Overview

Sarah Sparer is a senior managing associate in the firm’s Construction practice group. Sarah has extensive experience representing a wide array of construction industry clients, including design professionals, real estate developers, property owners, commercial lessees, design builders and contractors in transactional, corporate governance, risk management and litigation matters. Her experience includes front-end advising on the selection of appropriate project delivery methods, drafting and negotiating design and construction agreements, risk management and insurance advising, and managing and litigating complex construction claims.

Prior to joining Thompson Hine, Sarah founded her own construction law firm representing a broad array of east-coast based construction industry clients in transactional matters. Sarah also served as in-house counsel for one of the largest international architecture and engineering firms in the world with offices located nationally and abroad, where she negotiated construction project agreements, managed complex construction litigation claims and advised on corporate compliance, risk management and insurance matters both nationally and globally. Before serving as in-house counsel, Sarah developed expertise at a boutique construction law firm, where her practice included representing New York City-based construction industry clients on both transactional and litigation matters.

Sarah believes that every successful construction client relationship starts with an understanding of the unique aspects of a project. Through years of experience, she has developed a practical understanding of various project types and players, enabling her to expertly serve her clients during entity formation, project planning, contract negotiation, design and construction phases and litigation. Her dual law firm and in-house counsel experience, as well as experience with both litigation and transactional work gives her a unique business-centric perspective on advising clients on how to “get to yes” while appropriately mitigating risk.

Experience

Examples of Sarah’s experience include:

International Transactions

  • Negotiation and drafting of design professional agreement for a 63,000 square feet mixed-use residential, commercial complex in the United Kingdom.
  • Negotiation and drafting of bidding documents, teaming agreement and design professional agreements, and risk mitigation counseling on behalf of an international architect designing a 35-story, mixed-use office tower in Sydney, Australia.
  • Negotiation and drafting of architect prime and subconsultant agreements and risk mitigation counseling on bidding, insurance, licensure and scope issues on behalf of an international architect designing a 42-story, 24,400 square meter office, hotel and retail tower in Melbourne, Australia.
  • On behalf of a master planner and site developer client, provided front-end risk management advising on licensure, insurance structuring and scope for large-scale site development of a new city in Kuwait.
  • Negotiation and drafting of an engineer agreement for a structural engineer designing a private beach villa-complex in Doha, Qatar.
  • Negotiation and drafting of an architect agreement on behalf of an international architect designing a 31-story commercial office tower in Manila, Philippines.
  • On behalf of an international master planner client, provided front-end risk management advising on licensure, insurance and scope issues and drafting and negotiating of master planner agreements for numerous master planning projects for Vietnamese developer.
  • Negotiating and drafting of architect agreement for an international architect designing an interior retrofit of a commercial office building tower in Milan, Italy.

Domestic Transactions

  • Negotiation and drafting of design professional agreements on behalf of an architect and structural engineer designing a 1.1 million square-foot, mixed-use hotel, condominium and commercial tower at New York City’s Hudson Yards redevelopment site.
  • Risk management advising to a structural engineer and architect clients during the construction administration phase of tower construction at the Hudson Yards redevelopment site.
  • Risk management advising to an architect client during the construction administration phase at a train station hub redevelopment project in New York City.
  • Negotiation and drafting of a joint venture agreement for a mixed-use, town center development.
  • Representation of a design team member in the bidding and design phase on a P3 transportation infrastructure project in Kansas City, KS.
  • Representation of a design professional in connection with master planning and master architect services for the site development of a university satellite campus.
  • Representation of a design professional client in connection with design of a 450,000 square foot university hospital in Atlanta, Georgia.
  • Negotiation and drafting of a design/build agreement for a state-of-the art, state university laboratory building.
  • Representation of an owner in connection with the interior renovation of a brownstone in Brooklyn, NY.
  • Negotiation and drafting of construction agreements relating to a 45,000 square foot office building.
  • Negotiation and drafting of loan subordination agreements in connection with the development of a new commercial office tower.
  • Negotiation and drafting of construction access license agreements on behalf of developers and owners of property in New York City, as required per New York City Building Code. Litigation of claims relating to Code-required access agreements.

Claims

  • Defended a structural engineer in successful mediation of a $125 million-dollar errors and omissions claim in connection with the design of a $175 million-dollar, public works project.
  • Defended an architect of record in connection with successful mediation of a construction delay claim on a large, mixed-use hotel project.
  • Defended an architect in a mediation of errors and omissions claim in connection with the design of a laboratory science building.
  • Pre-claim risk management advising on variety of project typologies.

Corporate Advising

  • Corporate structuring, insurance and corporate compliance advising to an international architect in connection with the opening of new international branches.
  • On behalf of engineering and architecture firm’s use of innovative AI and machine-learning based design solutions, advised on the incorporation of a technology start-up, including corporate structuring, intellectual property protection, liability and insurance issues.
  • Counsel construction clients on insurance structuring.
  • Counsel construction clients on licensure.
  • Drafting of corporate policies and procedures on record retention, privacy and website terms of use.
Publications
  • "Sustaining Curiosity: Sarah Sparer on Working Your Skills and Being Open-Minded," Madame Architect, February 2019
Presentations
  • "Construction Contracts 101: Demystifying Design and Construction Contracts for Project Success," Teach Construction Law CLE, Spring 2018-2020
  • "Construction Contracts 201: Contracting for the Complex Construction Project," Teach Construction Law CLE, Fall 2018-2020
Professional and Civic

Professional Associations

  • Chair, Construction Law Committee, New York City Bar Association

Community Activities

  • Member, Advisory Board, Madame Architect Digital Publication