Christopher C. Whitney

Chris Whitney has over 30 years of experience as a commercial litigation attorney, with extensive trial experience, jury and non-jury, in the state and federal courts of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. He has also successfully mediated and arbitrated countless disputes. Cases he has handled include bankruptcy and state receivership actions, insurance coverage disputes, corporate divorce/shareholder litigation, partnership disputes, class actions, real estate title disputes, products liability actions, unfair trade practices claims, probate estate litigation, ERISA disputes, and employment matters, including non-compete and gender, age, race and handicap discrimination claims.

Chris has also established a reputation as one of New England’s leading construction law attorneys, having been involved in most of the cutting-edge legal issues affecting the construction industry. He represents all facets of the industry, including owners, developers, construction managers, sureties, subcontractors and suppliers, and architects and engineers. He helps his clients choose the appropriate project delivery system, negotiates construction contracts, and provides practical advice to his clients as problems arise during and after construction. He is one of the first attorneys in New England to implement the Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) approach to deliver a large commercial project. Chris also helps his clients to navigate the regulatory scheme that governs the construction industry, both public and private, including compliance with applicable licensing and prevailing wage laws, OSHA regulations, apprenticeship requirements, public project prequalification and bidding requirements, and mechanics’ lien laws.

Honors & Distinctions
  • Rated AV® Preeminent™ by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Recognized by Chambers USA for Commercial Litigation
  • Recognized by The Best Lawyers in America® for Construction Law and Litigation - Construction (2003-present)
  • Named The Best Lawyers in America® "Lawyer of the Year" in Providence for Construction Litigation (2013 & 2020)
  • Recognized by Super Lawyers for Construction Litigation (2007-present)
  • Recognized by Rhode Island Monthly for Professional Excellence in Construction Law (2024)

  • Fellow of the American College of Construction Lawyers
Professional Activities
  • American Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section; former member, Governing Committee, Forum on the Construction Industry
  • American Arbitration Association, Commercial and Construction Arbitrator and Mediator Panels
  • Rhode Island Bar Association; Member, Superior Court Bench Bar Committee
  • Associated Builders and Contractors of America, Rhode Island Chapter; Member, Board of Directors (2013 - 2019)
  • Merit Construction Alliance; Member, Board of Directors (2008 - present)


  • Co-Author, “Project Labor Agreements,” The Construction Lawyer’s Guide to Labor and Employment Law, American Bar Association (2nd Ed. 2016)
  • Author, “‘Rediscovering’ the Rules of Discovery in Construction Litigation,” Journal of the American College of Construction Lawyers (Summer 2007)

Seminars/Professional Presentations

  • “Negotiating Contracts for Complex Energy Projects,” Pierce Atwood’s First Annual Energy Infrastructure Symposium, Boston (November 2017)
  • “Massachusetts Prevailing Wage Law,” Associated Builders and Contractors, Rhode Island Chapter (September 27, 2017)
  • “Construction Contracts,” University of Rhode Island Facilities Department (February, 2017)
  • “Say the Word I’m Thinking Of: Contract Provisions that Work,” ABA Forum on Construction Law, Chicago (Fall 2016)
  • “Rhode Island Prevailing Wage Law,” Associated Builders and Contractors, Rhode Island Chapter (March 2015)
  • “ERISA Challenges to Responsible Employer Ordinances,” Associated Builders and Contractors Attorneys Conference, Miami (November 2014)
  • “Labor Today, None Tomorrow: Triaging the Disruptive Labor Dispute,” ABA Forum on Construction Law, New Orleans (April 10-12, 2014)
  • “Navigating the Challenging Waters of the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training on Prevailing Wage Violations,” Associated Builders and Contractors, Rhode Island Chapter (March 2013)
  • "Trying a Construction Case: Pretrial Considerations and E-Discovery Issues," Boston Bar Association CLE (June 2012)
  • "The Radical Agenda of the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) and the United States Department of Labor (“USDOL”) to Promote Union Organizing," RI Chapter of the Associated Builders and Contractors, (March 14, 2012)
  • "Practical and Procedural Considerations in Mediation, Arbitration, and Litigation (Including Getting the Right People to the Party)," MSU and Montana State Bar 7th Annual Construction Law Institute (September 2011)
  • “Liability Issues with Green Construction,” Associated General Contractors of America, Rhode Island Chapter (June 2010)
Civic Activities
  • Member, Board of Directors, Rhode Island Community Food Bank (2013-2019)
  • Former President, Board of Directors, Dorcas International Institute of Rhode Island (f/k/a International Institute of Rhode Island)