John Foust Portrait

John Foust


Boston College Law School 
Juris Doctor, 2001 

  • Magna Cum Laude
  • Order of the Coif
  • Managing Editor, Boston College Law Review

University of New Mexico
Bachelor of Arts, 1994

  • General Honors
  • NM Endowment for Humanities, grant recipient, 1994

Jones Day
Partner, 2011-2015

Howrey LLP
Partner, 2010-2011
Senior Associate, 2008-2010

Thelen LLP
Associate, 2002-2008
Summer Associate, 2000

U.S. District Court (D. Mass.)

Law Clerk to Hon. Edward

F. Harrington (2001–2002)

California (all state and federal courts)

New Mexico (all state and federal courts)

Nevada (all state and federal courts)

US Court of Appeals, DC District 

Chambers USA, Ranked (Construction, CA), 2021, 2022, 2023

Fellow, American College of Construction Law, Class of 2024

“Thought Leader,” WWL Construction Law, 2022, 2023

Tier 1, Construction, US News & World Report Best Lawyers, 2019–Present

“Super Lawyer,” Northern California Super Lawyers Magazine 2009–Present

Division Chair, ABA Forum on Construction Law, 2017-2019

Publications Committee, ABA Forum on Construction Law, 2016–Present

Editor, The Construction Lawyer (Journal), 2016-2021

John is a Chambers-ranked lawyer specializing in construction, energy, and real estate development.

  • International arbitration. John represents contractors, developers, and energy companies in international arbitration. This includes disputes over inbound projects (i.e., foreign companies working in the US) and outbound projects (i.e., work performed abroad). He has successfully arbitrated claims before the ICC, AAA, ICDR, SIAC, and JAMS, as well as ad hoc arbitrations under UNCITRAL rules.
  • Domestic construction claims. Domestically, John represents owners and contractors in the prosecution and defense of all manner of contract disputes, including schedule claims and extra-work claims. He has decades of experience litigating solar projects, rail projects, hospitals, manufacturing/processing facilities, and high-rise towers.
  • Construction contract crafting and review. In addition to disputes, John drafts and negotiates contracts for construction projects and advises owners on project controls and risk management.

John frequently writes and lectures on issues involving international disputes. He is a Fellow of the American College of Construction Lawyers and actively involved with the ABA Forum on Construction Law, where served as editor-in-chief of the scholarly law journal, The Construction Lawyer, and Chair of the International Division. He has been recognized as a leading lawyer by Chambers USA, as “Tier 1” by Best Lawyers / US News Report, and a “Thought Leader” by WWL Construction Law.

Prior to joining Ralls Gruber & Niece, John was a partner at the law firms of Jones Day and Howrey LLP. He clerked for the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts (Hon. Edward F. Harrington).

  • Represented an international EPC contractor in an eight-week arbitration over a series of solar power plants for a European public utility company. At arbitration, the contractor successfully defeated approximately $100 million in termination-related damages and prevailed on its own claim for abandonment of contract and quantum meruit. The contractor also recovered its attorney’s fees and costs.
  • Acted as lead counsel for the owner/developer of a mixed-use, high-rise tower in Los Angeles, valued at more than $1.7 billion, against over $500 million in claims by contractors and subcontractors, including claims in arbitration and in Los Angeles Superior Court, with related claims in Bermuda, BVI, Hong Kong, and US Bankruptcy Court.
  • Acted as lead counsel for the developer for a mixed-use, high-rise project in San Francisco, valued at approximately $1.5 billion, and successfully defended against over $25 million in claims by the prime contractor and its subs.
  • Drafted and negotiated the prime contract for the owner/developer of a multi-building technology campus in Burlingame, CA, valued at approximately $500 million.
  • Was part of a team of lawyers who represented MGM Resorts International in connection with a complex, multi-billion-dollar dispute over the design and construction of the $8.5 billion CityCenter development in Las Vegas. See In re CityCenter Constr. & Lien Master Litig. v. Eighth Judicial Dist. Court of Nev., 2011 Nev. Unpub. LEXIS 1433; Tutor Perini Bldg. Corp. v. Eighth Judicial Dist. Court of Nev., 2013 Nev. Unpub. LEXIS 1012; Converse Prof’l Group v. Nev. (In re CityCenter Constr. & Lien Master Litig.), 2011 Nev. Unpub. LEXIS 1280.
  • Represented the master developer in a series of actions arising from the redevelopment of the Hunter’s Point shipyard in San Francisco. See Center for Self-Improvement & Community Development v. Lennar Corp., 173 Cal. App. 4th 1543 (2009); Scott v. Lennar Corp., 2013 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 3674.
  • Represented an international EPC contractor in a series of claims arising from the construction of a bio-pharmaceutical plant in Spain.
  • Represented a US-based oil company in connection with a billion-dollar partnership dispute against state-owned oil company in Asia.


  • Andy Ness and John Foust, Construction Arbitration: The Advocate’s Practical Guide, ABA Publishing, 2023
  • Chapter Co-Author, Construction Defects, Second Edition, ABA Publishing, 2011, 2021
  • Editor, The Construction Lawyer (Journal), 2019–2021
  • Assoc. Editor, The Construction Lawyer, 2016–2019
  • Author, Underestimated Bids Under False Claims Act, ENR, Nov. 2005
  • Co-Author, Mechanics’ Liens & Stop Notices, Obtaining Priority Over the Construction Lender, CAGC Legal Pub., Nov. 2003
  • Author, State Power to Regulate Alcohol Under the Twenty-First Amendment: The Constitutional Implications of the Twenty-First Amendment Enforcement Act, 41 B.C. L. Rev. 659 (2000)

Speaking Engagements 

  • Fundamentals of Construction Law, Insurance & Indemnification Module, Regional Program, San Francisco, ABA Forum, Dec. 2, 2022
  • Hot Issues In-House and Outside Counsel Must Understand when It Comes to the International Relationship, ABA Forum, 2017 Annual Program, Wash. D.C.
  • Risk Transfer in Renewable Energy Projects, Risk Management Summit, Las Vegas, NV, 2017
  • Investment Trends in San Francisco Real Estate, Association of Asian American Bankers, November 2015
  • Cross-Border Discovery, Huron Legal Institute, 2014
  • Preservation, Collection, and Production of Documents and ESI in Construction Disputes, ABA Forum, 2012 Fall Program, Boston, MA
  • Hot Topics in Construction Law, Bar Association of San Francisco, Barristers Construction Section, 2013

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