Overview

The recent infrastructure stimulus package offers great opportunities for a wide variety of businesses. Whether your company undertakes traditional road and bridge projects or focuses on energy and broadband technologies, our Infrastructure Group has the experience needed to help your business succeed on these important projects. In fact, we currently provide counsel to more than 200 companies regularly involved in major infrastructure projects.

We can help you develop and manage projects from inception (structuring, tax planning, permitting, governmental contracts, environmental impact and public/private partnerships) to "shovel-ready" (project finance, government contracting, project management, construction and project delivery) and through to completion in a cost-efficient manner. In addition, our wholly owned ancillary consulting practice, Project Management Consultants, provides partnering facilitation, construction process consulting and owner's representative services. Our construction and business litigation lawyers know what it takes to keep projects moving forward and on target. They have litigated disputes across the entire life cycle of development and construction and are ready to assist you should litigation arise. We also have extensive experience in all forms of dispute resolution, including early mediation, arbitration, bench trials and jury trials.

Our multidisciplinary approach makes Thompson Hine the firm that can best meet your needs related to infrastructure projects. Our commitment to service excellence means we will work closely with you to manage your time, your risks and your costs. We are experienced with wide range of infrastructure assets, including:

  • Airports
  • Ballparks, arenas, museums and other major facilities
  • Bridges
  • Broadband
  • Fiber optic networks
  • Hospitals and health care facilities
  • Manufacturing and industrial facilities
  • Oil and gas
  • Railways
  • Renewable energy
  • Roads and highways
  • Schools and universities
  • Telecommunications
  • Transportation
  • Utility facilities, including generation and transportation assets
  • Water and wastewater treatment facilities

We have extensive experience in supporting the wide range of our clients’ project needs. From planning, development, acquisition, financing and refinancing to the management, operation and sale of infrastructure and energy assets, our lawyers work with clients to achieve the desired results. Our services include:

  • Construction
    • Project management
    • Litigation, arbitration and dispute resolution
  • Contract claims litigation and arbitration
  • Energy and utilities
    • Power generation and financing; acquisitions and mergers; renewables; restructuring; natural gas/LNG/electricity; policy
  • Environmental
  • Government relations and contracting
  • Litigation
    • Construction, real estate, land use
  • Project finance – public/private partnerships and public finance
  • Public competition bidding
  • Private equity
  • Project management
  • Real estate
    • Acquisition, leasing, zoning, development
  • Sustainable solutions (e.g., LEED, green construction, carbon offsets)
  • Tax
  • Telecommunications
    • Fiber optic networks, broadband services

 

Experience
Representative Experience
  • Serving as project or construction counsel or lead management consultant (for project structure, contracting and risk management) for the most significant sports facilities constructed in North America in the past 15 years, including:
    • Jacobs Field and Gund Arena in Cleveland.
    • Golden State Warriors arena renovation project in Oakland, California.
    • PNC Park in Pittsburgh.
    • Nationwide NHL Hockey Arena in Columbus, Ohio.
    • Busch Stadium in St. Louis.
    • Minnesota Twins’ ballpark.
    • Florida Marlins’ retractable roof ballpark project.
    • Kansas City Royals’ ballpark renovation project.
    • Charlotte Knights’ baseball park in Charlotte.
    • Xcel-Energy Center in St. Paul.
    • Orlando Magic’s new Orlando Events Center.
    • Pittsburgh Penguins’ new multipurpose arena in Pittsburgh.
    • Lucas County Arena in Toledo, Ohio.
    • Soldier Field Adaptive Reuse Project in Chicago.
    • San Francisco 49ers’ Football Stadium project.
  • Winning the largest-ever eminent domain trial in Ohio, enabling the city of Cleveland to expand Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. Cleveland owned a 180-acre parcel of land slated for future airport use, and neighboring city Brook Park filed an eminent domain action to try to take the land. Cleveland needed to win the eminent domain battle because the land at issue was the only reasonable location available for airport expansion, including a new runway. Building an entirely new airport was not an option. At stake was billions of dollars in economic development and the future growth of the Northeast Ohio region tied to airport expansion. We prevailed after a four-week trial. The Cleveland Plain Dealer hailed the trial victory as a victory for the entire Northeast Ohio region.
  • Serving as lead trial counsel for the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority in the five-week trial of a consolidated eminent domain proceeding to acquire 14 separate parcels from commercial property owners on the east bank of the Flats in downtown Cleveland for the largest downtown Cleveland real estate redevelopment project in over 30 years, a $400 million mixed-use housing and retail project for redevelopment of property along the Cuyahoga River at the mouth of Lake Erie. The Port Authority was successful in convincing the Court of Common Pleas to grant its motion to consolidate all 14 cases filed to a single proceeding on the Port Authority's right to take the property. Although the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that, under the U.S. Constitution, economic development may be used as a purpose for a taking, the Ohio Supreme Court in a subsequent decision in June 2006 unanimously held that economic development cannot be used as the sole basis for the use of eminent domain in Ohio. This litigation was the first significant case following the Ohio Supreme Court decision where the limits of this ruling were tested and where a Port Authority's right of taking for other statutory and Ohio constitutional purposes, independent of economic development, was recognized in the state of Ohio. The court dismissed all of the property owners' counterclaims and denied the property owners' attempts to join the city of Cleveland and the redeveloper in this litigation. After the trial, all property owners agreed to settle their matters, allowing this catalytic Cleveland redevelopment project to proceed.
  • Representing a client in the reconstruction of 40 miles of electric transmission lines across vacant land, commercial properties and private residences. The diverse landscape created more than 60 eminent domain cases covering a range of issues, including the impact of electromagnetic fields upon nearby property value, assignment of proceeds from the sale of timber cut for the right-of-way, the usefulness of a severed portion of property and constitutional challenges. Many matters were settled by our successful challenge of property owners’ appraisers and their methodology, while the minimal number of courtroom trials were resolved pre-verdict.
  • Serving as technology and regulatory counsel to multiple independent telephone companies, advising on technology deployment and diversification, including Internet access and competitive local services; the development, submission and approval of financing; ratemaking; and corporate matters.
  • Representing a city government that is co-owner with Hamilton County, Ohio and the developer, Riverbanks Renaissance, LLC, in structuring and negotiating a joint master development arrangement and the financing of public roads and garages in connection with the development of approximately 18 acres of prime real estate in downtown Cincinnati on the Ohio River. It is a phased project involving the construction of approximately $80 million worth of roads and parking facilities (to take the project out of the floodplain) with a private, mixed-use development of approximately 2.8 million square feet on top and a premiere five-acre flagship riverfront park.
  • Providing extensive trial and ADR experience in a broad range of construction cases involving heavy and highway construction, commercial high-rise construction, design professional standard of care/errors and omissions litigation, structural failures, tunnels, roofs, delay and disruption claims, and construction defect claims.
  • Mediating a case to conclusion on behalf of a contractor who had a contract to erect four heat recovery steam generators on a new power plant in southern Indiana. Our client was engaged to erect the HRSGs using materials supplied by a boiler manufacturer who went bankrupt during the course of the project. The claims involved allegations of defective materials and parts shipped from Korea that were months behind schedule. We mediated the case against the program manager for the overall project and the owner, a private utility from New Jersey.
  • Litigating a three-week jury trial for a contractor with claims against a municipal wastewater authority involving multimillion dollar claims on a large renovation and replacement project at a 60 mgd wastewater treatment facility.
  • Counseling providers of fiber optic networks traversing multiple geographic areas on issues including municipal and rural zoning and right-of-way issues, technology assessment and service-level contracting.
  • Assisting a client with the documentation of a multiparty consortium for the development of rural fiber ring, including intercompany contracts, pole attachment and bandwidth arrangements.
  • Serving as counsel to broadband service providers, both for-profit and nonprofit, in the development and negotiation of comprehensive network interconnection and service arrangements.
  • Serving as project counsel for a new 550 MW natural gas–fired cogeneration facility at a chemical plant in South Carolina. We assisted with an interconnection and operating agreement with SCANA, certain corporate guarantees provided by the developer, issues related to the construction of such facilities and transmission lines, tax treatment of interconnection as contributions in aid of construction, transmission issues and certain federal and state regulatory requirements in support of construction loan financing.
  • Providing review of the development of a placement memorandum for a private equity venture capital investment of $5 million in a biomass CHP technology company; structuring and review of debt and equity funding; transaction strategy; market review with the board of directors and senior management; and related documentation requirements.
  • Providing counsel and documentation assistance regarding a joint LLC investment in 55 MW of wind farm projects in the mid-Atlantic region during construction loan and financial closing, LLC operating agreement and membership interests, related risk management and participation in project financing led by informational lender club.
  • Representing a national financial institution in more than $116 million in construction and bridge loans to the developer and operator of medical office buildings on hospital and university campuses in Kentucky, Maine, Virginia, Michigan, California and Florida.
  • Providing comprehensive representation for property owners holding three of four quadrants at a $19 million interchange involving bridge, utility and roadway relocation.