Varela, Lee, Metz & Guarino (VLMG)

David Wonderlick


David Wonderlick is an expert construction practitioner who concentrates his practice on the representation of clients in construction and engineering disputes. 'David Wonderlick displays an excellent ability to comprehend the technical aspects of a project, and precisely analyze the complicated claims of both parties.' - Chambers and Partners, 2022


David Wonderlick focuses his practice on construction litigation and government contracts. He has represented contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, owners, developers, sureties, and public agencies on projects involving the construction of conventional and nuclear power plants, transmission lines, industrial facilities, wastewater treatment facilities, sewers, highways and bridges, dams, tunnels, professional sports stadiums, airport facilities, mass transit systems, hotels, military facilities, and housing complexes. David also has experience in drafting contracts for the procurement of construction, architectural, and engineering services.

David has spent his entire career representing clients in the construction industry, first as an associate with a large Philadelphia, Pennsylvania firm as a member of their construction practice group, and later as an associate and partner at one of the largest firms in the country devoted to the practice of construction law.


  • Representing general contractor in litigation in Maryland federal court regarding over US$100 million in claims and counterclaims related to the construction of a private art museum in Potomac, Maryland.
  • Representing general contractor in connection with over $20 million in claims related to the construction of a medical research campus in Washington, DC.
  • Lead counsel representing federal government contractor before the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals in appeal of default termination of contract for construction of wastewater treatment facilities at a Naval base in El Centro, California.
  • Represented government contractor in successful appeal before the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals, overturning termination for default of a US$35 million road construction contract in Yellowstone National Park, including serving as trial counsel at multi-week hearing in San Francisco, CA, Eagle Peak Rock & Paving Inc. v. Department of Transportation, CBCA No. 5692, 2020 WL 7409948 (Dec. 7, 2020).
  • Represented general contractor in disputes related to the reconstruction of a paper machine at a mill in Skowhegan, Maine. Trial counsel in 4-week arbitration hearing before the American Arbitration Association, after which VLMG’s client was awarded nearly US$28 Million (approximately 95% of the client’s claim for unreimbursed costs on a cost-plus contract), plus expenses, while fully defeating Owner counterclaim seeking return of US$8.6 Million already paid to client.
  • Represented EPC contractor in 2.5-week hearing before the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce, in which VLMG’s client defeated wrongful termination claims originally valued at almost US$100 Million, while the Tribunal awarded client in excess of US$11 Million, which included almost 100% of client’s damages, legal fees, and expenses.
  • Represented an EPC contractor in litigation in New Jersey state court involving over US$80 million in claims and counterclaims for delay, disruption, acceleration, liquidated damages, and lost revenue related to the construction of a 734 MW, gas-fired, combined cycle power plant in West Deptford, NJ.
  • As lead counsel, obtained summary judgment in favor of surety on payment bond claim involving issue of first impression regarding interpretation of the Miller Act, Trustees of the Heating, Piping & Refrigeration Pension Fund v. Milestone Construction Services, Inc., 991 F. Supp. 2d 713 (D. Md. 2014).
  • Secured dismissal of all claims against construction manager in US$500 million litigation regarding allegedly defective construction of a hotel tower in Las Vegas, including briefing before the Nevada Supreme Court as amicus curiae.
  • Represented federal government contractor in ad hoc international arbitration of disputes with U.S. subcontractor and its Egyptian parent company arising from the termination for default of construction subcontracts at two U.S. military installations in Afghanistan, resulting in favorable settlement.
  • Represented federal government contractor in arbitration with joint venture partner arising from disputes over responsibility for cost overruns during construction of classified military facility in Djibouti, Africa.
  • Represented design-build prime contractor for construction of Defense Information Systems Agency Headquarters at Fort Meade, Maryland, in arbitration of disputes with paving subcontractor, resulting in favorable mediated settlement.
  • Received US$5.76 million AAA arbitration award for general contractor on claim against hotel developer, including prevailing party legal fees of US$165,500, and successfully enforced award through judicial sale of property.
  • Represented state agency defending against US$40 million delay, disruption, and acceleration claim, and successfully won partial motions to dismiss with award of attorneys' fees to the client pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.


  • Co-Editor, American Bar Association Forum on Construction Law Division 13 (Government Construction) Quarterly Newsletter (2018-2020).
  • Co-Author: Chapter 25, Federal Government Construction Contracts Outside the United States, in Forum on Construction Law, American Bar Association, Federal Government Construction Contracts (3d ed. 2017).
  • Speaker: “Construction Delay, Acceleration, and Inefficiency Claims,” Federal Publications, Arlington, VA, November 16-17, 2016; November 6-7, 2018.
  • Speaker: "Construction Delay, Acceleration, and Inefficiency Claims," Federal Publications, Sterling, VA, April 23-24, 2015.
  • Co-Author: Chapter 47: Virginia, in Fifty State Construction Lien and Bond Law, (3d ed. 2014).
  • Co-Author: "Foreign Contractor and Sub-contractor Claims Against the United States Government," International Construction Law Review , Volume 31, Part 1, January 2014.
  • Session Coordinator: "Capture the Imagination with Visualization: The Hottest Trend in Construction Scheduling and Change Order Analysis," American Bar Association Forum on the Construction Industry Midwinter Meeting, Nassau, Bahamas, January 2014.
  • Author: "Claims for Delays to a Planned Early Completion Date, Or, The Project Was Completed on Time: Why Am I Facing a Delay Claim?", The Construction Lawyer , Volume 33, Number 2, Spring 2013.
  • Speaker: "E-Discovery, Surety Claims Against the Federal Government, and Subdivision Claims: Recent Developments," In-House CLE Webinar for Surety Client, November 2012.
  • Co-Author: Pennsylvania State Review, American Bar Association, Construction Law Update: Case Law & Legislation Affecting the Construction Industry (2011-2012).
  • Co-Author: Pennsylvania State Review, American Bar Association, Construction Law Update: Case Law & Legislation Affecting the Construction Industry (2010-2011).
  • Co-Author: Pennsylvania Construction Law, a treatise, published by HLK Global Communications (, April 2010.
  • Co-Author: Chapter 9: Pricing of Construction Claims, in Forum on the Construction Industry, American Bar Association, CONSTRUCTION ACCOUNTING: A Guide for Attorneys and Other Professionals, 2010.
  • Speaker: "The Fundamentals of Construction Contracts: Understanding the Issues in Pennsylvania," Lorman, Allentown, PA, January 2009.
  • Speaker: "Legal Issues & Pitfalls in Design/Build Contracting," Pennsylvania Utility Contractors Association, Reading, Pennsylvania, January 2009.
  • Author: "The Intricacies of Indemnity: Virginia Supreme Court Upholds Broad Liability Under Indemnification Provisions," Virginia Construction Law and Public Contracts News, Fall 2007.
  • Author: "Canvassing a Construction Contract,", February 2007.
  • Author: "Owner's Continued Consideration of Claims May Waive Contractual Claim Information Requirements," Construction Claims Advisor, November 2006.
  • Author: "Hastily Prepared Bid Dooms Highway Contractor," Construction Claims Advisor, August 2006.
  • Author: "Negligent Damage May Warrant Full Replacement Cost Minus Owner-Caused Depreciation," Construction Claims Advisor, July 2006.

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