Senior Public Relations Manager
Senior Public Relations Manager
SIX-PARTNER, 15-MEMBER HOWREY CONSTRUCTION TEAM JOINS PILLSBURYMarch 2, 2011
New York—A construction litigation team of six partners, two counsel and seven associates will be joining Pillsbury in its Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington, DC and New York offices. The team, all of whom hail from Howrey, are a marquee group of litigators with an emphasis on resolving disputes for general construction and engineering, real estate and infrastructure projects and securing insurance coverage for those matters.
"We are enthusiastic to have this team of market-leading professionals join Pillsbury, as these attorneys are remarkable for their breadth of litigation and arbitration experience combined with an unsurpassed focus on construction and infrastructure. Under John Heisse's leadership, as former co-head of Howrey's Construction Litigation group, the team received the 2010 Award for Excellence in Construction by Chambers USA," said Pillsbury Firm Chair Jim Rishwain. "These attorneys are a dynamic fit for us, given Pillsbury's industry focus in energy, real estate and project development. They also add credible and critical depth in DC, San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York and elevate our ability to serve our clients' needs throughout the world."
The partners joining Pillsbury are:
John R. Heisse (San Francisco)
Described as "possibly the number-one construction lawyer of his generation" by Legal 500 USA, Heisse's practice focuses on serving the construction industry, representing domestic and international builders, owners, developers and designers in every phase of public and private construction, from initial planning through dispute resolution. Heisse has long been recognized as a leading construction attorney in Chambers USA, Who's Who Legal, and Best Lawyers in America. In 2009 and 2010, he was named one of the "Top 100 Lawyers in Northern California" by Law and Politics Magazine. He is a Fellow in the American College of Construction Lawyers and a former Chair of the ABA Forum on the Construction Industry. He currently serves in an ex officio role on the national board of the ACE Mentor Program and is a member of the Executive Board of The Catholic University of America School of Engineering, his alma mater.
David T. Dekker (DC)
Dekker has handled a wide range of cases throughout the country at the trial and appellate levels involving complex insurance coverage disputes, construction claims and other commercial matters. In the area of complex insurance coverage, Dekker has litigated numerous claims involving builder's risk, CGL, professional, pollution, commercial property, EPL, business interruption, and other policies. He also counsels clients on risk management issues, including the structuring of large construction projects. In the area of construction, he has advised on claims arising out of catastrophic occurrences on construction projects, as well as claims involving construction defect, delay, total cost, design, mold, EIFS, Chinese drywall, defective products and other issues. He has successfully argued appeals in the Fourth, Seventh and Eighth Circuits over the last two years. Legal 500 (2010) named Dekker as one of eight leading construction lawyers nationwide. He has also been recognized as one of the country's leading construction attorneys by Chambers USA and by Best Lawyers in America and is named in The Washington Post's list of "Washington, DC's Best Lawyers."
Robert B. Thum (Los Angeles)
Thum provides contract advice and dispute resolution services for owners (public and private), engineers, general contractors and major trade subcontractors. He has litigated and arbitrated a wide variety of cases involving major infrastructure projects (dams, highways and bridges, power plants, rail, airports and water treatment plants), as well as refineries, industrial plants, schools, and high-rise buildings. Thum has litigated two of the largest hospital disputes, and participated in drafting the contract documents for the largest hospital project in California history. He is a member of the American Arbitration Association's National Panel of Construction Arbitrators. For over 20 years, he has participated in Alternative Dispute Resolution of engineering and construction disputes, and has mediated many cases to settlement. Thum is listed in Best Lawyers in America (Construction Law); Who's Who Legal, California Who's Who of Business Lawyers (2007 - Construction); and Chambers USA (2008 Leading Construction Lawyer in California) Construction Practice.
Jeffrey Gans (DC)
Gans concentrates on assisting owners and general contractors in resolving complex disputes arising from construction projects and the associated, multi-layered contractual agreements. He also assists clients with troubled projects and project administration-related problems with the goal of avoiding formal dispute resolution. When formal dispute resolution is required, Gans has significant experience representing clients in mediation, arbitration and litigation, before and during the construction phase and in post-construction proceedings. His work includes prosecuting and defending claims for delay and disruption, acceleration, breach of contract, professional liability, design and construction defects, economic loss, liens and encumbrances, and bond and insurance payments. In addition to offering construction counseling, he advises and represents clients in matters involving fraud (civil and criminal), bankruptcy, civil RICO and governmental investigations.
Melissa Lesmes (DC)
Recognized by Chambers USA as an outstanding attorney in her field, Lesmes focuses on construction claims and insurance coverage disputes. She has substantial experience in construction defect litigation, having handled claims involving delay, total cost, design, defective products, mold, EIFS and Chinese drywall throughout the United States. She also has substantial experience in complex insurance coverage litigation, especially in claims involving builder's risk, CGL, professional, pollution, commercial property and other policies. Lesmes also routinely represents clients in contract negotiations and advises clients concerning insurance and risk management issues that arise outside of litigation. This includes the structuring of risk transfer programs for contractors, real estate developers, private equity funds and major homebuilders.
Michael McNamara (DC)
McNamara's practice focuses on litigation of complex construction and engineering disputes, frequently involving claims for additional costs, delays and terminations. He has handled major trials of multimillion-dollar construction disputes and has represented owners, contractors and construction managers in many other cases successfully resolved in settlement. He has tried to verdict cases involving delay claims, cost overruns, and terminations. He has experience on projects ranging from hotels and convention centers to power plants and cruise ship terminals. McNamara also has experience involving performance bond claims as well as claims involving first and third party insurance coverage. He has also represented clients in alternative dispute resolution, including both mediation and arbitration.
Heisse will serve as leader of Pillsbury's Firmwide Construction Litigation team. In addition, the team will also include two counsel in Los Angeles, five associates in DC, one associate in San Francisco and one associate in New York.
This is the second time in the last few weeks Howrey partners joined Pillsbury. San Francisco IP litigation partner Duane Mathiowetz joined the firm on February 12.
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP is a full-service law firm with market-leading strengths in the energy, financial services, real estate and technology sectors, and increasingly health care. Based in the world's major financial and technology centers, Pillsbury counsels clients on global regulatory, litigation and corporate matters. We work in multidisciplinary teams that allow us to anticipate trends and bring a 360-degree perspective to complex business and legal issues—helping clients to take greater advantage of new opportunities and better mitigate risk. This collaborative work style helps produce the results our clients seek.