John Hawkins represents businesses in complex commercial disputes in federal and state court and in arbitration, in litigation avoidance, and in related transactional and non-litigation matters. His experience includes, generally:

  • Litigation, including construction, design professional, distressed real estate litigation for lenders and investors, patent and copyright infringement, homeowner association litigation, and general commercial
  • Preparing, reviewing, and negotiating design, construction, EPC, and energy infrastructure contracts
  • Defending design professionals in disciplinary proceedings

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.

Honors & Recognitions

Leading lawyers in Construction law in Texas, Chambers USA

Client feedback: “[John] is very responsive and thorough. He is also sensitive to my need to control legal costs.”

Recommended Construction Lawyer, The Legal 500

The most responsive legal counsel I have ever dealt with.”

  • Chambers 2019
  • 2019 Legal 500

Credentials

Education

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

B. of Arch., Louisiana State University, 1978

Admissions

Texas

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

Clerkships

  • Law intern to The Honorable John R. Brown, Circuit Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Experience

Litigation and Arbitration

  • Represented an ENR Top-5 international design firm as lead counsel defending a power plant design against a $20 million claim for a steam turbine failure.
  • Represented a US subsidiary of a foreign global construction company in ICC arbitration, defeating a $47 million claim and recovering $28 million on the client’s delay and disruption claim regarding an industrial plant project.
  • Represented an ENR Top-10 (General Building) international architecture firm as lead counsel in multi-million dollar claim by home owners association for alleged flaws in a high-rise condominium.
  • Represented an ENR Top-15 (Health Care) architecture firm as lead counsel defending claims by government building owners concerning the validity of 179D energy conservation tax deduction allocations.
  • Represented an ENR Top-5 international design and EPC firm as lead counsel in compensation dispute.
  • Represented an ENR Top-10 (General Building) international architecture firm as lead counsel in obtaining favorable settlement of a 12-party, $20 million lawsuit for alleged building leaks.
  • Represented a ENR Top-15 international engineering design firm as lead counsel in obtaining a settlement recovering professional services fees for power sub-station designs and dismissal of multi-million dollar counterclaim.
  • Represented an ENR Top-5 (Marine and Port) international engineering firm in obtaining a favorable settlement of a $25 million multi-party design and construction defect lawsuit regarding a new wharf project.
  • Represented a US subsidiary of a foreign global construction company in ICC arbitration regarding a multi-million-dollar, multi-party delay and disruption claim. Represented an ENR Top-5 (General Building) international architecture firm as lead among twelve design and construction parties in structuring and completing exterior building remediation in multi-million-dollar building foundation defect litigation, obtaining a favorable settlement of the remaining claims and dismissal of the lawsuit.
  • Represented an ENR Top-10 (General Building) international architecture firm, obtaining a favorable settlement of all issues in defending a $19 million multi-party design defect arbitration claim regarding a $200 million high-rise hotel and condominium project.
  • Represented ENR Top-5 (General Building) international architecture firm in fee dispute with school district.
  • Represented a major municipality, obtaining favorable settlements in a lawsuit against the engineer and contractor regarding more than four miles of substandard concrete taxiways.
  • Represented an international engineering firm, obtaining dismissal of two wrongful death flooding-related lawsuits in Jefferson County, Texas, each for a four-figure settlement.

 Pre-Litigation Dispute Resolution

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

 Non-Litigation / Transactional

  • Represented private and public clients in drafting, reviewing and negotiating contracts for capital improvement, infrastructure and major renovation projects.
  • Represented lenders in drafting, reviewing and negotiating documents related to capital improvement loans.
  • Represented design firms in merger and acquisition matters.
  • Represented owners, contractors, and designers in preparing families of office standard contracts; perfecting lien rights and other debt collection activities; and preserving intellectual property rights.

 Real Estate Development Litigation and Arbitration

  • Represented the seller of a commercial real estate and international architecture firm in recovering more than $7 million in settling a lawsuit for injunction, foreclosure, and damages regarding a luxury high-rise condominium project.
  • Represented a regional bank in three litigation proceedings and an arbitration against developers and a 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.
  • Represented a commercial real estate owner in a declaratory judgment and interpleader lawsuit related to forged lien releases, obtaining clear title and substantial recovery of attorneys’ fees.
  • Represented a regional bank in obtaining injunctive relief capturing secured proceeds from the $15 million sale of commercial real estate in a loan/guaranty default case.
  • Represented a private lender in an injunction/foreclosure and declaratory judgment lawsuit concerning commercial property financing, obtaining cure of default.

Patent and Copyright Litigation

  • Represented an inventor and international manufacturer of ultra-sonic industrial gas meters in obtaining early agreed dismissal of a patent infringement lawsuit.
  • Represented inventors of a device used to enhance the manufacturing of electronic circuit boards, obtaining a multi-million-dollar settlement from a multinational electronics manufacturer after successful appeal to the US Federal Circuit.
  • Represented inventors of a device used to enhance the manufacture of electronic circuit boards, obtaining a multi-million-dollar verdict against an international electronics company, including a finding of willful infringement.
  • Represented a web service provider in a 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 the Office of Inspector General for the GSA

Newsroom

News

Affiliations

State Bar of Texas, Litigation and Intellectual Property Sections and Construction Law Forums, Member

Houston Bar Association, Litigation and Intellectual Property Sections and Construction Law Forums, Member

American Bar Association, Litigation and Intellectual Property Sections and Construction Law Forums, Member

Texas Bar Foundation, Sustaining Life Fellow

Rice Design Alliance, Board Member, 2014-present

Central Houston, Inc., Priority Corridor Working Group Subcommittee Chair

American Institute of Architects and Texas Society of Architects, Corporate Member

Legal Counsel Forum of American Counsel of Engineering Companies