Whitney Knight works at the intersection of two overlapping circles on a Venn diagram. The first circle is “complex construction contracts,” and the second is “Austin.” A native Austinite with deep roots in the business community, Whitney drafts and negotiates a wide range of contracts for an equally wide array of clients in the construction industry, including design professionals, developers, and contractors.
Contracts are the raw material of any construction project and the ultimate planning and risk allocation tool. Some are routine—and for these, efficiency is paramount. Some are mind-bendingly complex and demand in-depth analysis, planning, and strategy, particularly with respect to possible contingencies. Whether the client needs a template agreement or a painstakingly customized document, Whitney excels at delivering contracts that manage risk, maximize opportunity, and address a myriad of potential scenarios.
A number of factors make Whitney a uniquely skilled construction contract lawyer. Because she’s worked on every type of contract for virtually all the players in the construction industry, she has an unusually broad base of experience and knowledge to draw upon. She excels at quickly identifying key issues for her clients and anticipating the issues that will be of importance to the other side in a negotiation. This allows her clients and their business partners to arrive at innovative solutions that help avoid impasse and delay. Whitney, in a sentence, is a skilled problem solver precisely because of her track record in preventing—or solving—an extraordinary array of challenges.
In addition to her contract work, Whitney also serves as outside counsel to architecture and engineering firms. In this role, she advises clients on day-to-day legal issues related to contracts, risk avoidance, payment disputes, and pre-litigation advice. When necessary, she has an extensive network of contacts to whom she can refer clients for specialized help.
When she’s not engineering deals for her clients, Whitney spends time with her husband, children, and extended family doing things like hiking, snowboarding, and searching for the best new restaurants and soup dumplings in Austin. She is also heavily involved in local nonprofits, including serving as Vice-Chair of the Downtown Austin Alliance, and with I Live Here, I Give Here’s BIG Give, the Elizabeth Ann Seton Board, and several other organizations. Austin is Whitney’s home, and she delights in working to make it a better place for everyone.
Presentations & Publications
- Walking the Tightrope: Risk Management Strategies for Landscape Architects
Place: American Society of Landscape Architects Educational Session (February 2021)
- Law and the Architect 2020: Knowledge as the Ultimate Catalyst | Professional Practice Issues and COVID-19
Place: Texas Society of Architects 81st Annual Conference & Design Expo (November 2020)
- Architecture in a Time of Pandemic: Professional Practice Issues and COVID-19
Place: AIA Austin Webinar (April 2020)
- Contracts from the Owner’s Perspective
Place: State Bar of Texas Basic Course in Texas Construction Law (December 2018)
- Law and the Architect: 2018
Place: Texas Society of Architects 79th Annual Conference & Design Expo (November 2018)
- Risk Management for Design Professionals
Place: Build On: The Construction Seminar for Construction Experts (September 2018)
- Litigation: The Other L Word
Place: AIA Austin Speaker Series for Allied Members (January 2018)
- Construction Law Update
Place: Presented to The University of Texas School of Law Construction Law Conference (Sept. 13, 2012)
- Managing Risk for Differing Site Conditions
Place: Construction News (Sept. 2012)
- State Bar of Texas, Construction Law Section | Member (2012-Present)
- Austin Bar Association, Construction Law Section | Member (2012-Present)
- Austin Bar Association, Austin Young Lawyers Association | Member (2012-Present)
- Downtown Austin Alliance | Executive Committee Vice-Chair (Present); Executive Committee Treasurer (2018-2020); Executive Committee Secretary (2017-2018); Board Member (2017-Present)
- I Live Here I Give Here | BIG Give Committee Member (2017-Present)
- Travis County Women Lawyers Association | Member (2017-Present)
Super Lawyers by Thompson Reuters
- Rising Stars – Texas Construction Litigation (2018-2020)
Best Lawyers by BL Rankings
- Litigation: Construction – Austin, Texas (2021)
- J.D., University of San Diego Law School (2010)
- B.A., with distinction, Political Science, University of Colorado (2005)
Licenses & Certifications
- Supreme Court of Texas
- Admitted to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas