Joseph Colagiovanni has more than 30 years of experience as a transactional and litigation lawyer focusing on construction, design and development matters, both in the U.S. and internationally. He has been involved in a wide variety of complex projects, including utility systems, bridges, railroads and roadways, water treatment and distribution facilities, environmental management and cleanup, large-scale commercial projects, multi-family and other and residential complexes, automobile assembly plants, industrial and manufacturing facilities, hospitals, sports arenas and convention centers, hotel and resort developments, power plants, renovation and rehabilitation of historic structures, research facilities, casinos, museums, and entertainment complexes.
During his career, he has represented clients in hundreds of development, design, engineering and construction projects (providing advice with respect to development, design, construction, consulting and related contacts, trade labor and project labor matters, insurance, intellectual property protection, land use and zoning, environmental and building code regulations, professional licensing issues and accessibility laws among other issues). He has negotiated and documented agreements for nearly $20 billion worth of design and construction. He has advised clients on matters throughout the United States and has been involved in projects located in more than 30 other countries, including China, Taiwan, Indonesia, Cambodia, India, Pakistan, Australia, Japan, Chile, Ecuador, Venezuela, Colombia, Mexico, Canada, Russia, France, Germany, Italy, Great Britain, Spain, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and the United Arab Emirates. He also has extensive experience in connection with insurance and risk management for project delivery approaches using partnering and has developed a proprietary and provisionally patented method for the risk management of integrated project delivery agreements.
He has represented clients in connection with numerous contested disputes, involving the prosecution and defense of claims with respect to design, development and construction issues. The cases he has handled include payment and cost overrun disputes, delay claims, construction and design defect litigation, liens, surety bond claims, condemnation and land use disputes, labor disagreements, safety citations, environmental hazards, intellectual property protection and infringement matters, regulatory compliance issues, and insurance coverage disputes. He has represented clients in all types of forums, both within and outside the U.S., including courts, arbitrations, mediations, and other alternate dispute resolution proceedings.
Joe has been a featured speaker at the national conventions of the American Bar Association Forum on the Construction Industry, Construction Specifications Institute and a host of other business and trade organizations. He is active in various construction and engineering business groups and trade associations. He also serves as an arbitrator and mediator.
Joe has a B.A. in Philosophy and Political Science from Brown University and a J.D. from the Boston University School of Law.
- Counseling and advice regarding insurance, bonding and risk management in connection with development, design and construction, including performance, payment, maintenance and guarantee bonds, builder's risk and property insurance, wrap-up and other project-specific insurance programs, related indemnity and security issues, and negotiation and documentation of insurance, bonding and related agreements.
- Negotiation and documentation of equity, debt and public financing for construction and development projects, including public-private partnerships and privately financed initiatives for infrastructure and project development.
- Negotiation and documentation of design, construction, construction management, design/build, EPC, DBOM, interior design, special engineering and consulting contracts, maintenance and fixturing agreements, program management, subcontract and supply agreements, and related collateral documentation, including easements and rights of way, collateral assignments and consents, disbursement and escrow agreements, and requests for bids and proposals.
- Counseling and advice with respect to business creation in the construction, design and development area, and negotiation and documentation of vertically and horizontally integrated joint ventures for construction and development, including related financing, insurance, structuring and risk management advice, the establishment of limited liability companies and new corporate entities, and representation with respect to business formation and regulatory compliance.
- Workout and bankruptcy counseling relating to troubled development and construction projects, including prosecution of related claims and adversary proceedings.
- Counseling and advice regarding construction labor matters, including craft and trade union issues, project labor agreements and jurisdictional disputes.
- Counseling and advice with respect to construction safety compliance and regulation, including OSHA.
- Counseling and advice regarding intellectual property issues related to design and construction, and negotiation and documentation of related agreements.
- Counseling and advice with respect to licensing and regulatory compliance matters for construction and design businesses, including registration and licensing requirements for American businesses performing work outside the United States and foreign companies and licensed professionals doing business inside the U.S.
- Prosecution and defense of claims in litigation, arbitration, and mediation with respect to design, development and construction issues, including payment and cost overrun disputes, delay claims, construction and design defect litigation, guaranty and bond claims, labor issues, safety citations, environmental hazards, intellectual property protection and infringement, regulatory compliance issues, and insurance coverage matters.
Power, Pipeline and Oil Production
- Joe has advised clients on a number of power, pipeline and oil productions projects. These include projects for the engineering and construction of oil drilling platforms and related infrastructure, the representation of several major engineering and construction providers with respect to mine mouth fed power facilities , and the recent representation of a major pipeline company in connection with the construction of more than 5,000 miles of new pipeline from northwest Canada through the United States. He has also been involved in a number of co-gen facilities for major industrial consumers and educational institutions. He has litigated several cases involving power facility construction and engineering issues, including two cases relating to over-pressurization incidents connected to HRSG design and installation.
Industrial and Manufacturing
- Joe has been involved in more than 50 projects for the design and construction of industrial and manufacturing facilities. He has negotiated and documented agreements for the construction of automobile manufacturing facilities and related conveyoring and body shop installations throughout the United States and in Canada, Mexico, Brazil, India, China, and Argentina. He advised a major United States battery manufacturer regarding the construction of new battery manufacturing facilities in India, advised the world’s largest brewer with respect to the renovation, improvement and expansion of its breweries throughout the United States, including Houston, Los Angeles, Newark, Jacksonville, Fort Collins (Colorado), and Columbus, and assisted a Finnish company in connection with the construction of anechoic chambers for a new Nokia facility in the UK. He also has represented clients in connection with a number of substantial disputes relating to industrial and manufacturing plants, including the enforcement, pursuant to international treaty, of mandatory arbitration clauses included in the underlying contracts.
- Joe has represented clients with respect to a significant number of major infrastructure projects, including water distribution, bridges and roads, waste and sewage treatment, and telecommunications and related fiber optic installations. In this regard, he represented a private consortium in its tender and related agreements with the City of Detroit for the renovation, maintenance, and operation of the Detroit Water and Sewer District System, advised two fiber optic communication networks in the United States in connection with the engineering and installation of their infrastructure, and advised a private joint venture with respect to the financing and development of a multi-modal transportation center and related infrastructure improvements. Recently, he represented a consortium of engineering and technology companies in connection with a P3 project for the construction, maintenance and operation of a ringed fiber network to provide broadband access to the entire Commonwealth of Kentucky. He has also represented engineering and construction providers in connection with new airport construction, terminal expansions, security installations, and baggage handling systems for airports in various locations. He has represented a private consortium in connection with the development and operation of a prison using a 30 year lease-buy back arrangement and represented a consortium of Arab and American companies in connection with the construction of a liquid petroleum gas facility in the Yemen Arab Republic.
Railroad and Mass Transit
- Joe has been involved in a number of mass transit and rail projects and has represented mass transit and related governmental agencies and several leading engineering, construction and rail companies (including signal system suppliers and specialty engineering entities) in connection with bid evaluations and tenders, contract negotiation and documentation, joint venture formations, insurance, intellectual property protection, BOT agreements and related matters. He has also litigated several cases involving alleged engineering and construction deficiencies on rail and mass transit projects. Among other representative projects, Joe advised a consortium of U.S., Spanish and German companies (engineering, construction, operation and finance) in the preparation of a tender and associated due diligence and feasibility assessments for a concession to build, operate and maintain a toll based passenger rail system in Chile. He also represented a consortium of U.S. companies (engineering, construction, operation and finance) in the negotiation, documentation and execution of an MOU with the government of Indonesia to privatize the Indonesian State-owned railway system (including structuring of the consortium, due diligence and feasibility assessment, negotiation of legal changes to accommodate privatization, negotiation and documentation of the financing structure and negotiation and drafting of final agreements with government agencies) and represented a leading U.S. train signaling company in agreements with San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit for new signaling and controls systems, utilizing technology developed by the U.S. Defense Department (including negotiation of license and use agreements with the U.S. Defense Department and negotiation of agreements with BART to allow implementation of the system on a non-bid procurement basis). His U.S. mass transit experience includes work on the passenger light rail systems in Dallas, Chicago, San Francisco, St. Louis and Portland.
Hotels, Resorts and Casinos
- During his career, Joe has been involved in more than 100 hotel, resort and casino developments. He has advised most of the major hotel brands in the United States with respect to their design and construction activities, including new resort developments, brand standard articulation, intellectual property protection of architecture and interior design features, and new brand conception. His work in this regard has involved more than 30 states and over 15 foreign countries. He also has represented several major casino operators, including many of the United States’ Tribal nations, in connection with casino developments. In addition to his transactional representation, Joe has been litigation counsel in numerous cases involving disputes related to the development, design and construction of hotels, casinos, and resorts.
Hospitals and Healthcare Systems
- Joe has advised clients on more than 30 major hospital and healthcare projects. These include acting as counsel for a $500 million campus integration expansion by a major U.S. healthcare system and serving as counsel to a consortium of British companies in connection with the construction of hospitals in the UK, Mainland China, Korea, and Kuala Lumpur. Joe was also actively involved in the recently revised healthcare design guidelines issued by the American Society for Healthcare Engineering and was part of the ASHE team that toured the United States to explain the guidelines to the engineering and construction community.
- Joe has litigated numerous cases involving design, engineering and construction issues on major projects. Among other representative matters, Joe recently handled an arbitration involving $20 million in claims for alleged scope changes, schedule delays and defective work on a new ethanol production facility. He also has litigated more than $100 million worth of claims relating to automobile manufacturing facility design and construction, and has been counsel on more than $500 million worth of disputes involving hotel and casino developments. He has also been engaged in several significant litigation and arbitration matters involving infrastructure, including advising a Japanese contractor in connection with numerous claims arising out of the construction of a desalination facility in Al Khobar and assisting an Italian manufacturer of power plant equipment in connection with disputes relating to the construction of a coal-fired power plant in Jatang, Indonesia.
Awards & Community
Recognized in Chambers USA, 2011-2013
Publications, Speeches & Presentations
Energy Regulatory Update