Overview

As a principal construction consultant in Project Management Consultants, Tom Kirkwood provides a broad range of consulting and facilitation services to more than a 200 multimillion-dollar construction projects with budgets totaling more than $9 billion in the aggregate. Since 1999, he has facilitated more than 640 project meetings and disputes about:

  • Trade contractor partnering and problem resolution plans
  • Architect and construction manager team communication
  • RFI and change order processes
  • Project controls systems
  • Budget and program management
  • Owner organizational systems for managing large projects
  • Executive planning for major project budget issues
  • Scheduling and job progress strategies
  • Project commissioning
  • Project close out
  • Dispute and claims resolutions
  • Project strategic planning
Project Close-Out

Tom pioneered for the Ohio School Facilities Commission a unique program that focuses project participants on the nuts and bolts of project commissioning and close out, teaching best practices in managing trade contractor close out, punch listing sequences, retainage issues, attic stock turnover, project records, training, guarantee and warranty, maintenance planning and final project accounting. Tom has applied those techniques in counseling the city of Cincinnati and its construction manager on close out of a $330 million multiprime heavy and highway project.

Claims Mediation

As a construction mediator since 1996, Tom has mediated more than 220 construction cases and claims with aggregate disputed amounts exceeding $300 million, settling 92% of them. Tom has mediated a wide range of public and private sector construction defect claims and disputes ranging from geothermal wells and site conditions to roofs. He has helped settle defect, E&O, surety, delay, and other issues for projects from auto plants to prisons, heavy-highway and bridges to schools and universities.

Tom has served on the American Arbitration Association mediation and arbitration panels and was a trustee of the Center for Resolution of Disputes. He developed the Ohio School Facilities Commission program for project close out and he wrote the Suretyship chapter of the Ohio Construction Law Manual (Baldwin's Ohio Practice). Tom received formal mediator training with the CPR Institute For Dispute Resolution.

Professional Experience

As a construction litigator for 45 years, he has dealt with construction transactions, claims, and disputes on behalf of owners, developers, architects, engineers, construction managers, and contractors. Tom was defense panel counsel for a number of E&O carriers. He served as special counsel to such major developments as Cincinnati’s $600 million riverfront Banks project. He is admitted to practice in Ohio and Kentucky and has appeared in the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, the Kentucky Supreme Court, and federal district and state trial courts in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Georgia, West Virginia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Michigan, Texas, Kansas, California, and Florida.

Experience
Representative Experience
  • Beavercreek City School District, Beavercreek, Ohio
  • Cincinnati Contemporary Arts CenterCincinnati, Ohio
  • Cincinnati State Technical CollegeCincinnati, Ohio
  • Dayton Power and LightDayton, Ohio
  • Edison Community CollegePiqua, Ohio
  • Kenton County Detention CenterCovington, Kentucky
  • Kings Local School DistrictKings Mills, Ohio
  • Lakota Local School DistrictLakota, Ohio
  • Little Miami School DistrictMorrow, Ohio
  • Madeira City SchoolsCincinnati, Ohio
  • Northern Kentucky University Bank One ArenaHighland Heights, Kentucky
  • Northridge Local School DistrictJohnstown, Ohio
  • ODOT Harrison County GarageCadiz, Ohio
  • Ohio Department of Administrative Services – Ohio State Architect’s OfficeColumbus, Ohio
  • Ohio School Facilities Commission (OSFC)Columbus, Ohio
  • Sugarcreek Local School DistrictBellbrook, Ohio
  • Sycamore Community SchoolsCincinnati, Ohio
Publications
  • Contributor, Baldwin's Ohio Construction Law Manual (2009)
  • "Owner Claims for Building Code Violations," Ohio Code News, March/April 2006
  • "Partnering Can Resolve Construction Conflicts," Cincinnati Business Courier, 2004
  • “Private Mediation Can Save Time and Money,” Cincinnati Business Courier, 1997
  • “Records Retention & The Ten Year Statute,” The Cincinnati Constructor, 1994
Presentations
  • "Project Delivery Methods: Which is Right for You?," Lorman Education Services, 2008
  • Construction Claims and Dispute Resolution," Allied Construction Industries, 2008
  • "Managing Risk for Profit," Home Builders Association of Greater Cincinnati, 2007
  • "Calculus of Risk," Cincinnati Chapter AIA, February 2006
  • "Regional Development: Land Mines and Gold Mines," October 2005
  • "Partnering Contractor Claims: A Track Record Second to None," Ohio BASA, May 2004
  • "Construction Partnering," 9th Biennial Midwest/Midsouth Construction Law Institute, January 2003
  • “Project Close Out,” CEFPI Ohio Builds symposium, 2002
  • “Can this Project be Saved? Delay Damages and Differing Site Conditions,” Cleveland Construction Contracting Community, 1998-2001
  • “Construction Law,” Cincinnati Bar Association, 2000
  • “The Cost Effective Solution of Dispute Resolution,” Allied Construction Industries
  • “Designer-Led Design Build Project Delivery,” Cincinnati Large A-E Firms, 1999
  • "Risk Management," Home Builders Association of Greater Cincinnati, 1998
Distinctions
  • AV® Preeminent Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America©, 2012-2021; named the Best Lawyers® 2012, 2015 and 2017 Construction Law "Lawyer of the Year" in Cincinnati
  • Selected for inclusion in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, Construction, Ohio, 2010 to 2020
  • Selected for inclusion in Super Lawyers by Ohio Super Lawyers magazine 2007-2009, 2014 to 2018

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