Varela, Lee, Metz & Guarino (VLMG)

Thomas S. O'Leary


Tom O’Leary is an associate in VLMG’s Tysons Corner office. His practice focuses mainly on construction litigation involving private projects and government contracts. Prior to joining VLMG, Tom clerked for the Honorable Sharon V. Burrell of the Montgomery County Circuit Court in Rockville, Maryland.

Tom earned his law degree from the Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law, in Washington, D.C. While in law school, Tom served as the Senior Leads Article Editor for the Catholic University Journal of Law and Technology. Tom was also a member of Catholic Law’s Moot Court National Trial Team and received Catholic Law’s Highest Honor in Pro Bono Services. Tom graduated as a University Scholar with a B.A. in Politics from the Catholic University.

Representative Experience

  • Currently representing a general contractor in an ASBCA appeal concerning a dispute with the government on a reservoir project as part of a major Everglades restoration plan.
  • Represented an ENR U.S. Top 50 general contractor in a dispute with a museum owner.  The parties reached a confidential settlement prior to the evidentiary hearing of the matter.
  • Represented a dredging subcontractor in a dispute with a general contractor on a nuclear power station project in Southern Virginia, securing a favorable settlement on behalf of the client.
  • Represented a major design-build tri-venture contractor on a $1.5 Billion classified federal government data center project in dispute against designer for errors and omissions totaling in excess of $15 million. The parties reached a confidential settlement prior to the evidentiary hearing of the matter.
  • Represented a contractor in an AAA / ICDR dispute with an EPC contractor on a 674MW natural gas-fired combined-cycle plant in Massachusetts. Following a multi-week evidentiary hearing, the client received a Final Award of over US$25 million on its claims of, among other things, lost productivity and change order work.  The Arbitration Panel also awarded the client its attorneys’ fees and costs.


  • Co-Author: Chapter 9, Design-Build Contracting with the Federal Government, in Design Build, Public-Private Partnerships, and Collaboration Handbook (Wolters Kluwer) (3d ed. 2022).
  • Author: “Better to Ask for Clarification than Beg for Forgiveness: Recent Ruling Reinforces Mandatory Nature of Bonding in Government Contracts,” Government Construction, Volume 4, Issue 4, February 2019.

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