Donnelly Gillen

Donnelly A. Gillen

Of Counsel

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San Francisco

Donnelly is an experienced construction attorney adept at both litigation and transactional matters. She represents a wide range of industry players including private owners, public agencies, developers, general contractors, subcontractors, and product manufacturers in residential, commercial, and heavy civil construction disputes, leasing disputes, fraud claims, strict liability claims, and personal injury claims.  She is an effective advisor of individuals and businesses in contract drafting and negotiations and well-versed in traditional delivery methods as well as in the Integrated Project Delivery method.  Representative transactional clients include publicly traded biotech companies, medical device manufacturers, government agencies, and institutions of higher learning.


Architect and Engineer Liability: Claims Against Design Professionals, Fifth Edition, Chapter 12: The Design Professional as Construction Manager, co-author (September 2020)

"Unpredictable Times Require Strong Communication Skills," co-author, Construction Executive (June 2020)

"6 Legal Issues for COVID and Construction," co-author, Contractor (May 2020)

"Construction in the Age of COVID-19: Analyzing Impacts and Strategies," co-author, The Construction Owners Association of America's Owners Perspective (April 2020)

"Guidelines for Construction Owners Responding to COVID-19," co-author, Construction Law Alert (April 2020)

"Guidelines for Contractors Responding to COVID-19," co-author, Construction Law Alert (April 2020)

Construction Disputes: Representing the Contractor, Fourth Edition, Chapter 4: "Bid Protests and Bid Mistakes" and Chapter 5: "Suing the Private Owner," co-author (October 2019)

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"Beyond COVID-19: Owner Considerations for a Successful Restart," co-presenter, Construction Owners Association of America Webinar (July 2020)

“Mechanic’s Liens,” panelist, NorCal Women in Commercial Leasing Law Symposium (November 2018)

“Tackling Unconscious Bias in the Workplace,” moderator, California Women in Design + Construction (June 2018)

“Strategies for Successful Negotiations," Structural Engineers Association of Northern California (March 2018)

“Delay Damages and California Construction Law," SMACNA Bay Area Project Management Certificate Program (October 2017)

“The Fine Art of Negotiation," panelist, National Association of Women in Construction (March 2017)

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Northern California Super Lawyers Rising Star, Construction Litigation (2014-2019)

Professional Affiliations

National Association of Women in Construction, San Francisco Chapter

Construction Owners Association Of America

Alameda County Bar Association

San Francisco County Bar Association

ABA Forum on Construction Law


J.D., University of California, Hastings College of the Law (2008)

B.A., summa cum laude, University of Maryland, College Park (2005)

Admissions And Courts


U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California

U.S. District Court for the Central District of California

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

San Francisco

415-995-5096 Direct Phone
415-995-3519 Fax

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