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Josh Leavitt | Much Law

Josh has over 35 years of experience guiding companies through complex construction and design projects. Known for his deep industry knowledge, he handles disputes, contracts, licensing, due diligence, climate change liability, and risk management matters. Josh focuses on the middle and upper markets, representing both mid-level entities and worldwide leaders in the construction space. His clients range from individuals and family-owned companies to large public entities, Fortune 100 companies, and ENR-listed construction and engineering firms.

Clients rely on Josh's prowess as a litigator, negotiator, and business advisor as well as his dedication to top-notch service. Josh works as a core member of his clients' teams, helping them take advantage of Much's full-service capabilities and midsize value proposition. He prides himself on collaborating with colleagues to acquire a true 360-degree view of any opportunity or challenge.

Josh has handled matters involving dozens of building systems and technologies on a variety of project types, including:

  • Stadiums and recreational facilities
  • Process, manufacturing, industrial gas, and chemical plants
  • Oil refineries, substations, and utilities
  • Bio-fuel, wind, solar, ethanol, and other alternative energy plants
  • Piping, pipe welds, and structural welds
  • Hospitals and other medical buildings
  • Restaurants and food processing facilities
  • Museums and theaters
  • Rail and airports
  • Industrial buildings and warehouses
  • Boilers, furnaces, dryers, heat exchangers, compressors, pumps, hydraulic cylinders, wind turbines, laminating lines, and other large equipment installations
  • Concrete, steel, curtainwall, roofing, and window systems
  • High-rises, condominiums, co-ops, residences, hotels, and parking garages
  • Supertall buildings
  • Government buildings
  • Roads, bridges, and tunnels
  • Quarries and breakwaters
  • Elementary, middle, high school, and university buildings, dorms, stadiums, and sport facilities
  • Modular and 3D printing installations

On the disputes side, Josh leads litigation and alternative dispute resolution involving the full spectrum of construction claims, such as delays and disruption, defects, change orders, and insurance coverage. He has presented and cross-examined numerous expert witnesses, including structural, mechanical, soil, instrumentation, control system, process, and chemical engineers; line integrators and material scientists; roofing, HVAC, plumbing, curtainwall, exterior façade, and other building system consultants; standard of care, estimating, scheduling, and damages experts; appraisers, realtors, market analysts, and economists; and developer, construction, and lending experts. Josh also serves as a mediator of complex disputes.

On the transactions side, Josh counsels clients on delivery system selection, contracts, and risk management. He drafts, negotiates, and advises clients on a wide range of construction, design, and EPC project agreements. Josh has a niche practice leading due diligence efforts in acquisitions and reorganizations involving construction and engineering firms. These clients call on him to identify, assess, and address risks of troubled projects for both sell-side and buy-side engagements.

Josh is a sought-after speaker and writer with over 100 articles and speaking engagements to his credit. He is a thought leader on topics like 3D printing and construction industry liability for failure to adapt to climate change. In 2021, he co-founded the Practising Law Institute's annual infrastructure program.

Josh serves on the Board of Advisors of Jupiter Intelligence, the leading provider of predictive data and analytics for climate risk and resilience. He is a past president of the Society of Illinois Construction Attorneys, and he serves on the Board of Governors of the prestigious American College of Construction Lawyers.

Chambers and Partners has honored Josh in its nationwide ranking of leading construction attorneys for the past 18 years. Clients remarked “Josh is the most intelligent and knowledgeable construction lawyer I know. He is without a doubt the best legal representation that we have ever utilized within our company.”

Much More Than My Work

I support many charitable organizations through my pro bono work. I am a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. I was appointed by my local school board to serve on a committee that oversaw a large high school design and construction project. In 2016, I was a member of the Legal Working Group that helped develop the City of Chicago’s Olympic bid. I recently co-authored a pro bono amicus brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless in the well-publicized Johnson v. Grants Pass case.

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