Daniel A. Dorfman


Fox Swibel Levin & Carroll LLP
200 W. Madison Street
Suite 3000
Chicago, IL 60606

Tel: (312) 224-1246

Email: ddorfman@foxswibel.com
Web: www.foxswibel.com

Daniel A. Dorfman is Chair of the Construction Law Group. Daniel represents local Chicago-based and nationally prominent owners/developers and some of the largest and most well-known design and construction professionals in the country on their most important projects – both on the front end in drafting and negotiating complex agreements and on the back end litigating and trying to verdict (when necessary) all types of commercial construction disputes.

Daniel also serves as Acting General Counsel for construction industry clients, including an international hotel brand, a luxury residential “lease-up” brokerage, a large century-old iron mill, developers, and premier specialty contractors. In addition to being an accomplished construction lawyer, Daniel has a related Policyholder/Insurance Coverage practice representing insureds in securing millions of dollars of coverage, both within and outside of the construction industry, in insurance coverage disputes.

Daniel is a frequent presenter, author and academic lecturer on construction law topics. He currently serves on Construction Law360’s Editorial Advisory Board and is an active member of the Chicagoland Associated General Contractors (AGC), DRI’s Fidelity and Surety Committee, and the Sustainability Commission of the Village of Deerfield, Illinois.

  • Northwestern University, J.D. (cum laude)
  • University of Maryland, B.A. (cum laude)
  • State of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit

Over the past decade Daniel has led and handled multifaceted construction law matters nationwide totaling over $1 billion in project value and including some of the most recognizable projects in the country. Daniel is known by clients and construction industry participants as the go-to for:

Transactions and Contracts: Daniel regularly drafts and negotiates design and construction agreements in the hospitality, commercial, industrial, and retail spaces, often developing tailor-made agreements to cover multiple projects to help reduce significant risks in the construction process. Daniel also represents clients in connection with construction loan financing matters.

Litigation: Daniel represents international hospitality brands, national owners of apartment communities, national general contractors, and some of the most well-respected design firms in the country in highly complex, multimillion-dollar construction disputes with claims, including design and construction defects, project delays, mechanics liens, and payment disputes.

Policyholder Insurance Coverage: Daniel represents insureds in securing millions of dollars of coverage on a wide range of policies including commercial general liability, errors and omissions / professional liability, directors and officers, project specific and manuscript, first-party, and nonprofit liability.

Sustainable & Renewable Industries Practice: Daniel, a LEED® Green Associate, also represents clients who construct “green” buildings, as well as clients who build renewable projects, such as wind farms and solar energy systems.

AV® Preeminent rated by Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings — only 10 percent of all attorneys are rated AV® Preeminent by their peers for the highest level of professional excellence for legal knowledge, communication skills and ethical standards.

Selected as a Fellow in the Construction Lawyers Society of America, an invitation-only, selective and limited membership international association of the world’s best construction lawyers.

The Best Lawyers in America© — selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© since 2019 for Construction Law.

USGBC-accredited LEED Green Associate since 2013.

Illinois Rising Stars recognized from 2013-2019 and Illinois Super Lawyer recognized since 2020 based on peer nominations and evaluations with third party research.

Emerging Lawyer in Construction Law — selected by The Law Bulletin Publishing Company. Less than 2% of all lawyers licensed to practice law in Illinois receive recognition as an Emerging Lawyer.

Selected as the featured construction attorney for Illinois of 2020 and 2021 in The Construction Lawyers publication, a top guide highlighting the most recommended construction attorneys in each state.

• “Negotiate and Draft – “Pass-Through” Clauses You Can Live With,” TileLetter, a publication of the National Tile Contractors Association, December 2019
• “Bonds and the Construction Process,” TileLetter, a publication of the National Tile Contractors Association, December 2018
• “Illinois Retainage Reform Bill Defeated – Senate Bill 3052 Would Have Mandated 5% Retainage Limit in Private Construction Contracts,” Building Chicagoland, the annual magazine of the Chicagoland Associated General Contractors, Fall 2018
• “Green Risks and Rewards: Managing Legal Issues on Sustainable Projects,” TileLetter, a publication of the National Tile Contractors Association, August 2018
• “Using Magic Words: Understanding Pay-If-Paid vs. Paid-When-Paid Clauses in Construction Agreements,” Builders Blueprint, a publication of the Builders Association and the Associated General Contractors of America, July 2017
• “Are P3s Truly a Better Project Delivery Method to Fix our Ailing Infrastructure? The Trump Administration May Think So,” Under Construction, a publication of the American Bar Association, Vol. 19, No. 1, Summer 2017
• “Titles and Liability: The Latest on Illinois Mechanics Lien Act,” Building Chicago Magazine, December 2015
• Chapter 1: “What is Green Building 101,” Green Building and the Construction Lawyer, a publication of the American Bar Association, October 2014
• “What’s Your Status?,” Insurance Coverage Litigation, American Bar Association, July 2011

• “Building Virtual Bridges: Remote Mediation of a Construction Dispute,” Illinois State Bar Association, webinar panelist, March 3, 2021
• “Procurement and the City of Chicago,” Chicagoland Associated General Contractors, webinar presenter, June 25, 2020
• “Legal Considerations for the Architect Before, During and After the Project,” American Institute of Architects-Chicago presentation, November 29, 2018
• “Managing Construction Risks: Or How to Avoid Paying Your Lawyers,” Coverings 2018 presentation, the largest international tile and stone show in North America
• Construction Law Seminar, Chicago-Kent College of Law, lectures, 2010 – 2017
• “Legal Issues in Real Estate,” Northwestern School of Law, guest lecturer on construction law, 2010 to present
• University of Illinois, Graduate School of Architecture, guest lecturer, 2012 to 2017
• Illinois Institute of Technology, School of Architecture, guest lecturer on construction law, 2010 to 2016
• “Green Risks and Rewards,” Building Chicago/Greening the Heartland Expo presentation, September 30, 2014
• “Legal Issues in Construction Contracts,” SAIC, Department of Architecture presentation, March 19, 2013
• “Building Information Modeling: Collaboration or Liability?” American Institute of Architects-Chicago presentation, October 18, 2012

• Member of the Society of Illinois Construction Attorneys (SOICA), the preeminent construction law society in Illinois
• Member of the Illinois Construction Industry Committee (ICIC), a major advocacy group for the union construction industry in Illinois
• Member of The Society of Construction Law, one of the most prominent construction law societies in both the United States and Canada
Fox Swibel counsels a wide range of clients in the design and construction industry on all aspects of construction law in all phases of projects, from inception through completion, throughout the United States.

We handle both litigation and transactional matters involving various types of project delivery methods in the building, infrastructure, industrial, medical, hospitality, and transportation industries nationwide. We have significant experience investigating technically complex claims and resolving disputes through settlement to avoid litigation, but when necessary we are unrelenting and cost-effective trial lawyers.

Since being founded in 2000, Fox Swibel has had the same straightforward formula: recruit top lawyers who were educated at the nation’s best law schools and who formerly were partners and associates at nationally-known, highly-respected large firms, and focus on what the Firm does best: providing “big-law” quality work in a streamlined boutique firm setting.

Fox Swibel’s lawyers come from major national and international firms, and are attracted to our entrepreneurial culture which is focused on client service. For example: (i) we staff our matters with highly-experienced lawyers whose billing rates are often less than junior lawyers at larger firms; (ii) we impose no billable hour requirements on our lawyers — rather than incentivizing our lawyers to increase time spent on a matter, we reward efficiency; (iii) we offer flexible fee arrangements suited to a particular client’s needs; and (iv) we foster internal cooperation by de-emphasizing “billing credit” in our compensation structure. We believe these and other factors distinguish us from our competitors and greatly benefit our clients.

The Firm represents clients ranging from entrepreneurs to global institutions. The Firm’s principal practice areas are related to commercial transactions and litigation. These include representation in banking and corporate finance, bankruptcy and restructuring, business litigation, construction law, corporate and securities transactions, employment law, intellectual property, real estate, and tax related matters.

Fox Swibel handles transactions and litigation for clients that range from Fortune 500 companies to successful entrepreneurs. The Firm represents a large array of banking, hedge fund, hotel, manufacturing, private equity, real estate, retail, and restaurant clients. Our clients have included national institutions such as Bank of America, CBRE, Colliers International, Exelon, H&R Block, Hilco Global, Jewel Food Stores, Johnson Controls, Omni Hotels, PNC Bank, Supervalu, Tishman Speyer, The Toro Company, Tyson Foods, U.S. Bank, and Wells Fargo Bank, as well as some of the most successful and dynamic local Chicago businesses such as AthletiCo, Cardenas Marketing Network, Inc., Ferrara Candy Company, Garrett Popcorn, Klaff Realty, Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, Rogers & Holland Jewelers, and Weber Grill Restaurants.