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Howard Ashcraft

Howard W. Ashcraft

(415) 995-5073


Howard has represented owners, designers and contractors in major construction litigation. He is particularly skilled at developing targeted litigation strategies that break down complex concepts into themes that resonate with arbitrators, judges and juries.

He is also actively involved in developing new approaches to construction project delivery that will avoid many of the issues seen in problem projects. Along with other members of the AIACC's interdisciplinary taskforce on Integrated Project Delivery, he developed the theoretical and practical underpinnings for Integrated Project Delivery. These were first stated in AIACC's Integrated Project Delivery: A Working Definition (updated 2014) and the joint AIA/AIACC Integrated Project Delivery: A Guide, both of which he co-authored. He also was a principal co-author of Integrating Project Delivery (Wiley 2017) and the recently released IPD: An Action Guide for Leaders (Pankow 2018) and numerous other papers, articles and book chapters.

He has a practical understanding of IPD as well. Along with the Hanson Bridgett IPD team, he has structured more than 140 pure IPD projects—most of which also used Lean methodologies. According to Chambers USA, Howard is Band 1 rated and “has a solid practice representing design professionals and public owners. Like the firm, he is especially praised for his knowledge of IPD-related work. Clients say: He is a very clear-headed attorney who is the country's leading authority on alternative project delivery models in construction."

In parallel, Howard worked with the congressionally-chartered National Institute of Building Sciences to develop the National Building Information Modeling Standard. He currently heads the institute's legal and risk subgroup. Building Information Modeling is the use of object-oriented, intelligent databases that not only can use 3D design tools to characterize existing architectural and engineering design, but can be used to explore and manage construction processes, energy optimization, sustainable construction, costs and facility management.

Howard is an Adjunct Professor at Stanford University in Civil and Environmental Engineering.


J.D. University of California, Berkeley School of Law ( 1979 )
A.B. Stanford University ( 1974 )

Admissions and Courts

Supreme Court of the United States


IPD/BIM Practice Co-Leader

Procter & Gamble, Cincinnati OH. Represented P&G in transforming their project delivery using Lean IPD principles, including developing the base IPD agreements and providing training and project counseling on projects in North America and Europe.

Brown University, Providence RI. Represented Brown University in a series of IPD projects, including the New Engineering Building and the upcoming Performing Arts Center.

Amgen, Thousand Oaks CA. Represent Amgen on their Lean IPD projects including developing strategy, contract documents and training. Projects include laboratories, offices and manufacturing in the United States and Puerto Rico.

Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, Ltd., Chalk River, Ontario. Represent the operating company in a government owned/contractor operated nuclear research facility in executing two capital projects using Lean IPD principles and contracts. Services include strategy, training, negotiation and contract development.

Red Deer College, Red Deer, Alberta. Represented a public college in implementing its first IPD project.

Confidential Client. Represent multinational biotech/pharmaceutical company in developing their collaborative project delivery strategy, including representing the client in a series of IPD projects in the continental US and Caribbean.

Confidential Client. Represent a multinational entertainment company in the implementation of IPD projects across a broad spectrum of project types and sizes, several of which exceed $500MM in design and construction value.

Confidential Client. Represented a semi-conductor manufacturer in its implementation of IPD projects and principles across several projects, several of approach or exceed $1B, both in the United States and abroad.

Confidential Client. Represent international bio-pharmaceutical firm in major infrastructure improvements using Lean IPD principles and contracts.

Healthcare Systems. Represent a wide array of health care systems and individual hospitals in the delivery of major infrastructure projects using Lean IPD principles and contracts.

National Institute of Building Sciences. Under a contract with NIBS, counseled the Veteran's Administration regarding its updated approach to Building Information Modeling.

Sykehuset i Vestfold. Advise public hospital district on implementation of IPD for a regional hospital in Tønsberg, Norway.

Compania de Nitrogeno de Cantarell. Represented an international consortium in a delay, impact and defect claim against the Engineer Procure Construct, contractor. Claim value was in excess of $120 MM.

Commercial Metals Company. Represented a subsidiary in a delay, impact and extras claim arising from a design/build contract for a Las Vegas casino. The project included significant insurance coverage, as well as construction issues.

Adjunct Professor, Stanford University, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Associate Fellow, Saíd Business School, Oxford University

Center for Innovation in the Design and Construction Industry, Founding Board Member

National Building Information Model Standard, Versions 1 & 2, Subcommittee Chair

Lean Construction Institute

Bar Association of San Francisco

American Bar Foundation, Fellow

American College of Construction Lawyers, Fellow

Litigation Counsel of America, Fellow

American Bar Association Forum on the Construction Industry (Governing Committee 1993-1997)

American Institute of Architects California Council, Honorary Member

American Council of Engineering Companies, Legal Counsel Forum

American Arbitration Association, panel for large and complex construction cases for California and Nevada

U.S. Green Building Council - Northern California Chapter

Canadian College of Construction Lawyers, Honourary Fellow

Construction Owners Association of America

Member of Board Advisors for “Garner on Drafting and Editing Contracts” by Bryan Garner

"Crafting the Collaborative Contract,Lean Construction Blog (November 2023)

"Integrated Project Delivery's First How-To Guide Makes its Debut," Engineering News-Record (June 2018)

"The Productivity ‘Train Wreck’: Why Construction Struggles to Compete with Rival Industries," Construction Dive (May 2016)

"Integrated Project Delivery Can Work Well But Is Still No Utopia," ENR (June 2015)

U.S. Green Building Council, LEED® Accredited Professional

Canadian College of Construction Lawyers, Honorary Fellow

Stanford University Civil and Environmental Engineering, Consulting Professor

American College of Construction Lawyers, Fellow

Canadian College of Construction Lawyers, Honorary Fellow

American Bar Foundation, Fellow

Chambers and Partners USA, Construction Band 1

International Bar Association, International Construction

Who's Who Legal, Thought Leader (2023-2024)

Lean Construction Institute, Pioneer Award (2022)

Best Lawyers (2006-2024); Lawyer of the Year (2013, 2023)

The Legal 500, Recommended Lawyer (2015-2019)

Super Lawyers, Construction Litigation (2004-2023)

AIA California Council - Commendation for assistance in developing IPD: An Updated Working Definition and service on the AIACC IPD Taskforce, (2014)

American Institute of Architects, Special Achievement Award, San Francisco Chapter (2008)

American Institute of Architects, President's Award (2007)

San Francisco Magazine, Top 10 Northern California Super Lawyers (2004)

Who's Who Legal: Construction

Martindale-Hubbell AV Rating

National Academy of Construction