure of the water supply system and drainage for the stadium due to design defect and construction defects.
- $7.6 million dispute between a developer and university involving construction of dormitories. Developer claimed university failed to recognize valid change orders for costs incurred due to delays, unsuitable soils, unforeseen site conditions, and changes in scope. Developer sought the unpaid contract balance. University claimed developer deviated from owner-approved design and never submitted any change order requests during construction. University sought reimbursement for expenses incurred in finding alternate housing for students.
- $7.5 million dispute between owner, developer/contractor, tenant, and subcontractors for construction of a warehouse/distribution center. Dispute centers around pavement and slope failures on the site. Owner sought damages from developer and contractor pursuant to an indemnity agreement for repair/remediation work. Developer/contractor countersued claiming owner purchased building “as is;” countersued subcontractors pursuant to an indemnity agreement; and countersued tenant for unjust enrichment. Subcontractors countersued contractor claiming they are owned money for extra work on the project.
- $7.2 million dispute between a municipality and a designer and contractor for a water treatment plant. Upon completion of the water treatment plant, it failed to operate properly despite replacement of various mechanical components of the plant. The designer/contractor claimed that the city withheld critical information regarding invasive species in the water that contributed to silt and sediment in the raw water. Without treatment to remove the invasive species, the plant could not process the water properly.
- $7 million multi-party dispute involving various claimed design errors, construction defects and builder’s risk coverage issues involving a bridge project.
- $6 million dispute between a homeowner association, developer, numerous subcontractors, design professionals, Commercial General Liability insurers and design professional insurers involving several alleged defects to a subdivision development in Ohio. This mediation has several complex legal and insurance issues, as well as numerous factual disputes regarding underlying liability and damages. This three-day mediation involved over 20 parties, including insurers.
- $5.3 million dispute between contractor and municipality for construction of a wastewater equalization basin. Contractor claimed extra work, design revisions, and unreasonable delays caused by municipality and it is designer prevented early completion of the project and sought payment for contract balance and loss of early completion bonus it would have earned. Municipality claimed contractor failed to use continuous rebar in concrete slabs, the repair and remediation of which caused the delayed completion. Municipality sought damages for contractor’s failure to complete the work in a timely manner.
- $5 million dispute involving claimed design errors between hospital and design team regarding a large hospital in the Northeast.
- $5 million dispute between a municipality and engineer over a land fill closure.
- Over $4 million in various claims involving a government contracts dispute regarding a military facilities oversees.
- $4 million dispute between a general contractor, mechanical subcontractor and developer of mixed use retail/residential condominium development. Developer claimed delays due to change orders, inadequacy of as-built drawings, and lack of approval on design-build drawings contributed to the late completion of condominium units in a deteriorating real estate market. Contractor claimed indecision by developer caused delays in approvals for drawings and progress on work to be done by contractor and subcontractor.
- $4 million dispute between hospital and terminated developer over fees and costs owed by hospital due developer for planned medical office building that was ultimately never built. The parties raised several contractual interpretation and damage calculation issues that impeded settlement prior to mediation.
- $4 million dispute between subcontractor and design builder regarding renovations of two ship loading facilities on the Mississippi River in Louisiana. Ship loading equipment supplied by subcontractor alleged to be defective and delivered late causing project delays and requiring corrective work. Design builder claims liquidated damages due to subcontractor’s failure to provide suitable equipment for the project and to cover cost of corrective work. Subcontractor sought payment for additional hours worked, materials, site management and additional office rent.
- $3 million claims and counterclaims involving a water treatment plant.
- $2.8 million dispute between a contractor and steel suppliers for construction of a sports arena. Suppliers sought payment for costs incurred by contractor’s change orders, overtime incurred because of delayed delivery of precast, equitable adjustment and construction acceleration costs. Contractor claimed suppliers inaccurately estimated their labors costs, labor was inefficient, and failed to perform the work properly, thereby necessitating substantial amounts of rework.
- $2.6 million dispute between a prime contractor and a structural steel fabrication subcontractor for construction of a dining and residence hall at a university campus. The contractor claimed that the steel subcontractor’s late and incomplete deliveries of steel and numerous fabrication errors caused significant delays in completing the project for the university. The university made claims against the prime contractor because the project was delayed, and the steel subcontractor made counterclaims against the prime contractor in an amount excessive of $300,000 for errors made in scheduling the project.
- $2.5 million dispute between subcontractor and contractor for project involving expansion of a seed-processing facility. Subcontractor sought payment of withheld retention and change order payments. Project experienced significant delays due to work performed by contractor.
- $2.3 million dispute between a municipality and four contractors and design professionals involving an ice center and stadium. City claimed damages relating to defects in parking structure attached to the arena and faulty smoke exhaust system in the arena. Contractors asserted that damages sought were time-barred and involved unnecessary replacement of beams in parking garage instead of repair to only one cracked beam.
- $2.5 million dispute between a condominium association, developer, contractor, and sub-contractors for a 4-story condominium building and parking structure. The dispute involved the condominium association’s allegations that defective design and construction of the building’s balconies, roof and drainage system allowed water intrusion and leaks on the balconies, roof and other parts of the building.
- $2.2 million dispute between a municipality and contractors for construction of a water treatment plant. Municipality claimed contractors failed to complete project according to revised completion dates and sued for breach of contract and negligence. Contractors claimed that municipality waived liquidated damages during the project and sought payment for unpaid contract balances.
- $1.7 million dispute between a contractor and subcontractor for new construction and renovation of a food processing facility. Contractor claimed subcontractor performed defective workmanship and sought reimbursement for expense incurred to complete punch list items and for corrective work. Subcontractor claimed contractor provided inaccurate and incomplete drawings, untimely drawings, revisions and scope changes and sought payment for unpaid contract balance.
- $1.6 million dispute involving a state highway commission and subcontractors claiming amounts due them for the reconstruction of service plazas and parking lots along a turnpike. The subcontractors claim that substantial delays were caused by the project owner and its general contractor’s failure to make the worksite available and coordinate the trades so that subcontractors could perform their work in a timely manner.
Mr. Laurie has presided over several complex arbitrations. He has arbitrated numerous cases as an arbitration panel chair, an arbitration panel member, or as a single arbitrator. All of his arbitrations have been in construction-related matters.
A few of Mr. Laurie’s more notable and lengthy arbitrations include:
- a three-week proceeding involving approximately twenty witnesses and eight experts to resolve $55 million in claims and counterclaims involving design and construction problems of a power plant.
- a three-week proceeding involving ten witnesses and four experts to resolve $10 million in claims involving construction delays to the erection of radio towers in Middle East.
- a two-week proceeding involving several million dollars in claims and counterclaims by an electrical subcontractor against a general contractor.
- a two-week proceeding involving several witnesses and two experts to resolve $4 million in claims involving roofs of multi-family development.
- a two-week proceeding involving nine witnesses including three experts regarding breach of contract between a large oil and gas company and contractor over a long-term facility improvement contract.
- a two-week proceeding involving over 10 witnesses and several claims and counterclaims between a general contractor and terminated drywall subcontractor.
For references, please contact Alanna Laurie at [email protected].