Philip L. Bruner, Esq. is one of the world’s leading full-time arbitrators, mediators, and resolvers of construction, engineering, and infrastructure claims and disputes arising in the United States and globally. He is a distinguished member of the panels of neutrals of both JAMS and JAMS International, and is the director of JAMS Global Engineering and Construction Group. For more than 25 years prior to joining JAMS, he was a member of panels of arbitrators of other dispute resolution organizations.
ADR Experience and Qualifications
As a practicing lawyer for over 40 years prior to becoming a full-time neutral, Mr. Bruner concentrated on construction, engineering, energy and infrastructure litigation and was lead counsel in over 100 arbitrations and litigated cases venued in over 30 states. He also mediated or participated in mediation of numerous cases. Represented parties included the spectrum of construction industry participants: public and private owners, contractors, subcontractors, specialty contractors, architects, engineers (civil, structural, mechanical, electrical, geotechnical, hydrological), sureties, insurers, material manufacturers, material suppliers, equipment suppliers, construction lenders, and construction accountants.
As a neutral Mr. Bruner's experience includes numerous complex disputes and claims arising out of U.S. and international construction, engineering, energy, infrastructure and other disputes aggregating many hundreds of millions of dollars and arising out of a wide variety of public and private projects.
As an arbitrator, Mr. Bruner has chaired or served on numerous U.S. and International arbitration tribunals. Representative Tribunals include:
- Natural Gas Processing Facility, Canada. Tribunal Chair and Arbitrator appointed by international parties under UNCITRAL Rules to decide claims aggregating $300,000,000 arising out of the design and construction of a natural gas processing plant.
- Solar Energy Farm, California. Tribunal President and Arbitrator appointed by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) under ICC Rules to decide multi-million dollar claims arising out of construction of a $360 million solar energy farm.
- Concessions Subcontracts, Iraq. Tribunal Chair and Arbitrator appointed by international parties under LCIA Rules to decide claims arising out of services provided to a U.S. construction contractor under concessions subcontracts during the Iraq War.
- Condominium Conversion, New York City. Sole Arbitrator appointed by multiple parties under AAA Rules to decide claims aggregating $125,000,000 arising out of conversion of a warehouse into luxury condominiums.
- Regional Justice Center, Nevada. Arbitrator appointed by the parties under AAA Rules of claims to decide claims aggregating $130,000,000 asserted by a public owner, contractor and subcontractor arising out of workmanship and delay disputes that led to contract termination.
- Power Plant, Pakistan. Arbitrator of international claims under UNCITRAL Rules between a Pakistani/US owner and an Italian EPC contractor building a $360,000,000 combined cycle power plant in Pakistan's tribal area.
- Construction Services, Afghanistan. Tribunal Chair and Arbitrator appointed by international parties under ICDR rules to decide claims arising out of contracts for construction of barracks and other facilities in Afghanistan.
- Commercial Building, Bahamas. Tribunal Chair and Arbitrator appointed by international parties under UNCITRAL Rules to decide claims arising out of the construction of a large commercial building.
- Power Plant Conversion, Pennsylvania. Tribunal Chair and Arbitrator appointed by the parties under JAMS Rules to decide claims alleging delays in completion of a $110,000,000 power plant project for conversion from coal to natural gas.
- Hotel, Barbados. Tribunal Chair and Arbitrator appointed by international parties under UNCITRAL Rules to decide claims arising out of the construction of a luxury hotel.
- Power Plant, Missouri. Sole Arbitrator appointed by the parties under AAA Rules to decide contractual liability and insurance issues between a power company and a contractor arising out of the tipping of a massive crawler crane.
- Interstate Highway Dispute Review Board, Minnesota. Chair of DRB established by a state Department of Transportation to hear and decide disputes arising out of a $250,000,000 interstate highway project.
- Wastewater Treatment Plant, Pennsylvania. Tribunal Chair and Arbitrator appointed by the parties under JAMS Rules to decide claims arising out of the design and construction of a municipal wastewater treatment plant.
- Commercial Multi-structure Roofing, New Jersey. Appellate Tribunal Chair and Appellate Arbitrator appointed by the parties under JAMS Optional Appellate Arbitration Rules (exercising jurisdiction of a U.S. Court of Appeals) to decide an appeal from an arbitration award rendered by a non-JAMS arbitrator.
- Merchant Power Plant, Upstate New York. Arbitrator appointed by the parties under AAA Rules to decide claims aggregating nine figures between an owner, EPC contractor and turbine manufacturer arising out of a $500,000,000 combined cycle merchant power plant.
- Ethanol Plant, Ohio. Arbitrator appointed by parties to decide claims between an owner and EPC contractor arising out of a $75,000,000 contract to build a 50 million gallon per year ethanol plant.
- Power Plant, Wisconsin. Tribunal Chair and Arbitrator appointed by the parties under JAMS Rules to decide claims arising out of the construction of a large combined cycle power plant.
- Manufacturing Plant Damage, Illinois. Arbitrator appointed by parties to decide disputes involving manufacturing plant damage exceeding $40,000,000 arising out of a power failure.
- U.S. Government Center, Utah. Arbitrator appointed by multiple parties under AAA Rules to decide claims arising out of the construction of electrical systems in a large federal project.
- Surety Disputes, Texas. Sole arbitrator appointed by two sureties to decide disputes over their respective performance bond rights and obligations arising out of the contractual defaults of their respective bonded contractor and bonded subcontractor principals on a state highway project.
- Power Plant, Mississippi. Arbitrator of owner and contractor delay and disruption claims arising out of performance of a coal-fired power plant construction contract.
- Commercial Building and Infrastructure, Indiana. Sole Arbitrator of construction defects and delay in completion arising out of the construction of a large commercial building and parking lot.
As a mediator, Mr. Bruner has successfully mediated settlements of large and complex multi-party infrastructure, energy, engineering, construction and other disputes among as many as 20 parties. Representative disputes in which he has been engaged as mediator include:
- Court House and Jail, New York City. Mediator selected with U.S. District Court approval by over 20 parties to mediate settlements of activity-related and time-related claims aggregating $300,000,000 arising out of construction of a new court house and jail facility in New York City.
- U. S. Government Facility, Tennessee. Mediator selected by six parties under U.S. District Court order to mediate resolution of claims aggregating $60,000,000 arising out of construction of a government facility at Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
- National September 11 Memorial and Museum, New York City. Mediator of disputes between a contractor and a subcontractor and its surety over completion issues.
- European Corporate headquarters, Switzerland. When a multi-million corporate headquarters project for a U.S. Fortune 100 company came to a standstill because of disputes between the owner, Swiss architect/engineer and British construction manager, Mr. Bruner was retained to analyze and sort out the problems, consult with the owner's consultants and executives, mediate disputes and get the project back on track. The project was completed on schedule.
- Automobile Transmission Plant, Indiana. Mediator of claims aggregating $35,000,000 arising out of plant construction issues.
- Power Plants, New Jersey and Connecticut. Mediator of disputes between an owner and design-build contractor aggregating $14,000,000 regarding reduction systems.
- Steel Fabrication Mill, Pennsylvania. Mediator of multi-party disputes arising out of design and construction of a steel fabrication mill.
- Sanitary Sewer Pipeline, Disney World, Florida. Mediator of disputes between an owner, contractor, pipe manufacturer and their insurers over the failure of aluminized pipe at an amusement park.
- Pier and Underwater Piling Work, New York's Hudson River. Mediator of claims aggregating eight figures between a public owner, construction manager and surety arising out of a $25,000,000 contract for the construction of a pier and supporting pilings in the Hudson River to accommodate cruise liner docking in New York City.
- State Water Pipeline, North Dakota. Mediator of claims for differing site conditions and delays between a public owner, contractor and subcontractor arising out of construction of a major water pipeline for the state of North Dakota.
- NBA Basketball Arena, New York City. Mediator of disputes between contractor and design professional arising out of work in constructing the home of the NBA Nets basketball team in Brooklyn,
- Military Facilities Renovation, Oklahoma. Mediator of claims aggregating $8,000,000 for disruption, acceleration and delay between a contractor and subcontractor regarding military facilities renovation work.
- Public Hospital Addition, New York City. Mediator of claims aggregating $30,000,000 for acceleration, disruption and delay among a public owner, contractor and performance bond surety arising out of construction of a public hospital addition in New York City.
- Steel Fabrication Plant Renovations, Colorado. Mediator of claims aggregating eight figures between an owner, contractor and eight subcontractors and suppliers arising out of delayed completion of steel fabrication plant renovations.
- Surety Salvage Disputes, Massachusetts. Mediator of disputes involving the rights of two competing sureties to salvage recoveries from indemnitors of performance and payment bonds issued by each surety on behalf of the same defaulting contractor.
- Public School Construction, New York City. Mediator of quality of work and extra work disputes between a public owner, contractor and twelve subcontractors arising out of construction of a new public school.
- Property and Professional Liability Insurance, Michigan. Mediator of disputes between law firms and property and professional liability insurers regarding the handling of claims settlements arising out a construction project in Michigan.
- Refrigerated Warehouse Project, Pennsylvania. Mediator of multi-party disputes relating to alleged delay and workmanship issues in completion of a massive refrigerated warehouse.
- Commercial Building Flood Damage, Illinois. Mediator of disputes arising out of flooding of a commercial building due to alleged storm sewer damage on a nearby construction site.
- Highway Bridges, Utah. Mediator of claims asserted by subcontractor against the contractor and owner regarding piling work.
- College Dormitory Construction, New York. Mediator of claims between a contractor, owner and surety for extra work.
- Housing Subdivision Completion, Illinois. Mediator of disputes between a municipality, sureties of defaulted principal and subsequent purchaser over obligations to complete common areas.
- Caisson Structure Construction, Michigan. Mediator of disputes between a municipality, contractor and subcontractor regarding placement of a caisson structure for storm water ponding.
- Library Project Remediation, New York City. Mediator of defective work and warranty claims arising on a public library renovation project.
- Honors and Professional Activities
- Completed Virtual ADR training conducted by the JAMS Institute, the training arm of JAMS
- Director, JAMS Global Engineering and Construction Group, 2008-Present
- Founding Fellow of The American College of Construction Lawyers, 1989-Present (President, 2006-2007)
- Honorary Fellow of The Canadian College of Construction Lawyers
- Fellow of the International Academy of Construction Lawyers
- Chartered Arbitrator and Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (London)
- Fellow of the College of Commercial Arbitrators
- Fellow of the National Contract Management Association
- Member of the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals
- Member of the Arbitrator Panel of the Institute for Energy Law
- Fellow of the American College of Civil Trial Mediators
- Certified Mediator, International Mediation Institute (The Hague)
- Life Fellow of the American Bar Foundation
- Overseas Member, British Society of Construction Arbitrators (London)
- Member of the International Construction Law Association
- Member of the London Court of International Arbitration
- Member of the Advisory Board of the Institute of Transnational Arbitration
- Member of the International Chamber of Commerce U.S. National Arbitration and ADR Committee
- Chair of the American Bar Association Fidelity & Surety Law Committee, 1994-1995
- Chair of the American Bar Association Forum on Construction Law International Law Division, 1989-1991
- Vice-Chair of the Inter-Pacific Bar Association International Projects Committee, 1995-1997
- Recipient of the Norman Royce Prize 2011 awarded by Britain’s Society of Construction Arbitrators.
- Recipient of the 2005 Cornerstone Award, the highest award of the American Bar Association Forum on Construction Law, presented annually to one person for “exceptional service to the construction industry, to the public, and to the legal profession”.
- Recognition by International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers as one of the world’s leading commercial arbitrators, mediators, and construction lawyers; included in The Best Lawyers in America since 2003; named a “Super Lawyer” in Minnesota. Profiled for many years by the Marquis Publications’ Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who in the World, the Marquis Who’s Who Publications Board honored him with its 2018 Albert Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award.
- Admitted to the practice of law before the Supreme Courts of Minnesota and Wisconsin, the United States Supreme Court, the United States Courts of Appeals for the 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th and Federal Circuits, the United States District Courts for the District of Minnesota, Districts of Eastern and Western Wisconsin, and District of North Dakota, the United States Court of Federal Claims, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces.
- Member of the American Bar Association, International Bar Association, Inter-Pacific Bar Association, Minnesota State Bar Association, Wisconsin State Bar Association.
- Chair of the Construction Industry Advisory Board of the Thomson Reuters/West Group's Construction Contract Law Report.
- Co-Chair of the Editorial Advisory Board of the Journal of The American College of Construction Lawyers.
- Member of the Editorial Advisory Board of The International Construction Law Review published in London and distributed globally.
- Chair of the Supreme Court of Minnesota Board of Continuing Legal Education, 1994-1998.
- Publications: Mr. Bruner has authored or co-authored over 50 professional publications on dispute resolution, construction issues
andrelated subjects, a few of which are:
- Author, Construction Law: It's Historical Origins and Its Twentieth Century Emergence as a Major Field of Modern American and International Legal Practice, 75:2 Arkansas L. Rev. 207 (2022).
- Co-Author, with Patrick J. O’Connor Jr., of Bruner & O’Connor On Construction Law (2002, supplemented annually), the 12 volume,
11,000 pagelegal treatise regarded as the most authoritative ever written on American law governing construction. Since its publication in 2002, the treatise has been cited in more than 500 Westlaw published judicial opinions issued by U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal, U.S. District Courts, state supreme, appellate and trial courts, U.S. and state courts of claims, and U.S. Commonwealth and Territorial Courts, as well as in countless arbitration awards, national and international law review articles, administrative decisions, counsel briefs, and memoranda of law. The treatise is included in the law collections of the U.S. Library of Congress, all major U.S. law school libraries and many foreign law libraries.
- Author, Joinder of Nonsignatories in International Arbitration, 38 Int’l Construction L. Rev. 266 (July 2021)
- Author, Damage Recovery Measurement Issues Unique to Construction Disputes, 36 Int’l Construction L. Rev. 320 (July 2019)
- Author, Streamlining Construction Arbitration: Reducing the Peril of “Double Jeopardy” in Dual Track Proceedings, 38 Construction Lawyer 7 (Fall 2018)
- Author, The Appeal of Appellate Arbitration,35 Int’l Construction L. Rev 436 (Fall 2018)
- Author, Mediating the Complex Construction Dispute, 22 Singapore Construction Law 1 (January/February 2014)
- Author, Mediating Public Sector Construction Disputes in the United States: "Square Corners", "No Free Lunch", and Principles of Fairness, 30 Int'l Construction L. Rev. 201 (April 2013)
- Author, Construction Mediation: Picking Your Mediator, 11 The Dispute Resolver 1 (Dec. 2012)
- Author, Rapid Resolution ADR, 31 Constr. Law 6 (Spring 2011), awarded the Norman Royce Prize 2011 of Britain’s Society of Construction Arbitrators as the finest dispute resolution article of the
year,and republished with permission in 148 Australian Construction Law Newsletter 24 (Feb. 2013)
- Co-Author, Strategic Generalship of the Complex Surety Case, in Managing and Litigating the Complex Surety Case (2d ed. 2007)
- Author, Force Majeure and Unforeseen Ground Conditions, 17 Int’l construction L. Rev. 47 (January 2000).
- Lecturing: Mr. Bruner has chaired many professional
conferences,and has presented over 350 lectures to professional or construction industry audiences across the North and South America, Europe, and Asia. Recent audiences include:
- Society of Construction Law North America Inaugural Conference, Denver (2022)
- University of Arkansas Law Review Symposium (Keynote Address), Fayetteville (2022)
- Adani Institute of Infrastructure, Int’l Conference on The Future of Dispute Resolution in the Infrastructure sector, Gujurat, India (virtual 2021)
- University of Stuttgart’s Masters program on International Construction Practice and Law (virtual 2021 and 2020; in-person 2019, 2018, 2017)
- College of Commercial Arbitrators (Virtual 2020)
Society of Construction Law -- India, International Conference on Construction and Arbitration, Opening Keynote Address, New Delhi (2019)
- University of Southern California Law School Conference on International Arbitration, Los Angeles (2019)
- International Academy of Construction Lawyers Annual Meeting, Cologne (2019)
- Keio University/Int’l Construction Law Ass’n Conference, Tokyo (2019)
- Chartered Institute of Arbitrators Accelerated Route to Fellowship, Miami (2019)
- Society of Construction Law, 8th International Conference, Chicago (2018)
- 12th Annual Western Canada Commercial Arbitration Society Energy, Mining and Resources Arbitration Conference, Calgary (2018)
- Singapore Society of Construction Law, Singapore (2018, 2014)
- The American Bar Association Forum on Construction Law (2018, 2015, 2011)
- Masters Institute in Construction Contracting (2019, 2018, 2016-1992)
- The American College of Construction Lawyers (2017, 2013, 2011)
- The Peking University Law School/International Construction Law Ass’n Forum on China’s “One Belt One Road” Project, Beijing (2017)
- Society of Construction Law, 7th International Conference, New Delhi (2017)
- Britain’s Society of Construction Arbitrators (2017, 2016, 2013, 2012)
RajivGandhi National University of Law, Punjab (2017)
- High Court of New Delhi Mediators (2017)
- Society of Construction Law, 6th International Conference, Brazil (2016)
- New York County Bar Association (2016)
- Construction Law Summit (2015)
- Canadian Corporate Counsel Association (2014)
- Poland’s National Chamber of Legal Advisors (2013)
- FIDIC Americas Conference (2013)
- American and Canadian Program hosted by the Societies of Construction Law of Australia and New Zealand, Melbourne (2012)
- American Bar Association Arbitration Institute, Washington D.C. (2014, 2012, 2011)
- Canadian College of Construction Lawyers (2014, 2012, 2010)
- American Bar Association Section on Dispute Resolution (2013, 2011)
- Society of Construction Law Hong Kong (2010)
- American Bar Association-American Law Institute National Webcast on “Top Ten Cost-Effective Ways to Resolve Construction Disputes” (2010)
- Inter-Pacific Bar Association (2009, 2008)
- Joint Meeting of The American College of Construction Lawyers and Society of Construction Law United Kingdom, London (2008)
- American Bar Association Conference on Managing and Litigating the Complex Surety Case (2007)
- The ACCL Princeton Symposium, Princeton (2006)
- International conferences at which Mr. Bruner has spoken have been held in Alnwick (England), Barcelona, Beijing, Calgary, Chicago, Cologne, Halifax, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Kuala Lumpur, London, Los Angeles, Manila, Melbourne (Australia), Miami, New Delhi, New York, Nice, Patiala (India), Princeton, Quebec City, San Francisco, Sao Paulo, Singapore, Stuttgart, Tokyo, Toronto, Vancouver, Warsaw, and Washington DC.
- Teaching. Mr. Bruner founded and taught construction law courses as an adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota Law School (2003-2007) and at William Mitchell (now Mitchell-Hamline) College of Law (2006-2008), and also taught Government Contract law and Commercial Contract law at William Mitchell College of law (1970-1976).
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