Ronald Helmuth is a partner in Peckar & Abramson’s Los Angeles office. He has 27-plus years of comprehensive experience in litigation and alternative dispute resolution of construction claim matters, many of which involved significant insurance issues.
Los Angeles, CA
P +1 310.228.1075
F +1 310.228.1076
“Having worked for more than 20 years as a construction law attorney, claims consultant, testifying expert, and a member of several high-profile construction management teams, I can safely say that P&A’s deep commitment to alternative dispute resolution is a major advantage for our construction industry clients. I look forward to furthering this practice and helping our clients save time and money.”
Ron has represented public agencies, owners, developers, contractors, subcontractors, designers and sureties in complex construction disputes ranging up to in excess of $100 million. He has performed not only as counsel during the majority of these representations, but also in other capacities, including project counsel, claims consultant, work product and testifying expert, and as part of a construction management team. While several of these matters proceeded through litigation, the majority were resolved through mediation, Disputes Review Board proceedings and/or direct settlement negotiations.
Ron earned his law degree, magna cum laude, from Whittier Law School and his bachelor of science degree in Business Administration from the University of Southern California.
Ron’s experience includes:
- Project Counsel to a JV during 4-year construction of $1.5 billion Midfield Satellite Concourse Project at Los Angeles International Airport, including project staff support and support/liaison with multiple counsel resolving disputes in excess of $300 million, concerning COVID-19 impacts, defective specifications, delay/disruption/interference issues, disputed work scope and design development/defect issues.
- Trial counsel representing contractor in truncated 79-day bench trial of $40 million in disputes concerning a San Francisco hotel project.
- Trial counsel to general contractor in resolving $30 million equipment rental contract dispute.
- Counsel advising JV on $50-plus million in resolved claims on Construction Package 4 (CP-4) of California High-Speed Rail Project.
- Trial/advising counsel to insurance company in connection with multiple public works contract defaults ($20 million at issue) and recovery from failed principal.
- Lead claims/dispute resolution consultant for multi-discipline Project Team for transportation agency in resolution of $900-plus million dollars in claims/change orders by multiple general contractors on subway construction project, including multiple Dispute Resolution Board proceedings. Results included resolution of $50 million dispute by single contractor on multiple contracts for $12.5 million.
- Lead consultant/testifying expert for multi-discipline Project Team for a city public works department in complete defense of $31 million in claims by general contractor and pass through claims of subcontractors, arising from construction of a 6-story administration building and wastewater treatment plant. Developed theories, supporting facts and evidence for bid collusion and false claims allegations, and provided expert testimony regarding same. Matter resolved for partial release of retention by agency.
- Lead Consultant for laboratory Project Team, including in-house/outside counsel and various multi-discipline experts/consultants, for purposes of Dispute Resolution Board proceedings and litigation of $30 million in claims by the general contractor on $32.5 million underground tunnel project funded by the United States Department of Energy, which were settled for $5.5 million.
- Represented general contractor in litigation and resolution of $50 million in defective/incomplete work, delay, disruption, acceleration and design deficiency claims, arising out of the construction of 272 unit residential complex (converted to condominiums mid-construction) and involving 40-plus parties (including owner, design consultants, general contractor, subcontractors and their respective insurance carriers).
- Represented major metropolitan transportation agency in successful prosecution of False Claims Act violations by international contractor.
- Represented major Southern California medical center in connection with the litigation and resolution of multi-million dollar defective design claims against design professionals arising out of the construction of a multi-story intensive care facility and connection of facility to existing hospital complex.
- Represented developer, general contractor and shoring design/build subcontractor in resolution of multi-million dollar subsidence claims by adjacent property Homeowners Association.
- Represented general contractor in litigation and successful resolution of claims against public entity for wrongful termination, extra work and withheld retention, including dismissal of City’s cross-claims for defective/incomplete work, delay, consequential damages and False Claims Act violations.
- Represented owner/developer Indian Tribe in litigation and successful resolution of defect and delay claims arising from design/construction of casino, frontage/access roads and wastewater treatment plant.
- Represented demolition and grading subcontractor in litigation and successful resolution of breach of oral contract arising from termination of best efforts contract.
- Represented various public entities and contractors in contract drafting and review.
• State of California
• United States District Court for the Southern District of California
• American Bar Association
• Los Angeles County Bar Association
Education & Courses
• University of Southern California, B.S.
• Whittier Law School, J.D., magna cum laude
Awards & Recognitions
• The Legal 500: United States, “Leading Lawyer”
Publications & Presentations
• “Best Practices and Project Administration in Construction,” P&A Webinar Series (3 sessions) - 2020
• “The Rapidly Shifting Sands of Project Risk Allocation – Are We Losing our Footing as Project Delivery Methods Evolve?”, 2018 Construction SuperConference, December 2018
• "Public Owner Beware: The "Meaning" of Your Dispute Resolution Provisions May Surprise You", Construction Advisory Report (Hill International), No. 5, at 1, January 2011
• “False Claims & Fraud - Disturbing Trends in Construction”, 42nd Annual Workshop on Transportation Law, Transportation Resource Board, July 2003
• “False Claims or False Pretenses?”, Los Angeles World Airports, April 2003
News & Events
• Construction Super Conference – “Framing Your Case in Effective Dispute Resolution: What Really Works and What Doesn’t in Complex Construction Cases!”
• The Legal 500 U.S. 2022 Guide Names Peckar & Abramson a Top Tier Firm in Construction Law and Recognizes 14 Attorneys
• The Legal 500 United States Names Peckar & Abramson a Top Tier Firm in Construction Law and Recognizes Seven Attorneys
• 2018 Construction SuperConference