Dennis Cavanaugh is a current member and past chair of the firm’s Construction Group, and he focuses his practice on construction and surety law, including transactional work and litigation. He has over 35 years of experience handling complex construction matters involving contract procurement, negotiation, financing, and commercial-related dispute resolution and litigation.
Dennis is a noted lecturer and author of publications on various construction and suretyship-related topics. He also is a regular contributor to the firm’s blog on construction related matters, Construction Law Zone.
Dennis has been recognized in The Best Lawyers in America© in the areas of Construction Law and Litigation - Construction since 2011. He is a Fellow in the Construction Lawyers Society of America, an invitation-only construction lawyer honorary society with membership limited to 1,200 practicing Fellows from the United States and internationally.
Contract Procurement and Project Delivery
Dennis reviews, drafts, and negotiates design, construction, and project management related contracts on behalf of his clients. He counsels public and private building owners, tenants, lenders, building contractors, design professionals, subcontractors, and sureties. He has extensive experience with a variety of building delivery methods, from design-bid-build to integrated project delivery. Among the many transactions that Dennis has handled, he provided representation for a public-private partnership to redevelop, operate and maintain state highway service plazas, which resulted in a 35 year agreement. He represented a contractor partner involved in the construction of a new public toll bridge over a waterway. He regularly represents municipalities and other governmental authorities pursuing construction projects, whether it is a renovation to a school or a new public safety headquarters.
When a dispute arises during a construction project, such as a disagreement over performance or the timeline, Dennis is experienced as an advocate in construction and commercial litigation, arbitration and mediation. He has litigated and arbitrated construction disputes involving construction defects, unforeseen conditions, delay completion damages, contract non-payment, liquidated damages, scope of work disputes and surety related issues. Dennis has handled cases involving a wide range of residential, commercial, heavy/highway, and industrial construction projects, including roadway reconstruction and bridge replacement, schools, high-rise office building, hospitals, government buildings, shopping centers, power and industrial plants. His construction and surety litigation experience includes defense of a lawsuit brought against a public owner by a contractor for damages for delay and obtained judgment against the contractor for liquidated damages incurred prior to the termination of the parties' contract for convenience; representation of a bridge contractor and its surety engaged in the completion of several heavy/highway projects in Massachusetts and Connecticut with an aggregate value of over $55 million; and representation of a hospital in a multi-million dollar claim for defective design and contract administration of a hospital ambulatory pavilion, a multi-story addition and renovation on the existing campus, housing for new outpatient services, an emergency department, a post-anesthesia area unit, a cancer center, and a gastroenterology unit.
Dennis has served as an arbitrator neutral in numerous arbitration proceedings spanning 28+ years involving residential, commercial public and private projects, industrial and infrastructure projects ranging in value from $25,000 to $125 million. He has been an American Arbitration Association panelist since 1990, serving both as a sole panelist and as a panel chairperson, and also is trained as a mediator in commercial and construction claims, including successfully completing the AAA "Mediator Essentials - Skills for Facilitating Negotiated Agreements" mediator training course.