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J.D., with honors, University of Houston Law Center, 1991

B. of Arch., Louisiana State University, 1978



United States Court of Appeals Federal Circuit

United States District Court Southern, Eastern, Northern and Western Districts of Texas

United States Court of Appeals Colorado


John Hawkins "is very responsive and thorough. He is also sensitive to my need to control legal costs."
- Direct client quote from Chambers USA

’The most responsive legal counsel I have ever dealt with.’
- Direct client quote from The Legal 500 U.S. Edition

John Hawkins is a partner in the Litigation Practice Group. He represents businesses in complex commercial disputes in federal and state court litigation and in arbitration, in litigation avoidance and in related transactional and non-litigation matters. His experience includes, generally:

  • Litigation
    • construction
    • design professional malpractice
    • distressed real estate litigation for lenders and investors
    • patent and copyright infringement
    • homeowner association restriction enforcement
    • general commercial
  • Preparation, review, and negotiation of design, construction, EPC and energy infrastructure contracts
  • Litigation avoidance and dispute resolution
  • Defense of design professionals in disciplinary proceedings
  • Due diligence and counseling for governmental investigations

John is recognized by Chambers USA among the leading lawyers in Construction law in Texas and is listed as a recommended construction lawyer by The Legal 500.  He received the 2016 Client’s Choice award as the leading construction lawyer in Texas, presented by a partnership between the International Law Office and Lexology, recognizing a select group of lawyers “that stand apart for the excellent client care they provide and the quality of their service.”

John was a law intern to The Honorable John R. Brown, Circuit Judge for the United States Fifth Circuit. Prior to joining Porter Hedges, he practiced in the litigation section of Butler & Binion.

John practiced architecture for ten years before attending law school. As an architect, his experience encompassed a broad range of commercial and institutional projects, including (at 3D/International, Inc.) high-rise office, laboratory, museum and hospital projects.

Representative Experience

Litigation and Arbitration

  • For ENR Top 5 international design firm: lead counsel defending power plant designer against $20 million claim for steam turbine failure.
  • For US subsidiary of foreign global construction company: In ICC arbitration defeated $47 million claim and recovered $28 million on client’s delay and disruption claim from industrial plant project.
  • For US subsidiary of foreign global construction company: multi-million dollar, multi-party delay and disruption claim in ICC arbitration.
  • For ENR Top-10 (General Building) international architecture firm: lead counsel in obtaining favorable settlement of 12-party $20 million lawsuit for alleged building leaks.
  • For national health-care firm: defense of claims by government building owners concerning the validity of 179D energy conservation tax deduction allocations (on-going).
  • For ENR Top-15 international design firm: lead counsel in obtaining settlement recovery of fees for global engineering firm for power sub-station designs and dismissal of counterclaim.
  • For ENR Top-5 (Marine and Port) international engineering firm: obtained favorable settlement of $25 million multi-party design and construction defect lawsuit from new wharf project within five months of firm involvement.
  • For ENR Top-5 (General Building) international architecture firm: lead among twelve design and construction parties in structuring and completing exterior building remediation in multi-million dollar building foundation defect litigation and obtained a favorable settlement of remaining claims and dismissal of lawsuit.
  • For ENR Top-10 (General Building) international architecture firm: obtained favorable settlement of all issues within eight months in defense of $19 million multi-party design defect arbitration claim on $200 million high-rise hotel and condominium project.
  • For major municipality: obtained favorable settlements in lawsuit against the engineer and contractor for more than four miles of substandard concrete taxiways.
  • For international engineering firm: obtained dismissal of two wrongful death flooding-related lawsuits in Jefferson County, Texas, each for four-figure settlement sums.

Pre-Litigation Dispute Resolution

  • For ENR Top-15 international design firm: obtained pre-arbitration recovery for global engineering firm from multi-million dollar fee dispute from foreign billion-dollar development.
  • For ENR Top-10 (General Building) international architecture firm: obtained favorable pre-litigation mediated settlement of multi-million dollar claim for alleged mechanical system failures at $250 million replacement hospital for six-figure sum.
  • For national health-care architecture firm: obtained pre-arbitration settlement for small percentage of $15 million delay, disruption and malpractice claim and in subsequently recovering most of insurance deductible from architect's consultants.

Non-Litigation / Transactional

  • Infrastructure: Represented companies in drafting, reviewing and negotiating contracts for infrastructure projects.
  • Capital Improvements Lending: Represented lenders in drafting, reviewing and negotiating documents related to capital improvement loans.
  • Professional Firm M&A: Teamed with firm’s corporate merger and acquisition attorneys in design firm merger and acquisition matters.
  • Construction Industry Contracts & Liens: Represented owners, contractors and designers in: design and construction contracts, including (BIM, EPC & FEED); preparing families of office standard contracts; in perfecting lien rights and in other debt collection activities; and in preserving intellectual property rights.

Real Estate Development Litigation and Arbitration

  • For seller of commercial real estate and international architecture firm: obtained recovery exceeding $7 million on luxury high-rise condominium project in settlement of lawsuit for injunction, foreclosure and damages.
  • For regional bank: three litigation proceedings and in arbitration proceeding against developers and contractor for loan/guaranty defaults and fraudulent transfers of assets concerning $120 million and $40 million high-rise condominium projects; resolved in agreed foreclosure settlements and bankruptcy adversary proceedings.
  • For commercial real estate owner: represented owner in declaratory judgment and interpleader lawsuit related to forged lien releases, obtaining clear title and substantial recovery of attorneys’ fees.
  • For regional bank: obtained injunctive relief capturing secured proceeds from $15 million sale of commercial real estate in loan/guaranty default case.
  • For private lender: injunction/foreclosure and declaratory judgment lawsuit concerning commercial property financing and obtaining cure of default.

Patent and Copyright Litigation

  • For inventor and international manufacturer of ultra-sonic industrial gas meters: obtained agreed dismissal of infringement lawsuit early in discovery.
  • For inventors of a device used to enhance the manufacture of electronic circuit boards: obtained multi-million dollar settlement from a multinational electronics manufacturer after successful appeal to the US Federal Circuit.
  • For inventors of a device used to enhance the manufacture of electronic circuit boards: obtained multi-million dollar verdict against international electronics company, including a finding of willful infringement.
  • For Web service provider: represented provider in copyright infringement case brought by RIAA.

Administrative Proceedings and Investigations

  • Represented architects and engineers in disciplinary proceedings before the Texas Board of Architectural Examiners and the Texas Board of Professional Engineers.
  • Represented architecture and engineering firms and practitioners in investigations by the US Department of Justice, the FBI and by the Office of Inspector General for the GSA.

Professional / Civic Affiliations

  • Martindale Hubbell AV Rated Attorney
  • State Bar of Texas, Member of Litigation and Intellectual Property Sections and Construction Law Forums
  • Houston Bar Association, Member of Litigation and Intellectual Property Sections and Construction Law Forums
  • American Bar Association, Member of Litigation and Intellectual Property Sections and Construction Law Forums
  • Texas Bar Foundation, Sustaining Life Fellow
  • Rice Design Alliance, Board Member, 2014-present
  • Central Houston, Inc., Priority Corridor Working Group, US 290 and NHHIP Corridors
  • American Institute of Architects and Texas Society of Architects, Corporate Member
  • Legal Counsel Forum of American Counsel of Engineering Companies, Member