With more than 30 years of experience in complex business litigation, Mr. Frey represents clients involved in a variety of industries. In the construction industry, he has helped resolve disputes and close out projects involving office buildings, hospitals, mixed use projects, hotels and hospitality facilities, power plants, convention centers, enclosed shopping centers, strip malls, residential subdivisions, water and sewer treatment plants, highways, and industrial and educational facilities. He uses his experience and in-depth knowledge of the construction process to advise parties involved in construction, including owners and developers, general contractors, sub-contractors, suppliers, architects, and engineers, in both public and private sector work. He assists parties on the front-end of construction projects in contract drafting, negotiation, and bidding; in the contract administration phase; and in dispute resolution, either during the construction period or following substantial completion.
Mr. Frey is highly regarded for his mediation and arbitration practice, both in representing parties in dispute resolution and in serving as an arbitrator or mediator for the American Arbitration Association (AAA). He works closely with other members of our Construction Team to extend the firm’s reach in the construction industry to Pennsylvania with his active practice in construction law matters, his AAA dispute resolution work, and the articles he writes on developments in Pennsylvania construction law for the firm’s Business Litigation Alert.
Areas of Focus
Construction Litigation and Insurance Practice
He advises clients on legal aspects of day-to-day issues that arise on construction projects, attempting to resolve disputes early before they mushroom into costly, time-consuming legal quagmires that can prevent on-time and on-budget project delivery.
He uses his knowledge of construction law and understanding of the construction business to assist clients with the legal aspects of all phases of construction, from bidding and procurement, to contract negotiation and drafting, through contract administration and the close-out process.
For construction projects giving rise to insurance claims, Mr. Frey provides advice on notice requirements, indemnity issues, and insurance coverage for losses, both property damage and personal injury. He also helps respond to reservation of rights letters and handles coverage litigation. For property damage claims under first party policies, he handles significant subrogation claims where construction and design defects cause building failures.
For matters where dispute resolution is not possible, Mr. Frey has represented parties in litigation and arbitration in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware, before state and federal courts, and in regulatory forums on a variety of construction related disputes, including claims for delay, impact, loss of productivity, differing site conditions, extra costs, contract defaults, and construction and design defects.
He has considerable experience representing clients in resolving legal matters through dispute resolution boards, mediation and arbitration, mini-trials, and bench and jury trials. As a complement to his litigation practice, Mr. Frey regularly serves as an arbitrator or mediator upon selection by the parties in American Arbitration Association and private proceedings.
Mr. Frey also helps clients file mechanics liens and construction liens, and litigate to enforce those liens, and, in other matters, represents owners seeking to strike improper liens. He has also brought and defended performance and payment bond claims on private and Miller Act surety bonds.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Mr. Frey has handled numerous construction mediations and arbitrations administered by the American Arbitration Association and other ADR service providers, including what was, at the time, the longest construction arbitration in connection with the largest private construction project in Philadelphia’s history. Other professional experience in dispute resolution includes serving as judge pro tem in the Commerce Court, Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas, for various cases during the last 10 years. In this pro bono service, he has conducted mediations with a high resolution rate, for various judges in the Commerce Court program.
Mr. Frey has also been involved in developing and conducting mediation education and training programs for construction dispute resolution in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland. As arbitrator and mediator, his style is creative, encouraging, and persistent. He attempts to find solutions to multi-party disputes enabling construction projects to proceed, while attempting to narrow the remaining issues for arbitration to avoid disruption of construction work.
Mr. Frey has ten years of experience serving as a judge pro tem in the Commerce Court of the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas, mediating disputes in cases involving construction and design defect claims; actions relating to the internal affairs or governance, dissolution, or liquidation of business corporations, partnerships, limited partnerships, limited liability companies, or business trusts; disputes involving rights or obligations under the Pennsylvania Business Corporation Law, corporate bylaws, or other governing agreements; performance and payment bond claims; leases for commercial, real, or personal property; restrictive covenants; trade secret or non-compete agreements; business torts; insurance coverage disputes; insurance bad faith claims by insureds; and third party indemnification claims.
Mr. Frey has mediated as an advocate or party more than 25 cases, with amounts in dispute ranging from $100,000 to $100 million and involving contractor delay claims; contractor terminations; general and prime contractor claims for delays and interference by other contractors and owners; design and construction defect; failure of utility plants to achieve performance requirements; claims for contract extras; contract close out disputes; property damage and personal injury suits resulting from building collapses or industrial accidents; libel, defamation; and related intentional business torts; claims for environmental contamination; shopping center disputes involving common area maintenance charges; disputes involving breach of commercial leases; commercial foreclosure and lender liability disputes; site acquisition and differing site condition disputes; product failures such as roofing materials, curtainwall, flooring, Cerabond panels, asbestos, and steel deflection; water intrusion through curtainwall, stone, stucco, and pre-cast panels; and insurance coverage for construction defects, property damage, and natural disasters.
Villanova University School of Law (J.D.)
- Articles Editor, Villanova Law Review
Brown University (B.A., magna cum laude)
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania
United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas
Commerce Court, Judge Pro Tem
American Bar Association
The Construction Industry
Pennsylvania Bar Association
Philadelphia Bar Association
Past Co-Chair, Appellate Courts Committee
American Arbitration Association
Master Mediator Panel for Construction Cases, Pennsylvania
ASHRAE Task Force for General Legal Education