Benton T. Wheatley

Austin

Shareholder

303 Colorado Street
Suite 2600
Austin, TX 78701-3924

O: 512.391.6100
D: 512.391.6112
E: bwheatley@munsch.com

Ben is the Managing Shareholder of the firm’s Austin office and serves on the Firm Management Committee. Ben has more than 25 years of experience in litigating complex construction and environmental matters, negotiating and drafting construction and design contracts, serving as in-house counsel for an international firms, and working on issues concerning the practice of architecture, engineering, and project construction in all 50 states, Mexico and South America. In January 2017, Ben was included in the inaugural class of lawyers board certified in construction law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. In addition to construction law matters, Ben handles administrative matters related to the construction and design industry, as well as environmental and commercial litigation. Most recently, Ben assisted a publicly traded company with the development, relocation and construction of its corporate, industrial and distribution facilities from Southern California to North Texas.

Ben has practiced in a wide range of construction areas such as complex delay, impact, defective design, defective construction, or differing site conditions claims involving mediation, litigation, or arbitration as well as problem project work-outs, including negotiating with sureties and owners. He also works on the drafting and negotiation of complex construction, design and engineering contracts, and environmental issues concerning construction projects.

Ben serves on the American Arbitration Association Roster of Neutrals for Construction cases. Additionally, he has significant experience in dealing with representation of corporations and professionals in claims before State of Texas administrative agencies, construction project lien and bond claims and project payment issues, performance, defaults, termination, warranty and liquidated damages disputes and jobsite injuries.

EDUCATION

  • Bachelor of Arts from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Juris Doctor from The University of Oklahoma College of Law

AWARDS & HONORS

  • AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell
  • Texas Bar Foundation, Life Fellow
  • Elected as Founding Board Chair for Fold of Honor - Central Texas Chapter

BAR ADMISSIONS

  • Oklahoma
  • Texas

  • Prosecuted multi-million dollar payment claim on behalf of general contractor, against large, national retailer.
  • Defended an engineering firm in a three-week design defect case in Galveston County, Texas, where plaintiff's demand to the jury was $6.2MM. While other defendants were found liable, Ben's client received a defense verdict on all of the claims against it.
  • Defended Texas A&M University against a $3MM construction delay/impact claim. Not only did Texas A&M receive a defense verdict but was awarded damages on its counterclaim.
  • Drafted design and construction contract language for Owner, for use of Building Information Modeling (BIM) on a medical center project valued in excess of $300MM.
  • Negotiated a series of complex tri-party engineering contracts with a public owner and private concession holder for services on a $1B road project.
  • Preparation and negotiation of design and construction documents for large institutional project in Cochabamba, Bolivia.
  • Established on site relationships with local counsel and local consultants in Cochabamba and La Paz, Bolivia to assist with large institutional project.
  • Preparation and negotiation of design and construction documents for large institutional project in San Pedro Garza Garcia, Nuevo Leon, Mexico.
  • Established on site relationships with local counsel and local consultants in Monterrey and San Pedro Garza Garcia, Nuevo Leon, Mexico to assist with large institutional project.
  • Managed contracts for design and construction through client's design and construction management office in Mexico City, Mexico.
  • Preparation and negotiation of design and construction documents for large institutional project in Recife, Brazil.
  • Preparation and negotiation of design and construction documents for large institutional project in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
  • Preparation and negotiation of design and construction documents for large institutional project in Caracas, Venezuela.
  • Prosecuted administrative claims against the Texas Department of Transportation on behalf of a road contractor at the State Office of Administrative Hearings.
  • Defended a large contractor on claims of wrongful termination in a week long jury trial in federal court.
  • Defended a structural engineer in a week long jury trial where the jury demand exceeded $8MM. Ben's client received a defense verdict.
  • Defended an engineering firm on claims against it by the Texas Board of Professional Engineers. All claims against Ben's client were dismissed.
  • Defended a manufacturer in federal court against accusations it had dumped toxic materials in a Superfund site. Ben's client received a directed verdict in its favor, and was exonerated.

  • American Arbitration Association, Construction Arbitration Panel Member
  • American Inns of Court, Master
  • Association of General Contractors, Central Texas Chapter, Member Legal Affairs Committee, 2011- Present
  • American Bar Association
  • Austin Bar Association, Chair, Breakfast with the Judiciary Committee, 2011-2012
  • Oklahoma Bar Association
  • State Bar of Texas, Construction Law Section, Editorial Board Member
  • Folds of Honor Foundation, Central Texas Chapter, Founder and Board Chair, 2011 – Present

MEDIA COVERAGE

February 2017
Munsch Hardt law firm names new executive leader for Austin office Greg Barr

Austin Business Journal

November 2016
One Lawyer's Work to Rebuild a Practice After Surviving Cancer Brenda Sapino Jeffreys

Texas Lawyer

ARTICLES

June 2016
Assignment Issues Implicated in Contract Clauses

Construction Executive

January 2016
Assignment Issues in Construction Contracts

The Construction Lawyer, Winter 2016

October 2015
What's the Appeal of Arbitration? Overturning Arbitration Awards and The New Appellate Rules
Munsch Hardt Shareholder Ben Wheatley, along with John Bulman and Katharine Kohm of Pierce Atwood, spoke at the Fall 2015 American Bar Association's Forum on Construction Law, which was held in Austin, Texas.
June 2015
The Law of Unintended Consequences

Construction Executive 

June 2013
Navigating the Labyrinth of Consequential Damages in the Construction Industry: A History of and Legal Approaches to Living with Them

The Construction Lawyer

A bylined article by lead author, Benton T. Wheatley and co-authored by Randel A. Canche
February 2012
The Universal Applicability of Pass-Through Claims

The Construction Lawyer

A bylined article by lead author, Benton T. Wheatley and co-authored by Jessica C. Neufeld for the Winter 2012, Volume 32, Number 1 edition of The Construction Lawyer
December 2011
Negligence Claims in Texas Construction Cases

Construction Law Journal

A bylined article by Benton T. Wheatley for the Winter 2011 Vol. 9, Number 2 edition of Construction Law Journal.
October 2007
An Introduction to Building Information Modeling

The Construction Lawyer

A bylined article by lead author, Benton T. Wheatley for the Fall 2007, Volume 27, Number 4 edition of The Construction Lawyer.
February 2007
Living in a Material World

Construction Law Journal

A bylined article by lead author, Benton T. Wheatley for the Winter 2007, Volume 5, Number 2 edition of Construction Law Journal.
June 2005
Defending Subrogation Claims in Design and Construction Cases

The Construction Lawyer

A bylined article by Benton T. Wheatley for the Summer 2005, Volume 25, Number 3 edition of The Construction Lawyer

SPEECHES

October 2015
What's the Appeal of Arbitration? Overturning Arbitration Awards and The New Appellate Rules American Bar Association's Forum on Construction Law Munsch Hardt Shareholder Ben Wheatley, along with John Bulman and Katharine Kohm of Pierce Atwood, spoke at the Fall 2015 American Bar Association's Forum on Construction Law, which was held in Austin, Texas.
February 2014
Design Professionals and the Economic Loss Rule 27th Annual Construction Law Conference Munsch Hardt Shareholder Ben Wheatley spoke at the 27th Annual Construction Law Conference in San Antonio, Texas on February 28, 2014. Ben's Panel was titled "Design Professional and the Economic Loss Rule."
February 2014
Design Professionals and the Economic Loss Rule 27th Annual Construction Law Conference