The John Marshall Law School, J.D.
Northern Illinois University, B.S.
Barry Kaltenbach is a seasoned commercial litigator who represents clients in construction disputes, insurance coverage and general commercial matters.
A rigorous advocate with more than a decade of courtroom experience, his in-depth knowledge of the construction industry allows him to provide valuable counsel to owners/developers, general contractors, subcontractors, material suppliers and design professionals involved in private and public construction projects.
He has prosecuted and defended construction delay and defect claims for a diverse roster of private and public construction projects, including interstate highway rebuilds, residential high rises, warehouses and workshops, water purification facilities, and hospitals. He also has represented mechanics lien claimants in asserting, recording and foreclosing their claims, and has substantial experience representing construction owners and contractors during contract negotiations, review and revision.
Barry also advises and litigates on behalf of construction firms and other clients on a wide spectrum of insurance matters, including insurance recovery and coverage issues under general liability, umbrella and excess liability, employment practices liability, professional liability, property, and title insurance policies. These matters often include pursuing insurance agents and brokers for the improper or inadequate procurement of insurance. He also regularly represents clients as Peppers defense counsel.
From simple family-owned business disputes to complex international corporate matters, Barry regularly represents clients in general commercial matters, including breach of contract, bankruptcy, tort and fiduciary claims cases in state and federal courts, at both the trial and appellate court levels. He also represents professionals in employment and employment-related disputes in both state and federal court, and before administrative bodies such as the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. These matters typically involve the defense and prosecution of temporary restraining orders, preliminary injunctions and non-compete contractual provisions.
Represented a design/build road and bridge contractor in a case involving the redesign and rebuilding of the interchange of two major interstate highways in Indiana. The design engineer, functioning as a subcontractor, miscalculated the excavation quantities, adding millions of dollars of unforeseen costs to the fixed-price project. A strategy was orchestrated that successfully brought together the engineer and all relevant insurance companies and brokers from five different jurisdictions into one case. The case was settled before trial for approximately 95 percent of the claimed damages.
Represented a general contractor for the construction of an East Coast water purification plant. A few days before the plant was scheduled to be turned over to the owner, a large diameter finished water pipe burst and flooded the plant. The owner suspended payments and began assessing daily liquidated damages. Litigation followed involving the owner, engineer and numerous subcontractors and suppliers. Ancillary litigation was filed in multiple states by or against insurance companies and insurance brokers. In the end, both the cost of defense and the cost of settlement were funded by the brokers, insurers and subcontractors, ultimately costing the client nothing.
A complicated series of transactions underpinned a scheme to defraud an investor of his title to several properties in the Chicago suburbs. After taking an assignment of the mortgage lender’s rights to pursue the wrongdoers, one of the co-conspirators filed for bankruptcy protection. The trial team prevailed on the client’s fraud claims, obtaining a judgment that was not dischargeable.
The general contractor was hired to construct a warehouse and workshop for a public body in Illinois. After the client completed the project, which had doubled in scope, the public body imposed liquidated damages and rejected the client’s delay claim, causing more than a dozen subcontractors to file suit. Each subcontractor suit was resolved efficiently while a substantial recovery was obtained for the client after extensive documentation of critical path scheduling delays and cost impact.
After the construction of a significant Midwest airport expansion, the owner filed suit against the general contractor asserting aesthetic defects. After analyzing the client’s policies, coverage was found from an unlikely source and the client received a complete defense.
Another client entered into a new contract with a major Canadian railway operator, but wanted its insurance program analyzed to make sure it satisfied complex contractual requirements. The analysis revealed an insurance gap that the client’s insurance program had missed.
The client served as general contractor for the construction of a luxury high-rise in downtown Chicago. After kicking its concrete subcontractor off the project for repeated delays and poor workmanship, the subcontractor recorded a lien and filed suit. The client failed to tender its defense to its liability insurer for more than two years. After taking over the case, we resolved the dispute with the client’s surety, obtained a recovery and the case settled on the eve of trial without financial contribution from the client.
A subcontractor performed work on an interstate natural gas pipeline pumping station in downstate Illinois, but payment difficulties led to the owner and general contractor demanding a steep discount on final payment. The unpaid subcontractors grouped together to negotiate a deal for a handy discount, but a unique litigation strategy led to the client receiving a more favorable settlement in excess of the value of its lien.
The John Marshall Law School, magna cum laude
The John Marshall Law Review, Editorial Board
Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition
Chicago Bar Association, Real Property Law Section, Construction Law and Mechanics Lien Subcommittee
American Bar Association, Forum on the Construction Industry, Contract Documents Section; Insurance, Surety and Liens Division; Litigation and Dispute Resolution Section; Construction Litigation Committee; Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section
“Where are we Going to Fight? Jurisdiction and Venue,” Primerus Business Law Institute, Webinar, December 2014.
“Navigating Through Client Liquidation or Bankruptcy,” Primerus Business Las Institute, Annual Symposium, New York, New York, May 2014
“You Want Me to Agree to What?!? Negotiating Tough Construction Contracts,” Primerus Business Law Institute, Webinar, November 2013.
“Mechanics Lien and Payment Bond Claims,” Primerus Business Law Institute, Webinar, January 2011
“Real Estate Litigation Issues,” Attorneys’ Title Guaranty Fund, Inc., Webinar, May 2011
"An Owner’s Look at the Illinois Mechanics Lien Act: Old Rules and New Duties,” Joseph A. Freed & Associates LLC, May 2009
“Doing Business With Financially Troubled Companies,” Association of Corporate Counsel, Annual Conference, Denver, Colorado, October 2011
“Drafting and Enforcement of Alternate Dispute Resolution and Venue-Selection Provisions in a Global Environment,” Primerus Business Law Institute, Annual Symposium, Chicago, Illinois, June 2011
“United States Supreme Court Clarifies What it Means to be at Home,” Illinois State Bar Association, The Corporate Lawyer, E-Newsletter, February 2014.
“Fraudulent Transfer Claims in Bankruptcy Proceedings,” Primerus Business Law Institute, Annual Symposium, Chicago, Illinois, June 2012
“Stop, Look and Listen: How to Avoid Getting Hit by the Bankruptcy Train,” International Society of Primerus Law Firms, E-Newsletter, January/February 2012