An attorney with significant experience in the courtroom as well as in the architecture and construction world.
Law360

Clark Thiel’s practice is concentrated on international and domestic construction project counseling and dispute resolution, including mediation, arbitration and litigation.

Clark leads Pillsbury's Construction Counseling & Dispute Resolution practice. He advises facility owners and developers, contractors and design professionals on managing the risks inherent in the construction process from the planning, design and entitlement stages through project closeout and dispute resolution. Also a licensed contractor and registered architect, he not only litigates complex construction disputes regarding delay and cost overruns, breach of contract, professional liability and other issues; he also assists clients in negotiating and drafting design, construction and EPC contracts.

Representative Experience

Represented Jacobs Engineering Group in the arbitration of over $100 million in disputes arising out of the design and construction of copper and molybdenum mining facilities in Arizona, settling matter for favorable terms.


Represented MGM Resorts International in a $950 million dispute with Tutor-Perini regarding the construction of the CityCenter resort complex in Las Vegas. Settled out over 250 subcontractor claims before trial.


Provide advice and counsel to Sand Hill Development Company regarding its development of a $3 billion mixed-use facility in Cupertino, Calif., including the negotiating and drafting of design and construction agreements.

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  • Insurance recovery
    • Secured a $55.3 million breach of contract, bad faith and punitive damages jury verdict, including more than $8 million in attorney’s fees and $46 million in punitive damages in favor of a mechanical pipe joining manufacturer. This was one of the largest insurance jury verdicts in California in 2015. (Victaulic Co. v. American Home Assurance Co. et al., Alameda County Superior Court).
    • Obtained a $1.2 million federal jury verdict in favor of a landlord against a tenant’s insurer for property damage and other losses resulting from a partial collapse of the tenant’s nightclub within the client’s resort and casino complex. (Ramparts Inc. v. Fireman’s Fund Insurance Co., U.S. District Court for the District Of Nevada).
    • Secured the dismissal with prejudice of a Professional Liability Carrier’s $25 million subrogation claim against a contractor purportedly relating to the contractor’s involvement in the design and construction of hospital facilities in Northern California. (Moon Mayoras Architects, Inc. v. Hunt Construction Group, Inc., San Mateo Superior Court).
  • Hotels and resorts
    • Represented the owner of a $5.7 billion integrated resort development in proceedings before the Singapore International Arbitration Centre regarding the unauthorized reuse of proprietary designs in conjunction with a competing 8.8 million-square-foot proposed development in another Asian country.
    • Represented the owner of a 43-story luxury resort on the Las Vegas Strip in state court proceedings (including proceedings before the Nevada Supreme Court) regarding claims against its design professionals and constructors arising out of a failure to properly and adequately provide accessible accommodations throughout its 3,309 hotel rooms, 135,000-square-foot casino, 1 million- square-foot convention center, 12,000-seat arena, and 11-acre water park.
    • Represented the owner of a Las Vegas resort and casino in crisis management, forensic analyses, remediation and repair, litigation and insurance recovery in connection with the defenestration of several large windows from the upper portions of its high-rise hotel and the resulting disruptions and damages.
  • Energy and infrastructure projects
    • Represented the owner and developer of a new 710 MW combined-cycle cogeneration plant in litigation involving its host facility’s bankruptcy and avoidance of the contractual requirements to take and pay for the plant’s output
    • Provided advice and counsel to the owner and developer of a power plant regarding the logistical and regulatory issues regarding alternatives for the distribution and use of the steam and electricity generated by those facilities.
    • Represented the EPC contractor for a Canadian wind farm installation with regard to litigation in Canadian courts arising out of defective foundations design and installation that resulted in significant remediation costs, prolonged delays, and associated production losses.
    • Provided counseling to a wind turbine manufacturer with regard to deficiencies in the design, fabrication and delivery of steel turbine towers.
    • Represented one member of a four-party collaborative that was engaged to design and construct a $430 million extension to an existing metropolitan light rail system that was wrongfully terminated for default as a result of delays and cost overruns that were ultimately proven to be primarily the result of the owner agency’s changes.
    • Provided advice and counsel to the design-builder of a solar energy farm with regard to the developer’s insolvency and the transition of the project to new investors.
  • Military and aviation
    • Represented a Pakistani contractor in ICC International Court of Arbitration proceedings regarding the reconstruction of a major airport in Afghanistan.
    • Represented a United Arab Emirates-based company that provides logistics support to the U.S. military and NATO in high-risk areas such as Afghanistan, in an ICC arbitration with a California-based supplier for that supplier’s failure to procure and deliver requirements for Turkmenistan aviation and diesel fuel as required by the parties’ contract.
    • Represented a design-build contractor in international arbitration proceedings regarding substantial delays and cost overruns claims arising out of the design and construction of a $100 million foreign government military radar installation on a remote mountaintop in Asia.
  • Residential
    • Represented the developer of multi-unit residential projects against claims by its construction contractor for additional compensation as a result of project delays and cost overruns and in pursuing claims for liquidated damages resulting from the delayed completion of the project.
    • Represented the prime contractor on a multi-unit residential project in bringing claims against the developer for additional compensation as a result of project delays and cost overruns and in defending against claims for liquidated damages resulting from the delayed completion of the project.
    • Represented one of the United States’ largest homebuilders in multidistrict litigation brought by classes of homeowners who claimed damages as a result of the incorporation of yellow brass fittings into the plumbing systems of homes built in California and Nevada.
    • Represented the owner of a $16 million beachfront estate regarding claims against the builder for water intrusion and damage, failure to follow the plans and specifications, and general poor workmanship.
  • Contracts drafting and negotiation
    • Represented a major electronics manufacturing company in the drafting and negotiation of EPC contracts for its 150,000-square-foot disc drive component manufacturing facility in northern Thailand.
    • Represented an international grocer in preparing its suite of standardized contract documents for the design and development of its nationwide network of retail distribution outlets.
    • Represented a European manufacturer of wind turbines in multiple transactions involving the design, sourcing, procurement, manufacturing, quality assurance, transport, and installation of wind turbine towers, nacelles, blades and completed assemblies in the United States and Canada.
    • Represented the design professional in charge of more than $5 billion in active construction with regard to contractual and statutory duties and obligations, corporate policy and procedures, quality control and assurance, and the avoidance of errors and omissions in its instruments of service and other project deliverables.
    • Prepared a suite of design and construction contracts and negotiated individual agreements for a developer of high-quality apartment communities currently comprising more than 12,300 apartment homes across 42 markets throughout the United States.
  • Arbitration and mediation
    • Presided as an arbitrator with binding authority over more than 150 construction-related matters regarding disputes involving breach of contract, breach of warranty, negligence, delay, disruption, cost overrun, poor workmanship and failure to pay.
    • Provided mediation services in successfully resolving construction disputes involving issues related to design and ownership of documents, cost overruns and accounting, additional services and change orders, and delay and disruption claims.

Professional Highlights

Member of the Insurance Recovery & Advisory practice, named by Law360 as a Practice Group of the Year in 2015 and 2016.


Euromoney’s Expert Guides – “Best of the Best for Construction Lawyers” (2015, 2017, 2018)


Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Rating

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  • As a practicing architect, took part in all phases of the design and construction of commercial and residential projects throughout the U.S. and Asia.
  • Honors & Awards
    • Recognized by The Legal 500 U.S., Construction (2018)
    • Fellow, Construction Lawyers Society of America
  • Selected Publications
    • Editor, Nevada Civil Practice Manual, 6th. Ed. (Lexis-Nexis 2016); author of its chapter “Alternative Dispute Resolution.”
    • Editor-in-Chief, U.C. Davis Law Review (Volume 30, 1996-97)
    • Co-Author, Chapter 123, “Construction,” in 11 Business & Commercial Litigation in Federal Courts, Third Ed. (West, 2013-15).
    • Co-Author, Chapter 3, “Liability Theories and Defenses for Construction Defects Claims,” in Construction Defects (American Bar Association, 2012).
    • Author, Chapter 45, “Litigating Intellectual Property Claims,” in Construction Checklists: A Guide to Frequently Encountered Construction Issues (American Bar Association, 2008).
    • Author, The Architectural Works Copyright Protection Gesture of 1990, or, “Hey, That Looks Like My Building!” (DePaul LCA Journal of Arts & Sciences, 1997).
  • Associations
    • Trial Law Institute
    • Diversity Law Institute
    • American Bar Association
    • American Institute of Architects
    • The Jefferson Society
    • Project Management College of Scheduling
  • Recent speaking engagements
    • “Waiver of Subrogation Clauses and Provisions in Construction Contracts,” Webinar, 2018
    • “Scheduling Specifications and Daubert,” Palm Beach, Fla., 2018
    • “Construction Documentation: Preparing Effective Job Records,” Webinar, 2018
    • “Construction Documentation: Preparing Effective Job Records,” Webinar, 2015
    • “The Nuts and Bolts of Building a Construction Law Practice,” San Francisco, Calif., 2015
    • “Construction Claims in California,” Oakland, Calif., 2014
    • “AIA Contract Documents,” San Francisco, Calif., 2014
    • “Modern Trends in Construction Delay Analyses,” San Antonio, Texas 2014
    • “Construction Documentation: Preparing Effective Job Records,” Webinar, 2014
    • “Building Information Modeling Technology: Identifying and Mitigating Legal Risks,” Webinar, 2013
    • “Top Ten: Highly Contested Construction Contract Clauses,” Los Angeles, Calif., 2012
    • “Design Professional Liability in Construction,” Webinar, 2012
    • “Construction Documentation: Preparing Effective Job Records,” Webinar, 2011
    • “AIA Documents,” San Jose, Calif., 2011
    • “Architect and Engineer Liability,” Webinar, 2011
    • “Construction Documentation: Preparing Effective Job Records,” Webinar, 2010
    • “Design Professional Liability,” Webinar, 2010
    • “Construction Lien Law in California,” San Francisco, Calif., 2010
    • “Construction Contract Drafting and Negotiation Strategies,” Webinar, 2010

Education

  • J.D., University of California, Davis, King Hall School of Law, 1997

    M.Arch., University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 1988

    B.S., University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 1984

Admissions

  • California

    Nevada

Courts

  • U.S. Supreme Court

    U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

    U.S. District Courts for the Central, Eastern and Northern Districts of California

    U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada