Erika Baurecht, special counsel with Foley & Lardner LLP, has 24 years of complex construction and contracting experience as outside and in-house counsel to developers, corporate owners, general contractors, design/build firms, subcontractors, engineers, architects, and governmental entities throughout the United States on private and public construction projects of all sizes.
Erika advises her construction clients on risk management and project delivery models, including design-build, design-bid-build, GC/CM, CMAR, and construction contracting and pricing options, such as guaranteed maximum price, cost-plus fee and fixed fee. She works closely with her clients throughout the multiple phases of project development, including assistance with bid packages, RFPs, the preparation and negotiation of custom and standard industry complex construction contracts (e.g. AIA, AGC, EJCDC, DBIA & ConsensusDOCS), and the ongoing administration of construction projects, including issues related to change orders, applications for payment, performance and payment bonds and lien disputes. She is also highly versed in the areas of procurement, vendor management, and a wide variety of commercial contracts.
Erika is committed to helping her clients avoid disputes on the front end of their construction projects so they can avoid defending against claims after the fact. In order to meet budgetary goals, Erika takes pride in working closely with clients’ internal facilities and construction teams at the project’s inception to develop proper delivery and pricing models, strategize the best ways to ensure the timely delivery of construction, and to identify potential risks of overruns and claims. Post-contracting, she continues to provide her clients with ongoing support and risk management throughout the design and construction phases – advising with permitting issues, unforeseen site conditions, delays, performance issues, change orders, claims, and lien disputes.
Erika also assists owners and developers outside of individual construction and development projects. This includes developing custom construction contract suites and helping her clients implement and streamline effective in-house contracting procedures, all in the interest of addressing the vast array of construction issues that may arise during construction and facilities-management projects.
Erika represents clients from a variety of industries on real estate deals across the United States, including:
- Public and private companies with the development and construction of manufacturing and specialty production facilities
- Healthcare providers, nonprofit medical service providers, and companies dedicated to medical research with the development of hospitals, clinics, laboratories, and research and development facilities
- Major and minor league sports teams with the development and construction of stadiums and training facilities
- Developers with the acquisition-rehabilitation and new construction of affordable housing, senior housing, and community development projects, financed using Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC), Housing & Urban Development (HUD), and Federal Housing Administration (FHA) multifamily finance programs, State HOME Funds, Municipal HOME Funds, Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds, and Historic Tax Credits
- Construction counsel for the Milwaukee Brewers Baseball Club on the fast-track development of the American Family Fields spring training ballpark facility in Phoenix, Arizona, including the drafting and negotiation of the design, construction management, and other construction and development-related agreements, and the ongoing assistance with project management, contractor performance issues, change order management, and claims.
- Represented Wisconsin Energies on the negotiation and drafting of a $2.3 billion dollar engineering procurement and construction contract with Bechtel Corporation for the construction of the Oak Creek supercritical coal-based power facility on the west shore of Lake Michigan (the largest lump-sum turnkey project in Bechtel’s history).
- Representation of Milwaukee Public Museum as construction Counsel for the ongoing development of the $190 million dollar Museum of Nature and Culture campus in Downtown Milwaukee, including involvement throughout the RFP process, and the drafting and negotiation of the agreements with the Architect/Engineer, Construction Manager and Exhibit Designer.
- Ongoing representation as Construction counsel for international specialty chemicals company for its facilities across the U.S., including the development of a new $198 million dollar manufacturing facility in Mill Hall, Pennsylvania to produce lipids specifically to be used for the purpose of producing the COVID vaccine, and the construction of its new North American Headquarters and high tech innovation center in New Jersey.
- Represented Exact Sciences Corporation, a molecular diagnostics company with a focus on the early detection and prevention of cancer, on ongoing $279+ million dollar, multiphased development and construction of Headquarters, Laboratory, and Research campus on 10 different properties in the Madison, Wisconsin area.
- Represented Developer in the construction of Ballpark Commons, a multiphased, mixed-use entertainment district including the baseball stadium for the American Association of Independent Professionals baseball team, the Milwaukee Milkmen, and the University of Wisconsin, plus the professional indoor soccer arena of the Milwaukee Wave, retail and office space, apartments, and senior living units.
- Ongoing representation of Complete Filtration Resources, an international specialty manufacturer and design-builder of food production filtration and wastewater treatment systems. Acted as construction counsel for Design-Build development of wastewater treatment and dairy processing facilities in Wisconsin and Ireland, and Engineer Procure Construction (EPC) development of stand-alone Wastewater Treatment Facility for the largest blue cheese producer in the world.
- Ongoing representation of CUNA Mutual Group in the development and phased construction of new Campus Headquarters in Madison, Wisconsin.
- Representation of SSM Health Dean Medical Group on the redevelopment of its South Madison Campus on 13.5 acres, including the $75 million dollar, five-story, 80,000 SF Health Clinic, and the development and construction of a new 40,000 SF medical outpatient clinic on a 5.5-acre site in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin.
- Represented SHINE Medical Technologies in the $100 million dollar development and construction of the first privately operated medical radioisotope production facility in the country on 91 acres in Janesville, Wisconsin.
- Represented Rite Hite as construction counsel for the development of Rite Hite Global Headquarters on 9.5-acre site on the Menomonee River in Milwaukee, consisting of the development of a 5-story, 137,000 SF corporate headquarters and customer experience center, 103,000 SF building for research, engineering and development, customer training and equipment distribution, a 4-story parking structure, and outdoor public spaces.
- Representation of numerous nonprofit developers of affordable housing, on the construction of multifamily mixed-use developments in Wisconsin utilizing Low Income Housing Tax Credits (“LIHTC”) administered by the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (“WHEDA”), Tax increment financing, NeighborWorks America Grants from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (“WEDC”), Federal HOME Funds, and United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) Veteran Affairs Supportive Housing project-based rental assistance (“VASH”).
- Construction counsel for Wilkinson Minerals in the development of a new $200M Calcium Chloride, Magnesium Chloride, and Bromine production facility at a brownfield site in Bay City, Michigan, and separate Barge Dock located in Essexville, Michigan.
- Construction counsel to large international cheese company for projects across the U.S., including general development advice, and preparation and negotiation of construction agreements for the development of 250,000 square foot cheese processing facility in Little Chute, Wisconsin.
- Representation of Nova Molecular Technologies as construction counsel on the design-build development of chemical purification facility in Sumter, South Carolina.
- Ongoing representation of the Milwaukee Brewers Baseball Club on CapEX construction and facilities improvements for American Family Fields Stadium in Milwaukee and American Family Fields Stadium in Phoenix.
- Ongoing representation of Harley-Davidson, Inc. on global construction and facilities transactions, including the drafting and negotiation of design-build, GC, and architect and engineering agreements.
- Acted as lead construction counsel for the State of Wisconsin Department of Administration, Division of State Facilities, to develop the state’s Construction Manager at Risk model contracts and to revise all of the state’s construction-related contracts and supporting documentation, including: State of Wisconsin Department of Administration – Division of State Facilities (DSP) – General Conditions of the Contract, Agreement Between the State of Wisconsin for Construction Management Services (Construction Manager at Risk), Shared Savings Value Engineering Change Proposal ("VECP's"), T&Cs, Schedule Incentives and Green Design Goals.
Erika frequently speaks at seminars and to local and national associations on issues concerning contracting, facilities management, construction, leasing and lien law, including:
- A CLE presentation entitled “Legal Issues In The Design And Construction Process”
- A presentation to the Wisconsin Association of Corporate Counsel’s 2014 Annual Chapter Conference entitled “Tips on Transforming Your Team from ‘The Deal Killers’ to the ‘Department of Yes!’ How to Properly Allocate Corporate Risk and Negotiate a Contract Everyone Can Live With”
- Annual presentations at the Washington Construction Law Conference
She has also published the following articles:
- “ABC’s of Construction Contracting: Creating a Contract You Can Live With”
- “Don’t Let The Roof Fall On Your Head! The Risky Relationship Between Owner, Contractor And Subcontractors”
- Selected by her peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© in the field of Real Estate Law (2021 - 2023)
Erika earned her J.D. from Marquette University Law School and a B.A. in English and geology, magna cum laude, at the University of New Mexico.
Erika is active in the national Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) network, is the past president of the CREW Seattle & Sound Chapter, and has served on the board of the Wisconsin CREW Chapter. Her other professional associations and memberships include the Wisconsin State Bar Association, the Washington State Bar Association, the American Bar Association Forum on the Construction Industry, the International Council of Shopping Centers and the American Corporate Counsel Association.
Erika is admitted to practice in Wisconsin, Washington, as well as the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin, U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin, U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit, and the U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.