Phil is an experienced litigator and construction lawyer representing owners, developers, and contractors of all tiers on public and private construction projects involving claims of strict liability, warranty, defect, delay, and negligence.

He has served as lead counsel in mediation, arbitration, and trial in state and federal courts. Phil is the co-chair of the firm’s Construction Law Group.



  • Composed and negotiated contracts for public and private construction projects between owners, design professionals, general contractors, subcontractors, consultants, and suppliers.
  • Represented prime contractor against city and state efforts to enforce liquidated-damages provision to withhold payment following construction delays.
  • Served as trial counsel for a private developer in mediation and litigation against municipal, state, and federal agencies involving eminent domain and access rights to real property.
  • Obtained a multi-million-dollar verdict in favor of a private company and against a municipal government for breach of a contract to privatize utility services.
  • Routinely advises contractors on procedures for filing mechanics’ liens on private projects and bond claims on public projects.



  • The University of Michigan Law School, J.D., 2003, cum laude
  • Luther College, B.A., 2000, cum laude


  • Minnesota, 2015
  • Iowa, 2013
  • Georgia, 2003 (inactive)
  • Nebraska, 2021 (inactive)


  • Best Lawyers in America, Litigation-Construction, 2019-2024; Litigation-Real Estate, 2021-2024
  • Great Plains Super Lawyers, Construction Litigation, 2021-2024
  • Lawyer of the Year in Des Moines for Litigation-Real Estate, Best Lawyers, 2022
  • Lawyer of the Year in Des Moines for Litigation-Construction, Best Lawyers, 2020
  • Great Plains Super Lawyers Rising Star, Construction Litigation, 2015-2018

Civic & Professional

Professional Activities

  • Polk County Bar Association
  • Iowa State Bar Association, Construction Law Section Council Chair, 2017-2018, 2023-present
  • Iowa State Bar Association, Construction Law Section, Section Council, 2015-2020
  • Associated General Contractors of Iowa; Chair of Associates Division, 2017-2019

News & Insights

Legal Updates

Publications & Presentations

Frequently Negotiated and Litigated Provisions in Construction and Design Contracts, Iowa State Bar Association, June 2022

Construction Contracts: Drafting Tips, Pitfalls, and Case Law, National Business Institute, September 2021

Construction Law: Advanced Issues and Answers, National Business Institute, June 2020

Iowa Code Chapter 573: Bond Claims, Contractor Claims, and Subcontractor Issues, Iowa State Bar Association, March 2020

Construction Law Boot Camp, National Business Institute, June 2019

Troubleshooting Construction Project Legal Issues, National Business Institute, December 2017

The Basics and Fundamentals of Construction Law, Iowa State Bar Association, April 2017

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