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Nossaman LLP

Margo E. Bennett

Partner

T 206.824.2290 C 213.392.8705
F 213.612.7801
601 Union Street, Suite 5305
Seattle, WA 98101

Margo Bennett offers in-depth national experience developing and implementing public-private partnerships (P3s), alternate project delivery methods and government contracting from both the public- and private-sector side.  Skilled at assisting clients with procurement and contract negotiation, she advises on a full range of project-related issues, from enabling legislation, risk management and labor relations to environmental compliance, coordination of technical aspects with commercial provisions, litigation and procurement challenges.

Clients also benefit from Ms. Bennett’s extensive knowledge of construction law.  Before joining the Firm, she spent two decades practicing in the field, including handling litigation matters.  She played a key role in multiple transportation and other construction projects throughout the United States.  Ms. Bennett also previously served as general counsel with a large construction company and as deputy general counsel for the $1.8 billion Seattle Monorail Project.

Representative Work

  • Nevada Department of Transportation – Project Neon.  Member of the legal team advising on a nearly $560 million project to realign and improve 3.7 miles along the I-15 in downtown Las Vegas from the Sahara Interchange to the U.S. 95/I-515 Interchange known as the Spaghetti Bowl - an area with the highest congestion in the City.  The team has worked on the project since the mid-2000s, advising on legislation, screening, procurement, structure and implementation.  The transportation agency shortlisted firms in December 2014, released its RFP in March 2015, selected a preferred proposer in October 2015 and the next month awarded a $559.4 million design-build contract to Kiewit Infrastructure West Co.  Construction began in April 2016 and completion is expected in 2019.  As the transportation agency’s primary contact, Ms. Bennett is advising on all commercial and legal aspects of the procurement and contract documents.
  • Nevada Department of Transportation – USA Parkway (SR 439).  Leader of the legal team advising on the design-build procurement of a nearly $76 million project to extend the existing USA Parkway south to U.S. 50 near Silver Springs in Lyon County.  The extension will complete the 18-mile roadway and provide an additional connection between I-80 to U.S. 50.  The new alignment will enhance accessibility and mobility between Lyon and Storey counties, as well as provide transportation infrastructure to support existing and planned land uses and economic development in both counties.  In January 2016, the transportation agency awarded a $75.9 million contract to Ames Construction Inc., which is expected to complete the project in 2017.  Ms. Bennett advised the agency on the expedited procurement and design-build contract documents.
  • Nevada Department of Transportation – Construction Manager at-Risk Program.  Key member of the legal team that drafted template contract documents for this program.  In the construction manager at-risk alternative project delivery method, which must be created by state legislation, a construction manager commits to delivering a project for a guaranteed minimum price.  Ms. Bennett assisted NDOT and its technical advisors in evaluating and addressing procurement and project risks associated with the method, the agreement for pre-construction services, definition of scopes of work and the process for negotiation of construction contracts.  She also developed key contract provisions.
  • Indiana Finance Authority – East End Crossing (Lewis and Clark Bridge).  Key member of the legal team that advised on a precedent-setting P3 for the development of a $1.18 billion, six-lane toll bridge across the Ohio River which opened in December 2016.  The 8.5-mile-long, 2,500-foot cable-stayed East End Crossing (now known as Lewis and Clark Bridge), is a key piece of the $2.3 billion Ohio River Bridges Project – two bridges designed to provide safer, more reliable travel between Louisville, Kentucky and southern Indiana.  East End was the first bridge procured via an availability payment P3 transaction in the United States.  Among other industry “firsts,” it included the first availability payment debt to receive a “flat” investment-grade rating by both Standard & Poor’s and Fitch, and at financial close was the first P3 transportation transaction to not use TIFIA funds in its capital structure.  Financing included $194.5 million in short-term bonds secured by milestone payments and $482 million in long-term bonds secured by availability payments.  Nossaman assisted the Authority in contracting with a joint venture of Walsh/VINCI/Bilfinger for the approximately 35-year DBFOM project, which achieved procurement in record time.  Ms. Bennett’s role included coordination of the project’s technical aspects with commercial terms.  East End won many of the industry’s most prestigious awards:  In 2013, it captured The Bond Buyer’s “Deal of the Year” – a first for a P3 transaction; The American Road and Transportation Builders Association’s “P3 Project of the Year;” Project Finance International’s “Americas Transportation Deal of the Year;  Project Finance magazine’s “North American Project Bond Deal of the Year;” and Partnerships Bulletin’s “Projects Grand Prize” and “Gold Prize” for best P3 road project, and Infrastructure Journal named it a finalist for “Transport Deal of the Year.”  In 2014, P3 Bulletin International named East End “Best Global Road Project” and “Best Global Infrastructure Project,” and in 2015 the International Road Federation gave it the “Global Road Achievement Award for Project Finance and Economics.” 
  • City and County of Honolulu – Honolulu High Capacity Transit Corridor.  Leader of the legal team advising on a $5.2 billion, 20-mile elevated rapid-transit line that will connect West Oahu with downtown Honolulu and serve major commercial and tourist destinations.  Nossaman advised the City and County on procurement matters involving the planning, financing, design, construction and operation of the Honolulu High Capacity Transit Corridor – the first project of its kind in the state.  The Firm also advised on compliance with federal environmental requirements.  The downtown phase of the project will proceed to bid and is scheduled for completion in 2019.
  • Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, Texas – METRO Solutions Phase 2.  Key member of the legal team that advised the transit agency on a project to extend the Houston METRORail system.  The first leg of the system, the 7.5-mile long Red Line, boasts one of the highest ridership rates in the country since opening a decade ago.  Metro Solutions Phase 2 is a $1.46 billion project to design, build, equip, operate and maintain three additional rail lines.  The Authority awarded a development agreement to Parsons Transportation Group Inc. and a design-build contract to a Parsons/Granite/ Kiewit joint venture with vehicles acquired from CAF USA Inc.  The Red Line northern extension opened in December 2013 and the Green Line (East End) and Purple Line (Southeast) began service in 2015.  Ms. Bennett’s work included advising on the turnkey contract to develop the extensions, producing procurement and contract documents and negotiating the original contracts.
  • Oregon Transportation Improvement Group – Oregon Innovative Partnerships Program.  Prior to joining Nossaman, lead attorney advising the development consortium for this project.  The Oregon Innovative Partnerships Program allows the Oregon Department of Transportation to enter into partnerships with private-sector businesses and local governments to study, design, fund, construct and operate critically needed transportation projects including roads, bridges, airport and seaports.  The transportation agency chose the Oregon Transportation Improvement Group, a Macquarie/Hatch Mott MacDonald consortium, as its private-sector partner to pursue the first three transportation projects under this program – the Newberg-Dundee Bypass, the Sunrise Corridor and the I-205 Corridor. 

Awards & Honors

AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell.

Margo E. Bennett
Margo E. Bennett

Practices

Education

J.D., University of Puget Sound School of Law, 1985

B.A., University of Washington, 1982, cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa

Admissions

Admitted Only in Washington.

Professional Affiliations

Design-Build Institute of America

Washington State Public Works Methods Oversight Committee: Past Member

Washington State Bar Association: Past Chair, Construction Law Section

Awards & Honors

AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell.

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