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Brett M. Hill, a Member at Ahlers Cressman & Sleight PLLC, concentrates his practice on representation of the construction industry in a variety of matters. He has over 18 years of construction litigation experience where he has handled numerous complex construction disputes for national and multi-national construction companies. He also regularly handles transactional/contract drafting matters for construction industry clients and has drafted and negotiated contracts totaling more $500M in the last five years.
Mr. Hill was voted by his peers as one of the top 100 lawyers overall in Washington for Super Lawyers publication in 2023, 2022, 2021, 2020, and 2018. He has also been selected a “Super Lawyer” in Washington by Super Lawyers publication for 2015-2023 and has an AVVO rating of 10.0 (highest possible rating). He was previously selected as a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers for 2010-2014.
Mr. Hill is also an advocate for the construction industry in Olympia. He is the current chair of the Legislative Committee for the National Utility Contractors Association of Washington (NUCA) and is also a current member of the NUCA Board of Directors. He is also a member of the AGC Legal Affairs Committee and regularly testifies in Olympia on behalf of AGC and NUCA. He is also a former Chair for the Construction Law Section of the Washington State Bar Association and is a frequent seminar presenter on construction law topics.
- J.D., Magna Cum Laude, Seattle University School of Law (Top 10% of Class), 2004
- B.S. in Economics, With Distinction, University of Washington, 1999
- Past Chair, Judiciary and Litigation Committee, King County Bar Association (2014-2019)
- Past Chair, Construction Law Section, Washington State Bar Association (2020-2021)
- Chair, Legislative Committee, National Utility Contractors Association (NUCA) of Washington, (2016-present)
- Board Member, National Utility Contractors Association of Washington, (2016-present)
- Legislative Committee Member, National Utility Contractors Association of Washington (2013-Present)
- Legal Affairs Committee Member, Associated General Contractors (AGC) of Washington
- Judicial Extern, The Honorable Thomas S. Zilly, United States District Court, Western District of Washington (2004)
- Law Review, Seattle University School of Law (2003-2004)
Publications & Speeches
- Speaker, Construction Project Scheduling and Delay Claims, Seminar Group, 2022
- Speaker, Top 10 Construction Contract Clauses, Alliance Northwest Event, 2022
- Speaker, Construction Contracting Legal Considerations, Alliance Northwest Event, 2021
- Speaker, Implied Warranties in Construction, WSBA Construction Law Section Spokane CLE, 2019
- Speaker, Changes and Differing Site Conditions, WSBA Construction Law Section Spokane CLE, 2019
- Speaker, Implied Warranties in Construction, WSBA Construction Law Section Seminar, 2018
- Speaker, Construction Project Scheduling & Delay Claims, Seminar Group CLE Presentation, 2018
- Speaker, 2017 Changes to AIA Contract Documents, Seminar Group CLE Presentation, 2017
- Speaker, What to Do When Performance is Delayed, NBI CLE Presentation, 2016
- Speaker|Moderator, Litigator’s Round Table, KCBA Bench-Bar Conference, 2016
- Speaker, Changes and Differing Site Conditions, WSBA Construction Law Section Seminar, 2015
- Speaker, Contract Clauses Panel, WSBA Construction Law Section Seminar, 2014
- Speaker, Construction Scheduling in Washington, Lorman CLE Presentation, 2014
- Speaker|Moderator, Change Orders in Washington, Lorman CLE Presentation, 2014
- Speaker|Moderator, AIA Contracts in Washington, Lorman CLE Presentation, 2013
- Speaker, Utility Contractor’s Perspective on Underground Facility Damage Prevention, Washington State Water and Sewer Risk Management Pool, 2012
- Speaker, Contractor Claims and Disputes, USDOT Bonding Education Program – Small Business Transportation Resource Center, 2011
- Speaker, Insurance Coverage for Contractors, Washington State Department of Labor and Industries Contractor Training, 2013, 2014
- Speaker, Contracting on Public Projects, Washington State Department of Labor and Industries Contractor Training, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
- Speaker, Contracts for General Contractors, Washington State Department of Labor and Industries Contractor Training, 2011, 2012, 2013
- Speaker, Common Legal Issues, Washington State Department of Labor and Industries Contractor Training, 2011, 2012
- Speaker, Insurance Law for Contractors, Washington State Department of Labor and Industries Contractor Training, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
- Speaker, Analysis of A201 General Conditions, Lorman CLE – “AIA Contracts in Washington,” 2012
- Speaker, Analysis of Owner Architect Contract, Lorman CLE – “AIA Contracts in Washington,” 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013
- Speaker, Claims and Change Orders, Association of General Contractors of Washington, 2009
- Speaker, Associated Builders and Contractors of Washington – “Construction Lien and Bond Claims,” 2008
- Author, Prevailing Wages Not Required for Delivery of Materials to Construction Site, AGC Newsletter, February 2005
- Frequent contributor to Ahlers Cressman & Sleight PLLC’S blog
- Frequent contributor the WSBA Construction Law Section Newsletter
- Lead counsel in arbitration on behalf of general contractor involving private commercial construction project. Arbitrator awarded general contractor $1.2M on its claim of $1.3M (including 90% recovery on a modified total cost delay claim) and awarded owner only $93k on its total claims against general contractor of $2.24M.
- Lead counsel on behalf of heavy civil contractor/aggregate material supplier in two-year litigation involving break up of partnership operating sand and gravel pits and rock quarries in Puget Sound area with combined claims asserted in the litigation exceeding $46,000,000.
- Lead counsel in litigation and arbitration proceedings on behalf of subcontractor client resulting in a multi-million dollar recovery against general contractor on largest construction project ever in the state of Washington (SR 99 Tunnel Project).
- Co-Lead counsel for a national general contractor in a 2-month jury trial in King County Superior Court. Received an eight-figure win in the client’s favor in the jury’s final verdict. As the prevailing party, the client also received an award for its attorneys’ fees, costs, and expert witness fees against the owner. Defended jury verdict to Washington State Supreme Court and ultimately prevailed and the client was awarded attorney fees.
- Represented national general contractor in $7M dispute involving termination on a hotel project. Settled case favorably after litigation and successful result on summary judgment motion.
- Represented general contractor seeking recovery of a seven-figure contract balance against the owner. Successfully defended a challenge to the general contractor’s lien, and settled the case favorably days before the arbitration hearing.
- Represented general contractor seeking recovery of a seven-figure claim for schedule related delays and acceleration costs against a public owner. Settled the case favorably prior to trial.
- Prevailed in expedited trial involving a bid protest for a $30+ million school renovation project.
- Represented local Port in defense of a general contractor’s claim for additional compensation. Succeeded in obtaining the summary judgment dismissal of the general contractor’s claim prior to trial.
- Lead Counsel for one of the Puget Sound area’s largest civil general contractors in a contested default by a subcontractor. Full judgment in favor of client plus attorneys’ fees.
- Lead Counsel for utility contractor seeking to enforce verbal acceptance of bid by general contractor as creation of contract despite no signed subcontract or physical work on site. Full judgment in favor of client.
- Represented developer in arbitration against general contractor for defective work. Obtained award from arbitrator in full amount of claim, plus interest and attorneys’ fees.
- Lead Counsel for Washington civil contactor in arbitration against Puget Sound Energy to recover damages caused by improper utility locates under RCS 19.122. Arbitrator awarded 100% of amount of sought, and client recovered 100% of attorneys fees incurred.
- Represented construction lender in dispute with competing lien claimants after developer’s insolvency. Obtained favorable summary judgment ruling against one of the lien claimants, and negotiated a creative settlement of the case that resulted in recovery of principal owed to lender and attorneys’ fees.
- Represented Alaska general contractor in $10M dispute involving the Museum of the North in Fairbanks, AK.
- Lead Counsel for Washington civil contractor in two week trial. Judge ruled in client’s favor. ACS is representing client on appeal.
- Lead Counsel for Alaska contractor with $1M claim on school construction project. Case settled favorably after litigation in Alaska court.
- Lead Counsel for Alaska contractor with $5M claim on $1.5B Federal missile defense project.
- Represented national real estate developer in two week arbitration. Client received full award plus attorney fees and total award was over $1M. Obtained summary judgment dismissal of contractor’s lien prior to arbitration hearing.
- Represented marine contractor in seven figure dispute involving a wave power generation facility off Oregon coast.
- Lead Counsel for North Dakota based oil field logistics company in $2M dispute regarding damages to oil rig in Williston ND.
- Represented Alaska power plant owner in seven figure dispute.
- Lead Counsel for oil field housing facility in Odessa TX against contractor claims exceeding $1M.
- Transactional Matters: Drafted and negotiated numerous general contracts, subcontracts, supplier agreements, and professional services / designer agreements for both public and private projects.