Gray Reed knows construction. As a firm we are deeply entrenched in every facet of the construction industry, including seemingly stand-alone industries that fuel the progress of construction in the United States and throughout the world. This is possible because of the high level representation our attorneys have provided to countless businesses and the innovative thought leadership they regularly share with clients, numerous industry groups and on the firm’s Texas Construction Law Blog.

Our construction industry attorneys do not myopically focus on niche clientele such as primarily representing owners & developers, general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, manufacturers, design professionals, or industry segments such as civil, industrial, manufacturing and supply, multi-family, commercial and residential development. Instead we represent all of these clients, from small, family-owned businesses to ENR Top 400 contractors, state and local government agencies and Fortune 500 corporations, and segments nearly equally.

Construction Industry Segments Represented


Our attorneys have provided legal services to contractors involved in civil – infrastructure – public construction including construction of highways, roads, bridges, tunnels, airport facilities, schools, public hospital districts, military base projects, mass transit lines, and underground utility stations located around the nation. They have earned their experience in and from the representation of contractors and public agencies on a wide variety of matters involving: three-way construction/retrofit following earthquake induced collapse of a major highway; hundreds of miles of heavy highway grading and reconstruction projects, involving numerous steel and concrete bridge structures; precast segmental bridge construction problems; tunnel crossings and outfalls; airport runway/taxiway grading, construction and concrete strength related disputes; various mass transit facilities; and a variety of complex underwater and underground tunnels.


Though industry revenue grew overall from 2012-2017, year-over-year growth was volatile, which means proactive legal counsel from experienced construction industry attorneys can minimize risk by effectively preparing and negotiating significant contracts and advising through potential problems before they materialize. Our construction law attorneys have a broad base of experience in representing owners, construction managers, general contractors, subcontractors, and specialty suppliers in the construction of large scale, complex industrial facilities including chemical facilities, storage, and transport centers.


With over eight percent of the nation’s commercial construction projects happening in Texas, the second-most concentrated state in the country*, efficient and accurate legal counsel is required. Whether it be high-rise office towers, retail shopping centers, warehouses, hotel or corporate headquarters facilities, our attorneys have assisted from beginning to end. Our construction industry attorneys have the experience and expertise to handle the unique contracting aspects of this type of work and assist clients across the spectrum to navigate the pressures of a timely delivery of successfully completed projects.


Since 2011, the apartment and condominium construction industry has experienced one of the fastest expansions within the construction sector and the nation’s multifamily housing construction is concentrated in Texas, particularly in Houston, Austin and Dallas where high land values favor the construction of low-cost, high-density dwellings. Our construction team’s experience and knowledge of residential and multifamily construction and development allows our clients to keep up with industry uptick.

From single family homes, custom and track builders, apartments, new loft construction, condominiums, warehouse conversions and rehabilitation of existing units with HUD backed financing, our construction law attorneys, along with attorneys from our real estate and banking/finance practice groups, have taken residential and multi-family projects from their inception through to completed construction. City codes and special environmental requirements all impact the construction of residential projects. By integrating these issues and concerns into the early acquisition and development phases of the project, construction problems and delays can be greatly minimized.


With an uptick in International Trade Cases, the uncertainty of Section 232 and the unreliability of the mechanics of the Uniform Commercial Code, the pitfalls facing the steel industry are enormous.  Our construction industry team’s specialized knowledge of these issues, including pre-litigation matters such as lien perfection, contractual debts and other matters related to the sale of steel goods from a mill down the supply chain to an end-user, and our steel industry knowledge benefit our clients with solutions that are both practical and creative.  Our attorneys know that our steel industry clients need counsel that understand the effects of litigation from both a legal and business perspective.  Whether it be defending an ITC subpoena, advising standard and line pipe industries regarding asset protection or debt collection, representing foreign and domestic mills against wrongful rejection or failures, drafting terms and conditions, or defending OCTG distributors against non-paying customers or well failures, our attorneys have the wealth of knowledge needed to guide our clients through the minefield of the steel industry.

Our work in the steel industry has been recognized nationally:

  • The M&A Advisor honored the majority capitalization of Patriot Erectors, a leading steel fabrication and erection company, a transaction on which Gray Reed advised, as the “2018 M&A Deal of the Year ($25MM – $50MM)”. The transaction was also one of five finalists in the “Industrials Deal of the Year ($10MM – $50MM)” category.
  • Our firm was a finalist for the “Legal Services Provider of the Year” in the 2019 American Metal Markets Awards for Steel Excellence.


There are everyday disasters and then there are large scale devastating events such as hurricanes, tornadoes, fires and floods. In the aftermath of such destruction countless construction firms and restoration professionals endeavor upon an arduous journey to rehabilitate and reconstruct all that was damaged or destroyed. As part of this process construction firms and restoration professionals encounter difficulties in working with owners, insurance companies, mortgage companies, public adjusters, as well as, local, state, and federal governmental entities. Most commonly significant legal issues arise related to payment, preparation and negotiation of highly specific emergency services, mitigation, and reconstruction contracts, subcontractor and supplier performance, and various insurance issues. Our construction industry attorneys have the experience of advising clients through these often contentious and complex issues to ensure their clients are placed in an advantageous position come final payment or litigation.

Meet the Team

Photo of J.P. Vogel
J.P. Vogel

J.P.  leads Gray Reed’s construction law section. His clientele includes owners, general contractors, specialty sub-contractors, suppliers and manufacturers. J.P. routinely counsels clients on daily business operations, including litigation, collection services, labor and employment issues, defect and insurance issues, drafting and negotiating agreements, and corporate governance.

Photo of Joe Virene
Joe Virene

Joe Virene represents clients in both the construction and oil & gas industries. He has successfully handled various matters, including filing and prosecuting material men, mineral, and maritime liens, among others.

Photo of Jeff Leach
Jeff Leach

Jeff’s practice is focused primarily in the areas of complex commercial and civil litigation, construction law and real estate. Jeff is also a State Representative in the Texas House of Representatives, representing District 67, consisting of portions of Plano, Allen, Richardson and Dallas in Collin County. Since taking office in 2013, Jeff has served on the House Committee on Economic and Small Business Development, the House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence, the House Committee on Government Transparency and Operations and the House Committee on Rules & Resolutions.

Photo of Vernon Howerton
Vernon Howerton
Senior Counsel

Vernon Howerton helps businesses avoid and resolve commercial disputes through negotiation, alternative dispute resolution and litigation, with an emphasis on construction and government contract law. He has more than 25 years of experience helping construction owners, contractors, subcontractors and suppliers enforce and defend their rights in disputes arising from public and private heavy civil, industrial, telecom and commercial project contracts, including claims related to changed work, extra work, differing site conditions, defective specifications, suspensions, delays and construction defects. Vernon has tried multiple suits to verdict or award and is member of the American Arbitration Association’s national roster of construction neutrals. He also presents and defends various bid protests related to federal, state and local government contracts and defends OSHA citations for workplace safety violations.

Christian Dewhurst’s practice is primarily focused on resolving the entire spectrum of claims and litigation that arise during commercial and residential construction projects.

Photo of Tim Fandrey
Tim Fandrey

As a lawyer and former civil engineer, Tim’s practice is primarily focused on helping general contractors, subcontractors, property owners and developers resolve the wide variety of claims and litigation that can arise in commercial and residential construction projects, including payment disputes, lien and bond claims, delay in performance claims, productivity claims, construction and design defects plus many more. In addition, Tim provides real-time advice through every phase of construction projects to help clients resolve developing issues proactively before they become expensive problems in the courtroom.