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Three Senior Construction Attorneys Join Firm

August 8, 2013

Robert J. O’Brien, Laurann Asklof and Christine L. Chipman have joined the firm as partners in the Hartford office and add great depth to our Construction Industry services. Their practices encompass all aspects of Construction Contracts and Litigation associated with both public and private projects.

“For many years, Shipman & Goodwin has handled construction law matters for its existing clients in such areas as Real Estate, Land Use, School Law, and Health Care,” said Tim Hollister, Practice Group Leader of the firm’s Real Estate, Environmental and Land Use. “In this work, one of the firm’s achievements has been the preparation of template contracts for major public projects that have resulted in significant savings and better management for our clients. The addition of Bob, Laurann, and Christine gives the firm an immediate and significant regional presence in construction law as a stand-alone practice,” Mr. Hollister added. “The synergies with our existing practices will continue and expand, but we are now positioned, in depth and cost structure, to compete for any substantial matter in the industry.” 

Robert J. O'Brien, the primary contact for the firm’s Construction Contracts and Litigation Team, practices in the areas of construction, surety and specialized banking and commercial litigation. Bringing more than three decades of construction law experience, he handles a broad range of construction-related matters on behalf of contractors, public and private owners, subcontractors, sureties, architects, engineers and condominium associations. Mr. O’Brien's banking litigation experience relates to check fraud liability and financial institution bonds. He has conducted numerous jury and bench trials, and has extensive experience with arbitration and mediation as dispute resolution alternatives.

A member of the American Bar Association’s Forum Committee of the Construction Industry, Mr. O’Brien serves on the American Arbitration Association's National Panel of Arbitrators. He served as Chair of the Connecticut Bar Association’s Construction Law Section from 2007-2009 and is an active member of the Section's Executive Committee, the Connecticut Construction Industries Association and the Construction Institute. He is a frequent panelist and speaker at construction law programs. 

Laurann Asklof practices in the area of Construction Litigation where she represents owners, contractors and subcontractors throughout Connecticut. She also has represented subcontractors and contractors in all forums of litigation including Alternative Dispute Resolution processes, and state and federal courts. Additionally, she has been involved in the drafting and negotiating of construction contracts, and counseling clients with regard to bidding procedures.

Ms. Asklof has been the principal litigator for the University of Connecticut's UCONN 2000 Construction Infrastructure Program. She was chosen as the University of Connecticut's 21st Century Construction Lead Counsel and will again be the primary construction litigator for the University. A former Connecticut Assistant Attorney General, Ms. Asklof has been involved in multimillion dollar construction projects, representing the Department of Transportation, Department of Public Works and the Department of Administrative Services. She also has represented the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation in their construction litigation matters.

She has authored various articles and has been a presenter on the topics of mold in construction, subcontractor payment issues and engineering liability. She has served as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Connecticut School of Law, instructing students in the art of appellate writing and oral argument, concluding with a mock appellate brief and oral argument. In addition, Ms. Asklof a has been a guest speaker for UConn’s Senior Seminar addressing the subject of engineering liability.

The Vice President of the Professional Women in Construction Connecticut chapter, Ms. Asklof is also Chair of its Mentor Committee, and a past Member of the Board of Directors. She is a member of the American Bar Association’s Construction Law Section, and serves on the Executive Committee for the Connecticut Bar Association’s Construction Law Section. 

Christine L. Chipman practices in the areas of construction law, contracts, general business law, commercial real estate and commercial finance representing construction clients, business clients and tax exempt organizations. She participates in the drafting and negotiating of construction-related agreements and addresses the real estate and business law issues that arise in the daily operation of the business of owners, contractors and subcontractors. Ms Chipman routinely handles the formation, ongoing representation, dissolution, acquisition and sale of corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies and other business entities including tax exempt organizations.

In addition, Ms. Chipman represents clients in commercial leasing and commercial real estate matters on behalf of landlords, tenants, sellers and purchasers. She also assists clients with contract matters and employment matters (representing primarily employers) and commercial finance matters.

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