William E. Franczek

Office Location: Norfolk, VA.

  • B.S. Civil Engineering, Syracuse University
  • M.S. Environmental Science, State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY – ESF) and Syracuse University
  • J.D. (magna cum laude, Order of Coif), Syracuse University
Jurisdiction Licensed
  • Virginia
  • New York
  • Registered Professional Engineer in New York and Virginia (Emeritus)
Professional & Community Activities
  • Member, International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution (CPR) Panels of Distinguished Neutrals
  • American College of Construction Lawyers, Fellow (2017–present)
  • American Bar Association – Forum on Construction Law, Division 13 Government Construction, Chair (2014-16); Governing Committee (2016-19)
  • American Arbitration Association – Construction Mega Project Panel (2015-Present); International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR), International Arbitrator; National Construction Panel for Arbitration & Mediation
  • Fellow, College of Commercial Arbitrators (2016–present)
  • Member, London Court of International Arbitration (2016-present)
  • Norfolk and Portsmouth Bar Association
  • Member, Dispute Resolution Board Foundation
  • Virginia Bar Association – Board of Governors, Past-Representative
  • Builders & Contractors Exchange of Virginia, President (2017)
  • Associated General Contractors of VA., General Counsel and Board Member
  • Hampton Roads Design-Build Institute of America
Notable Accomplishments
  • Martindale-Hubbell® AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rating
  • Virginia Business, “Legal Elite” (2000-present)
  • Chambers USA, “Senior Statesman and Eminent Practitioner” and Ranked Virginia Construction Lawyer (2015-18)
  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America®: Arbitration (2011-present); Construction Law (2006-present); Litigation – Construction (2011-present); Mediation (2011-present)
  • Best Lawyers in America® “Lawyer of the Year”: Litigation-Construction (2012, 2016-present); Construction Law (2015)
  • Thomson Reuters, “Virginia Super Lawyers” – Construction Litigation (2006-present)
  • Coastal Virginia Magazine, “Top Lawyers” – Arbitration | Construction (2017-present)
  • Chambers USA, “Band 1” Highest Recognition in Construction Law and Alternative Dispute Resolution (2021)
Publications and Speaking Engagements
  • Co-Author, Chapter 14 – Termination for Default, in FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTS (3d ed. 2017).
  • Co Author, Chapter 14 – Claim Issues, STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT CONSTRUCTION LAW (2017).
  • It’s Getting Better All the Time: Best Practices in Presenting Delay Claims, Presentation to the ABA Forum on Construction Law (October 2016).
  • “Tech Tools: Understanding the Scheduling Experts’ Technology,” Webinar Faculty for the ABA Forum on the Construction Industry, June 2014.
  • “Alternative Dispute Resolution,” presentation to the 2014 Annual Meeting of the Virginia Transportation Construction Alliance.
  • “Clearing the Smoke: Forensic Schedule Analysis Method Selection for Construction Attorneys,” The Construction Lawyer, ABA Forum on the Construction Industry, Fall 2013.
  • “Working with Damages Consultants: Ten Steps to Success,” ABA Forum on the Construction Industry, 2013 Midwinter Meeting – Naples, FL.
  • “Handling the Resolution of Subcontractor Claims in ADR with the Owner,” ABA Forum on the Construction Industry, September 2010 Fall Meeting – Miami, FL.
  • “Preventing disputes in Vertical Construction Projects,” ABA Forum on the Construction Industry, April 2010 Annual Meeting – Austin TX.
  • “Are You Choosing the Right Design Subcontract for Your Design-Build Project?,” Design Build Institute of America, Hampton Roads Chapter, April 2010.
  • “Top Ten Contract Clauses Sure to Cause You Problems,” Professional Construction Estimators Association of America, April 2010.
  • “The Great Debate: Arbitration vs. Litigation – Which Should You Chose?,” ABA Forum on the Construction Industry, April 2009 Fall Meeting – New Orleans, LA.
  • “Discovery Issues in the Complex Arbitration Matter,” ABA Forum on the Construction Industry, October 2008 Fall Meeting – Chicago, IL.
  • “View from the Other Side: An Arbitrator’s Thoughts on How Not to Present Your Case,” ABA Forum on the Construction Industry, April 2008 Annual Meeting – Palm Springs, CA.
  • “Construction and Claims in the U.S., “FACULTY OF BUILDING JOURNAL, October 1996.
  • “Trends in Alternative Dispute Resolution in the U.S.,” chapter, ADJUDICATIONS AND ADR IN CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTS
  • Co-Author, Legal Liability of Design Professionals for Failure to Adapt to Climate Change, Journal of the American College of Construction Lawyers, Fall 2018.
  • Panel Speaker – Arbitration in Commercial, Construction, and Employment Law Disputes, Norfolk – Portsmouth Bar Association, October 2018.

Bill Franczek is a partner with Vandeventer Black and is in the Firm’s Norfolk office. Bill was formerly a civil engineer working in construction, and his practice focuses on construction law, public contract law, and alternative dispute resolution. His extensive background in the construction field includes commercial building projects, highway projects, power plants, pulp and paper mills, rail projects, petrochemical facilities, airports, and marine terminals.

Regionally, nationally and internationally, Bill handles claim preparation, negotiation, and litigation/arbitration on behalf of construction industry clients.  His experience includes privately-owned projects; federal, state and local public projects; and hybrid developments such as public-private partnership projects.  His clients span across the construction industry and include owners and developers of large projects, general contractors, subcontractors, design professionals, and suppliers.  Bill has also served in leadership roles in many construction trade associations, including the ABA Forum on Construction Law, The Associated General Contractors of Virginia, Builders and Contractors Exchange of Hampton Roads Virginia, The Associated Builders and Contractors of Virginia, and the Hampton Roads Chapter of the Design Build Institute of America.

Bill is regarded as an expert in mediation, arbitration and conflict management.  He is a member of the American Arbitration Association’s National and International Construction Panel for arbitrators and mediators as well as its Mega Project Panel List, from which he has served across the nation as a neutral in all types of construction disputes.  Bill is also a Fellow in the College of Commercial Arbitrators and has served on over 200 ADR matters both privately and for the AAA.  He is also currently a member of several Dispute Resolution Boards across the country.

Bill was recently inducted as a Fellow into the American College of Construction Lawyers, a national organization of lawyers who have demonstrated skill, experience and high standards of professional and ethical conduct in the practice of construction law, and who are dedicated to excellence in the specialized practice of construction law.

Representative Matters
  • Successful representation of general contractor in $10 million claim against the Army Corps of Engineers for design defects in power plant steam turbine generator system.
  • Successfully represented general contractor in highway construction claim and litigation against NC Department of Transportation involving rock excavation, differing site conditions, and delay claims in excess of $20 million.
  • Successfully represented general contractor in $5.5 million deficient design claim against Army Corps of Engineers.
  • Successfully represented contractor in termination for convenience claim before Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals.
  • Successfully overturned board decision at the Court of Appeals for Federal Circuit on piping construction claim involving defective specifications.
  • Arbitrator in over 150 cases ranging in size from $10K to over $60M.
  • Mediator in over 60 cases; principally construction related.
14 Attorneys Selected for the 2021 Virginia Super Lawyers List
/ Firm News
14 Vandeventer Black attorneys were selected to be included on the 2021 Virginia Super Lawyers list by Thompson Reuters. This rating service considers attorneys from over 70 different practice areas nominated based on professional accomplishments and peer recognition. Attorneys from the Norfolk and Richmond offices received the Super Lawyers acknowledgment: ...
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Attorneys Recognized as 2021 Top Lawyers of Coastal Virginia
/ Firm News
Attorneys from the Norfolk-based business and litigation law firm, Vandeventer Black, have been recognized as Top Lawyers of Coastal Virginia for 2021. This distinction is a peer-rated nomination given to those lawyers who exemplify excellence in their specialty. The recognized attorneys are: Admiralty, Maritime & Transportation Edward J. Powers Arbitration ...
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Vandeventer Black Attorneys Selected as 2020 Legal Elite
/ Firm News
Thirty Vandeventer Black attorneys have been recognized as ‘Legal Elite’ for 2020 by Virginia Business Magazine. Every year, the magazine partners with the Virginia Bar Association to grant this award to attorneys nominated by their peers for this recognition. The selected attorneys are: Christopher Ambrosio, Business Law Anne G. Bibeau, ...
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