So, You Think a Teaming Agreement is Too Much Trouble?

Recorded On: 03/08/2023

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Teaming Agreements, the legal arrangement that covers the pre-award phase of project pursuits, are one of the most important, variable – and least understood – elements of the design-build process. Too many teams skip this important step or give it short shrift, jumping into the project pursuit phase without aligning on how their firms will work together, share risk, share stipends and costs and cope with project realities in a fair manner. A well-crafted Teaming Agreement can pave the way for a successful pursuit, efficient negotiation of the Subsequent Agreement and seamless project delivery. 
In this session, members of DBIA’s National Design Professionals’ Advisory and Engagement Committee will share their perspectives and recommendations about why and how to achieve effective Teaming Agreements. Each draws on decades of successful design-build experience and lessons learned while bringing a distinct perspective characteristic of their different role in the team. 
The panel will address the following key questions:
1. How is a Teaming Agreement going to help my firm achieve success? 
2. What Teaming Agreement provisions are indispensable?
3. What are the risks of failing to negotiate a robust Teaming Agreement?
4. How does a Teaming Agreement facilitate efficient Subsequent Agreement negotiations?

Lee Slade, PE

Chairman of the Board & Senior Principal

Walter P. Moore and Associates, Inc

Lee Slade is a 44-year veteran of high-level project design and delivery. After developing his career as a hands-on project manager for international engineering  consultancy Walter P Moore, he broadened his focus and for 20 years led their Structures Group, leading its growth and addition of multiple new services including Design-Build parking, enclosure engineering, secure design, and specialized construction engineering.  Under his leadership Walter P Moore was named the top U.S. Structural Engineering Firm to Work For three consecutive years. Walter P Moore is a leader in collaborative design build. The firm’s innovative digital workflow capabilities helped earn the Dove Building in Miramar, FL the 2015 DBIA Project of the Year.  Walter P Moore’s highly innovative design of the new Air Traffic Control Center at San Francisco International Airport were key to that sophisticated Design-Build project earning the Grand Conceptor Award as ACEC’s Top National Engineering project in 2016.  He currently has a key leadership role on one of the largest P3 airport projects in the United States. Lee is a recognized leader in the design and management of major sports projects, especially retractable roof stadiums, and he has had a key role in the successful delivery of numerous venues delivered by alternative delivery, including Houston’s Minute Maid Park; Phoenix’s State Farm Stadium; Daytona Rising, the $400M reconstruction of Daytona International Speedway; and SoFi Stadium, which recently opened in Inglewood, CA.

Rachel C. John, JD, Assoc. DBIA

Senior Associate

Zetlin & De Chiara

Rachel John is a New York City-based attorney at the law firm of Zetlin & De Chiara. She represents owners, developers, design professionals and other members of the construction community on general business, transactional and litigation matters. She has significant experience navigating contract, procurement and project management issues on large public construction projects and in reviewing and drafting professional service and construction agreements, including for alternative delivery models such as design-build. Her experience also includes bid protests and other disqualification appeals in procurement, grant funding compliance (e.g., FHWA, HUD, FEMA), dispute resolution, construction claims, surety and insurance issues, and representing clients in city, state and federal courts and administrative proceedings.

Ms. John served as in-house counsel at the New York City Department of Design and Construction where she worked on several of the agency's largest and most complex projects, valued in the hundreds of millions to multi-billion-dollar range. When New York State authorized New York City to utilize design-build project delivery under the Rikers Island Jail Complex Replacement Act and New York City Public Works Investment Act, Ms. John was integral to the establishment of the agency's design-build program and form of agreement.

Zetlin & De Chiara LLP, one of the country's leading law firms, focuses its practice on all aspects of construction law and the built environment. The firm provides sophisticated legal and business counsel to real estate owners, developers, financial institutions, owner's representatives, design professionals, construction managers and contractors.

Sean Gellhaus, P.E., DBIA

Associate Vice President and National Contracting Manager

HNTB Corporation

Sean carries the deep joys and scars of personally experiencing the importance of Design-Build Done Right?. He is fortunate to have spent the majority of his 23 years in the industry in leadership roles on large projects utilizing various iterations of design-build delivery and in design-build program development. Sean currently serves as a national contracting resource and advisor and works directly with HNTB?s contractor partners, owners, and subconsultants to negotiate contracts with equitable risk allocation.

Robert Barbera, PE, DBIA

SVP Turner Construction Engineering Group

Turner Construction Company

As an SVP for Turner Construction Company’s Engineering Group, Rob Barbera oversees the operation of this division, which provides design expertise and guidance to Turner’s Design-Build national portfolio. Design Management and Subject Matter Experts address all facets of design-build delivery to achieve effective risk mitigation and design optimization. The group collaborates with both Turner project teams and design partners to evaluate and analyze specific discipline components for maximum value and efficiency. 

With 39 years of industry experience, including a career start working for a mechanical trade partner, Barbera has worked extensively in both preconstruction and construction phases of delivery, where many successful complex projects were completed through consistent understanding of stakeholder priorities and exhaustive collaboration.  


Open to view video.  |  90 minutes
Open to view video.  |  90 minutes
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Certificate of Completion
1.50 CEUs credits  |  Certificate available
1.50 CEUs credits  |  Certificate available