Varela, Lee, Metz & Guarino (VLMG)

Kirk E. Niemi

Senior Partner

Kirk Niemi is an experienced construction industry attorney who focuses his practice on construction litigation, government contracts, surety, and associated contract issues.  He represents owners, general contractors, subcontractors, sureties and government agencies including highway departments and municipalities. He has extensive experience in complex matters before courts, arbitrators and mediators regarding various construction issues including mechanics' liens, acceleration claims, changes, defects, delay claims, liquidated damages, and payment bond claims. Throughout his career, Kirk has advised his clients how to reach the most cost effective favorable resolution to their disputes.

Recently, Kirk has represented contractors in cases arising out of highway projects, cement plants, hospitals, and data centers for the United States Government involving national security agencies.  Kirk also has extensive experience with appeals to the various Boards of Contract Appeals including the ASBCA.  Kirk also has helped negotiate EPC and Public Private Partnership (P3) contracts.

Kirk has worked on matters involving nuclear power plants, bridges, highways, a professional baseball stadium, data centers, national intelligence facilities, office buildings (both federal and private), military bases, airports, hotel/resort complexes, industrial and petrochemical facilities, condominiums, water treatment facilities and wastewater treatment plants, amongst others. Kirk also has negotiated EPC power plant contracts on behalf of contractors.

Kirk possesses significant hands-on experience with technological issues including IT setup and maintenance, data storage, retention and production. Kirk leverages this experience to his client’s benefit, in particular with respect to eDiscovery issues, by implementing technology-based strategies, services and work-flows that fit the needs of the case.


  • Successfully represented national contractor in arbitration involving disputes arising out of a cement processing plant including lost productivity claims using a comparative project measured mile and delay claims.
  • Successfully represented a contractor in appeals to the ASBCA regarding delay claims arising out of the construction of a runway for the United States Navy at an air base in Moron, Spain.
  • Successfully represented international contractor in complex simultaneous disputes with electrical subcontractor and federal government arising out of delay and lost efficiency claims pertaining to a classified intelligence facility. Kirk was able to drive a settlement with the subcontractor while coordinating a pass-through claim to the government for portions of the subcontractor’s claims.
  • Represented contractor in default termination by United States Army Corps of Engineers arising out of construction of multiple facilities in Afghanistan.
  • Successfully represented a state highway department in defending against a claim approaching $40 Million arising out of numerous alleged design deficiencies and inspection which was settled through mediation.
  • Represented an international contractor in negotiations for multiple EPC nuclear power plant contracts.
  • Represented international contractor in dispute with airport regarding performance guarantees of automated people mover system.
  • Represented highway department in disputes regarding constructability of largest cathedral arch bridge in North America.
  • Represented international contractor in disputes arising out of design and performance of a baseball stadium retractable roof.


  • Speaker: "Construction Delay, Acceleration, and Inefficiency Claims," Federal Publications, Sterling, VA, 2015.
  • Co-Author: "Mediation: When, How, and the Human Element," Inter-Pacific Bar Association Annual Meeting, Seoul, Korea, April 2013.
  • Panelist: “Onerous Contract Terms – Friend or Foe?”, ACC/AAAE Airport, Planning, Design & Construction Symposium, Denver, Colorado, February 2011.
  • Co-Author: "The Construction Industry in the Crosshairs: Legislative and Regulatory Proposals Impacting Contractors on Federally Funded Construction Projects," The Washington Building Congress, November 2007.
  • Speaker: "Condominium Construction: The State of the Market and What You Should Know - Legal Implications," Associated Builders and Contractors Virginia Chapter, October 2006. 
  • Author: "Keeping What You Were Paid: Potential Defenses to Bankruptcy Preference Actions," Journal of Construction Accounting and Taxation, December 2003.
  • Speaker: "Construction Contracts: Understanding Key Contract Clauses," Associated Builders and Contractors - Virginia Chapter, October 2003.
  • Author: "Accord & Satisfaction: The Dangers of Accepting a Partial Final Payment," Dig It! Heavy Construction Contractors Association, November 2002.
  • Author: "Don't Count on that Contract: Subcontractor Listing is No Guarantee of Award," MEInsights, National Electrical Contractors Association Management Education Institute, Summer 2002.
  • Co-Author: Chapter 4: Design-Build Claims - Case Law, in Design-Build Risk and Insurance (Ann Hickman ed., 2002), Insurance Risk Management Institute, Inc.
  • Author: "Lost in Cyberspace: Personal Jurisdiction in an Era of Non-Physical Presence," Fairfax Bar Association, June 1999.

Varela, Lee, Metz & Guarino updates the content of this website on a periodic basis. Any content i) is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice; and, ii) is not intended to create, and your receipt and/or use of such content does not create, a lawyer-client relationship. You should not rely on any such content without first consulting a licensed attorney familiar with your particular facts and legal issues.