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Kenneth C. Gibbs

Kenneth C. Gibbs Esq.

Latest Insights
Upcoming Events
General Biography
Practice Areas
Business Commercial
Energy & Utilities
Engineering & Construction
International & Cross-Border
Real Property
Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities
Background and Education

Kenneth C. Gibbs, Esq. is one of the leading neutrals in the United States and worldwide with expertise in mediating and conducting neutral evaluations on construction, engineering, real estate, energy, surety, insurance coverage, insurance subrogation, and business disputes. 

Mr. Gibbs is ranked among the top mediators nationwide by Chambers USA. He has been designated with the highest-level ranking in construction mediation by Chambers USA each year since the inception of the publication (2005-2023). The 2023 Edition of the Guide describes Mr. Gibbs as "one of the pillars of the construction mediation industry." Previously, the 2022 Edition of the Guide described Mr. Gibbs as “one of the best construction ADR professionals in the U.S.” and the 2021 Edition described Mr. Gibbs as "the dean of construction dispute resolution." Earlier Chambers USA Guides note that Mr. Gibbs is “universally acclaimed as one of the best practitioners out there,” a "construction law guru," and “a leading figure in the field of mediation." 

Mr. Gibbs has successfully mediated more than 2,500 cases and has arbitrated over 200 cases in 25 states involving collectively billions of dollars in claims. He is well known for his ability to establish great rapport with clients and for his evaluative skills in getting parties to recognize their risks. He is attuned to the financial, political and other pressures facing parties in disputes and can quickly assess the strengths, weaknesses, and nuances of each side of a case. He gives his undivided attention to resolving each case, a requisite to resolving particularly complex, multi-party disputes.

Representative Matters

  • Business Commercial
    • Mr. Gibbs has arbitrated or mediated numerous commercial cases involving millions of dollars in claims. Representative matters include:

      • Arbitrated dispute regarding interpretation of indemnification provision in an agreement between national railroad company and local transit authority 
      • Mediated claim of breach of maintenance provision between a hospital and a vendor 
      • Mediated licensing dispute related to patent issues on pipeline technology 
      • Mediated dispute involving cruise line operator and a naval architecture and engineering firm 
      • Arbitrated dispute between landlord and national department store chain relating to lease renewal 
      • Mediated several disputes between large national grocery store chain and landlords relating to lease issues 
      • Mediated dispute among partners of major law firm regarding valuation of departing partner’s share in partnership
  • Construction
    • Mr. Gibbs has mediated and arbitrated numerous construction disputes in 25 states involving claims of delay, disruption, cost overruns, acceleration, defect and breach of contract. He is the co-author of California Construction Law, one of the most cited treatises on the subject. Representative matters include:

      • Mediated many disputes between general contractors and design professionals on design-build projects including freeways, bridges, and other infrastructure projects
      • Mediated disputes concerning engineering and construction of data centers in Silicon Valley, Georgia and Utah 
      • Arbitrated a significant number of public agency disputes as a member of the special panel established by the State of California Office of Administrative Hearings 
      • Mediated disputes involving claims of cost overruns in construction of stadiums, arenas and convention centers in New York, Seattle, San Diego, Pittsburgh, Oakland, Phoenix, Sacramento and Las Vegas 
      • Mediated public infrastructure construction project disputes involving transit light rail or subways in New York, Seattle, Houston, Denver, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles. In addition, mediated a tunnel project through the San Bernardino Mountains and the seismic retrofit and suicide prevention projects regarding the Golden Gate Bridge 
      • Arbitrated or mediated cases involving airport construction in Los Angeles, New York, Las Vegas, Dallas, Seattle and Salt Lake City
      • Arbitrated or mediated numerous heavy construction projects such as dams, roads, and highways. Highway construction projects include projects in California, Washington, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Utah, Vermont, South Carolina and Texas
      • Arbitrated or mediated construction disputes involving public buildings such as hospitals, prisons, water treatment plants, power plants, schools, and universities 
      • Arbitrated or mediated private building construction disputes involving high rise office buildings, major hotels, high rise condominiums, and private hospitals 
      • Arbitrated or mediated numerous surety claims involving payment and performance bonds
      • Neutral evaluations of significant claims involving projects in California, Washington, Nevada, Utah, Maryland, Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania and New York
  • Energy & Utilities
      • Mediation and arbitration arising from construction of nuclear plants in Georgia and California 
      • Mediation of disputes arising from oil rig and refinery explosions and fires 
      • Arbitration of issues arising from conversion of electric generating plant in Pennsylvania from coal to natural gas 
      • Mediation of disputes arising from construction of natural gas pipeline from Louisiana to Texas 
      • Arbitration and mediation of disputes arising from construction of solar electrical generating plants in California, Arizona and Wisconsin 
      • Mediation of disputes arising from construction of 695mw coal burning electrical generating plant in West Virginia 
      • Mediation of construction of hydro electrical plant in Mexico 
      • Arbitration of disputes arising from 600 mw petcoke burning electrical generating plant in Louisiana 
      • Dispute resolution relating to construction of a major geothermal electrical generating plant in California 
      • Mediation of disputes arising from wind farm construction in California, Wisconsin, and Michigan
      • Mediation of dispute between utility and major refinery regarding fluctuations of amperage supplied by utility
      • Mediation of dispute concerning decommissioning of San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station
  • Insurance
      • Subrogation
        Mr. Gibbs has mediated numerous subrogation cases usually resulting from losses caused by fires or water intrusion 
        • Mediation of many subrogation disputes involving fire and water intrusion damages regarding industrial and residential properties
      • Inter-carrier Disputes
        Resolved numerous inter-carrier disputes involving a wide range of issues including:
        • Priority of primary and excess policies 
        • Contribution and indemnity claims 
        • Interplay between builders risk and liability insurance
      • Insurance Coverage
        Mediated numerous coverage disputes between insured policy holders and insurance carriers
      • Bad Faith
        Resolved numerous disputes involving the alleged bad faith refusal to defend and indemnify
  • Real Property
      • Mediated significant lease disputes between major landlord and New York Stock Exchange Tech company campus
      • Mediated numerous title insurance matters involving claims against title insurance including priority issues, lot line issues, and mechanics lien issues 
      • Arbitrated dispute involving the allocation of the proceeds received from the sale of a parcel next to the Hollywood Sign and the rights of the parties to the proceeds from the sale 
      • Mediated dispute between a project owner and a national property management company concerning property management services provided to four military bases with privatized military housing 
      • Mediated dispute concerning action to collect on two defaulted construction loans in the aggregate amount of approximately $30 million 
      • Mediated disputes between adjacent land holders related to slope failures and landslides 
      • Mediated breach of contract dispute between broker and prospective property purchaser 
      • Mediated dispute over residential lease deposit and alleged property damage 
      • Mediated matter concerning allocation of costs for landslide repair between adjoining parcels and damages attributable to use of an express easement, and related coverage issues 
      • Mediated contract dispute regarding engineering and environmental due diligence services provided in connection with acquisition of a commercial property 
      • Mediated case involving encroachment of tree roots onto a neighboring property causing various damages 
      • Arbitrated issues relating to failure to make adequate disclosures in a real estate purchase agreement
  • Wildfire
      • Mediations concerning liability for wildfire injuries and damage to homes, buildings, and personal property regarding Catalina, Witch, Powerhouse, Erskine, Canyon, Holy, Sherpa, East Pico, Southern and Whittier fires

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

Completed Virtual ADR training conducted by the JAMS Institute, the training arm of JAMS.


  • Recognized as a Lawyer of the Year, Mediation in Los Angeles, Best Lawyers in America, 2024
  • Recognized as a Best Lawyer, Mediation Category, Best Lawyers in America, 2024
  • Included on "National Mediators" list, Chambers USA, 2021-2023
  • Designated with the highest level ranking in Construction, Chambers USA, 2005-2023
  • Recognized as a Best Lawyer, Alternative Dispute Resolution Category, Best Lawyers in America, 2011-2024
  • Selected as a Southern California Super Lawyer in the field of Alternative Dispute Resolution, 2004-2024
  • Robert Flaig Award, Construction Subsection of the Los Angeles County Bar Association, 2009 
  • Recognized as a leading practitioner, Alternative Dispute Resolution Category, Who's Who Legal: Construction, 2009-2024
  • Recognized as a Top 40 California Neutral, Daily Journal, 2008 and 2011 


  • Fellow, The American College of Construction Lawyers 
  • Member, State Bar of California, Real Property Section, Construction Law Subsection 
  • Member, State Board of Directors, Associated General Contractors of California, 1989-1991 
  • Member, American Bar Association, Public Contract Law Section 
  • Member, American Bar Association, Forum Committee on the Construction Industry 
  • Member, Los Angeles County Bar Association, Real Property Section and Construction Law Subsection 
  • Arbitrator, State of California Public Works Arbitration Panel 
  • Former member, Large and Complex Case Panel, American Arbitration Association 

Professional Activities

  • Co-author of California Construction Law, 19th Edition, Wolters Kluwer, 2021
  • Author of numerous construction law publications, co-author of Construction Change Order Claims, 2nd Ed., Aspen Law and Business, 2005 
  • Speaks nationally on various construction law topics at leading seminars and conferences, including Principal Speaker at:
    • West Coast Casualty Construction Defect Seminar, 2004-2006
    • Construction Law Super Conference, 1991, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, and 2017
    • Law Seminars, California Continuing Education of the Bar, 1988-2001
  • Adjunct Professor of Law, Loyola Law School, 2000-2008 

ADR Profile

Background and Education

  • Founding Partner, Gibbs, Giden, Locher, & Turner LLP, 1988-2006
  • Partner, Wickwire, Gavin & Gibbs, 1978-1988
  • Partner, Most, Bertram & Gibbs, 1976-1978
  • Associate, Most & Bertram, 1974-1976
  • J.D., University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) Law School
  • A.B., magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, University of California, Berkeley


This page is for general information purposes.  JAMS makes no representations or warranties regarding its accuracy or completeness.  Interested persons should conduct their own research regarding information on this website before deciding to use JAMS, including investigation and research of JAMS neutrals. See More

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