A founding partner of the Schiff Hardin Construction Law practice group, Mark Friedlander has been at the forefront of construction and design law for more than thirty years. He has been voted by his peers to be the number one construction lawyer in the Chicago area by Leading Lawyers Network of Illinois, an affiliate of the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin. He is widely recognized as one of the country's leading pioneers in innovative project delivery structures and is one of the profession’s most accomplished and prolific speakers and writers on various construction law topics.

When it comes to resolving legal issues and problems for clients that include virtually all participants in the construction industry, Mark takes a practical and direct approach. His clients laud him for his efficient and cost-effective work, knowing he has the experience and knowledge to achieve their objectives by focusing on the critical issues in negotiations or disputes.

  • Experience

    Over the last ten years, Mark has focused a significant portion of his practice on alternative project delivery methods, particularly design-build and related turnkey-type structures like integrated project delivery. Mark is one of the country’s most frequently sought-after writers and speakers on the law and practice of design-build construction.

    • Mark has developed and copyrighted the contract documents for a unique business plan under which architects and engineers can lead their own design-build teams. Architects and engineers from firms of all sizes and specialties have used Mark’s business structure and contract documents with success.
    • Mark has participated in the structuring of and/or contract negotiation for most of the major construction projects in the Chicago area.
    • Mark is a leading national commentator on the viability of tort claims for professional malpractice that seek recovery of solely economic losses.
    • Mark has successfully defended real estate brokers, accountants, attorneys and insurance brokers in professional malpractice actions.
    • Mark established an important precedent in the federal courts with regard to the recovery of attorney’s fees in frivolous claims.
  • Credentials


    • Harvard Law School, J.D., 1981
    • University of Michigan, B.A., 1978, with high honors

    Bar Admissions

    • Illinois
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
    • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

        Professional Memberships

        • American Arbitration Association, Construction Arbitration Advisory Panel, Arbitrator, Large Complex Case Panel
        • American Bar Association, Forum Committee on Construction Law
        • American College of Construction Lawyers
        • American Consulting Engineers Council
        • Chicago Bar Association, Forum Committee on Construction Law
        • Design Build Institute of America, Former Chair of Professional Practices & Contracts Committee
        • Illinois State Bar Association
        • National Academy of Engineering, Committee on Outsourcing of Design and Construction, Management, Services for Federal Facilities, Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems
        • Society of Illinois Construction Attorneys

        Professional Certifications

        • Arbitrator – American Arbitration Association
        • Mediator – JAMS/Endispute

        Teaching Appointments

        • School of Architecture of the University of Illinois at Chicago, Adjunct Professor
        • Georgia Tech College of Architecture, Lecturer
        • Northwestern University, Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, Lecturer
        • University of Wisconsin, College of Engineering, Lecturer
        • Illinois Institute of Technology, Armour College of Engineering, Lecturer
      • Insights

        News Release

        Schiff Hardin Lawyers Named to 2018 The Best Lawyers in America

        Schiff Hardin is pleased to announce that five attorneys have been named a “Lawyer of the Year” in the 2018 edition of The Best Lawyers in America©.

        News Release

        Chambers USA 2017 Recognizes 20 Schiff Hardin Attorneys and 4 Practice Areas

        Schiff Hardin is pleased to announce that 20 attorneys and four practice areas were recognized in the 2017 edition of Chambers USA, a leading legal industry ranking.

        News Release

        39 Schiff Hardin Lawyers Named to 2017 Illinois Super Lawyers, Rising Stars Lists, and Two Schiff Hardin Attorneys Named to Top 50 Women Lawyers

        Thirty-nine Schiff Hardin attorneys have been selected for inclusion on the 2017 Illinois Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists.

        In The News
        News Release

        53 Schiff Hardin Attorneys Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America© 2017

        Three Schiff Hardin attorneys also received the prestigious Best Lawyers’ 2017 “Lawyer of the Year” award.

        News Release

        25 Schiff Hardin Attorneys, 7 Practice Areas Ranked by Chambers USA 2016

        Twenty-five Schiff Hardin attorneys and seven practice areas received leading rankings in the 2016 edition of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business.

        News Release

        Schiff Hardin Grants Annual Award to University of Illinois at Chicago Student

        Devon Morris, a graduate student in the School of Architecture at the University of Illinois at Chicago, will receive 2016’s Schiff Hardin Construction Law Group Award.

        News Release

        91 Schiff Hardin Lawyers Named to 2016 Illinois, Michigan Leading Lawyers Network

        The list is comprised of those attorneys who are most recommended as top lawyers among their peers.

        News Release

        40 Schiff Hardin Lawyers Named to 2016 Illinois Super Lawyers, Rising Stars Lists

        The Super Lawyers selection methodology includes a statewide nomination process, peer review by practice area, and independent research on candidates.

        News Release

        63 Schiff Hardin Attorneys Listed in The Best Lawyers in America 2016

        Of the 64 Schiff Hardin attorneys honored by Best Lawyers, three Schiff Hardin attorneys were also nominated for Best Lawyers’ 2016 “Lawyer of the Year” in Chicago

        Other Publications

        • “Arbitrator-Directed Arbitration:  ADR With A Samurai Arbitrator,” JACCL, Vol. 6, No. 1, (Winter 2012)
        • “Construction Project Delivery Methods:  Which is Best for You?,” Illinois State Bar Association - Building Knowledge Newsletter, Vol. 1, No. 1 (May 2011)
        • “Examining Studies Used to Support Expert Opinions:  Does the Study Make the Grade?  An Illustrative Test for Suitability,” American College of Construction Lawyers Journal (Winter 2011)
        • “Proposal for a New Performance Bond for Designer-Led Design-Build,” Construction Accounting and Taxation (May/Jun. 2010)
        • “Ch. 5 - A Practical Guide to New and Controversial Issues in AIA B101 – 2007” (Co-Author, Heidi H. Rowe) Risk Management for Design Professionals in a World of Change (Ardent Publications) (Nov. 2009)
        • “Representing Architects (Chapter 2 of “Pre-Construction Issues”)” Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (IICLE) (Jun. 11, 2009)
        • “Designer-Led Design-Build:  Returning to the Concept of Master Builder” (Co-Authored by A. Ray Pentecost III, Dr. PH, AIA, ACHA), Rice University (Winter 2007)
        • “Responsibilities and Liabilities of Architects and Engineers for Construction Failures” (Chapter 2) Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education, 2006 Edition

        Speeches & Presentations

        • American Consulting Engineers Council Webinar, entitled "Engineer-Led Design-Build:  Simple, Safe & Profitable,” Chicago, Illinois (Feb. 27, 2014)
        • Society of Illinois Construction Attorneys, entitled "Arbitrator-Led Arbitration,” Illinois (Jan. 21, 2014)
        • American Council of Engineering Companies Annual Conference entitled "Engineer-Led Design-Build:  Simple, Safe & Profitable,” Scottsdale, Arizona (Oct. 27-30, 2013)
        • IICLE seminar entitled "Critical Issues in Construction Litigation,” Chicago, Illinois (Oct. 8, 2013)
        • American Arbitration Association Webinar entitled "Critical Elements of Construction Law for the Non-Attorney Arbitrator,” (Lead Presenter) (Oct. 2, 2013)
        • Willis Webinar entitled “Construction Project Delivery Systems:  What They Really Mean, and How They Really Work,” Chicago, Illinois (Mar. 13, 2012)
        • HalfMoon, LLC Seminar entitled “Working in Traditional/Alternative Project Delivery Systems”, Wheaton, Illinois (Dec. 7, 2011)
        • Willis Webinar entitled “Working With Subcontractors”, Chicago, Illinois (Apr. 11, 2011)
        • Aon Panel Discussion entitled “Risk Management, Liability and Insurance on Sustainable Projects”, Greenbuild 2010, Chicago, Illinois (Nov. 18, 2010)
        • Willis Webinar entitled “Tool Kit Series - Risk Management”, Chicago, Illinois (Nov. 16, 2010)
        • Wills Webinar entitled “AIA Took Kit Series Contract Review”, Chicago, Illinois (Nov. 9, 2010)
        • Willis Webinar entitled “AIA Tool Kit Series The Business of Architecture,” Chicago, Illinois (Nov. 2, 2010)
        • AIA (Minnesota Chapter) entitled “Architect-Led Integrated Project Delivery,” Minneapolis, Minnesota (Nov. 3, 2010)
        • Willis Webinar entitled “A/E-Led Integrated Project Delivery”, Chicago, Illinois (Aug. 9, 2010)
        • With Willis USA, webinar entitled “Visiting the Jobsite: It’s Not like Visiting Grandma’s House,” Chicago, Illinois (Jan. 11, 2010)
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      Which construction project delivery method is best for you?

      Chicago partner Mark Friedlander walks project owners and sponsors through the construction project delivery selection process, evaluating the major pros and cons of the most common options. More

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      Design-Build Web Site

      Mark Friedlander has analyzed and written about design-build from a theoretical standpoint, particularly from the point of view of the design professional. Collected on this Web site are some of the more interesting and useful materials that he has written or published about potential design-build construction. MORE