Bert Chollet counsels entities within the construction industry in all areas of construction and surety law. Providing a full range of transactional and litigation services in connection with domestic and international projects, Bert represents owners, contractors, design professionals, sureties, land developers, and other corporate entities. His experience enables him to represent clients in all phases of complex litigation in federal and state courts as well as arbitration and mediation.
Bert addresses a variety of matters for his construction clients, including but not limited to contract claims, delay and impact claims, design claims, surety bond claims and mechanics liens, contract negotiation for public and private projects, bankruptcy claims and litigation, wrongful termination claims, MBE and DBE matters with government entities, and appellate work.
Bert’s representative experience includes certified claims and REAs on United States Embassy, Department of Defense, and United States Army Corps of Engineer projects located in the United States and internationally. Bert also has extensive experience representing sureties in multi-project, multi-jurisdiction defaults, including the investigation and defense of performance and payment bond claims on private and public projects, negotiation of takeover and completion agreements, and performance of completion work.
Before joining Watt Tieder in 2013, Bert practiced at a construction litigation boutique in Memphis, Tennessee, and at a national law firm based in Chicago, Illinois. Bert began his legal career as an appellate clerk for The Honorable Holly M. Kirby, Judge of the Tennessee Court of Appeals. During law school, Bert was a judicial extern to The Honorable Diane Vescovo, Magistrate Judge of the U.S. District Court, Western District of Tennessee.
- General Information
- University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, J.D., 2005
- Notes and Comments Editor, University of Memphis Law Review
- Dean’s Award for Distinguished Service
- Dean’s Award for Academic Excellence for Best Appellate Brief
- Cecil C. Humphrey Law Fellowship
- CALI Awards for Securities Regulation and Cyberlaw
- Carson-Newman College, B.A., Political Science, 2001
- Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award
- U.S. District Court for the Northern, Southern and Central Districts of Illinois
- U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern and Central District of Illinois
- U.S. District Court for North Dakota
- U.S. District Court for Southern District of Ohio
- U.S. District Court for Colorado
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern and Western Districts of Arkansas
- U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee
- U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
- Memberships & Affiliations
- National Bond Claims Association
- Chicago Building Congress
- American Bar Association
- Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section, former co-chair of FSLC Young Professionals Subcommittee
- Forum on the Construction Industry
- Tennessee Association of Construction Counsel
- Tennessee Bar Association
- Publications and Presentations
- Co-Author: “Delegated Design and the Black Hole of the Inartfully Drafted Contract,” Fidelity & Surety Law Newsletter, Fall 2019.
- Author: “The Sovereign Act Doctrine and Federal Contracts,” WHTF Winter 2018 Newsletter.
- Speaker: “Considerations for the Surety’s Analysis and Preparation of its Principal’s Affirmative Claims,” National Bond Claims Association, October 2017.
- Author of “Preserving Mechanics’ Lien Rights in Bankruptcy Proceedings,” WTHF Fall 2016 Newsletter.
- Author: “Illinois Construction Law,” Published by HKL Global Communications, Inc. (2015)
- Author: “The Potential Expansion of Subdivision Bond Liability on Public Projects: The Illinois Supreme Court’s Decision in Lake County Grading, Co., LLC v. Village Of Antioch,” Surety Claims Institute, October 2015.
- Speaker: “Contract Change Provisions,” Lorman Education Services seminar, June 2014.
- Author of “Case Update: Providing Clarity For Differing Site Conditions Claims On Federal Design-Build Projects” WTHF Spring 2014 Newsletter.
- Author: “The Reallocation of Risk for Differing Site Conditions in Metcalf Construction Company, Inc. v. United States,” WTHF Fall 2013 Newsletter.
- Author: “Securing the Road to Nowhere: When Subdivision Bond Payments Constitute Economic Waste or an Unreasonable Windfall to the ‘Obligee,’ ” International Association of Defense Counsel Fidelity & Surety Committee July 2011 Newsletter.
- Speaker: “Troubled Developments: Surety Bond and Lien Claims,” Illinois Institute for Local Government Law, 18th Annual Conference, Naperville, Illinois, February 2011.
- Speaker: “Troubled Developments in a Troubled Economy,” American Public Works Association, Schaumburg, Illinois, May 2009.
- Speaker: “Mechanics Liens,” and “The Illinois Bond Act,” Lorman Education Services seminar “Construction Lien Law in Illinois,” Orland Park, Illinois, September 2008.
- Author: “Obtaining Judicial Relief From an Improper Arbitration Award on the Basis of Corruption, Fraud, Undue Means, the Failure to Hear Material Evidence, or Other Misbehavior Prejudicing the Rights of a Party,” Construction Briefings , Thomson/West, July 2007.
- Author: “Enabling the Gaze: Public Access and the Withdrawal of Tennessee’s Proposed Rule of Civil Procedure 1A,” University of Memphis Law Review, Volume 36, Book 3, Spring 2006.