Cornelius J. O'Brien
Neil O’Brien focuses his practice on the representation of owners, contractors, subcontractors, construction managers, and sureties in all types of construction claims and disputes. He has represented clients in litigation before various state and federal courts as well as state and private arbitration panels. Neil’s litigation practice also encompasses a range of general commercial matters, representing and counseling diverse businesses, including commercial lenders, building materials suppliers, pharmaceutical companies, municipalities, and individuals in a variety of contractual disputes.
Neil previously served as a clerk to Justice Ralph J. Cappy of the Supreme Court and Judge Justin M. Johnson of the Superior Court of Pennsylvania.
- Representing a construction manager at risk in a guaranteed maximum price agreement for the $65 million conversion of a structure into a combination of retail, office, and residential space.
- Representing a construction manager at risk in a guaranteed maximum price agreement for the construction of a $25 million acute care hospital and long term care facility.
- Negotiating a design-build agreement for a $10 million manufacturing facility.
- Negotiating a hybrid design-build/design-bid-build $5 million renovation of a school facility utilizing unique terms to protect the owner against the general contractor’s financial condition as well as professional liability issues arising both from the termination of the original architect/engineer and the lack of contractual privity with the subcontractors having design responsibility.
- Representing an historic church destroyed by fire for its reconstruction on a guaranteed maximum price basis, with current direct cost estimates of about $6 million.
- Drafting contract documents for multiple prime contract transportation projects let by a local transit authority on a lump sum basis, with a total value of approximately $600 million.
- Construction Lawyers Society of America (CLSA), Fellow
Awards and Recognition:
- Selected for inclusion in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business as a Notable Practitioner in Construction – Pennsylvania
- Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America – Construction Law
- Selected for inclusion as Pennsylvania Super Lawyers – Rising Star
News and Insights
- “Customizing Arbitration,” Construction Executive Magazine, May 2014.
- “Customizing arbitration: Have it your way,” co-author, Eckert Seamans’ Construction Law Update, Spring 2014.
- “Florida court finds that termination for convenience clause allows general contractor to continue shopping subcontract after signing it,” Eckert Seamans’ Construction Law Update, Spring 2013.
- “United States Supreme Court Emphatically Affirms Federal Policy Favoring Arbitration,” Eckert Seamans’ Construction Law Update, Fall 2011.
- “Contract drafting alert: A pay-if-paid clause must clearly state that the subcontractor bears the risk of an owner’s non-payment,” Eckert Seamans’ Construction Law Update, Fall 2009.
- “Delay Claims: Owner held responsible for construction delays,” Eckert Seamans’ Construction Law Update, Winter 2008.
- “Alternative Dispute Resolution,” co-presenter, Eckert Seamans’ Continuing Legal Education (CLE), August 2011.
- “Recent Developments in Construction Law,” co-presenter, Eckert Seamans’ CLE, August 2010.
U.S. Court of Federal Claims
J.D., cum laude, Duquesne University School of Law, 1997
B.A., University of Pittsburgh, 1992