Christopher J. Brasco

Senior Partner | McLean, VA

(703) 749-1000

With more than 30 years of experience untangling complex liability-knots on high profile construction projects across the globe, Chris Brasco is uniquely qualified to protect his clients’ bottom line interests by crafting solutions which appreciate the varied perspectives and issues affecting their projects.  He continues to sharpen his knowledge by lecturing nationally to leading industry groups on the risk-shifting trends and claims pricing developments that inspire breakthrough project solving.  In recognition of his work delivering talks to construction industry trade groups on trend-setting issues, Chris was recently awarded the Paul F. Phelan Memorial Award by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association on November 6, 2019. He is also a frequent lecturer at national events hosted by the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA) and the Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering International (AACE).  Emblematic of Chris’ difference making skill-set, he was involved with the federal government in negotiating the successful reprocurement of mission-critical projects throughout Afghanistan after the program-wide default of a large government contractor which occurred during the height of U.S. involvement. 

Chris is often engaged by clients to tackle their most challenging problems.  His experience includes successfully representing owners, contractors and sureties in myriad disputes involving diverse construction projects, from bridges and tunnels to high-rise buildings.  Also a trained mediator, Chris’ experience and personal skills make him an able advocate, ready to quickly grasp the underlying construction and legal issues and offer innovative solutions to meet the needs of the clients he serves.

Best Lawyers in America, Construction Law (Commercial Litigation) and Construction Litigation Categories – 2008-2021

Paul F. Phelan Memorial Award by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association – 2019

  • Construction Management Association of America (CMAA) Past Board of Directors 2006-2007 and Frequent Lecturer
  • Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering (AACE) International – Frequent Lecturer
  • American Road and Transportation Builder’s Association (ARTBA) – Frequent Lecturer – Construction Law and Regulatory Forum
  • Speaker: “Damages Without A Cause:  Liquidated Damages Are A Penalty When Contractors Are Not Allowed To Raise Owner Delay As A Defense,” Construction SuperConference, December 2019.
  • Speaker: “Damages Without A Cause:  Liquidated Damages Are A Penalty When Contractors Are Not Allowed To Raise Owner Delay As A Defense,” ARTBA Central Regional Meeting, November 2019.
  • Speaker: “Proven Risk Management Strategies For Collaboratively Addressing Project Changes,” CMAA National Conference, September 2019.
  • Speaker: “Damages Without A Cause:  Liquidated Damages Are A Penalty When Owners Recover Damages For Their Own Delay,” AACE, June 2019.
  • Speaker: “Construction Documentation,” ARTBA 11th Annual Law & Regulatory Forum, June 2019.
  • Speaker: “Damages Without A Cause:  Liquidated Damages Are A Penalty When Contractors Are Not Allowed to Raises Owner Delay As A Defense,” ARTBA, June 2019.
  • Speaker: “Project Close-Out,” ABA Spring Meeting, May 2019.
  • Speaker: “The Performance Bond Surety’s Rights to Contract Funds,” ABA Mid-Winter Meeting, January 2019.
  • Speaker: “10 Risk Management Hacks That Will Change Your Approach to Project Delivery,” ARTBA, June 2018.
  • Speaker: “Hot Tubs and Other ADR Remedies for Disputes That Ail You,” AACE, June 2017.
  • Speaker: “Strategies for Prompt and Effective Resolution of Government Claims Utilizing the Court and Boards of Contract Appeals,” ABA Mid-Winter Meeting, January 2017.
  • Speaker: “The Professional Construction Manager and Safety,” CMAA National Conference, October 2016.
  • Speaker: “Demystifying the Law of Lost Productivity,” ARTBA, June 2016.
  • Speaker: “A Practical Approach to Understanding the Ethical Limits on Attorney Behavior in the Arena of Settlement Negotiations or Drawing the Line Between Posturing and Plundering,” ABA Mid-Winter Meeting, January 2016.
  • Speaker: “Maximizing the Utility of a Surety’s Financing Contributions When Supporting the Completion of Federal Government Contracts,” ABA Mid-Winter Meeting, January 2015.
  • Speaker:  “Understanding Ethical Limitations on Attorney Behavior During Settlement Negotiations,”  ABA Spring Meeting, May 2014.
  • Speaker and Co-Author: “Damages on Federal Construction Projects,” ABA Mid-Winter Meeting, January 2013.
  • Moderator and Speaker: “What’s Fair is Fair: Government Accountability in the Claims Process,” AOD Annual Conference, February 2013.
  • Speaker: “Claims Resolution Strategies on Troubled Projects,” ARTBA, October 2012.
  • Speaker: “The Future of Leadership in the Changing World of Project Delivery,” CMAA National Conference, October 2012.
  • Speaker: “When an Owner’s Hard Line Claim Negotiations Are Also a Breach of Contract,” AACE, July 2012.
  • Speaker: “Looking into the Crystal Ball: Predicting Trends and Innovations in the Construction Industry,” CMAA National Conference, October 2011.
  • Speaker: “Experts in Jeopardy,” AACE, June 2011.
  • Speaker: “Successfully Handling Delay & Impact Claims,” ARTBA, April 2011.
  • Speaker: “Maxims of Practice for Effective Risk Management and Dispute Resolution,” CMAA National Conference, October 2010.
  • Speaker: “Demystifying the Law of Lost Productivity – TCM – Cost Engineering on my Mind,” AACE, June 2010.
  • Speaker: “Effective Claims Handling Through an Understanding of the Real Costs of Delay and Unresolved Claims,” Associated General Contractors’ National Convention, March 2010.
  • Speaker: “Managing the Risks Associated with the Use of Building Information Modeling on Your Projects,” Construction Management Association of America Spring Conference & Trade Show, Spring 2007.
  • Co-Author: “Avoiding the Potential Legal Pitfalls that Await Construction Managers Performing Design-Phase Services,” CMAA, Fall 2006.
  • Speaker: “Successful Projects and Dispute Avoidance Through Proper Risk Assessment and Management,” CMAA, Spring 2006.
  • Speaker: “Successful Handling Default Terminations,” CMAA Spring Conference, Spring 2005. Lecturer in Law, William & Mary School of Law.
  • Panelist: “Who Survives the Perfect Storm – A Reality Show in Which You are the Jury;” The Contractor and Construction Manager Issues SuperConference; San Francisco, California; December 2005.
  • Speaker: “The Fundamentals of Construction Contracts – Understanding the Issues,” December 2004.
  • Speaker: “The Contractor, the Surety and the Federal Government,” a Watt Tieder seminar, multiple locations throughout 2004.
  • Presenter: “Risk Management: How to Optimize Your Construction Project,” seminar with McDonough Bolyard Peck, June 2004.
  • Speaker: “Construction Scheduling 101: Understanding Construction Scheduling, Critical Path Analysis, Delay, Disruption and the Rights of the Surety,” a Watt Tieder seminar, multiple locations throughout 2003.
  • Speaker: “Successful Projects Through An Understanding of the Law of Lost Productivity,” with Watt Tieder partner Mark Sgarlata, Construction Management Association of America National Conference & Trade Show, October 2002.

Areas of Practice

  • Construction
  • Government Contracts

Education

  • College of William & Mary, J.D., 1990
  • Rutgers University, B.A., 1987, magna cum laude, departmental honors

Bar Admissions

  • Virginia

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
  • Supreme Court of Virginia