Shelly L. Ewald
Senior Partner | McLean, VA
“Shelly Ewald is recognized for her expertise in relation to government contracts and construction disputes, with a particular focus on the power industry.” “She is superb.” “She is an outstanding lawyer who achieves great results for her clients and has the ability to absorb highly technical information and successfully resolve very complex matters. She’s very efficient and extremely effective.” – Chambers USA
“Partner Shelly Ewald is singled out by clients as ‘an excellent advocate for her construction clients’, and for having ‘a penchant for winning very favorable verdicts and judgments, even when the fact situation may not appear the most favorable at first’.” – Legal 500 US
Shelly Ewald’s practice focuses on construction contract disputes, international arbitration and federal government contracts protests and appeals. Shelly has extensive experience in the power industry and has been involved as advice and litigation/arbitration counsel on dozens of domestic and international power plant projects, including nuclear, coal, petroleum coke, and gas-fired combined cycle units. She has successfully represented EPC contractors in jury and bench trials, recently winning a $45 Million jury verdict for acceleration and lost productivity damages against the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. She then successfully defended the jury verdict before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, who confirmed the verdict in May 2020.
Shelly has successfully represented clients in international arbitrations, including ICC arbitration and arbitration before the Republic of China Arbitration Association. She has prevailed in many domestic trials and arbitrations, representing EPC contractors and owners on numerous power plant projects in various stages of the dispute resolution process, from informal ADR procedures to mediation, arbitration and litigation.
She also represents government contractors in the construction, information technology services, defense and telecommunications industry. She recently defended a contractor accused of mis-charging the federal government, winning a dismissal of all charges on a motion to dismiss at the outset of the case. She has successfully prosecuted and defended bid protests at the GAO, Court of Federal Claims and before a variety of local and state government adjudicative bodies. She has also represented protesters and intervenors in connection with state and local procurement disputes, including contract awards by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority and Maryland Transportation Authority.
- Chambers USA, Band 2, 2021
- Who’s Who Legal, 2017-2020; Thought Leader Construction, 2020
- Best Lawyers in America, Construction Law (Construction Disputes, Government Contracts) and Construction Litigation Categories – 2008-2022
- Best Lawyers in Washington, DC, Construction Law Category – 2008-2012
- Legal 500 United States – 2007, 2009, 2012
- Top Verdicts, 2018
- Lead Counsel successfully representing the EPC Contractor in a federal court jury trial in Los Angeles over the repowering of Unit 3 of the LADWP Scattergood Power Plant, recovering $45 Million of the $48 Million claim and limiting LADWP’s recovery to $1 Million of the $190 Million counterclaims it filed.
- Lead Counsel representing the EPC contractor on the construction of Vogtle Nuclear Power Plants 3 and 4 in Waynesboro Georgia in litigation regarding regulatory and design changes exceeding $1.5 Billion in claims, Georgia Power Co. v. Westinghouse Electric Company LLC et al. No. 12-167 (S.D. Georgia 2015).
- Lead Counsel successfully representing a prime contractor against claims of wrongful default and termination of its subcontractor on a project at the Tinker Air Force Base, with the sole arbitrator upholding the default termination and holding that the prime contractor was entitled to its excess procurement costs.
- Lead Counsel successfully representing the Balance of Plant Architect/ Engineer on the Lungmen Nuclear project in Taiwan, presenting claims to an international tribunal of the Republic of China Arbitration Association (ROCAA). The ROCAA awarded the A/E $27 million, including attorneys’ fees and costs.
- Lead Counsel successfully representing an EPC Contractor in AAA arbitration of claims relating to the construction of a merchant power plant in Arizona, defeating the Owner’s claims for liquidated damages and receiving an award for $37.3 million.
- Lead Counsel successfully representing an EPC Contractor in AAA arbitration of claims relating to the construction of a merchant power plant in Michigan, defeating the Owner’s claims for liquidated damages for delay in their entirety and receiving an award for $35.8 Million.
- Lead Counsel successfully representing an EPC contractor on claims related to the design and construction of a $6 billion Olefins Recovery Facility in Singapore.
- Lead Counsel successfully representing the Maintenance and Modifications Construction Contract in mediation related to the restart of Unit One at TVA’s Browns Ferry nuclear plant.
- Lead Counsel successfully representing an EPC Contractor in two arbitrations relating to the construction of a 600 MW petroleum coke-fired CFB Project in Louisiana.
Government Contracts/Protests and Appeals
- Lead Counsel successfully defending against claims of mis-charging by a previously acquired entity, resulting in a dismissal of the Government’s $12 Million claim. Leidos Innovations Corp. v GSA, CBCA 6303, 2019 BCA ¶95, 872.
- Lead Counsel successfully representing telecommunications contractor at trial at the ASBCA, which resulted in a recovery of the client’s entire termination cost claim. 2Connect W.L.L., ASBCA No. 59233, 17-1 BCA ¶ 36,775.
- Lead Counsel successfully securing a TRO and permanent injunction against an award of an international telecommunications circuit contract at the Court of Federal Claims, with the court holding that the Government’s failure to seek clarifications from or hold discussions with client was arbitrary and capricious, Level 3, LLC v. United States, 129 Fed. Cl. 487 (December 5, 2016).
- Lead counsel successfully defending a prime contractor against a subcontractor lawsuit in Virginia state court in relation to a multi-billion dollar State Department IT services contract, where the court struck the Plaintiff subcontractor’s expert witness at trial, resulting in a nonsuit by the Plaintiff and a final dismissal of the case.
- Lead Counsel successfully defending awardee against a bid protest in Maryland, and in the subsequent Petition for Judicial Review in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City regarding MDTA’s contract to clean and paint the William Preston Lane, Jr. Memorial Bridge. The protest included a challenge to the method of enforcement of certain MBE regulations in Maryland.
- Lead Counsel successfully represented Protester at the GAO on telecommunications circuit award from Germany to Afghanistan.
- Lead Counsel successfully representing awardee in hearing to adjudicate protest of toll operations award by the Central Florida Expressway.
- Lead Counsel successfully representing awardee on international telecommunications contract from Bahrain to Qatar in bid protest at the GAO.
- Lead Counsel successfully representing an information services company protesting the awards of the ITES-2S procurement; a 9-year information services contract with a ceiling of $20 Billion, in which the GAO sustained the Protest and the Government agreed to award a contract to the client.
- Lead Counsel successfully representing an international communications and information services company at a hearing in the protest of the ten-year, billion-dollar Treasury Communications Enterprise procurement; Northrop Grumman et al., B-295526, 2005 CPD ¶ 45.
- American College of Construction Lawyers, Fellow
- Treasurer, 2020-2021
- Member Board of Governors, 2016-2019
- Membership Committee, 2018-2019
- American Arbitration Association, Arbitrator, Construction Panel
- ICC Commission, Working Group on the Construction Industry
- American Bar Association
- International Bar Association
- Institute for Transnational Arbitration
- Board of Contract Appeals Bar Association
- Trial Practice Co-Chair, 2009-2014
- Member, Board of Governors, 2008
- Panelist, “Nailing Voir Dire: Construction Jury Trials” Virginia State Bar Annual Meeting
- Panelist, “Ethical Issues Arising in Multi-Party Mediations and Arbitrations” AAA Virtual Construction Conference: Moving Forward in a New Decade
- Panelist, “Liability Issues During the Life of the Project in Construction Disputes” ICC FIDIC International Construction Contracts Conference, San Paulo Brazil
- Panelist, “Is there a ‘Gold Standard’ in Schedule Delay Analysis? When is Contemporaneous Schedule Analysis Not the Right Method? Choosing the Right Schedule Analysis Method for Your Case” 2019 Construction Super Conference, Los Angeles, California
- Panelist, “Know Your Audience: Customizing Jury Trial Skills for a Mediation” 2019 Construction Super Conference, Los Angeles, California
- Author: “Introduction of Construction Scheduling Expert Testimony: An Overview of the Current Standards in Federal and State Courts and Administrative Boards”, American Bar Association Forum on the Construction Industry, Fall 2017
- Speaker, American College of Construction Lawyers, “Post Escobar – Living in a Material World,” Amelia Island, Florida, March 2017
- Panelist, International Construction Arbitration Trends and Best Practices, “Expert Witness Issues,” iLaw 2017; The ILS Global Forum on International Law, Miami, Florida, February 2017
- Panelist, Trends in Construction Claims, “FCA Update,” Construction Super Conference, Las Vegas, Nevada, December 2016
- Panelist, Design Build/EPC Contracts: EPC Claims Clauses and Court Decisions, International Bar Association, International Construction Projects Committee, September 19, 2016, Washington DC
- Speaker, Plenary 1, Has Arbitration Fulfilled its Promise?, ABA Forum on the Construction Industry, ADR Summit, October 8-9, 2015.
- Presenter, GCILA/FNTP “Global Construction Contracts and PPP in Their Infancy, The North American Situation,” Paris, May 2014.
- Moderator, Board of Contract Appeals Bar Association, Government Contracts Trial Practice Seminar, 2008-2014.
- Panelist, “Trends in Construction Claims and Disputes,” Construction Superconference, December 2013.
- Presenter, International Arbitration Developments: “International Bar Association Guidelines on Party Representation in International Arbitration,” Munich, September 2013.
- Author: “Contractors’ Past Performance Ratings Process Standardized, Not Revolutionized,” Watt Tieder Newsletter, Fall 2013.
- Co-Author: “Agency’s Lack of Jurisdiction over Task Order Bid Protest Does not Derail Later Protest at the GAO,” Virginia State Bar, Construction Law and Public Contracts Section Newsletter, May 2013.
- Author: “Ad Hoc Arbitrations: Selection of Applicable Rules and Guidelines for Interviewing Prospective Arbitrators,” Watt Tieder Newsletter, February 2013.
- Panelist, “Legal, Expert or Lay Opinion Witness?” Construction Superconference December 2012.
- Panelist, “Dispute Review Boards as Project Facilitators,” ABA Spring Conference April 2012.
- Panelist, “ICDR/AAA International Construction ADR Tools & Techniques,” 8 th Annual American Arbitration Association Miami International Arbitration Conference, March 2010.
- Panelist, “AAA/ICDR and the International Construction Project,” 2009 AAA Construction Conference: Maximizing ADR Advocacy for Today’s Economy, November 2009.
- Co-Author: “Liquidated Damages and The Freedom To Contract,” Journal of the American College of Construction Lawyers, Vol. 1 (Winter 2007).
- Speaker: “Proving Construction Damages,” Federal Publications Seminars, March and June 2006.
- Panelist: “Recent Developments in Federal and State Arbitral Law,” The Contractor and Construction Manager Issues SuperConference, December 2005.
- Co-Author: “Contesting and Defending Liquidated Damages Provisions,” Construction Briefings, May 2005.
- Speaker: “The Fundamentals of Construction Contracts – Understanding the Issues,” Lorman Education Services, December 2004.
- Author: “Performance Bond Sureties Released From Bond Obligations Due to Owners’ Failure to Provide Required Notices of Default,” From the Ground Up, Summer 2004.
- Speaker: “Designing, Developing, Financing, Constructing and Operating International Infrastructure Projects,” May 2003, Second Global Project SuperConference.
- Speaker: “Public Contract Code and Competitive Public Bidding in the District of Columbia,” Lorman Education Services, December 2002.
- Speaker: “Proving Construction Damages,” Federal Publications, May 2001.
- Author: “Bid Protest Options — Where Should I File My Protest?” From the Ground Up, Spring 1998.
- Adjunct Professor: “International Commercial Arbitration,” George Mason University School of Law, 2010-2022.
- Coach: Vis International Moot Court Competition, George Mason University School of Law Vis Team, 2010-2017 (Coached Top 16 Finalist Team at Vis East in Vienna 2012 and 2013; Coached Top 32 Finalist Team in Vienna 2017).
- Visiting Lecturer: “Government Contracts Seminar,” George Washington University School of Law, 2010-2019.
- Adjunct Professor: George Washington University School of Law, 1995-1996.
- Visiting Lecturer: “Government Contracts Law,” Marshall-Wythe School of Law, College of William & Mary.
- Visiting Lecturer: “Government Contracts Law,” Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland, March 2006.
Areas of Practice
- International Construction
- Government Contracts
- International Arbitration
- George Washington University Law School, J.D., with honors
- University of Nebraska, B.A.
- District of Columbia
- United States Supreme Court
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia
- U.S. District Court, District of Colorado
- U.S. Court of Federal Claims
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit