Over 41 Years of Experience

Watt Tieder was founded in 1978 with six attorneys involved almost exclusively in construction disputes litigation. Today, with over 40 attorneys nationwide, the firm's talented lawyers handle complex design and construction issues and disputes encompassing international and domestic construction, government contracts, surety, commercial transactions, and insolvency throughout the nation and the world. It has offices in McLean, Virginia, Irvine, California, Miami, Florida, Chicago, Illinois and Boston, Massachusetts.  Watt Tieder is also a founding member of The Global Construction & Infrastructure Legal Alliance (GcilA), which provides the construction industry and the public and private authorities with expert legal advice in the fields of construction, infrastructure and mining law in major markets worldwide.  This team, along with our affiliation with the European law firm of HFK Rechtsanwälte, based in Munich, Germany, with additional offices throughout Germany, means that we now have resources close to project sites all over the world.

Watt Tieder has remained a highly specialized “boutique” law firm focusing on design, construction, and government contract law.  This means that every lawyer, paralegal, and staff member devotes nearly 100% of their professional time to design and construction law matters.  Watt Tieder principally represents large design firms, design/build contractors, major equipment suppliers, public and private owners, and sureties throughout the country and in the world.

Watt Tieder's approach to a new matter is to have a senior partner visit the client, usually at the project site, assess the situation alone or perhaps with another lawyer, or a member of its technical staff, and prepare a recommended course of action and preliminary budget.  This is reviewed with the client to determine what resources the client can provide, especially in the areas of preparing summaries of facts, calculating damages, and collecting and reviewing electronic and hard copy documents.  Often it is found that the client can perform substantial portions of the factual investigation and the initial review of documents for discovery.

Because of Watt Tieder's high level of expertise, this first step is usually quickly accomplished.  The partner remains involved, and if the matter is litigated or arbitrated, the partner will conduct the proceeding.  Other attorneys, and technical and support staff are, of course, used to perform the tasks appropriate to their level of experience and expertise.  Direct and regular reporting to, and involvement of, the client is the cornerstone of our representation.

Watt Tieder is a strong advocate for resolving any dispute by settlement, whenever possible.  Watt Tieder begins each case as if it is going to be litigated or arbitrated.  Watt Tieder believes this practice becomes apparent to the other party, and thus we are able to resolve most matters through negotiation, mediation or other forms of ADR in a manner acceptable to our clients as well as before a trial stage. Because of the number and expertise of its attorneys, Watt Tieder is familiar with all significant practitioners in the field.  It also knows most of the significant construction consultants and arbitrators in the world, as well as all construction mediators in the United States.  It is almost impossible to appear before a construction arbitration panel in any venue in the world where Watt Tieder does not personally know and have experience with at least one, and usually all, of the arbitrators.  Likewise, it is unusual to have expert witnesses for the opposition with which the firm is unfamiliar.  This collective knowledge is vital to litigation and arbitration, but it is especially helpful in preparing for negotiations and mediation. 

Many clients have been with the firm since its inception; many others have been firm clients in excess of ten and twenty years even through several mergers or acquisitions.  This client loyalty is a direct result of Watt Tieder's culture of client service and dedication.  The growth of the firm is a testament to its core philosophy – the efficient and economical handling of construction matters through diligent effort, quality representation and a clear understanding of its clients’ business objectives.


Founders of the Firm