Sean McChristian is certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Construction Law and his practice covers the full life cycle of complex design and construction projects in the private and public sectors. He frequently drafts and negotiates design and construction contracts, including EPC agreements, design-build agreements, BOP agreements, and master service agreements. Once a project enters the execution phase, Sean is often asked to aid in resolving project performance issues that impact the cost of the work, the time required to complete the work, or the quality of the work. In those situations where an early resolution is not achieved, he represents his clients in the mediation, arbitration, and litigation of complex design and construction claims and disputes.
In addition to serving as an advocate for his clients, Sean is also a mediator. His mediation practice covers all manner of civil disputes with a particular focus on commercial litigation matters.
Sean regularly speaks on legal issues in the construction industry and conducts client training sessions specifically tailored to the needs of a client team. Sean has also been deeply involved in legislative issues related to the construction industry. He has appeared before Texas Senate and House committees to provide testimony on various bills and served as the legislative affairs advisor for the Construction Law Section of the State Bar of Texas.
Sean also has significant experience with real estate and property disputes, including boundary disputes, encroachments, drainage and flooding issues, and landlord-tenant disputes.
Honors & Recognitions
The Legal 500, Recommended Lawyer in Construction
Texas Rising Stars, Construction Law, 2019-2020
Houstonia Magazine, Top Lawyer, Construction Law, 2018
J.D., South Texas College of Law, cum laude, 2008
B.A., University of Texas at Austin, Government, 2005
United States District Courts for the Eastern, Southern and Western Districts of Texas
- Represented an owner in an arbitration involving claims exceeding $40 million arising from the design and construction of a wind farm in Missouri.
- Represented an industrial subcontractor in a change order and payment dispute with the prime contractor on a tank farm expansion project and its surety.
- Negotiated the settlement of claims exceeding $23 million arising from the design and construction of a wind farm in North Dakota.
- Represented a large steel manufacturer in claims for over $13 million for delay and disruption against a general contractor on a U.S. Army base project.
- Drafted new construction manager-at-risk procurement package for a Texas municipality.
- Represented a facility owner in an arbitration related to $38 million in claims arising from project to transition a methane reformer into a natural gas-to-liquids facility.
- Represented a general contractor in connection with a nonpayment claim by a subcontractor and claims against a municipality and its engineer related to delays and wrongful denial of change orders arising from the expansion of a municipal water treatment facility.
- Reviewed and negotiated numerous contracts and master services agreements on behalf of an industrial contractor.
- Represented an EPC contractor in connection with the termination of a subcontractor for cause due to various issues with work performed on a refinery expansion project.
- Drafted and negotiated agreement between owner and construction manager for the construction of a luxury car dealership.
- Represented the owner and developer of a hotel in claims against the general contractor, mechanical subcontractor, HVAC supplier, HVAC equipment manufacturer, HVAC component manufacturer, piping insulation manufacturer, and associated sureties arising from a defective and malfunctioning HVAC system.
- Represented a publicly traded company in claims related to the collapse of a retail building adjacent to property under development.
- Represented a commercial tenant in claims arising from an unlawful lockout and the landlord’s refusal to pay a tenant improvement allowance.
- Represented a commercial landlord in claims related to a tenant’s failure to pay for labor and materials furnished by construction contractors and related improper lien filings.
- Represented a property owner in claims against the owner of an adjacent shopping center arising from damage to a retention pond and other drainage improvements caused by stormwater runoff.
- Represented a framing subcontractor in claims by a general contractor related to the quality of work performed during construction of a midrise apartment complex and associated delay and liquidated damages claims.
- Represented a disaster recovery contractor in claims against a governmental entity arising from work performed after Hurricane Ike related to the amount owed for work performed and counterclaims based on allegations of improper overbilling.
- Represented an industrial contractor in delay and inefficiency claims arising from construction of a new methyl acrylate unit at a chemical facility.
- Represented an EPC contractor regarding extra work claims made by subcontractor arising from design and construction of new cracking furnaces at a chemical facility.
- Represented an industrial contractor regarding nonpayment and lien claims arising from the construction, repair, and retrofitting of a biofuel refinery.
- Represented a general contractor and its surety regarding nonpayment claim and claim on payment bond by a subcontractor.
- Represented an engineer and surveyor in claims regarding over clearing of trees and brush in connection with installation of new sewer line.
- Represented homeowners and builders in various residential construction defect claims.
- The Legal 500 Ranks Porter Hedges Among the Leading Firms in the Country for Oil & Gas and Construction in 2022Firm News, 06.10.2022
- Firm News, 06.03.2022
- Firm News, 06.08.2021
- The Legal 500 Ranks Porter Hedges Among the Leading Firms in the Country for Oil & Gas and Construction in 2020Recognition, 06.10.2020
- Recognition, 03.06.2020
- Firm News, 07.10.2019
- Recognition, 03.04.2019
- Firm News, 07.10.2018
- Firm News, 01.31.2018
- Amy Wolfshohl and Sean McChristian Receive Certification in Construction Law from the Texas Board of Legal SpecializationFirm News, 01.11.2017
- Recognition, 05.20.2015
- Recognition, 01.27.2015
- Media Mention, 05.22.2023
- Media Mention, 01.27.2021
- Media Mention, 05.08.2019
- Media Mention, 05.07.2018
- Media Mention, 02.09.2018
- "Changing the Outside Limits: New Statutes of Repose for Government Design and Construction Claims Near Passage," National Association of Surety Bond ProducersPublication, 05.26.2021
- “Indemnity vs. Duty to Defend: Know the Differences and Potential Critical Variations in State Law,” Under Construction, American Bar AssociationPublication, 08.20.2019
- Publication, 04.01.2018
- “Moving from Mastec to Metcalf”, Construction Law Journal, Volume 13, Number 1, published by the Construction Law Section of the State Bar of TexasPublication, 12.01.2016
- Construction Alert: "Texas Supreme Court Opinion Impacts General Contractor's Statutory Indemnity Rights Against Manufacturers of Construction Products"Publication, 06.28.2016
- “Construction Meets Texas Law: Selected Statutory Overrides,” 29th Annual State Bar of Texas Construction Law ConferencePublication, 03.04.2016
- Publication, 11.16.2015
- “Legal and Regulatory Considerations for Design Build Projects,” DBIA Southwest RegionSpeaking Engagement, 04.13.2023
- "Price Volatility and Supply Chain Issues: Managing Risk with a Construction Contract," Porter Hedges Construction Law Panel DiscussionSpeaking Engagement, 11.08.2022
- "Part 1: Midstream MSAs – Key Issues and Pitfalls,” Porter Hedges Midstream Energy SeriesSpeaking Engagement, 05.11.2022
- Speaking Engagement, 10.27.2021
- "2021 Texas Legislative Update," HBA Construction Law SectionSpeaking Engagement, 09.16.2021
- "Update on the 87th Texas Legislative Session," Dallas Bar Association—Construction Law SectionSpeaking Engagement, 08.05.2021
- "The Construction Industry and the 87th Texas Legislature," Houston Contractors AssociationSpeaking Engagement, 07.21.2021
- “Legislative Update,” 34th Annual State Bar of Texas Construction Law ConferenceSpeaking Engagement, 03.05.2021
- "CLE Session: Looking Ahead to the 87th Texas Legislative Session," 2020 Annual State Bar ConventionSpeaking Engagement, 06.24.2020
- “Legislative Update,” 33rd Annual State Bar of Texas Construction Law ConferenceSpeaking Engagement, 03.06.2020
- Speaking Engagement, 09.19.2019
- “Construction Meets Texas Law,” Associated General Contractors - Texas Building Branch 2019 ConventionSpeaking Engagement, 06.07.2019
- "Construction in the Oil Patch – Navigating Lien and Indemnity Issues," 2018 Annual CLE for Board Certified Construction LawyersSpeaking Engagement, 12.12.2018
- “Construction Meets Texas Law: Selected Statutory Overrides,” 29th Annual State Bar of Texas Construction Law ConferenceSpeaking Engagement, 03.04.2016
- “Debris Removal Program Case Study,” Houston-Galveston Area Council Disaster Debris Workshop SeriesSpeaking Engagement, 05.20.2015
- "Four Recent Texas Supreme Court Cases Affecting the Construction Industry," Porter Hedges Construction Law ProgramSpeaking Engagement, 02.24.2015
- Texas Construction Law Blog, 06.29.2022
- Changing the Outside Limits: New Statutes of Repose for Government Design and Construction Claims Near PassageTexas Construction Law Blog, 05.26.2021
- Navigating Austin Bridge – New Texas Supreme Court Case Upends Arbitration Framework Against Governmental EntitiesTexas Construction Law Blog, 05.04.2020
- Texas Construction Law Blog, 03.20.2020
- Texas Construction Law Blog, 03.16.2020
- Texas Construction Law Blog, 02.26.2019
- Texas Construction Law Blog, 01.31.2019
- Hurricane Season and Disaster Preparedness: Part 1 – Review Your Construction Contracts Now, Not After the StormTexas Construction Law Blog, 08.02.2018
- State Bar of Texas, Construction Section, Member
- American Bar Association, Member
- Houston Bar Association, Construction Section, Member