An experienced construction lawyer in Texas, Travis Brown acts as outside general counsel and trial counsel to over fifty clients in the industry, with a focus on representing owners and contractors engaged in large-scale Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) projects and heavy civil projects. These have included LNG export and import facilities, manufacturing plants, power plants (including gas-fired, coal, solar, wind, and water), petrochemical facilities, desalination facilities, mining, TxDOT highway projects, and a wide range of other projects.
In the most general sense, Travis’s role as a construction lawyer is to manage the legal and contractual issues that inevitably arise in the course of extremely complex, big-ticket construction projects. These range in scope from straightforward questions that can be addressed in a phone call to intricate, ongoing analysis and negotiation based on a thousand-page contract, such as a construction management, architectural, supply, or professional services agreement. Depending on the situation, his work may entail reviewing contracts, analyzing and evaluating delay claims, providing guidance to clients on the optimal response to correspondence, developing and implementing a negotiation strategy, filing or defending a formal claim, or a combination of several of these approaches.
Travis’s objective is dispute avoidance whenever possible. To accomplish this, he and his team take an approach that’s strategic, proactive, and measured. He is particularly skilled at absorbing and analyzing large amounts of information, identifying the key issues, and distilling them down into specific, actionable next steps that allow his clients to manage the inevitable disagreements, surprises, and changes that arise in large, highly complex construction projects.
As a practitioner, Travis and the teams he leads emphasize, above all, responsiveness and speed. This means immediate analysis of questions and issues, with the objective of arriving at a resolution with as little client involvement as possible. His disciplined, highly focused approach allows him to operate efficiently, and typically at a significantly lower cost than the firms against which he is negotiating.
Finally, having devoted his career to practicing construction law, he brings an exceptionally deep well of professional experience to his work. In particular, he understands risk profiles, leverage, and the strategies clients can implement to manage risk. In addition, he has extensive experience handling complex project closeout issues and resolving lien, bond, warranty, and defective work claims so that all parties can obtain closure at the end of a project.
Travis is married with two children. In his free time, Travis works in one (or all) of his three gardens with his girls and hunts and fishes when he can. Which is not often enough.
- Drafted and negotiated NDAs for EPC contractor.
- Drafted Master Subcontract Agreement for EPC Contractor for use in clean energy projects.
- Litigated $90M dispute for EPC contractor involving chemical plant and reached successful settlement and resolution of claims by subcontractors.
- Managed lien, bond claim, warranty, and punch list closeout dispute on a multi-family project.
- Managed the closeout of a multimillion-dollar sports complex and student union building for an institute of higher education.
- Negotiated EPC contract on behalf of EPC contractor concerning $700MM Biomass project, including all subcontract templates, purchase orders, and applicable flow-downs.
- Negotiated EPC contract on behalf of EPC contractor concerning a power generation plant.
- Negotiated EPC contract on behalf of EPC contractor concerning a steam power plant.
- Negotiated EPC contract on behalf of EPC contractor concerning the design and construction of a large pump station.
- Represented EPC contractor in payment dispute with owner over power plant project in Central Texas.
- Represented multiple municipally owned utility and electric cooperatives in a group of related breach-of-contract suits against an electric utility provider. All cases were resolved by an agreement.
- Litigated $45M dispute for EPC contractor involving solar project in West Texas.
Presentations & Publications
- Responding to a Problem Project without Making Things Worse
Place: Build On: The Construction Seminar for Construction Experts (September 2018)
- Understanding Construction/Contract Administration
Place: Presentation for HalfMoon Seminars, LLC (February 2018)
- Case Study: Port of Houston/Zachry Contract
Place: Presented to the Construction Industry Institute Executive Leadership Program, The University of Texas at Austin (January 2017)
- Payment and Performance Bonds on Public Projects
Place: HalfMoon Seminars, LLC: Construction Law for Public Projects (August 2016)
- Recent Developments in Construction Law
Place: Presented to the AACEI Central Texas Section Meeting (November 2012)
- Payment and Managing the Project
Place: Presentation for HalfMoon Seminars, LLC: Legal Issues for Texas Professional Engineers (September 2012)
- Selecting and Procuring Services
Place: Panel Presentation at the Leadership in the Capital Projects Forum (April 2012)
- No Contract, No Fear . . . Quantum Meruit is Here
Place: Construction News (June 2011)
- When “Pay-if-Paid” Means “Not Going to Get Paid”
Place: Construction News (May 2011)
- Managing the Project
Place: Presentation for HalfMoon Seminars, LLC: Minimizing Engineering Liability Exposure (February 2011)
- Building Information Modeling
Place: In Shared Design 4-1 (Michael T. Callahan ed., 2011)
- Paving the Way: TxDOT’s Contract Claims Process
Place: Construction News (July 2010)
- Bid Issues – What Every Subcontractor Needs to Know
Place: Construction News (December 2009)
- An Introduction to Building Information Modeling
Place: 27 Construction Law. 33 (2007)
- Claims before the State Office of Administrative Hearings
Place: Presentation for HalfMoon Seminars, LLC: Texas Construction Law for Engineers & Contractors (October 2007)
- Construction Law Update
Place: Presented to the State Bar of Texas 19th Annual Construction Law Conference (March 2006)
- State Bar of Texas, Construction Law Section | Member (2005-Present)
- Austin Bar Association, Construction Law Section | Member (Present); Chairman (2012-2013); Vice-Chair (2011-2012); Secretary/Treasurer (2010-2011)
- Austin Bar Association | Breakfast with the Judiciary, Sub-committee Chair (2012-2013)
- RBI Austin | Board of Advisors (2009-Present)
Best Lawyers by BL Rankings
- “Lawyer of the Year” Construction Law – Austin, Texas (2021)
- Construction Law – Austin, Texas (2015-2021)
- Litigation: Construction – Austin, Texas (2021)
Super Lawyers by Thompson Reuters
- Texas Construction Litigation (2019-2021)
- Rising Stars – Texas Construction Litigation (2009-2011, 2014-2019)
- J.D., University of Texas School of Law (2005)
- B.S., cum laude, Political Science, University of Texas at El Paso (2002)
Licenses & Certifications
- Supreme Court of the United States
- Supreme Court of Texas
- Admitted to the U.S. District Courts for Western, Eastern, Northern, and Southern Districts of Texas
- Board Certified, Construction Law — Texas Board of Legal Specialization