Kevin O'Brien guides owners and contractors in project formation and dispute resolution for many of the largest and most complex construction projects. His experience includes early counseling for troubled projects as well as representing clients in all manner of formal dispute resolution including mediation, federal and state court litigation, and domestic and international arbitration. In addition, Kevin has substantial experience in the structuring, negotiation, and drafting of construction contracts. Kevin's career has focused on knowing the construction industry and addressing its risks and complex challenges.
Kevin's experience has included a broad array of projects including numerous energy projects (involving nuclear, fossil, and renewable technologies), petrochemical facilities, hospitals, water treatment and desalinization facilities, environmental clean-up projects including nuclear power project decommissioning, aerospace installations, bridges, highways, and tunnels.
Kevin represents clients such as Bechtel, Georgia Power, Italcementi Group, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, and Southern Company. Among the more notable projects, Kevin has acted as litigation counsel for claims arising out of the Connecticut Yankee Nuclear Decommissioning project, the Boston Central artery project, the Prairie State Generating Station, and, most recently, the ongoing construction of the Plant Vogtle 3 and 4 nuclear units. Kevin's work experience includes international infrastructure projects in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and South America.
Kevin is a regular speaker and author on construction law topics. He has conducted continuing education presentations on liability of design professionals, electronic discovery in construction disputes, the California and Federal False Claims Acts, bid protests, and anticipating litigation for problem projects.
The following represents experience prior to joining Jones Day.
Vezer's Industrial Professionals v. Capitol Cement Corporation, Italcementi Group — Trial counsel for one of the world's largest cement production companies in arbitration of disputes with contractor arising out of the termination of contract relating to construction of a new cement plant. Arbitration, which was concluded within six months of case management conference, resulted in denial of contractor's claims for delay, disruption, demobilization, and bad faith.
New Nuclear Power Project — On behalf of EPC contractor, negotiated and drafted EPC contract and related fuel delivery contracts for a new nuclear power project.
New Nuclear Power Project — Counsel for owner on a new nuclear power project to advise on claims and contract administration strategies.
Combined Cycle Power Plant — Trial counsel in arbitration of disputes related to out-of-scope work, force majeure weather impacts, achievement of substantial completion, and enforceability of liquidated damages with respect to the construction of a 400 MW combined cycle power plant.
Boston Central Artery Project — Counseled construction manager on issues related to federal and state investigations and ultimate settlement of all claims.
Parsons Brinckerhoff v. Walsh Construction — Lead counsel in defense against design deficiency claims relating to construction of a cogeneration facility for the University of California.
Nuclear Decommissioning — Trial counsel for EPC contractor in the prosecution of claims arising out of a default termination of a contractor for the decommissioning and demolition of a commercial nuclear power plant and construction of fuel dry storage facility.
LNG Liquefaction Facility — Counseled EPC contractor in contract negotiations for major LNG liquefaction facility in the United States.
Cogeneration Plants — Represented EPC contractor in resolving claims arising out of the construction of two waste to energy projects in Florida that failed to produce design output resulting in termination of the power purchase agreement and default on financing bonds. Successfully negotiated resolution with bondholders and bankruptcy trustee resulting in no exposure to EPC contractor.
Pulverized Coal Plant — Represented EPC contractor in prosecution of claims for addition work and delay damages against supplier of combustion boilers. Claims were resolved after commencement of arbitration.
Global Construction v. Metropolitan Development — Lead trial attorney in successful defense of contractor against owner claims for completion costs following default termination. Arbitration resulted in denial of owner's claims for completion costs.
New Nuclear Power Project — Represented EPC contractor in negotiation of prime contract and major subcontracts for a new nuclear power project in the U.S.
Combined Cycle Power Plant — Represented EPC contractor in claims against major equipment supplier for delays and additional costs incurred in the completion of a combine cycle power plant in Mexico. Matter resolved in arbitration resulting in award of claimed additional costs.
Major Subway Extension — Represented EPC contractor in contract negotiations for major addition to regional subway system.
Stanford University Hospital Modernization — Represented contractor in the prosecution of delay and extra work claims arising out of major hospital expansion and renovation project. Claims against owner and pass through claims of subcontractors resolved in mediation.
Refinery Expansion Project — Provided analysis and strategic counseling for EPC contractor with respect to cost growth in excess of $1 billion in major refinery expansion project.
German Telecommunication Fibre Optic Ring — Represented EPC contractor in successful recovery of amounts owed under contract to install German fibre optic ring. Resolution achieved after successful injunction proceedings in German courts.
Pomeroy v. Foothill De Anza College — Lead trial counsel for successful prosecution of claims for extra work and disruption relating to the construction of a $75 million parking structure. Arbitration resulted in recovery of claimed additional costs due to extra work and delay.
Morrison Knudsen v. P&K Trucking — Lead counsel on behalf of contractor in the successful dismissal of fraud, breach of contract, and statutory claims against a general contractor arising out of a WMBE program relating to a $100 million public outfall sewer project. Claims in excess of $100 million were dismissed on summary judgment, which was affirmed on appeal.
Louisiana Pacific v. Asarco — Lead counsel on claims for remediation costs on behalf of commercial land owner.
- September 13, 2012
Executive Roundtable Series - Energy and Infrastructure:
How Market Forces, Innovation, and Public Policy Are Shaping the Future
- January 31, 2012 and
February 1, 2012
Construction Law Update
- University of San Francisco (J.D. cum laude 1984; Articles Editor, Law Review); Georgetown University (B.A. cum laude 1976)
- District of Columbia, California, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and U.S. District Courts for the Northern and Southern District of California, District of Columbia, and District of Maryland
Integral member of the lawyer teams that were awarded the 2008, 2010, and (while with Jones Day) 2017 Chambers USA Awards for Excellence in Construction
Recognized individually for years by Chambers as a leading construction lawyer with client comments noting his "outstanding judgment and sound guidance in sophisticated construction litigation"
Best Lawyers in America (2018-2023)