Rowan Mason Portrait

Rowan Mason


University of San Diego School of Law
Juris Doctor, 2008 

  • Cum Laude
  • Comments and Casenote Editor, San Diego Law Review
  • CALI Award for highest grade in International Commercial Arbitration
  • Honors in Trial Advocacy and Legal Research & Writing lawyering skills

University of California, Los Angeles
Bachelor of Arts, Economics, 2002

Jones Day
Partner, 2018-2021
Associate, 2011-2018

Howrey LLP
Associate, 2008-2011

Thelen LLP
Associate, 2008
Summer Associate, 2007 


U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

U.S. District Courts for the Central and Northern Districts of California

Chambers-ranked for Construction in California

Member of ABA Forum on Construction Law

Editor, The Construction Lawyer, a scholarly law journal published by the American Bar Association. 

Rowan Mason is an experienced, Chambers-ranked construction lawyer who litigates cases and advises clients through all stages of construction.

Rowan has represented private owners, public entities, contractors, and subcontractors in litigation and arbitration, primarily involving delay, breach of contract, and defect claims.  He also has significant experience in the earlier stages of construction projects, including contract drafting and negotiation, project advice and counsel, and bid protests. 

Rowan’s construction experience has involved a wide range of large projects, including hotels, hospitals, oil and gas facilities, manufacturing plants, sports arenas, rail projects, and other heavy civil works in the United States and around the globe.  Many of these projects have included disputes in the hundreds of millions or billions of dollars.

Prior to joining the firm, Rowan was a partner in Jones Day’s construction practice where he was part of the team that was awarded Chambers USA’s Construction Practice of the Year in 2017 and Law360’s Construction Group of the Year for 2020.  Before Jones Day, Rowan spent several years in the renowned construction practices of the now-defunct law firms of Thelen and Howrey.  Before beginning his legal career, Rowan interned at Bechtel, where he worked in field construction and assisted the in-house legal department.

Rowan is the Associate Editor of the ABA’s The Construction Lawyer journal and co-authored the Construction Chapter in the fourth and fifth editions of Thomas West’s Business and Commercial Litigation in Federal Courts.


Rowan has represented clients in domestic and international arbitrations and state and federal court. Some of his notable matters have included:

BART Phase I Extension Litigation. Represented contractor joint venture in claims of $45 million and against counterclaims of over $100 million relating to the construction of the Phase I rail extension of BART to San Jose. The litigation in San Mateo County Superior Court involved claims competing claims of delay, liquidated damages, and allegedly non-conforming work, including in relation to complex aspects of the train control, SCADA, communications, and fire alarm systems. The case was settled favorably before trial.

Large Owner Tower Projects in Los Angeles and San Franciso. Represented the owner/developer of a mixed-use, high-rise tower in Los Angeles valued at more than $1.5 billion against over $300 million in claims by contractors and subcontractors in Los Angeles Superior Court. See, e.g., Webcor Constr. L.P. v. Lendlease (US) Constr., 2020 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 8394.  Represented same owner/developer of incomplete high-rise tower in San Fransico against $200 million in claims by contractor in arbitration.

International Marine Construction Dispute. Represented the owner (an affiliate of an oil supermajor) in an ad hoc UNCITRAL arbitration arising from the largest single natural resource development project in Australian history. The dispute involved more than 100 discrete claims and counterclaims, with an aggregate amount in dispute of approximately AUD 2.1 billion (US$1.6 billion). The contractor sought recovery on the variety of bases including delay, disruption, defective performance specifications, a modified total cost claim, alleged change directives, and numerous other claims. After a six-week merits hearing in Perth in 2019, the tribunal issued an award almost completely in the owner’s favor with contractor obtaining just 3% of its original claim.

Las Vegas Raiders Stadium Dispute. Represented a specialty subcontractor on $35 million dispute with the general contractor regarding construction of the new Las Vegas Raiders stadium. The dispute arose as a result of a failure in the structural steel that occurred during the lifting of the cable net roof. The dispute was settled favorably before arbitration.

Dispute on Mining Project in Peruvian Andes. Represented a leading EPC contractor in an international ICC arbitration against the owner of a $2 billion Peruvian mining project. The dispute involved over $140 million in claims including complex invoicing and audit claims, allegations that the EPC contractor had failed to properly supervise project contractors and had schemed to avoid a contractual price cap, and numerous allegations of defective engineering and construction work premised on the facility’s purported failure to meet the EPC contractor’s contractual performance guarantees. Within months of submitting the EPC contractor’s statement of defense and expert/fact evidence, the owner agreed to settle the dispute on favorable terms.

Presidio Parkway Project Dispute. Represented the design-build joint venture responsible for designing and constructing the $300+ million Presidio Parkway Project, the first public-private partnership sponsored by the California Department of Transportation (“Caltrans”).  Rowan assisted the design-build contractor in pursuing its claims against Caltrans through the dispute review board (“DRB”) process required by the contract. After Caltrans lost several DRB hearings and refused to accept the DRB findings, Rowan and his firm filed suit against Caltrans for declaratory and injunctive relief and ultimately obtained a favorable settlement of an additional $120 million plus the deletion of certain disputed remaining work. Golden Link Concessionaires LLC v. State of California Department of Transportation, No. CGC15546962 (Cal. Super.)

Underwater Pipeline Dispute. Represented the owner (an affiliate of an oil supermajor) in an ad hoc UNCITRAL arbitration seated in London regarding the construction and installation of a network of subsea pipelines to transmit natural gas extracted from offshore oil wells to onshore processing facilities in Nigeria. The dispute concerned thirty-eight discrete delay and extra work claims by the contractor with a total claimed value in excess of $215 million. After a two-week hearing, the arbitral tribunal rejected the vast majority of contractor’s claims, including all of the highest value claims, and awarded an amount far below the last proposed settlement amount.

San Francisco Underground Water Pipeline. Represented an engineering company in its role as a construction manager on a complex 14-party $20 million dispute regarding a large underground pipe replacement project for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. The engineering company, as construction manager, was sued by the contractor for allegedly failing to prevent the contractor from installing and approving defectively welded pipes. The case was resolved in a settlement on the eve of trial.

Las Vegas CityCenter Dispute. Represented the owner (MGM Resorts International and CityCenter) on disputes arising out of the $8.5 billion CityCenter development, including cost claims, delay claims and construction defects. Perini Building Company, Inc. v. MGM Resorts International, et al., Case No. A10-612676B (Nevada District Court)

Contract Negotiations & Project Advice

Rowan has represented owners and contractors in contract negotiations for a variety of construction projects. Those projects have included contract review and negotiations for:

  • $1.6 billion Track and Systems contract on the California High-Speed Rail
  • BART extension tunnel and stations packages
  • Segment of Brightline West High-Speed Rail from Los Angeles to Las Vegas
  • Nevada Tesla Gigafactory
  • Google fiber construction contracts in various jurisdictions
  • Numerous commercial real estate developments and hospitals in California and the southwestern states.

Bid Protests

Rowan has handled numerous bid protests on behalf of bidding contractors. Most recently, he successfully overturned bid awards by a California water board and a school district on separate construction-related projects. In both instances, Rowan convinced the authorities that the agency had misled bidders and failed to comply with state and federal regulations.

Recent Speaking Engagements

  • Speaker, ABA Construction Forum Winter Meeting, Top Power Project Disputes, January 25, 2024 
  • Speaker, ABA Construction Forum Regional Meeting, The Players in Construction, Anatomy of a Construction Project, Project Delivery Systems, September 30, 2021
  • Host and speaker for Seminar on Effects of Covid-19 on Construction Project Scheduling & Delay Claims, June 15, 2020
  • Choice of Law and International Arbitration in Major Projects Panel Presentation, February 10 and 13, 2020
    Anatomy of International Construction
  • Arbitration, ABA Forum on Construction Law, International Division (Div. 8), September 18, 2019


  • Associate Editor, The Construction Lawyer, ABA Journal
  • Construction Chapter (Ch. 145), Business and Commercial Litigation in Federal Courts, Thomson West; Fourth and Fifth Editions
  • Co-Author, Ways to Address Cost Escalation and Supply Chain Issues, Journal of The American College of Construction Lawyers (Winter 2023)
  • General Conditions — Owner’s Considerations, ABA Forum’s Construction Checklists, Second Edition (2021)

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