Biography

Jeff Sykes assists clients nationally including public and private owners, public utilities, a state commerce commission,  designers, construction managers, developers, and major contractors including EPC contractors. He is both a transactional lawyer and a litigator.

As a transactional lawyer, clients benefit from his construction litigation experience. His understanding of the construction industry and how disputes arise allow clients to avoid or economically resolve disputes through appropriate contract provisions. He has drafted and negotiated many types of design and construction contracts. His contracts are scaled to project size, fairly allocate risk, provide for dispute avoidance and early dispute resolution, and align the interests of project stakeholders to promote project success. Project values have ranged from several million dollars to several billion dollars.

As a litigator, clients benefit from his cost-effective strategies. He focuses on his clients’ goals, develops an early and thorough understanding of the issues, and proactively manages case staffing, activities and budget. He also pursues innovative approaches to early resolution when possible. Claim amounts have ranged from several million dollars to over $500 million.

Jeff has litigated disputes concerning terminations for convenience and for default, design errors and omissions, deficient construction, differing site conditions, delay, disruption, acceleration, loss of productivity, cumulative impact, and cardinal change. Other matters have included bid protests, warranty rights, liens and stop notices, claims against sureties and insurance carriers, and the prosecution of claims under both the California and federal Civil False Claims Acts.

His project experience includes power plants (nuclear, coal, gas, biomass, and renewable), process plants, wastewater and water treatment plants, manufacturing facilities, an international airport, hospitals, detention and court facilities, telecommunication systems, university and public housing, high rise buildings, a convention center, sports complexes, and other special purpose buildings.

Jeff has lectured throughout the country and abroad on topics relevant to the construction industry and has provided in-house claims and project management training for public and private clients.   

Distinctions

Chambers USA: Construction - California (2009 - 2016)

The Legal 500 United States - Recommended Attorney: Construction (2016)

The Best Lawyers in America: Construction Law (2009-2019); Best Lawyers 2017 Construction Law "Lawyer of the Year" in San Francisco

Northern California Super Lawyers (2011 - 2018)

Memberships and Affiliations

  • ABA Forum on the Construction Industry and Dispute Resolutions, Litigation and Public Contract Law Sections

Firm Highlights

Event

Identifying and Preparing Expert Witnesses for Trial

How do you identify the key experts you need for trial? Once you have them, what are the best practices for preparing them for trial? How do these practices vary depending on your venue, and...

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Publication

CBD in Foods and Beverages? Not Quite Yet

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Event

CWA Regulation of Discharges to Groundwater: Permitting Uncertainty in Light of Circuit Court Split

Sarah Bell will speak on the Strafford live webinar, "CWA Regulation of Discharges to Groundwater: Permitting Uncertainty in Light of Circuit Court Split." This CLE webinar will discuss the "indirect discharge" theory of Clean...

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Publication

Ninth Circuit Asks the California Supreme Court to Interpret the Scope of Personal Injury Coverage

On January 15, 2019, the Ninth Circuit certified the following question to the California Supreme Court: Does a commercial liability policy that covers “personal injury,” defined as “injury… arising out of… [o]ral or written...

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News

Erica Villanueva Named to 2019 Leadership Council on Legal Diversity Fellows Program

SAN FRANCISCO, February 25, 2019: Farella Braun + Martel is proud to announce that partner Erica Villanueva has been named a member of the 2019 class of Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) Fellows....

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Publication

Emerging Contaminants: Coming to an NRD Site Near You!

What Are Emerging Contaminants? Emerging contaminants are chemicals in the environment for which the health risks—both human and ecological—remain unknown. They are also sometimes called contaminants of emerging concern, since the chemicals, or products...

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News

Farella Braun + Martel Wins Benchmark Litigation 2019 San Francisco Firm of the Year Award

SAN FRANCISCO, March 15, 2019: Farella Braun + Martel announces it has been named “San Francisco Firm of the Year” by Benchmark Litigation . Farella Partner Douglas Young accepted the award on behalf of...

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News

Prior Litigation Can Impact Coverage in Future Disputes

GlobeSt.com March 6, 2019 "Prior Litigation Can Impact Coverage in Future Disputes" Insurance Recovery Senior Associate Shanti Eagle discusses how positions taken by insureds in prior litigation can impact or foreclose coverage in subsequent disputes...

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Publication

The Uncertain Future of California’s Vehicle Emission Standards

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Event

Advancing the Careers of Women in the Environmental Practice: Obstacles & Opportunities

Sandra Edwards, Speaker, Advancing the Careers of Women in the Environmental Practice: Obstacles & Opportunities Join ELI-WELL for an inclusive conversation with women leaders in the environmental practice, exploring the unique challenges and opportunities women...

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