Frederick E. Hedberg

Partner

  • Overview

    Biography

    Frederick E. Hedberg is a member of the firm’s Construction Law Group, with more than 20 years of experience handling complex construction and commercial matters for his clients, both as a transactional attorney and as an experienced litigator. In addition to his legal experience, prior to becoming an attorney, Fred practiced as a licensed civil and structural engineer for over 10 years, thereby gaining an in-depth knowledge and understanding of all phases of a construction project. Fred’s client base includes a wide array of construction industry participants, including public, institutional and private project owners, developers, general and specialty contractors, design professionals, manufacturers, sureties, and insurance companies. Fred represents clients in federal and state courts and before arbitration panels and administrative governmental tribunals on all types of project-related claims and disputes to meet his clients’ specific needs and objectives. 

    Contract Procurement and Project Delivery

    Fred represents public, institutional and private owners, developers, governmental agencies, architectural and engineering firms, and general and specialty contractors in drafting and negotiating many types of development and construction-related agreements. He routinely draws upon the experience and knowledge that he acquired as a professional engineer designing and managing the construction of various government contracting projects, energy projects, and transportation projects in drafting and negotiating agreements that clearly identify each parties’ responsibilities while at the same time fairly allocating risk among the parties and providing incentives for cooperation and performance. To achieve these goals, he counsels his clients on important contract provisions regarding the scope of the project, costs, payment, changes in the work, insurance, claims, indemnity, limitations on liability, termination and dispute resolution.

    Fred has significant experience with various project delivery methods, including design-bid-build, design-bid, integrated project delivery and public-private partnerships. He has drafted and negotiated numerous construction-related agreements on behalf of developers, contractors and design professionals using custom and standard industry forms, including from the American Institute of Architects (AIA), ConsensusDocs, and the Engineers Joint Contract Documents Committee (EJCDC) for a wide range of construction projects, including apartment buildings, schools, churches, healthcare facilities, colleges, senior centers, commercial office buildings, athletic facilities, retail stores, manufacturing facilities and high-end residential homes. 

    Dispute Resolution

    The goal in every construction project is to ensure that all contingencies are addressed in the contract documents prior to executing construction-related agreements and commencing the work. Inevitably, however, challenges and unanticipated disputes often arise during construction projects regarding changes in scope, additional work, defective design or construction, delays and disruptions, and payment. The best protection against such challenges and disputes is an agreement that clearly identifies the parties’ rights and obligations, and the consequences of breaching such obligations. Additionally, early identification of such challenges and disputes, combined with sound, legal assessment and strategic guidance is critical to protecting a client’s business and financial interests, and ultimately ensuring the overall success of a construction project. Fred has extensive experience counseling clients during the development and construction of many different types of projects to avoid claims, and to properly document and follow contract provisions to preserve and protect claims in the event claims should arise.

    When claims arise on construction projects, Fred is an experienced advocate in construction and commercial litigation, arbitration and mediation. He has mediated and litigated construction disputes involving bid disputes, changes in the work, additional work, unforeseen conditions, delay and disruption, termination, design and construction defects, contract non-payment, liquidated damages, insurance and surety issues. Fred has represented clients in cases involving a wide range of residential, commercial and industrial construction projects, including state and municipal facilities, commercial office buildings, apartment building complexes, continuing care retirement facilities, condominium complexes, athletic facilities, retail stores, conference and retreat centers, military facilities, restaurants, high rise office buildings, universities, and municipal buildings. 

    Fred is a longtime member of the commercial and construction panel of neutrals for the American Dispute Resolution Center, Inc. He has chaired several arbitrations, and has served as a private mediator. He has lectured and authored articles on a variety of topics relating to the construction and engineering industries. He also is a contributor to the firm’s blog, Construction Law Zone.

    Fred has been selected to the Connecticut Super Lawyers® list from 2017 to 2020. He is also a Fellow in the Construction Lawyers Society of America, an invitation-only construction lawyer honorary society with membership limited to 1,200 practicing Fellows from the United States and internationally. 

  • Experience
    • Experience

      Experience

        Dispute Resolution

      • Representation of a heavy equipment operator who suffered life-threatening injuries resulting from collapse of state highway bridge during demolition phase in the prosecution of claims in lawsuit seeking damages in excess of $5 million against several contractors and design professionals, resulting in a favorable settlement prior to jury selection.*

      • Obtained decision in favor of a general contractor against owner of multi-million dollar project involving construction of new commercial office buildings that owner breached the construction agreement and the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing by failing to certify and/or pay the contractor’s requisitions, wrongfully terminating the construction agreement, and improperly taking assignment of subcontract agreements to complete portions of the work.*

      • Defended a general contractor against claims brought by its surety in excess of $1,000,000 after obtaining jury verdict that surety breached the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing inherent in the general indemnity agreement as a result of payment in excess of $700,000 to subcontractor on claim on bond surety furnished in connection with the construction of a continuing care retirement facility, which became controlling law on surety bad faith in Connecticut after the Connecticut Supreme Court affirmed the trial court’s decision on appeal.*

      • Representation of a developer-general contractor against design and construction defect claims brought by a condominium association in excess of $3,000,000 arising from the construction of a condominium complex resulting in a favorable settlement after contributions from various design professionals and subcontractors who worked on the project.*

      • Obtained summary judgment in favor of general contractor on claims that owner brought against it, subcontractors, suppliers, design professionals and Connecticut municipality seeking damages in excess of $9,000,000 on project involving renovations and additions to retail store after issuance of an arbitration award in favor of general contractor on grounds that such claims were barred by the doctrine of res judicata, which the Connecticut Appellate Court affirmed on appeal.*

      • Representation of an architect against claims seeking damages in excess of $1 million that the owner brought against the general contractor and other design professionals alleging design defects and negligent construction administration on project involving additions and major renovations to a conference and retreat center resulting in a favorable settlement after contributions from general contractor and other design professionals.*

      • Defended an architect against claims seeking damages in excess of $750,000 that owner brought against it and builder for alleged design defects and negligent construction administration of high-end residential home in the Berkshires, resulting in a favorable settlement after contributions from the general contractor and its insurer.*

      • Obtained decision in favor of a general contractor against its subcontractor’s claims seeking damages in excess of $250,000 on project involving improvements to a state transportation facility that the general contractor did not breach the construction agreement, and that it was entitled to an offset in excess of $310,000 to complete the subcontractor’s work on the project.*

      • Defended a developer-general contractor against claims seeking damages in excess of $500,000 brought by a condominium association arising from the development, procurement and construction of condominium complex resulting in a favorable settlement after contributions from various subcontractors and design professionals.*

      • Obtained decision in favor of a general contractor against the State of Connecticut that general release that general contractor executed during the construction of a state transportation facility only barred those claims of the general contractor and its subcontractors that existed or that could have been brought prior to execution of release, resulting in favorable settlement of contractor claims in excess of $500,000.*

      • Representation of a general contractor before the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals in claims against the federal government arising from construction projects at several Connecticut National Guard military facilities.*

      • Defended motion for summary judgment brought by general contractor’s surety against owner in Massachusetts Superior Court that owner did not waive its right to recovery for construction defects in settlement agreement executed prior to discovery of those defects.*

      • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of general contractor in Connecticut Superior Court on subcontractor’s claims that general contractor breached settlement agreement by not executing timely assignment to subcontractor and by not taking all steps reasonably necessary to preserve “pass-through” of subcontractor’s claims.*

      • Contract Procurement and Project Delivery

      • Representation of an engineering firm in drafting and negotiating to conclusion multiple design agreements with the joint venture designing and constructing the $800 million South Hartford Conveyance and Storage Tunnel project.*

      • Representation of a general contractor in drafting and negotiating to conclusion construction agreements for the conversion of former 53,000 bed nursing home facility into a state of the art drug rehabilitation facility.*

      • Representation of a general contractor in drafting and negotiating to conclusion construction agreements for the remediation of contaminated soils and the conversion of a former mill into a mixed income housing development.*

      • Representation of several municipal water pollution control authorities in drafting and negotiating to conclusion numerous design and construction agreements for various water treatment and wastewater treatment projects.*

      • Representation of an owner in drafting and negotiating to conclusion several design and construction agreements for the development, procurement and construction of a state of the art medical facility.*

      • Representation of a general contractor in drafting and negotiating to conclusion various design-build, construction and subcontract agreements for various construction projects involving the U.S. corporate headquarters of a toy manufacturer.*

      • Representation of several Connecticut municipalities in drafting and negotiating to conclusion numerous design and construction agreements for the development, procurement and construction of wide range of municipal capital improvements and local infrastructure projects.*

      • Representation of owners and contractors in drafting and negotiating to conclusion design and construction agreements for the development, procurement and construction of several high-end residential homes.*

      • Representation of developer in drafting, reviewing and negotiating to conclusion numerous leases involving a wide array of tenant improvement construction projects for commercial, industrial and retail buildings.*

      • Representation of a general contractor in drafting and negotiating to conclusion various construction-related agreements involving the development, financing and construction of various public housing projects.*

      • Representation of developer in drafting and negotiating to conclusion several design-build agreements for the development, procurement and construction of several automobile dealerships.*

         

        *Attorney Hedberg was counsel in these representative litigation and transactional matters prior to joining Robinson+Cole

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    • Professional Associations

      Professional Associations

      ACE Mentor Program of Connecticut
      Director, Board of Directors

      Connecticut Bar Association
      Construction Law Section, Executive Committee
      Construction Law Section, Legislative Liaison

      American Bar Association
      Section of Litigation, Construction Litigation Committee, Membership Subcommittee, Past Co-Chair
      Forum on Construction Industry

      Connecticut Building Congress
      Industry Practices Committee
      Golf Committee, Past Co-Chair

      ADR Center, Inc.
      Panel of Arbitrators

      Construction Lawyers Society of America
      Fellow

      State of Vermont
      Professional Engineer-Civil and Structural (1992 - 2016)
    • Honors + Awards

      Honors + Awards

      Outstanding Legal Service, Statewide Legal Services of Connecticut, October 2018.

      Selected to the Connecticut Super Lawyers list from 2017 to 2020.

      Selected to the New England Super Lawyers list from 2017 to 2020.

    • Community Involvement

      Community Involvement

      Special Olympics Connecticut
      Volunteer

      Hole in the Wall Gang Camp
      Volunteer

      Beach Farms Homeowners Association
      Director/Secretary
  • NEWS + PRESS
    • Publications

      Publications

      "Professional and General Liability Insurance for Engineers," Half-Moon Seminars. (August 2020)

      "Planning for Delay: Critical in More Ways than One," published in CONSTRUCT!, Volume 15, No. 1. (Fall 2005)

      "A Connecticut False Claims Act: An emotional reaction to the wrong problem!," published by Connecticut Building Congress. (February 2005)

      "Surety Bad Faith after PSE Consulting: An Implicit Bar to Indemnification," published in CONSTRUCT!, Volume 14, No. 1. (Fall 2004)

    • Presentations

      Presentations

      "Professional Accountability and Ethical Conduct," WTS CT Leadership Session Series. (September 2020)
      • » more info

      "Connecticut Engineering Law," as a panelist, Half-Moon Seminars. How Engineers Can Manage Risk With Professional Liability and General Liability Insurance. (September 2020)

      "Girolametti: Res Judicata Implications Arising From Arbitration Decisions," as a panelist, Connecticut Bar Association, Construction Law Section, Middletown, CT. (October 2019)

      "Construction Law in Review," as a panelist, Connecticut Legal Conference, Hartford. (June 2017)
      • » more info

      "Risk Management in the AEC Industry," Hartford Business Group, Newington, CT. (October 2013)
      • » more info

      "Engineering Malpractice: What Is It and How Do You Avoid It?" presented to the Connecticut Society of Professional Engineers, Hartford, CT. (March 2012)

      "Legal Issues and Risks Arising from BIM, Integrated Project Delivery and Green Building,"  presented to Hartford Business Group, Newington, CT. (October 2011)

      "Legal Issues for Connecticut Professional Engineers: Law of Engineering Malpractice," Half-Moon Seminars, LLC, North Haven, CT. (April 2006)

      "Connecticut’s Ethics Laws for Engineers and Contractors," presented to Connecticut Building Congress, New Haven, CT. (April 2004)

    • News

      R+C in the News

      • September 8, 2020

        Construction Law Group Members Appointed to Serve on CT Bar Assoc. Construction Law Section Executive Committee

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      R+C News Releases

      • August 31, 2020

        Robinson+Cole Expands Construction Practice

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        • View article