Varela, Lee, Metz & Guarino (VLMG)

Brian R. Dugdale


Brian Dugdale advises on a wide array of construction matters, including contract negotiation, joint venture formation and dispute resolution. One client says "He is well prepared and does his research," one client notes, while another describes him as "smart, tenacious, skilled and an excellent writer."

- Chambers and Partners, 2020

Brian's practice focuses on the construction and engineering industry, federal government contracts and surety law. Brian represents owners, developers, contractors, subcontractors, engineers, design professionals and sureties in all phases of public and private projects from contract inception through alternative dispute resolution and litigation.  Brian advises regional, national and international clients on complex legal issues, including contract performance and administration, risk assessment, claim entitlement and liability, design-build issues, joint venturing and teaming agreements, surety bond and insurance issues, critical path scheduling and delays, and quantification of damages. 

Brian has broad experience both assisting federal government contractors with submission of certified claims, bid protests and compliance with Federal Acquisition Regulations, as well as in prosecuting, defending and resolving construction disputes in the private sector.  Brian’s clients have been involved in the construction of everything from power plants to highways and bridges, to chemical and manufacturing facilities, condominium complexes, banks and retail, airports, tunnels, pipelines, courthouses, embassies and other government buildings, NASA space equipment, and domestic and international military installations including data centers, forward structures, barracks, digital weapons training ranges, tank trails and network infrastructure.  Brian has appeared before state and federal courts, including the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, boards of contract appeals, arbitration panels and construction mediators throughout the United States.


  • Currently representing 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.
  • Represented top 10 ENR design-build contractor on $225 Million state-of the-art manufacturing plant in four-party dispute against international owner and major electrical and MEP subcontractors. Before scheduled arbitration hearing, successfully mediated with all four parties, recovering nearly $24 million for client.
  • Represented general contractor in disputes related to the reconstruction of a paper machine at a pulp and paper mill in Skowhegan, Maine. After 4-week arbitration hearing, secured judgment of nearly $28 Million (approximately 95% of the client’s claim) plus expenses, while fully defeating Owner counterclaim seeking return of $8.6 Million already paid to client.
  • Represented design-build contractor in ASBCA appeal arising out of $600 million high speed federal data center, resulting in favorable settlement of nearly $40 million in claims prior to hearing and dismissal of appeal.
  • Represented EPC Power contractor in $20 million dispute with construction subcontractor regarding clean energy retrofit cost overruns. Settled favorably on fourth day of 2-week AAA arbitration based on cross-examination of subcontractor's first five witnesses.
  • Represented prime contractor in dispute with subcontractor arising out of high-rise demolition project, securing arbitration award for one hundred percent of client's damages against subcontractor.
  • Represented construction manager in defense of $100 million dispute with owner on $2.4 billion hotel and casino project in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
  • Represented contractor prosecuting $12 million good faith and fair dealing claim against the federal government and appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
  • Represented contractor prosecuting $19 million delay and inefficiency claim on military infrastructure project, securing favorable settlement.
  • Represented developer in $22 million dispute on mixed-use development project involving delays, defective work and environmental hazard claims, securing favorable settlement through mediation.
  • Represented contractor mediating $7 million delay and inefficiency claim on military infrastructure project, securing favorable settlement.
  • Represented contractor in arbitration arising out of private road construction, resulting in judgment and award of damages in full to contractor client.
  • Represented contractor in defense of $20 million surety bond claim arising out of sewer tunnel construction, securing settlement with no liability on behalf of surety client.
  • Represented contractor in federal bench trial involving critical path delay claims arising out of $100 million condominium project, securing favorable settlement on behalf of contractor.
  • Represented EPC Power contractor in mediation of claims against supplier for defective steam turbine generator, securing favorable settlement.
  • Represented prominent asphalt paving contractor in favorable settlement of various construction claims and supply contract disputes.
  • Represented owner against $40 Million delay and cumulative impact claim arising out of highway and bridge construction, winning partial Motions to Dismiss and award of attorneys' fees to the client and securing favorable settlement.
  • Represented general contractor prosecuting $12 million dollar delay claim on behalf of general contractor constructing manufacturing plant, securing favorable settlement.


  • Speaker: “Warning to Outside Counsel:  Pet Peeves from the People Who First See Your Bills,” Construction SuperConference, December 2022.
  • Speaker: “The Role of Insurance in Resolving Complex Construction Disputes,” Construction SuperConference, December 2021.
  • Speaker: “Navigating Virginia’s Procurement Related Ethics, Conflict of Interests and False Claims Statutes,” Virginia State Bar Construction Law & Public Contracts Section, Annual Government Contracts Seminar, September 2017.
  • Co-Author: Chapter 16, Litigating with the Federal Government, American Bar Association, Federal Government Construction Contracts (3rd ed. 2017).
  • Presenter: "Acceleration & Mitigation of Project Delays," WBL Publishing Webinar, November 2016.
  • Co-Author: "Pass-Through Claims and Liquidating Agreements in Federal Government Contracting: No Privity, No Problem?" The Construction Lawyer, Journal of the ABA Forum on Construction Law, Volume 36, Number 2, Spring 2016.
  • Panelist: "DBE Requirements and Good Faith Efforts," Webinar & CLE, ABA Forum on Construction Law, March 2016.
  • Co-Author:  “Narrowly Tailored or a Narrow Miss:  Is DBE Program Expansion for Veteran-Owned Small Businesses Constitutional?” Government Construction, Published by Division 13 of the ABA Forum on Construction Law, December 2015.
  • Presenter: “Acceleration & Mitigation of Project Delays,” WBL Publishing Webinar, November 2014.
  • Panelist: “Joint Ventures and Teaming Agreements – Why, How and When to Team Up for Large Projects,” National Utility Contractors Association, August 2013.
  • Co-Author: Alaska Native Corporations Drawing Attention from Federal Contractors and Politicians Alike,” Construction Solutions, January 2011.
  • Author: “Understanding SBA Regulations,” Bulletin, The Official Publication of The Washington Building Congress, July/August 2010.

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