Varela, Lee, Metz & Guarino (VLMG)

Andrew Van Ornum

Partner

Andrew represents clients in various commercial matters with emphasis in contracting, from drafting contracts and contract formation through public bidding, construction, and dispute resolution processes. His experience includes representation of contractors and surety companies in state and federal courts in California and Washington, and he has successfully tried cases in front of juries, judges, arbitrators and on appeal.  Subject matters include contested contractor default terminations, disputed requests for equitable adjustment, and contractual claims for additional compensation, including claims resulting from design changes, defective specifications, and poor contract administration. His specific litigation experience includes construction delay, disruption, inefficiency and impact claims, including on public utility, waste water, and hospital projects.

For surety clients, Andrew has also negotiated takeovers, tenders, and other completion arrangements. He has also prosecuted adversary proceedings and litigated creditor claims in bankruptcy court. He has also been engaged to assist with regulatory compliance, including creation of a training program for surety claims representatives. 

REPRESENTATIVE EXPERIENCE

  • Obtained a defense jury verdict for surety client against general contractor on approx. $1 million claim following termination of bonded subcontractor, which recovery included recovery of substantial attorney’s fees for client;
  • Successfully settled general contractor’s delay and disruption claims against public owner on a seismic retrofit of a water supply reservoir;
  • Received a judgment after close of evidence in jury trial against school district that alleged the general contractor was liable for delay damages and defective work claims;
  • Obtained arbitration award for general contractor client against subcontractor involving subcontractor’s defective work and failure to defend and indemnify general contractor from school district owner;
  • Litigated public entity’s claims of defective design and construction and surety issues on a $100 million design-build jail project in the City and County of San Francisco resulting in favorable settlement for client;
  • Obtained defense jury verdict for surety client on electrical subcontractor’s claim for compensation on public dining hall facility at University of California;
  • Litigated disputed claims for delay between plumbing subcontractor and general contractor on public hospital construction project;
  • Prosecuted claims against public owner on public works water supply infrastructure projects; and
  • Drafted integrated project delivery agreements for large hospital project.

PUBLICATIONS & PRESENTATIONS

  • Contributing Author: Payment Bond Manual, 3rd Ed., Eds. Wayne D. Lambert, Todd R. Braggins, J. Blake Wilcox, ABA (2006).
  • Author: "False 'Records or Statements' Alone Do Not Impute Liability For Civil Penalties Under The California False Claims Act", Newsletter, Winter 2007-2008.
  • Author: " In California, The Regulations Have Changed For Surety Bond Claims", Newsletter, Fall 2006.