BOSTON – January 31, 2022 – Cozen O’Connor is pleased to announce the addition of Wendy K. Venoit as a shareholder in the Construction Law Group. Venoit brings a distinguished history of litigation and arbitration of infrastructure, power, renewable energy, oil and gas, and vertical construction projects throughout the United States and internationally. Venoit recently achieved one of the largest construction arbitration awards issued in the United States in 2021 on behalf of her client, Iberdrola Energy Projects, winning a $237 million international arbitration arising out of the wrongful termination of a power plant project. She also serves as project counsel to the design-build contractor constructing the Green Line Extension Project, a $2.28 billion expansion to extend the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) Green Line Subway northwest into Somerville and Medford, two inner suburbs of Boston.
Nationally well-respected as a trial and arbitration attorney, she joins the firm having handled dozens of construction disputes across the country and in international arbitrations, including “mega project” disputes involving claims in excess of $1 billion. She is a fellow of the American College of Construction Lawyers (the premier and highly exclusive organization of top construction lawyers in the U.S.), a former chair of the ABA Forum on Construction Law, and is qualified by the AAA/ICDR to hear domestic, international and Mega Project Disputes. She regularly serves as an arbitrator and is a member of the panel of neutrals of the AAA (Construction), ICDR, CPR (Construction, Insurance Policy Holder Coverage, and Boston at Large ADR Panels), LCIA, and ICC and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. Wendy recently taught as an adjunct professor of Construction Law as part of the Construction Management Master’s Program at the Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston. While the firm secures office space in Boston and due to COVID-19, Venoit will work remotely.
“Wendy is the ideal person to expand our construction practice in the Northeast because of the depths of her ties to the region and her expansive knowledge of the construction industry, including EPC/design-build contracting, risk management, infrastructure, renewable energy, oil and gas, and power,” said Michael J. Heller, Cozen O’Connor’s Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “As we continue to recover from the pandemic, we recognize the importance of maintaining a true “boots on the ground” approach for all of our clients, and that means a thoughtful focus on expansion. We are pleased to have Wendy leading that focus in Boston, in a practice that will surely see significant growth.”
Venoit was previously the vice president, general counsel & secretary for Suffolk Construction Company, Inc. In that capacity, she provided legal advice to the Executive Committee, corporate departments, and regional management; oversaw the negotiation of the company’s largest construction management agreements; proactively worked with management to identify risk on construction projects and implemented risk mitigation plans. She spent extensive time managing and working with outside counsel on litigation matters and oversaw all legal matters for the corporation. Since leaving Suffolk, Venoit has represented the company in arbitration and litigation cases.
“I have known Wendy and admired her work for years. She is a formidable trial lawyer and exceptional counselor. For all the right reasons, she is one of the most visible lawyers who practice in this space. To say we are thrilled that she has joined us is an understatement,” said Bruce W. Ficken, chair of Cozen O’Connor’s Construction Practice.
“I am so pleased to be part of such a forward-thinking and proactive firm like Cozen O’Connor that has not only bench strength in the construction practice, but also the national/international platform, geographic reach, and diverse practices that will allow me to serve existing clients both nationally and internationally,” Venoit said.
Venoit’s addition continues the expansion of the Construction Practice with the recent hire of Ralf R. Rodriguez to Cozen O’Connor’s Miami office and Wendy F. Klein Keane from Toll Brothers to the firm’s Philadelphia office.
Venoit earned her B.A. in economics and Spanish from the College of the Holy Cross and her J.D. from Pace University School of Law, where she was the valedictorian and graduated magna cum laude.
About Cozen O’Connor
Established in 1970, Cozen O’Connor has over 825 attorneys who help clients manage risk and make better business decisions. The firm counsels clients on their most sophisticated legal matters in all areas of the law, including litigation, corporate, and regulatory law. Representing a broad array of leading global corporations and middle-market companies, Cozen O’Connor serves its clients’ needs through 31 offices across two continents.