Expertise

Alex Kipnis’s practice focuses on litigation and arbitration of construction disputes.

Mr. Kipnis’s focus is on disputes involving technically-complex megaprojects, including power generation and transmission; oil, gas, mining, metals, and minerals (upstream and downstream); chemical process facilities; pipelines; and large-scale industrial, manufacturing, and infrastructure facilities. Mr. Kipnis is a veteran of both U.S. and international arbitration proceedings, including many tried to verdict, judgment, and award. His arbitration experience includes administered and non-administered proceedings under ICC, UNCITRAL, AAA, ad hoc, and other rules, as well as collateral court proceedings in jurisdictions around the world. Mr. Kipnis’s expertise encompasses nearly every type of construction dispute, including defects, delay, disruption, cost growth, and others. 

Mr. Kipnis also helps companies draft and negotiate construction contracts.  In addition to bespoke agreements, Mr. Kipnis is well-versed in every major suite of construction contracts, including AIA, FIDIC, ConsensusDOCS, and others.  Mr. Kipnis is presently helping several of the ENR Top 5 EPCM firms navigate delay, disruption, and cost growth consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on projects in North America.  Mr. Kipnis also helps companies negotiate and draft interim agreements aimed at allocating costs and risks in the midstream of challenged projects, and serves as outside project counsel.

Mr. Kipnis also helps companies conduct internal investigations, respond to investigations brought by a government, and design corporate compliance programs that are successful and well-received by enforcing authorities and other stakeholders.

Mr. Kipnis began his legal career with Stein Ray LLP in 2005. He is admitted to practice in Illinois, New York, and New Jersey. He speaks fluent Russian.

Representative Engagements​

Mr. Kipnis’s recent engagements include, among others, helping:

  • A consortium of two of the world’s leading EPCM firms in negotiating interim project agreements to address the impact of COVID-19 on the design and construction of one of the largest liquified natural gas (LNG) facilities in the world.
  • A major European construction consortium defend against more than $300 million in claims arising from the construction of a hydroelectric power generating facility in Atlantic Canada, and prosecute more than $300 million in claims against the owner.
  • A top 5* EPCM firm defeat approximately $1 billion in owner’s claims alleging gross negligence, fraud, and errors in the design, procurement, and construction of a first-of-its-kind metallurgical processing facility in Eastern Canada.  Following a five-week arbitration hearing in Toronto, Mr. Kipnis’s client not only defeated all of these claims, but was awarded more than $17 million in damages in its own right, in addition to recovering its legal fees.
  • A different top 5* EPCM firm successfully defend against more than $130 million in owner’s claims in connection with alleged errors in the detailed design of a $2 billion silicon manufacturing facility in Southern United States.
  • A top 5* CM firm defeat more than $100 million in claimed construction errors in connection a $2 billion ammonia plant in U.S. Midwest.  Following an evidentiary hearing in an accelerated independent expert proceeding, Mr. Kipnis’s client prevailed on all claims.
  • An owner of an African mineral slurry pipeline defend against scope change and prolongation claims by a contractor, and pursue delay and environmental damage claims.
  • An owner of an African power plant defend against delay and disruption claims, and prosecute claims for defective work and delay, against a consortium of international contractors
  • An owner of an African nickel and cobalt refining facility defend against prolongation and disruption claims, and prosecute delay claims, against a Korean contractor
  • An owner of a major Illinois power plant pursue claims against a supplier of the air quality management system in excess of $50 million
  • A major chemical process engineering firm defend against defect claims in connection with a calcium chloride manufacturing facility in Southern United States
  • A well-known global water and environmental engineering firm to defend against engineering defect claims arising out of the design of a municipal water system in New York
  • An international consortium of lenders enforce repayment terms of a $600 million loan (and related personal guarantee) against a developer in connection with a luxury hotel and condominium development in Chicago
  • A global MEP design firm defend against a $25 million design defect and delay claim regarding a state-of-the-art courthouse in New York
  • A top foreign-based global telecommunications EPC firm to conduct a series of worldwide internal investigations and to design a global compliance program following allegations of corruption and violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) in Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Nigeria, and elsewhere
  • Several of New York’s most prominent architectural and engineering firms defend against nearly $700 million in liability claims asserted by 9/11 first responders at the World Trade Center (WTC) site
  • A global oilfield services EPC firm develop and deploy an effective compliance program following allegations of corrupt payments to foreign officials and officials of foreign state oil companies in Russia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Nigeria, and elsewhere.

* As ranked by Engineering News-Record (ENR).

Professional, Business and Civic Affiliations​

  • American Bar Association
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • Chicago Bar Association
  • New York County Lawyers Association
  • Association of the Bar of the City of New York
  • Chicago Council on Global Affairs

Honors & Awards​

  • SuperLawyers – Illinois (Super Lawyers Magazine)
  • Rising Stars – Illinois (Super Lawyers Magazine)
  • Empire State Counsel (New York State Bar Association)
  • Recognized in Legal 500 and Leading Lawyers

Education​

Mr. Kipnis received his J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School in 2005, and his B.A. in Legal Studies from University of California, Berkeley in 2002.