Construction, design, and real estate clients rely on Dan's decades of experience and valuable in-house perspective when they face big challenges and big opportunities. He offers them a true 360-degree view of the construction and real estate business, from financings and transactions, to federal and state compliance matters, to labor negotiations, to insurance coverage, to litigation and dispute resolution.
Prior to joining Much, Dan served as senior vice president and general counsel for McHugh Enterprises Inc. During his time at McHugh, Dan handled billions of dollars in construction, design, and development contracts for projects around the country, including the 101-story St. Regis Tower, the construction of portions of the Jane Byrne Interchange, and the Hiltons at McCormick Place Hotels, the only privately owned hotel connected to Chicago's McCormick Place convention center.
During Dan's time at McHugh, the company was a large general contractor that constructed heavy infrastructure, rail, and general building projects around the country. The company was also a prominent self-performing concrete contractor and was a licensed structural engineering company. Dan guided the company through its biggest construction transactions and disputes, as well as labor and employment issues, licensing, private company corporate structuring, government compliance, and insurance matters. In addition to assisting the company with its core business needs, Dan also provided advice to the McHugh family on a variety of matters. In 2019, he was selected as one of the city's "Notable General Counsel" by Crain's Chicago Business.
In addition to his transactional practice, Dan is an able litigator. He has tried multiple cases to verdict in state and federal courts, including first-chairing several multi-week construction and real estate trials. Dan is also experienced in alternative dispute resolution, having led a variety of arbitrations and mediations. Over his career, Dan has taken hundreds of depositions in all manner of cases and been deposed as a corporate witness on multiple occasions. Dan has a client's appreciation for the cost and difficulties that litigation and disputes cause and is committed to minimizing those pain points for his clients whenever possible.
In his current practice, Dan counsels all types of construction, design, and real estate industry participants, including developers, general contractors, major trade contractors, architects, engineers, sureties, and suppliers. There are few real estate or construction projects of which Dan is not familiar, from the nation's tallest urban residential towers and five-star luxury hotels to bridges over some of the busiest roads in the country and in the remote far Southwestern desert. Likewise, whether a project is privately funded or the funding is coming from a governmental source, he understands the unique demands such a funding source can create for a project. Similarly, Dan has negotiated and drafted all manner of construction and real estate contracts, from design and general contracts to joint venture agreements.
While Dan has a deep knowledge of what it takes to design or construct a project, he also understands the private development process. Dan has been closely involved with the development of several residential buildings as well as several hotels and restaurants. Dan has assisted in negotiation of all manner of private development related agreements, from city entitlements to management services agreements and leases.
Beyond a traditional construction and real estate practice, with his industry knowledge, Dan has developed a niche assisting companies buying or selling construction and design companies. Dan assists in the due diligence and risk analysis for such transactions. In addition to working with traditional design and construction clients in acquisitions and sales, he has also worked with private equity clients in their evaluation of acquisitions and funding considerations for projects. Dan is a strategic partner on deals and is capable of assisting with key legal concepts and business considerations.
With his background, Dan has a considerable knowledge base of what it means to be a union contractor in the construction industry. Dan served on the board of directors of one of the largest pension funds in the country. He has negotiated with a variety of multi-employer construction unions and is familiar with grievance and other union considerations.
Dan also has a deep knowledge base related to government contracting. Dan worked for a government contractor and has represented many government contractors over his decades of practice. He understands that working for the government – whether local, state, or federal – is not like working with any other client. Dan has particular experience assisting clients in addressing disadvantaged business entity issues, including assessing commercially useful function considerations and in drafting joint ventures with such business entities.
Dan has also spent decades advocating for policyholders in insurance matters. He has assisted clients in recovering hundreds of millions of dollars under all manner of insurance policies. Beyond a deep understanding of insurance as it relates to construction, design, and real estate development, Dan has assisted clients in other industries including banking, securities, and manufacturing in structuring their insurance programs and recovering under their insurance policies.
Dan is a longtime officer of the Society of Illinois Construction Attorneys and is an elected fellow of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers. He is also a frequent speaker and author on a variety of construction, design, real estate, and insurance issues.