Axel Bolvig focuses his practice on construction law and federal government contracts. He joined Bradley after earning engineering and law degrees from Duke University.
Federal Government Contracts
Axel has represented some of the nation’s largest and most successful federal contractors on projects throughout the country. He has extensive experience representing contractors to the General Services Administration, Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Federal Aviation Administration, Federal Bureau of Prisons, Federal Highway Administration (through the states), NASA and the Department of Veterans Affairs. These projects include federal courthouses, hospitals, office buildings, correctional institutions, airports, data centers, military barracks, a facility for disassembly of sarin gas bombs, the federal “Supermax” prison at Florence, Colorado, and a testing facility for NASA’s next mission to Mars.
Often these matters involved claims in the range of $10 million to $70 million, and two of them involved amounts in excess of $100 million. Several of them were complicated by hostile relations during construction, requiring careful strategies and appropriate responses to actions taken by the government, subcontractors and others.
Axel and his clients have pursued REAs and claims for time extensions and damages for delay, resequencing, acceleration, lost productivity, labor and material escalation, and other direct and indirect costs. He has defended his clients against government actions such as non-payment, refusal to award progress earned, untimely change orders, underfunding of change orders, and rejection of work, as well as threats of investigation and prosecution, adverse CPARs ratings, termination for default and debarment.
Axel has experience with recurring issues in the formation, performance and close-out of federal contracts, including proposal preparation, bid protests, ethics compliance, contract interpretation (including FAR and agency acquisition regulations), technical specifications and standards, baseline schedule approval and updating, resequencing of work and recovery schedules, fragnet development and time extension analysis, and change order pricing, negotiation and settlement. He has experience with DCAA and IG audits, terminations for convenience and litigation of claims.
Axel also has extensive experience in subcontractor matters on federal projects, including pass-through claims, Miller Act claims, terminations and litigation.
Outside of the federal arena, Axel has represented contractors and owners on a variety of projects across the country.
His experience includes negotiation of fixed price, GMP, design-build, EPC and IPD contracts. It includes counseling on matters of contract administration, such as preservation of contract rights, adherence to governing laws and avoidance of claims. Axel has assisted clients with loss mitigation, including pursuit of claims and coverage under builder’s risk and commercial general liability policies. He has experience both pursuing and defending claims of defective or non-compliant work.
Representative assignments include healthcare facilities for a children’s health system, power plants, steel manufacturing and processing facilities, engine and automobile manufacturing facilities, paper mills, hotel and retail developments, underground mining construction and the largest golf course development ever constructed in the United States.
His clients have engaged him on matters from Maine to Florida to the West Coast, and many states in between.
Axel has represented contractors and sureties in connection with the default of bond obligations, completion of projects and satisfaction of obligations under the General Agreement of Indemnity. His experience includes work on behalf of the sureties of S.J. Groves & Sons (at the time, one of the nation’s largest highway and bridge contractors), other highway and bridge contractors based in Alabama, Georgia, Colorado and Louisiana, and a prominent (and ultimately successful) commercial building contractor located in Texas. Outcomes have included financing of the principal, bankruptcy reorganization and liquidation. These matters have included various arrangements for the completion of projects and the pursuit of claims.
These projects included construction of segmental and cable-stayed bridges in various parts of the country, as well as construction of a healthcare facility in Florida and a major mixed-use development in downtown Philadelphia.
Axel has represented general contractors adverse to subcontractor sureties in connection with termination for subcontracts for default. This work has included various arrangements for completion of construction and payment or defense of sub-tier claims and mechanics liens.
Listed in Alabama Super Lawyers, Construction Litigation, 2009-2012 Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® Construction Law, 2007-2022 Litigation – Construction, 2011-2022 Government Contracts, 2022 Listed in Mid-South Super Lawyers, Construction Litigation, 2018-2019 Listed in Who's Who Legal: Construction, 2020-2021 Construction Lawyers Society of America, Fellow Orlando, Florida VA Medical Center Prosecution of claims in excess of $200 million on behalf of general contractor and more than 20 pass-through subcontractors against the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. Claims sought 971-day time extension and recovery of additional direct costs, underfunded change orders, lost productivity, extended general conditions and home office overhead. Government defenses included threats of termination for default, alleged false claims act violations, liberal uses of government investigatory and remedial powers and other hostile actions. This matter received substantial attention in Congress and the Press. Brasfield & Gorrie, LLC v. Department of Veterans Affairs, CBCA Nos. 3300, 3354, 3538, 3849, 4619, 4778, 4808 and 4809; 15-1 BCA ¶ ¶ 36,008, 36,009, 36,044, 36,046, 36,047 and 36,048. Islip, New York Federal Courthouse Contract administration advice, preparation of eight-figure claim, audit guidance and trial of disputes on behalf of interior wall, fireproofing and curtainwall trades before the GSBCA and CBCA. Government defenses included an attempt to distinguish between its Spearin obligations and the contractor’s duty to coordinate. Participated with trial counsel for general contractor and other trade contractors in a 10-month trial in Manhattan and Washington, D.C. Turner Construction Company vs. General Services Administration, GSBCA No. 15502, 16055, and 16,551, CBCA No. 387, 388 and 389, 07-2 BCA ¶ 33,670. Federal “Supermax” Prison in Florence, Colorado Contract administration advice and prosecution of an omnibus claim seeking eight-figure recovery and 390-day time extension from the Federal Bureau of Prisons in connection with construction of the ADX “Supermax” Federal Prison in Florence, Colorado. The claim included pass-through claims on behalf of eight major subcontractors. The government’s design failed to account for accumulation of tolerances in structural elements and the desired functionality of physical and electronic security systems. Government defenses included the accord and satisfaction effect of change orders. Appeal of Blount, Inc., DOTBCA No. 2845; Contract No. JX00c-045. New Orleans, Louisiana VA Medical Center Represented general contractor in the pursuit of requests for equitable adjustment and claims against the Department of Veterans Affairs in connection with the construction of a new $1.0 billion medical center campus in New Orleans, Louisiana. Clark/McCarthy Healthcare Partners, a Joint Venture vs. Department of Veterans Affairs, CBCA No. 5972; Contract No. V101CFM-C-0064, Project No. 629HS2401. San Antonio, Texas VA Polytrauma Rehabilitation Center Represented general contractor in connection with contract formation, contract administration and close-out of contract for Incorporative Design/Pre-Construction/Build (IDPB) of a new polytrauma rehabilitation center and renovation of existing facilities. This was one of the first attempts by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs to involve the construction contractor in the completion of design through the use of the FAR 52.216-17 Incentive Price Revision – Successive Targets method of procurement for preconstruction and construction services. NASA Test Stands, Marshall Space Flight Center Represented general contractor for construction of test stands at the Marshall Space Flight Center for the United States’ mission to Mars. REA’s recovered additional compensation of more than $20 million and time extension requests obtained a 150 percent increase in contract time. Termination for Convenience – New Orleans Canal Closures and Pumps Represented tri-venture in connection with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers termination of a $675 million contract for design and construction of permanent canal closures and pumps in New Orleans. This project was necessitated by flooding caused by Hurricane Katrina. The tri-venture submitted an eight-figure termination for convenience proposal, which was audited by DCAA and ultimately settled without litigation. Fort Bragg, North Carolina Army Hospital Represented contractor for renovations of Army Medical Center at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina. Provided contract administration advice related to untimely Government change orders, change order negotiations, government failure to provide access to work areas, government failure to follow the phasing plan, schedule delays and subcontractor claims. Prepared or assisted with preparation of more than 20 requests for equitable adjustment and change order proposals to the government seeking additional direct costs, time extensions and extended performance costs. Obtained a seven-figure recovery and 601-day time extension on behalf of contractor and subcontractors. Alabama Municipal Electric Authority EPC contract and contract advice to owner in connection with construction of a new gas-fired 95 megawatt power plant. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania VA Medical Center Eight-figure claim on behalf of general contractor and nine pass-through subcontractors in connection with clinical addition, renovations and parking structure for a Philadelphia VA Medical Center. The claim involved suspensions of work and untimely, underfunded change orders in operating rooms, radiology, procedure rooms, sterile processing department and renovation areas. Government defended by engaging CPM experts who attempted to critique the client’s time extension analysis. Appeal of The Clark Construction Group, Inc., VABCA Nos. 3979-3980, 4664, 4828-4838, 4923-5082, and 5139-5156; Contract No. V101C-1574. Baltimore, Maryland VA Medical Center Eight-figure claim on behalf of general contractor and four pass-through subcontractors in connection with construction of a new 324-bed replacement hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. The claim was based on defective design, incomplete and untimely RFI responses and untimely and underfunded change orders. In addition to seven-figure recovery, contractor was granted a time extension for all 262 days requested. Appeal of The George Hyman Construction Company, Inc., VABCA No. 3942, 4041-4444, 4461-4480, 4503-4507, 4563-4589, 4590-4612, 4616, 4649-4653, 4766-4787, 5380, and 5395-5403; Contract No. V101C-1195. Detroit, Michigan VA Medical Center Nine-figure claim and recovery on behalf of joint venture general contractor and more than a dozen pass-through subcontractors in connection with the construction of the new Detroit VA Medical Center. Issues included critical path analysis of delays under the VA’s scheduling specification, under-funded change orders, untimely issuance of change orders, as well as government defenses based on VA’s Changes Supplement VAAR 836.578 and the accord and satisfaction effect of supplemental agreements. Claims were based on the government’s directed suspensions of work, the Government arbitrary rejection of glazed molded brick, the government wrongful rejection of installed fire protection systems and the government’s failure to coordinate procurement of medical equipment. Appeal of Bateson Dailey Joint Venture, VABCA Nos. 6960-6980; Contract No. V101CC-0052. Dallas, Texas VA Medical Center Nine-figure claim on behalf of general contractor and more than 10 pass-through subcontractors in connection with the construction of a Clinical Addition and Spinal Cord Injury Center at the Dallas, Texas VA Medical Center. Issues included critical path analysis of delays under VA’s scheduling specification, underfunded change orders, untimely issuance of change orders, and the government’s untimely and wholesale reissuance of construction drawings months after construction was underway, as well as government defenses based on its scheduling specification, changes supplement and the accord and satisfaction effect of supplemental agreements. Appeal of Centex Construction Company, Inc., VABCA Nos. 7248 - 7265; Contract No. V-101DC-0086. Clear Lake, Texas Hospital Represented general contractor in connection with claim against a developer that was unable to close its loan for full construction financing, stopped construction and owed an eight-figure sum. Great American Insurance Company vs. The Robins & Morton Group, Fidelity & Deposit of Maryland, Zurich American Insurance Company, MWH/TIC A, LLC and MWH/TIC B, LLC, Cause No. 2012-17554 in the District Court of Harris County, Texas, 234th Judicial District. Galveston, Texas Lift-Span Railroad Bridge and Waterline Replacement Represented joint venture general contractor in connection with construction of a new lift-span railroad bridge and water supply line to Galveston Island. The project required coordination with both sea and rail traffic. It was delayed by demolition, structural steel and tunnel boring subcontractors. Obtained relief from liquidated damages from the owner and recovery from subcontractors for delays. Palm Beach, Florida VA Medical Center Eight-figure claim on behalf of general contractor and nine subcontractors arising out of construction of the new Palm Beach VA Medical Center. Claim was based on suspensions of work caused by failure of VA to obtain environmental permits, defective drawings and specifications. Appeal of The Clark Construction Group, Inc., VABCA No. 4839-5249 and 5462, Contract No. V101BC – 0036. Alabama Golf Trail Represented owner in connection with development and construction of the largest multi-site golf facility in the United States. Turbine Manufacturing Facility in Tennessee Represented general contractor in connection with contract administration, dispute resolution and close out of contract for the construction of a large turbine manufacturing facility. This matter involved complex technical questions related to the design of large machine foundations, the concrete mix design for large foundations, concrete placement methods and the investigation of allegedly defective finished concrete. It also included insurance coverage and payment issues. 1000 MW Combined Cycle Power Plant Represented developer of a new power plant in rural Alabama. Matter involved land acquisition, easements, air and water permitting and site development for a merchant power plant. PN211 Chemical Demilitarization Support Facility Represented general contractor in pursuit of delay claim to Corps of Engineers and in defense of additional compensation claims by electrical subcontractor in connection with construction of a facility for the disassembly of sarin gas bombs. The matter involved technical issues involving complex handling systems for live bombs and complex safety systems for the detection and suppression of bomb detonations. Miami, Florida Hospital Represented general contractor in connection with the physical delamination of slabs-on-grade at a new hospital in Miami, Florida. This matter involved complex technical issues related to the batching and finishing of air-entrained concrete. It also involved legal issues regarding codes and standards, the sufficiency of specifications and responsibility for quality control and quality assurance. Auburn, Alabama Small Engine Manufacturing Facility Represented owner in connection with contract formation, administration of contracts and project close-out for design and construction of a new small engine manufacturing facility in Auburn, Alabama. Decatur, Alabama Steel Mill Represented owner in connection with contract administration, dispute resolution and close out of multiple prime contracts and construction management contract for construction of a new steel mill in Decatur, Alabama. Montgomery, Alabama Automobile Manufacturing Facility Represented owner in connection with contracts for construction of new manufacturing facilities on a greenfield site in Alabama. Hospital in New England Advised general contractor in connection with the negotiation of the general contract for construction under a non-pure integrated project delivery method of procurement. Fort Benning Army Barracks Represented general contractor in connection with six-figure request for equitable adjustment for differing site conditions and changes. Birmingham, Alabama Airport Represented construction manager in connection with contract negotiation and administration of a terminal modernization project for the Birmingham Airport, including advice regarding FAA and other applicable regulations and relations with subcontractors. Ft. Lauderdale, Florida Airport Claim seeking seven-figure damages and a 466-calendar-day time extension on behalf of general contractor against U.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Aviation Administration arising out of the construction of a new air traffic control tower. This matter involved differing site conditions, defective specifications and government impermissible imposition of sole source requirements. J. Kokolakis Contracting, Inc., ODRA Docket No. 15-ODRA-00730.