Timothy E. Heffernan

(703) 749-1000

Tim Heffernan’s practice concentrates on construction, government contracts, compliance, suretyship law and litigation on a national and international level. He has been a member of Watt Tieder’s Board of Directors since 2011 and has been an integral part of the management of the firm and its growth in various sectors of the United States.

For over 30 years, Tim has assisted government contractors in competing for, profitably performing, and successfully completing supply, services and construction contracts; in preparing, litigating, and resolving claims; and in facing the potential for audit, procurement integrity, and compliance issues. Tim’s broad range of experience in government contracts also includes bid protests, protecting intellectual property rights of Government contractors, cost and accounting issues, internal investigations, teaming agreements, prime/subcontractor disputes, small business matters, False Claims Act litigation, as well as suspension and debarment proceedings. Tim has extensive experience at the United States Court of Federal Claims. He has written and lectured extensively on various subjects relating to the federal procurement process.

Tim also concentrates his practice on the preparation, defense and litigation of major construction cases, including both national and international projects on behalf of large construction companies and engineering firms in the energy, infrastructure and transportation industries. He regularly practices before arbitration tribunals including panels constituted by the American Arbitration Association and the International Chamber of Commerce. Tim also represents the largest sureties in the country in handling payment and performance bond disputes for both private and public contracts, including defending default terminations and prosecuting affirmative claims.

Before joining Watt Tieder in 1994, Tim practiced at a government contracts boutique firm in Washington, D.C. Between 1987 and 1994, he also practiced federal legislative and administrative law and represented clients before Congress and various governmental administrative agencies. In November 1990, he was appointed a Special Assistant Attorney General of the State of Illinois by the Illinois Attorney General to represent the Illinois Commerce Commission in proceedings before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

From 1983-84, before practicing law, Tim served as Special Assistant to former United States Senator Frank Murkowski (R-Alaska), former Chairman of the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.


  • American Bar Association
    • Public Contract Law Section
  • District of Columbia Bar Association
  • Federal Circuit Bar Association
  • New York Bar Association
  • International Bar Association
    • International Construction Projects Committee
  • Dispute Resolution Board Foundation
  • National Association of Surety Bond Producers, Attorney Advisory Council

Speaking Engagements & Publications

  • Speaker:  The National Association of Surety Bond Producers 2019 Regions 8, 9, 10 11 Annual Meeting in Annapolis, Maryland,”Transfer of Design Risk and How to Manage and Insure that Risk”, September 16, 2019.
  • Speaker: Global Construction & Infrastructure Legal Alliance (GcilA) / Fédération Nationale des Travaux Publics (FNTP) Workshop Conference, Paris, France, March 31, 2015, “Design/Build & Design/Build/Operate: A Comparative Approach and Future Development”.
  • Speaker: National Contract Management Association, Subcontract Management Training Forum, March 12-13, 2015, “Dispute Avoidance Is More Than a Phrase”.
  • Co-Author: “Public-Private Partnerships: Design-Build Contractors Take Heed! – Part Two,” Watt Tieder Newsletter, Winter 2014-2015.
  • Speaker: Dispute Resolution Board Foundation 18th Annual Meeting & Conference, Toronto, Canada, October 24-25, 2014, “Dispute Boards and Public Private Partnerships”.
  • Co-Author: “Public-Private Partnerships: Design-Build Contractors Take Heed! – Part One,” Watt Tieder Newsletter, Fall 2014.
  • Speaker: Global Construction & Infrastructure Legal Alliance (GcilA) / Fédération Nationale des Travaux Publics (FNTP) Workshop Conference, Paris, France, May 20, 2014, “Global Construction Contracts and PPP in Their Infancy, The North America Situation, a Promising market for European Companies”.
  • Speaker: National Association of Construction Auditors, 3rd Annual conference, Orlando, Florida, October 2, 2013, “Think Fraud! The practical and ethical considerations of approaching a construction audit.”
  • Speaker: National Conference of the Associated Owners & Developers, Arlington, Virginia, February 12, 2013, “Bringing the UK Adjudication Process to the US: Updating and Expediting Dispute Resolution in the United States” .
  • Speaker: National Association of Construction Auditors 2nd Annual Conference, Las Vegas, Nevada, September 19, 2012, “Don’t forget Your Deposition is in the Morning! Are You Ready?”.
  • Author: “Evolving Government Contracts Rules and Compliance,” a chapter from the book “Inside the Minds: The Impact of Recent Changes in Government Contracts,” Aspatore 2010.
  • Speaker: Construction Super Conference, December 9-11, 2009, San Francisco, California, “Leaving America – The Unique Aspects of International Construction Contracting”.
  • Co-Author and Speaker: American Bar Association Forum on the Construction Industry, 2009 Fall Meeting, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, October 15, 2009, “Tiptoeing Through the Government Contract Minefield”.

Areas of Practice

  • Construction
  • International Construction
  • Government Contracts
  • Surety


  • Tulane School of Law, J.D., 1987
  • Tulane University, B.A., 1983

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • New York

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims