Niel P. Franzese


  • Overview


    Niel Franzese focuses his practice on the construction industry and represents clients in all areas of the industry, including owners, general contractors, subcontractors, sureties, and design professionals with respect to contract drafting and negotiation, and dispute resolution. He is a member of the firm’s Construction Group.

    Contract Procurement and Project Delivery

    Niel assists clients in the drafting and negotiation of design, construction and professional service contracts for both public and private projects. Niel routinely represents institutional owners and design and construction professionals of all sizes in a wide range of industries, including hospitality, education, healthcare, manufacturing, commercial, industrial, and retail.

    Dispute Resolution 

    Niel handles claims of all types which arise during a project, including allegations of defective design and construction, claims concerning the allocation of unforeseen costs, delay claims, mechanics' liens, bid disputes, and surety bond claims and claim management. He counsels clients in all avenues of dispute resolution, including resolving disputes through negotiation, mediation and arbitration, but is also called upon when needed to litigate in state or federal court. Niel has represented clients in successfully prosecuting and defending claims from inception through judgment in Connecticut and New York.

    Niel serves on the Board of Directors of the Construction Institute and contributes to the firm’s blog, Construction Law Zone


  • Experience
    • Experience


        Contract Procurement and Project Delivery

      • Represent developer-owner clients in the hospitality industry in all aspects of construction project development nationwide, including drafting and negotiation of design, professional service, construction, and construction management agreements.

      • Represented New York City-based developer in negotiation and drafting of construction management and professional services agreements on a variety of multi-million dollar mixed use development projects.

      • Represented nonprofit medical research and charitable organizations in the negotiation and drafting of design and construction agreements for the construction of new facilities.

      • Contract Dispute Resolution

      • Frequently represent trade contractors in connection with asserting mechanic’s liens for nonpayment of monies due and negotiating favorable settlements of outstanding debts.

      • Successfully represented hotel construction project owner in negotiating favorable resolution of multiple mechanic’s lien claims arising from bankruptcy of major contractor for the project.

      • Represented municipal owner in drafting and negotiating dispute resolution agreement related to defective work on school facility improvement project to achieve equitable result for the owner and all contractors and subcontractors involved.

      • Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution

      • First-chaired three-day trial representing a plaintiff-subcontractor pursuing claims for nonpayment of contract balance and defending against a counterclaim for alleged completion costs and failure to perform. Obtained favorable six figure judgment after preparation of detailed proposed post-trial findings of fact and conclusions of law, including award of attorneys’ fees.

      • First-chaired trial representing a defendant-contractor against claims of defective workmanship, including extended cross-examination of expert witness on issues of building code interpretation.

      • Secured favorable resolution of all claims against a developer in disputes with repeat general contractor which spanned across several years and different projects.

    • Professional Associations

      Professional Associations

      Construction Institute
      Member, Board of Directors (2020)
      Editorial Team

      American Bar Association
      Forum on Construction Law

      Connecticut Bar Association

      Hartford County Bar Association
    • Honors + Awards

      Honors + Awards

      Selected as a Rising Star in the Connecticut Super Lawyers list for 2020.

    • Publications


      "Revisiting Price Escalation Clauses in a Time of Skyrocketing Material Costs," republished by the National Association of Bond Producers (4/23/2021)

      "COVID’S Impact on the Designer’s Standard of Care," co-authored with Joseph A. Barra, published in PE, the flagship publication of the National Society of Professional Engineers (Winter 2021)

      "How to alter operations when remote work isn’t an option," published in ISHN (Industrial Safety & Hygiene News) (12/4/2020)
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      "Impacts of the COVID Pandemic on Design and Construction: HVAC Upgrades," published in High Profile magazine (10/27/2020)
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      "The Open Our Democracy Act: A Proposal For Effective Election Reform," published in Connecticut Law Review (2015)

    • Presentations


      "Updates in Construction Law: A Review of Key Construction Law Decisions in the Past Year," during the Connecticut Bar Association's Connecticut Legal Conference. (9/14/2020)
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      "COVID-19 and Returning to Work: Important Concerns for the AEC Community," co-presented with Matthew T. Miklave and Joseph A. Barra, which addressed critical areas the AEC Community should understand when deciding whether and how to return to the office and the project site. (5/18/2020)
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      "COVID-19 and Returning to Work: Important Concerns for the AEC Community," which addressed important topics the AEC Community should understand when deciding whether and how to return to the office and the project site. (5/18/2020)
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      "Getting Back to Work: Important Concerns for the AEC Community," co-presented with Matthew T. Miklave and Joseph A. Barra, which discussed practical labor and employment considerations for re-opening offices and project sites; industrial and corporate hygiene; and the potential implications of the City of Boston’s COVID-19 Safety Plan for Construction (5/5/2020)
      • » more info

    • News

      R+C in the News

      • February 12, 2021

        Joe Barra and Niel Franzese Author NSPE Article on COVID’s Impact on the Designer’s Standard of Care

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      • December 8, 2020

        Niel Franzese Authors ISHN Article on Long-term Alteration of Business Operations Due to COVID-19

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      • October 27, 2020

        Niel Franzese Authors Article on HVAC Upgrades Resulting from COVID-19 Pandemic

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      R+C News Releases

      • October 15, 2020

        47 Robinson+Cole Lawyers Recognized in Super Lawyers®

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    • Legal Updates/Newsletters

      Legal Updates/Newsletters

      "Out With the Old, In With the New: An Overview of Construction/Surety Industry Trends in 2020 — What We Can Expect in 2021 and Beyond" co-authored with Lisa B. Andrzejewski, Dennis C. Cavanaugh and Choity R. Khan (12/17/2020)

      "Construction Law Zone" co-authored with Virginia K. Trunkes, Lisa B. Andrzejewski, Paul S. Lopez and Kenneth A. Sherman (June 2020)

      "Construction Law Zone" co-authored with Lisa B. Andrzejewski and Virginia K. Trunkes (April 2020)