FacultyFaculty/Author Profile
Josh M. Leavitt

Josh M. Leavitt

Much Shelist, P.C.

Chicago, IL, USA

Josh Leavitt advises his clients on a broad range of construction-law matters, including disputes, contracts, and counseling on industry risk. Co-chair of the construction practice, he has approximately 30 years of construction law experience, and is an elected Fellow of the American College of Construction Lawyers. Josh has significant knowledge of the construction industry and has handled all manner of construction law matters for both U.S. domestic and overseas clients. He has represented the full spectrum of construction participants, including but not limited to owners, contractors, architects, engineers, suppliers, manufacturers, developers and commercial landlords and tenants. He has handled matters involving dozens of building systems and technologies, on a variety of building types.

On the disputes side, Josh has handled a wide variety of claims. The claims often relate to defective design and construction, scheduling, delay, disruption, interference, efficiency loss, out of sequence work, cost overruns, mechanics lien, wrongful termination, extra work, change orders, fraud, lending, insurance coverage, bonding, green building/sustainability, and commercial lease disputes. While experienced in traditional litigation, Josh is a frequent user of alternative dispute resolution techniques, including creative forms of mediation and arbitration. Josh has presented and cross-examined numerous expert witnesses, including structural, mechanical, soil, instrumentation, control system, process and chemical engineers; material scientists; roofing, HVAC, and other building system consultants; estimating, scheduling and damages experts; and numerous architects and builders.

Josh has substantial experience in litigating general commercial and non-construction industry disputes, including anti-trust, trade secret misappropriations, private equity and shareholder disputes, commercial lease disputes, will contests, lending, government investigation and regulatory matters. Many have been high profile, substantial disputes valued in excess of $100 million. Additionally, he is experienced in electronic discovery issues. On the transaction side, Josh counsels clients on delivery system selection, contract negotiation, risk management and licensing matters. Josh has drafted and/or advised clients regarding a wide range of construction and design project agreements and his litigation experience gives him additional insight into particular contract provisions. Josh also advises clients on contractor and A/E licensing matters.

Josh is often called upon to identify and mitigate risk in connection with construction industry M&A transactions. Josh has led due diligence efforts in industry acquisitions and reorganizations. His deep industry experience enables Josh to help clients identify, assess and address risks of troubled projects for both sell side and buy side engagements.

Josh frequently lectures and publishes on construction and design law topics, including delay and disruption claims, construction damages, liability of design professionals and contractors, electronic discovery, successful mediation and arbitration strategies, wrongful termination, construction defects, claims prevention techniques, negotiating and drafting contracts, changes to industry form contracts, advanced and emerging delivery system choices, construction law issues on global infrastructure and P3 projects, insurance coverage, lending, green building/sustainability development and due diligence in construction industry acquisitions.

Since 2004 he has been a panelist for Practicing Law Institute’s leading annual national construction law symposium in New York, and since 2007 he has also served as a panelist for Practicing Law Institute’s annual Commercial Real Estate Institute. He has also presented to the prestigious Engineering and Construction Risk Institute.


  • American College of Construction Lawyers (elected in 2010)
  • Society of Illinois Construction Attorneys (elected in 2005 and elected to senior
  • leadership positions since 2012)
  • Recognized by Chambers' USA for construction law since 2007
  • Designated an Illinois Super Lawyer in construction litigation (2006 – 2015)
  • Recognized since 2009 by Best Lawyers in America and Leading Lawyers
  • Rated “AV Preeminent” by Martindale-Hubbell for over ten years


New York University School of Law J.D., 1985

Yale University B.A., 1982

Josh is admitted to practice in Illinois. He is also admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (including the Trial Bar).

Josh M. Leavitt is associated with the following items:
Course Handbooks  Course Handbooks 19th Annual Commercial Real Estate Institute
Live Seminar  Live Seminar 20th Annual Commercial Real Estate Institute, Wednesday, October 24, 2018, Chicago, IL
21st Annual Commercial Real Estate Institute, Wednesday, October 23, 2019, Chicago, IL

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