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William T. Eliopoulos

T: (650) 320-1501

Mr. Eliopoulos has over 25 years of experience as a trial lawyer handling commercial litigation.  He has successfully tried a wide variety of complex cases including jury and judge trials.  He is a partner in Rutan’s Trial Section, Co-Chair of its Construction Law Group and Managing Partner of the firm’s Silicon Valley Office.  Most recently, Mr. Eliopoulos was interviewed by Construction Dive magazine regarding P3s for major construction projects.  Click here to read the article.

Mr. Eliopoulos has extensive experience in preparing, handling and defending construction and real estate claims. Mr. Eliopoulos also has assisted clients in drafting and negotiating a wide array of complex construction contracts involving delivery methods including design-bid-build, design-build, CM At-Risk, integrated project delivery, lean construction, green/LEED building, and creative financing models such as Public-Private Partnerships. His experience covers virtually all types of construction projects, from large infrastructure, dams, bridges, transit and roadways, to commercial, industrial and public buildings, hotels, data centers, laboratories, education, airports, health care and power facilities. His work on power facilities includes drafting and negotiating contracts for development, design and construction of solar and wind power generation plants.

Mr. Eliopoulos is a frequent speaker on such topics, including Public-Private-Partnerships and other Design-Build innovations.  Videos from recent symposiums are available at the hyperlinks below:

  • To view the video of the Public-Private Partnerships: 2016 and Beyond, click here.
  • To view the video of Public-Private Partnerships: 2015 and Beyond, click here.
  • To view the video of P3 Developments 2014, click here.
  • To view Part 1 of the Future of P3 in the US 2013, click here.  To view Part 2 of the Future of P3 in the US 2013, click here
  • To view videos of the Design Build Symposium 2012, click here

Mr. Eliopoulos has trial experience in state and federal courts, arbitration and mediation. He has litigated claims arising from private works, as well as federal, state and local public works projects. His construction litigation experience includes the representation of contractors and developers in connection with claims of all facets, including delay and disruption, change orders, the False Claims Act, contract termination, construction defect, bid protest, and mechanic’s lien. Mr. Eliopoulos formerly was an Instructor of Construction Law at the University of California, Berkeley, Extension Program.

Areas of Expertise

  • Commercial Litigation
  • Construction Law
  • Construction and Real Estate Litigation

Representative Clients

  • Rosendin Electric Inc.
  • Stacy and Witbeck Inc.
  • Rudolph and Sletten, Inc.  
  • Critchfield Mechanical, Inc.
  • Spirent Communications
  • The Olson Company
  • Granite Construction Company
  • Plant Construction Company
  • Cupertino Electric  
  • David and Lucille Packard Foundation

Representative Matters

  • Lead defense counsel for utility company owner in Eastern District Federal Court against multi-million dollar claims by prime contractor involving underground engineering contract.
  • Negotiated and drafted $1.3 billion Public-Private-Partnership financed design-build agreements for construction of metro light rail project in Texas. 
  • Co-counsel prosecuting claims for fraud, breach of contract in Puerto Rico solar power development deal. 
  • Negotiated and drafted subcontract for federal design-build data center construction project in Utah.
  • Defense counsel for ENR Top 50 prime contractor against multimillion dollar False Claims Act claims by public entity arising out of S.F. International Airport construction project.
  • Prosecuted multimillion dollar delay, disruption and extra work claims for trade contractor against Stanford University concerning hospital construction project.
  • Defense counsel for ENR Top 100 prime contractor adverse to multiple trade contractors’ multimillion dollar delay and disruption claims arising from Kaiser Hospital construction projects.
  • Prosecuted multimillion dollar claim by project owner against prime contractor and surety arising from terminated condominium construction project in Oakland, California.
  • Prosecuted multimillion dollar delay, disruption and extra work claims for ENR Top 25 trade contractor against prime contractor and United States Department of Energy regarding Los Alamos Nuclear Laboratories construction project.
  • Prosecuted multimillion dollar delay, disruption and extra work claim for trade contractor and ENR Top 50 prime contractor against California Department of Transportation arising out of Interstate 80 freeway renovation project.
  • Prosecuted multimillion dollar change order claims on behalf of ENR Top 25 trade contractor against general contractor and owner arising from complex “clean room” construction project.
  • Prosecuted multimillion dollar breach of contract and mechanic’s lien claims on behalf of ENR Top 25 trade contractor against prime contractor arising out of power plant construction projects in the Central Valley.

Client Testimonial

"Thank you again for your absolutely brilliant work." Sent by email from a utility client CEO after successful resolution of $35 million construction lawsuit. 

"I would like to take the opportunity to thank you and your team for all of your hard work in supporting our company in this difficult situation. I appreciate you very much and value your opinion and expertise, more than words can say. When the going gets tough, I only want the best and brightest representing us and that is you and the Rutan team. If we have to go to battle, I'm going in with your team and this expert witness as my first choice. As our company continues to grow and prosper we will occasionally encounter situations such as this project that we need to deal with, it's nice to know we have strong support."  Sent by email from longstanding client.

Recent Publications

  • Public-Private Partnerships: Bridging California's Infrastructure Gap, Real Property Law Reporter, CEB, March 2015
  • Public-Private Partnerships: Design-Build Revolution or Evolution?, DBIA Newsletter, November 2014
  • Public-Private Partnerships: A New Tool for California's Infrastructure Needs, California Real Property Journal, Volume 31, Number 1 (May 2013)
  • The Need For P3 - Public Private Partnerships Can Help Bridge America's Infrastructure Gap, DBIA Newsletter, Spring 2013

Recent Presentations

  • "P3: Bridging America's Infrastructure Gap," State Bar of California, Real Property Section, May 2014
  • "P3: Revolution or Evolution?" P3C - The Public-Private Partnership Alliance Conference, Dallas, February 2014
  • "P3: Bridging America's Infrastructure Gap," P3C - The Public-Private Partnership Alliance Conference, Dallas, February 2013

Memberships & Associations

  • Member, Design-Build Institute of America
  • American Bar Association (Litigation Section; Forum on the Construction Industry)
  • State Bar of California (Sections on Litigation and Real Property Law)
  • Santa Clara County Bar Association
  • Member, Legislative & Legal Committee, Design-Build Institute of America

Awards & Honors

  • Northern California "Super Lawyer" Corporate Counsel Edition, 2010
  • Northern California "Super Lawyer" 2010-2016
  • Northern California "Super Lawyer" Business Edition, 2012
  • AV® Preemininent™ rating with LexisNexis/Martindale Hubbell