Heather has over 25 years of experience handling complex construction, surety and commercial litigation matters valued at $10,000 to $121 million, on some of the most recognizable projects in the country. She has extensive experience with federal construction projects, including medical facilities, hangers, vertical construction, and Davis Bacon issues. Heather regularly reviews and drafts construction contracts, and has been engaged on over 100 pre-litigation matters to assist with project defaults and completion in an effort to minimize client losses and avoid litigation. Having an undergraduate degree in business with a minor in Economics, Heather brings a unique perspective to these practice areas. Heather serves on the American Arbitration Association Panel of Construction Arbitrators and Panel of Commercial Arbitrators.
Heather is licensed in Colorado, Kansas and Missouri, but enjoys a diverse practice in state and federal courts and Arbitration as a client advocate, representing contractors, sureties and large subcontractors across the country. Heather is recognized as a Top 50 Women Attorney in Missouri and Kansas by KC Magazine, Top 30 Most Influential Women by Kansas City Business Magazine, and a Women Leader in the Law by Fortune Magazine. Heather has also been selected for inclusion by Best Lawyers and Super Lawyers based on her successes as a top construction lawyer. Heather is a frequent speaker on construction delay claims, drafting construction contract terms, navigating construction and surety disputes, and surety law and indemnity claims handling for national organizations, including the American Bar Association and Defense Research Institute.
When she is not vigorously asserting and defending claims on behalf of clients, Heather enjoys world-wide travel, camping and hiking with her family.
- Construction Litigation, Construction Contract Review
- Complex Commercial Civil Litigation
- Surety and Fidelity Litigation
- Insurance Defense
- Labor and Employment
- U.S. District Court, District of Colorado
- U.S. District Court, District of Kansas
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Missouri (pro hac vice)
- U.S. District Court, Western District of Missouri
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of North Carolina (pro hac vice)
- San Francisco Superior Court of California (pro hac vice)
- University of Colorado (Boulder), B.S., Business
- Loyola University Chicago School of Law, J.D.
- American Arbitration Association; Panel of Construction Arbitrators, Panel of Commercial Arbitrators (2022-Present)
- American Bar Association; Member, Construction Section and Surety Section
- American Subcontractors Association, Greater Kansas City Chapter; Past Board Member
- Colorado Bar Association
- Defense Research Institute; Program Chair of the Fidelity and Surety Law Committee, 2019-2022; Vice-Chair of Fidelity and Surety Law Committee, 2017-2019; Publications Chair, 2016-2017
- Johnson County Kansas Bar Association
- Judge Hugh Means American Inns of Court, Douglas County; Past President, Past Vice President
- Kansas Bar Association
- Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association
- The Missouri Bar
HONORS & AWARDS
- Selected by her peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© in the area of Construction Law (2013-2023)
- Selected for inclusion in Missouri and Kansas Super Lawyers (2009-2023)
- Selected for inclusion in Missouri and Kansas Super Lawyers – Top 50 Women Edition (2010-2023)
- Named in the Top 100 attorneys – Missouri and Kansas Super Lawyers (2014-2020)
- Named in the Top 50 attorneys – Missouri and Kansas Super Lawyers (2015 – 2017)
- Best Lawyers®, Women in the Law (2017-2020)
- Selected for inclusion in Women Leaders in the Law™ – Fortune Magazine (2015)
- Best Lawyers Business Edition (2015) – Construction Law
- Selected to receive the Top 30 Most Influential Women Award – Kansas City Business Magazine (2013)
- Top 50 Women Attorneys in Missouri & Kansas – KC Magazine (2010-2011, 2013-2014, 2016)
- Best of the Bar – Kansas City Business Journal (2011)
- Successfully represented CBRE Heery, Inc. in pursuing recovery of delay damages, extended general conditions and other damages caused by subcontractor, arising out of the construction of the Koritz Medical Clinic on Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, in NC. CBRE Heery, Inc. v. RLI and So. Glass & Mirror of Eastern North Carolina, Inc., N.C. Federal Dist. Court, Case No. 5:20-CV-00216-BO (2022).
- Successfully defended CBRE Heery, Inc. and its sureties against complex delay, disruption, prompt payment act, and 21 other claims brought by large electrical, mechanical and plumbing subcontractors, arising out of the construction of the Koritz Medical Clinic on Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, in NC. Schneider Electric Building Americas, Inc., et al. v. CBRE Heery, Inc., et. al., N.C. Federal Dist. Court, Case No. 5:20-CV-00257-BR (2022).
- Successfully represented an electrical subcontractor in pursuing unpaid change orders against a large Texas contractor with offices in Kansas, arising out of the construction of a multi-family residential project in Prairie Village, Kansas, and in defending counterclaims which included the contractor’s voluntary dismissal of over $500,000 in delay damages and other claims against this subcontractor. Bailey Electric, LLC v. MW Builders, Inc., American Arbitration Association Case No. 01-20-0003-7757 (2021).
- Successfully represented a regional steel fabricator and erector in pursuing claims against Haren & Laughlin arising out of the construction of the District at City Center in Lenexa, Kansas, including complex construction sequencing and scheduling claims, design changes, and claims of disregard for contract formalities. Kansas City Steel Werx, Inc. v. Haren & Laughlin Construction Company, American Arbitration Association. (2021).
- Successfully represented a national developer in defending claims by Centric Projects and pursuing counterclaims, arising out of the reconstruction of the historical 905 Broadway building located in downtown Kansas City, including defending claims of unforeseen conditions, incomplete design, and delays. 905 Broadway, LLC v. Centric Projects, LLC, American Arbitration Association. (2019).
- Successfully represented Balfour Beatty in pursuing $93 million in claims against the USACE under the Contract Disputes Act, and defending Balfour Beatty and its sureties in defending $45million in delay and other claims by subcontractors and suppliers, arising out of the construction of the Irwin Army Community Hospital on Fort Riley, in KS. Appeal of Balfour-Walton, A Joint Venture before the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals, ASBCA No. 59884 (2017).
- “Surety Defenses to Claims of Liquidated Damages,” Surety Claims Institute (2023). Click here for document
- “Project Oversight, Control and Staffing,” ABA Fidelity & Surety Law Spring Conference (2019). Click here for document
- Navigating Surety Claims on a Federal Project, 56 for the Defense 48 (2014). Click here for Document
- General Construction Contracts with Delegated or Shared Design, Chapter 7 in Shared Design (Michael T. Callahan, ed. 2011). Click here for document
- “Construction Conflict Management.” Commercial Journal-Kansas City February/March 2007.
- Design-Building on Government Projects, in the Architect’s Guide to Design-Build Services 213-230 (G. William Quatman, II, ed. 2003). Click here for Document
- Various articles in The Law Corner for American Subcontractors Association (Greater Kansas City Chapter).
SEMINARS & SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS
- American Bar Association
- “Project Oversight, Control and Project Staffing.” American Bar Association Fidelity & Surety Law Spring Conference Presenter – Austin, TX (2019). Click here for Document
- American Society of Professional Engineers
- “Avoiding Contract Pitfalls for Estimators.” American Society of Professional Estimators (Chapter 32) – Kansas City–Metro Area (various dates). Click here for document
- Associated Builders and Contractors – Heart of America Chapter
- “A Detailed Overview of the Contract for Construction”. ABC Construction Summit – Kansas City, MO (2022).
- Builders’ Association
- “Advanced Mechanic’s Liens.”
- “Avoiding Future Contract Issues: The Importance of Understanding Contract Terms, Documentation and Scheduling Basics.”
- “Bonding and Surety Law.”
- “Collecting Your Money.”
- Construction Estimating Academy Presenter.
- “Ethics in estimating: Legal options for victims of unethical estimating.”
- “Killer Contract Clauses and the Do’s and Don’ts of Delay Damages: Missouri and Kansas.”
- “The Nuts and Bolts of Building Green.”
- “Sustainable Design and Construction: An Introduction to LEED Certification and Its Legal Impacts.”
- Defense Research Institute
- “Surety Takeover: Options in the Fact of Default.” Defense Research Institute Fidelity and Surety Roundtable Presenter – Chicago, IL (2014). Click her for Document
- Lorman Educational Services
- Missouri Bar Continuing Legal Education
- “How to Series: Mechanic’s Liens.”
- “Suretyship Update Seminar.”
- National Business Institute
- “Construction Contracts.”
- “Construction Contracts: Advanced Negotiation Techniques for the Top Sticking Points.” Click here for Document
- “Construction Defect Litigation: From A to Z.”
- “Determining Responsibility and Remedy for Delays.” Click here for Document
- “Negotiating Damages in Construction Disputes.” Click here for Document
- “Understanding Subcontract Terms and Flow-Through Clauses.”