Overview

Erin Luke is a partner in the firm’s top-ranked Construction practice group. She counsels clients on all aspects of project planning, development and execution. Her experience includes representing owners, developers, contractors and design firms on large-scale domestic and international projects in a broad range of industry sectors including hotel and resort developments, convention centers and facilities, sports stadia and entertainment complexes, casino and gaming developments, energy and infrastructure projects, P3 and public construction, hospital and school developments, and other high profile community impact projects.

Erin provides a full-service approach to client service, offering front-end transactional advice as well as claims management and resolution assistance. Her experience includes project delivery and structuring advice, contract negotiating and drafting, insurance and risk management counseling, and general project management advice. She has also litigated, arbitrated, mediated and settled a variety of claims and disputes and is licensed in multiple jurisdictions to serve a broad range of client needs.

Erin works collaboratively with all parties to achieve the right framework for project success and expertly manages risks for her clients. Her dual transactions and disputes background provides a unique mix of insight and perspective to clients seeking to manage and mitigate project risks at the contracting phase and beyond.

Experience

Manufacturing and Chemical Facilities

  • Construction counsel for development of a $700 million copper smelting plant, including drafting and negotiating EPC agreement with major contractor.
  • Lead construction counsel for $80 million retrofit and redevelopment of an existing facility into a new production facility for a specialty chemical line of products.
  • Construction counsel on several high-profile complex projects for global specialty chemicals manufacturer, including a $100 million multi-phase and multi-component capital improvement project in Texas involving the engineering, procurement and construction of major equipment and facilities, including a multi-purpose reactor, isotainer facilities, tank farm, blending facilities, drumming and other infrastructure improvements.

Energy and Infrastructure

  • Lead outside construction counsel for one of the world’s largest energy companies, advising on over $1 billion in new construction projects, including development of new substations and transmission lines, retrofit and upgrade plant improvements, expansion of transmission lines, and other infrastructure improvement projects.  
  • Advising bidder on $1 billion long-term P3 utility concession contract, including reviewing and analyzing project agreements and due diligence materials, representing bidder in negotiations, and advising on a wide range of project issues, including taxes, employee benefits and labor, insurance, warranties, public construction and project delivery, and other issues.
  • Lead construction and procurement counsel for electric cooperative in Ohio in connection with the retrofit and conversion of existing wet sluiced ash systems to operate on a dry ash system basis (estimated value of approximately $50 million).
  • Representation of owner in engineering and construction of cogeneration plants and related facilities at vacation resorts in Hawaii totaling over $10 million, including drafting and negotiation of design-build agreements, scopes of work, and ancillary forms, such as lien waivers.
  • Construction counsel for $5 million gas pipeline project in Cleveland, including drafting and negotiation of development and design-build agreements, as well as ancillary easements.
  • Construction counsel to electric cooperative for $3.5 million solar power upgrade project to install solar panel fields at numerous facilities throughout Ohio. Prepared and negotiated EPC agreement and provided advice on insurance, bonding, warranties, and procurement issues.
  • Construction counsel for $10 million solar panel / carport asset purchase, including negotiating EPC agreement on behalf of solar panel developer/supplier.

Other Recent Transactions

  • Lead project counsel for national retailer in connection with the development and construction of a $350 million e-commerce fulfilment center in Ohio.
  • Project construction counsel for the historic renovation of the main branch of a public library West Virginia, estimated at $27 million.
  • Counsel to neighborhood development corporation in development of new residential and mixed use construction projects totaling over $180 million, including drafting and negotiation of development agreements and ground leases.
  • Counsel to regional sports complex public authority for development of $900+ million sports stadium complex in St. Louis, Missouri, including drafting and negotiation of construction management at-risk and design agreements, and counseling on project delivery issues, insurance and risk management structure, and public bidding requirements.
  • Project counsel to global corporation for more than $300 million of corporate headquarters and office construction projects in Connecticut, Florida and elsewhere, including drafting and negotiation of architect, engineering, construction management at-risk, demolition and project management agreements, and related counseling on insurance and risk management issues.
  • Construction counsel to local municipality in Northeast Ohio for major sewer and sanitation systems renovation and construction projects totaling over $1 billion, including drafting of construction management at-risk and design-build agreements, general terms and conditions, and technical specifications.
  • Insurance counsel to design team for construction of $500 million dollar health education campus in Cleveland, Ohio, advising on insurance structure and layering for comprehensive errors and omissions coverage.
  • Representation of public owner in construction and start-up of $200 million luxury hotel in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, including advice on management agreement compliance and preparation of miscellaneous consulting agreements.
  • Representation of development manager on $100 million renovation of historic performance hall in Cincinnati, Ohio, including drafting and negotiation of design, construction management at-risk, and development agreements, and counseling on insurance and risk management issues.
  • Representation of developer in construction of $60 million hotel and meeting space complex repurposed from industrial/manufacturing facilities in Rockford, Illinois, including drafting and negotiation of hotel management and franchise agreements, and related counseling on market risks and deal terms.
  • Representation of developer in construction of over $30 million worth of mixed-use garage and retail developments in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio, including drafting and negotiation of design-build, construction management at-risk, and architect agreements, and counseling on insurance and risk management issues.
  • Representation of public authority in $3 million renovation of library facilities in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, including advice on project structure and bidding requirements, preparation of requests for qualifications and requests for proposals, drafting and negotiation of construction management at-risk agreement, and related advice on construction and project management issues.

Other Transactional Experience

  • “Help Desk” style support for corporate procurement and capex departments.  Provide advice and regular contract reviews for various projects undertaken by companies as part of the regular annual capital improvement budget.  Advise on project delivery and form selection, comment on bidder contract exceptions, negotiate terms with selected bidders, assist with resolution of change orders and claims during project execution.
  • Updating institutional form agreements with new and improved contract provisions based on current market trends and cost-effective risk sharing structures.
  • Managed comprehensive form updates for industry-leading global hotel owner, with major redraft of more than 100 construction, design and other project-related agreements and forms, including: construction contracts (both GMP and lump sum structures), architecture and engineering agreements, design-build and procure-furnish-install agreements, project management and consulting agreements (LEED, hazardous materials, etc.), FF&E purchasing and logistics contracts, elevator and escalator repair, modernization and maintenance agreements, and project administration forms (RFP and bid response forms, lien waivers, change orders and amendment forms, pay applications, contract form instructions and project checklists).
  • Drafting and negotiation of standard form agreements (AIA, DBIA, FDIC, etc.), including preparation of owner, contractor and designer-friendly supplements.
  • Advising design and construction firms on state-by-state professional licensing compliance, including formation of corporate entities for multi-state practice and advice to international firms looking to establish operations in the U.S.
  • Representation of owners and contractors in drafting and negotiating project labor agreements.
  • Counsel on complex P3 projects in the U.S. and internationally, including advice on project risks and contracting structures, and local counsel support on Ohio P3s.

Disputes and Claims Experience

  • Substantial experience prosecuting and defending project claims, disputes and litigation, including delay and change order claims, project closeout and lien claims, design and construction defect claims (including related insurance claims litigation), asbestos and hazardous materials abatement claims,OSHA disputes, and surety and indemnity litigation.
  • Negotiation of project closeout and lien claims for owner on major hotel renovation project in New Orleans, Louisiana.
  • Representation of owner in litigation of design and engineering defects on assisted living facility project in Illinois.
  • Representation of Indian tribes in litigation over construction and design defects in hotel and casino developments in California.
  • Representation of major subcontractor in payment claim on residential high-rise project in New York.
  • Representation of design-builder in design and construction defect claim on student recreational facility project in Texas, including management of insurance claims.
  • Defense of casino owner in lien litigation filed by construction manager and various subcontractors on casino and hotel project in St. Charles, Missouri.
Publications
PresentationsDistinctions
  • Law360 Hospitality Editorial Board (present)
  • Selected for inclusion in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, Construction, Ohio, 2019
  • Selected as Next Generation Lawyer by The Legal 500, 2018 and 2019
  • Five to Watch in Law, Crain's Cleveland Business, 2017
  • Selected for inclusion in Rising Stars by Ohio Super Lawyers® magazine, 2017 to 2019
  • NAWIC New Leader Award 2017 – Cleveland Chapter and North Central Region
  • YWCA Greater Cleveland Woman of Professional Excellence Award, 2016
  • Certificate in International and Comparative Law, St. Louis University School of Law, 2008
  • John M. Cave Award for Pre-Law Excellence, Westminster College, 2005
  • Emerson Fellowship, Westminster College, 2004
Professional and Civic

Leadership Positions

  • YWCA Greater Cleveland, Board of Directors, Governance Committee (2017-present)
  • Construction Owner’s Association of America (COAA), Documents Committee member (2016-present) and co-chair (2018-present)
  • ACE Advisory Council, NAWIC Representative (2016-2017)
  • National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC), Board of Directors (2016-2018), Golf Committee (2017)
  • Boys Hope Girls Hope of Northeastern Ohio, Associate Board, Chair (2017-2019) and Member (since 2015)
  • SLU Alumni Club of Cleveland, Leadership Committee (2015-2019)

Professional Associations

  • American Bar Association, Forum on the Construction Industry (2006-present)

Community Organizations

  • Cleveland Bridge Builders, Class of 2019
  • Civic Leadership Institute, Cleveland Leadership Center, Class of 2015
  • Cleveland Council on World Affairs
  • City Club
  • Union Club
News
Events