Every construction project is like a surging river with hidden rocks just beneath the surface. Navigating it means both avoiding these obstacles when you can and figuring out what to do when you bump into one. This is what Natalya Sheddan does—she guides clients through unavoidable obstacles that appear when they’re trying to get something built and helps right the ship when serious threats materialize. She’s a construction law wayfinder.
An experienced construction law attorney, Natalya’s baseline philosophy is that the best way to win an argument is not to have it in the first place. Her primary goal is to keep the building process moving forward and, in so doing, keep her clients’ businesses running smoothly. This can require a wide variety of proactive approaches, depending on the legal, tactical, and business issues at hand. It may be as straightforward as advising a client about its legal rights and remedies. It may be careful, expert negotiation of a dispute, with the objective of avoiding litigation and arriving at a mutually acceptable resolution without a trial. Or, when necessary, it can involve actual litigation. In that event, Natalya has extensive litigation experience and resolves disputes through negotiation, mediation, arbitration, or trying the case to a verdict.
Natalya comes to her construction law knowledge honestly and directly—she comes from a family of builders and developers. This gives her an unusually comprehensive, personal understanding of how disputes affect the parties involved, as she knows firsthand how they have an impact on their lives, as well as their businesses. Her direct knowledge of the disruptive nature of disputes is part of what animates her drive to resolve them.
Another key factor to her success as a construction law attorney is Natalya’s goal-driven, competitive nature. She thrives on the challenge of achieving more than expected—the more difficult the problem, the better. She enjoys creating strategies that help achieve the best possible outcome, particularly when it’s more than her clients anticipate. In keeping with this, she’s also a Board-Certified construction lawyer who passed a six-hour exam to earn that distinction. In 2016, she was appointed by Austin Mayor Steve Adler to be a commissioner on the City’s Building and Standards Commission, where she shapes policy, improves building standards, and presides over building code violations. She particularly relishes the multiparty, multifaceted complexity of construction disputes. Attacking and resolving a thorny, complicated issue and arriving at a solution is, for Natalya, a deeply gratifying experience.
In her spare time Natalya enjoys hiking with her family and trying new restaurants. But as someone who lives and breathes construction, you’ll also frequently find her talking shop with family on a construction site.
- Served as one of the lead attorneys in defending a general contractor against a $243 million claim involving construction defects, breach of contract, and fraud allegations. Representation included management and coordination of over a dozen experts and crew on-site for two weeks. The matter resulted in an amicable settlement resolution.
- Prevailed on behalf of a general contractor in obtaining all damages, costs, and attorneys’ fees against a subcontractor in a construction site accident matter.
- Prevailed at trial in defending a recycling contractor sued by a property owner for property damage.
- Represented a subcontractor and obtained a complete summary judgment dismissing all claims against the subcontractor in a matter involving construction defects in a school district building in South Texas.
Presentations & Publications
- Construction Law Primer
Place: Texas Association of Legal Professionals Annual Conference (October 2019)
Industry Involvement & Memberships
- City of Austin, Building and Standards Commission | Commissioner (2016-Present)
- State Bar of Texas, Construction Law Section | Member (2013-Present)
- Austin Bar Association, Construction Law Section | Board Member (Present); Member (2013-Present)
- Austin Bar Association, Austin Young Lawyers Association | Member (2013-Present)
- Travis County Women Lawyers Association | Member (Present)
- J.D., St. Mary’s University School of Law (2013)
- B.A., English, University of Texas at Austin (2005)
Licenses & Certifications
- Supreme Court of Texas
- Admitted to the U.S. District Courts for the Western, Eastern, and Southern Districts of Texas
- Board Certified® in Construction Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization