For more than 30 years, Rich Reizen has represented a wide array of clients in connection with numerous construction projects and complex commercial litigation matters.
Rich, who is chair of the firm's Construction Practice, has represented contractors, subcontractors, architects, engineers and owners in connection with hundreds of construction projects in Chicago and throughout the country. These projects have included:
- the world’s largest cable stayed pre-cast segment concrete span bridge
- convention centers and hotels
- government projects, including water treatment plants
- high-rise buildings and commercial office centers
- coal gassification sites
- residential communities
- arenas and performing arts centers
- data centers
- parking structures
- nuclear power plants
- alternative energy
Rich is both an experienced litigator and construction lawyer, using his depth of skills to advise his clients in all phases of construction, including pre-construction documentation, construction issues arising during the project, and the mediation, arbitration or litigation of claims resulting from the projects.
Rich also has a wealth of experience in a broad range of commercial litigation matters. He has represented large institutions, entrepreneurs and closely-held businesses in numerous types of matters, including:
- financial litigation
- telecommunications litigation
- securities litigation
- equipment lease litigation
- accounting, auditing, legal and other professional malpractice claims
- contract and partnership disputes
In addition, Rich has also served as lead counsel in numerous complex multidistrict class actions.
Rich is a frequent author and speaker on a variety of construction-related topics, as well as other topics including class actions, accounting and banking issues.
Rich has been recognized by his peers as an Illinois Leading Lawyer in the areas of Construction and Commercial Law.
- Loyola University Chicago School of Law, J.D., 1980
- Clark University, B.A., Psychology , 1976
- U.S. Supreme Court
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
- Federal Trial Bar, Northern District of Illinois
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
Key Cases or Transactions
- Acted as project construction counsel for $1 billion rehabilitation of the Old Chicago Post Office encompassing over 2 million sq. ft. of usable space. The project was the largest mixed-use development project in the country at the time. The building, a historic landmark, sat vacant for many decades and is built over a public expressway and railway tracks. Gould & Ratner assisted the owner in dealing with numerous public, private and municipal entities, put in place the requisite insurance coverages necessary for the project to proceed and negotiated and drafted numerous contracts with contractors, consultants, design professionals and others for the remediation and development of the building, including tenant buildout, CEN and service contracts for the client.
- Assisted owner of an 83-story building in drafting and negotiating numerous construction agreements for a $6.5 million lobby renovation project and successfully represented the client against certain defect claims by a prospective tenant during the buildout process. Gould & Ratner also represented the owner in negotiating and drafting numerous services contracts.
- Handled pre-construction and construction phase negotiations on behalf of owner for a $180 million renovation and repositioning project in South Loop. The development of significant pre-construction phase documentation helped keep the project on schedule while ownership was lining up the project team.
- Advised owner of a historical building throughout tenant buildout project. During the course of the project, change orders were submitted by contractor for work which were within the original scope. Gould & Ratner provided ongoing project management assistance to ownership in order to efficiently resolve these claims and keep the project on an extremely tight schedule for the incoming tenant in order to avoid liquidated damages for late delivery of space.
- Acted as project counsel for the nation’s leading manufacturer of heavy transit buses in the design and construction of a $100 million office, warehouse and manufacturing facility. Gould & Ratner also represented the company in the design and installation of a solar project, electrical vehicle charging stations and eBus charging stations. The work included drafting numerous contracts and the successful mediation of delay, defect claims and warranty issues.
- Prepared construction documentation for a truck trailer company’s factory expansion located in South Dakota. In addition, Gould & Ratner handled all contract negotiations and claim management for construction of a new office building in North Dakota.
- Negotiated construction management contracts for a packing company’s warehouse, manufacturing and office renovation in Canada. In addition, Gould & Ratner assisted the client with the development of a construction and installation agreement pertaining to a large scale laminator project. Due to unique project requirements, the agreement addressed off site construction and assembly along with subsequent reassembly and testing at the client facility.
- Represented a senior housing client on a multi-million dollar mediation against project team for claims of defective construction and inadequate specifications and drawings. In addition, Gould & Ratner developed various contract templates for client specific construction projects.
- Represented an owner in the design and construction of cryptocurrency and data mining facilities.
- Represents and serves as project counsel for a wide range of restaurants, coffee shops, grocery store chains and department stores in construction related matters.
- Represents the largest owner of radio stations in the country in a series of projects ranging from ground up office buildings, to rehabs of existing studio and office spaces throughout the country.Represented the owner of a multi-unit rental development regarding claims in excess of $1 million for defective construction and water infiltration issues.
- Represented the contractor who was retained in connection with the renovation of the HVAC/temperature control system and its conversion to digital controls at a federal building. Prepared a claim for the contractor for unfinished work, unabsorbed overhead, change orders and delay against GSA. After extensive discovery concerning those issues, the claim was settled on favorable terms for our client before the U.S. Board of Contract Appeals.
- Represented a large real estate developer in an action against an auditing firm for failing to detect a multimillion-dollar embezzlement by the developer’s bookkeeper. Despite the fact that no audit or attestation level services were performed, obtained a seven-figure recovery at trial based upon the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ Management Advisory Standards (which had seldom been used to impute liability in litigation matters prior to that time).
- Represented general contractor in connection with the construction contracts for a $90-million project for the construction of the high-level approaches and center span for a bridge crossing south of St. Petersburg, Fla. The bridge is the world’s largest cable-stayed pre-cast segment concrete-span bridge and the second-largest concrete-span bridge in the world. All claims, including claims for change orders and extra work, were settled before completion of the work.
- Represented an electrical subcontractor in the negotiation of a multimillion-dollar subcontract for the electrical work on the construction of the McCormick Place Hotel in Chicago. The project involved negotiation of the specific subcontract, as well as a review of the contract between the design builder and the owner of the project.
- Represented the general contractor in a $36-million project constructed for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. A multimillion-dollar claim was driven by incomplete plans, wrongful interpretation of the clean-down specifications, faulty owner-furnished design criteria for an equipment support system and a claim for acceleration. The claim was settled prior to a hearing before the U.S. Board of Contract Appeals.
- Represented a large real estate developer who entered into a store lease with one of the largest clothing designers in the world for that designer to develop a Chicago flagship store. After incurring substantial construction and other expenses to ready the premises, the client was notified by the designer that it would no longer rent the space. A declaratory action was initiated in federal court and a substantial verdict was rendered in favor of our client. That verdict on appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit was preserved and the matter settled for a multimillion-dollar amount.
- Represented a municipality in a suit against its former auditing firm for failing to detect a multimillion-dollar fraud regarding the management of its self-insurance program. Obtained a favorable settlement for the municipality.
- Successfully argued before the Illinois Supreme Court the issue of how to treat Illinois Consumer Fraud Act claims, when such claims are asserted as part of a class action complaint involving a nationwide class.
“Rich and his team provided immense value from the initial contract discussion through the conclusion of our project. His vast experience proved invaluable as he helped us navigate a very complex and challenging construction environment. He would often be the voice of reason when emotions got high. Rich understood the magnitude of our project and what was at stake. He was always engaged, took ownership and took great pride in making sure that our project was a success. In fact, he continues to check in to see how the business is performing…..even two years after our move in.” President and CEO of a large manufacturing company
- Don't Lien on Me: A Practical Guide to Mechanics Liens, Gould & Ratner Seminar, July 2010
- Construction Litigation: How to Avoid It or at Least Increase Your Chance of Prevailing in It. Presentation to Lincoln Park Builders Club and other groups
- Numerous presentations to participants throughout the construction industry on construction issues