Expertise/Key Professional Accomplishments

Mr. Wahtola’s litigation practice is concentrated on design and construction related issues.  As such, Mr. Wahtola has represented owners, developers, design professionals, contractors and construction managers in all manners of sophisticated disputes, including claims of errors and omissions, breach of contract, delay and catastrophic personal injury / property damages.  Mr. Wahtola has also represented various municipalities throughout Illinois in a wide variety of matters.  Mr. Wahtola has extensive experience successfully representing clients in federal and state courts in multiple jurisdictions and in conducting both arbitrations and mediations before the American Arbitration Association and other dispute resolution forums.  Specific examples of projects that have been involved in Mr. Wahtola’s trial and litigation experience include highways and roadways, electrical power plants, wastewater treatment facilities, commercial / municipal buildings and commercial rail projects.  Mr. Wahtola also provides project specific legal consulting and contract drafting services in matters relating to design and construction.


Mr. Wahtola is a frequent speaker, lecturer and has written on legal topics involving design and construction, representative examples of which include:

  • Lecturer on construction law, Northwestern’s Kellog School of Management
  • Featured Presenter, National Conference of the Association of Licensed Architects
  • “Big Brother is Watching: Design-Build Rules, Regulations and Recent Legislation,” Stein, Ray & Harris LLP’s 15th Annual Symposium for Design and Construction Professionals, April 25, 2006
  • “Who’s on First: Acting as a Subcontractor for Design,” Stein, Ray & Harris LLP’s 12th Annual Symposium for Design Professionals, February 27, 2003
  • “Signing on the Dotted Line: Necessary Contract Provisions,” Stein, Ray & Harris LLP’s 11th Annual Symposium for Design Professionals, March 21, 2002
  • “I thought You Would See It My Way: Tips for a Successful Negotiation,” Stein, Ray & Harris LLP’s 10th Annual Symposium for Design Professionals, February 1, 2001
  • Co-author – “Additional Insured Endorsements in a CGL Policy: What Coverage Does the Design Professional Really Get,” IADC Newsletter, Construction Litigation Committee, February 1998

Professional, Business and Civic Affiliations

  • Former Special Assistant Attorney General for the State of Illinois
  • Federal Trial Bar
  • American Bar Association – Construction Lawyer’s Section
  • Chicago Bar Association


Mr. Wahtola received his Juris Doctor degree in 1997, Cum Laude, from Loyola University School of Law in Chicago, and his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1993 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he was the national collegiate heavyweight wrestling champion and a two time academic All-American.