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Brian J. Donnell

One Financial Plaza
755 Main Street
Suite 2000
Hartford, Connecticut 06103
Phone:  860.656.1930
Fax:  860.656.1980


Mr. Donnell is Co-Leader of the Construction Industry Team. He has over thirty years of design, construction and business litigation and counseling experience in state and federal courts, jury and non-jury matters, and class action and multi-party matters. He also has extensive experience in administrative proceedings, arbitrations, mediations and ADR procedures. Some of the types of causes of action prosecuted or defended by Mr. Donnell include: breach of contract, fraud, tortious interference with business expectancy, negligence, misrepresentation, products liability, design professional liability, franchise terminations, civil RICO, unfair trade practices and equitable causes of action and remedies (such as injunctions). He serves as outside counsel to numerous business, public and charitable entities on a broad range of corporate, contract and trade regulation matters. He has advised many companies on electronic document retention and forensic recovery matters, and has spoken widely on Building Information Modeling (BIM) and alternative project delivery systems and dispute resolution mechanisms.

Legal Experience

  • LeClairRyan, Hartford and New Haven, Connecticut, December 2008 – Present
  • Thelen LLP, Hartford, Connecticut, 2004 - 2008
  • Halloran & Sage LLP, Hartford, Connecticut, 1980 - 2004

Memberships and Affiliations

  • American Arbitration Association: Panel Member
  • American Bar Association: Construction Industry Forum
  • Connecticut Bar Association: Past-Chair of Executive Committee of the Construction Law Section
  • Hartford County Bar Association
  • Connecticut Lawyer Magazine: Advisory Committee


  • AV® Preeminent™ rated by Martindale-Hubbell, 2003–2017 
  • E-Neutral Certification, American College of e-Neutrals, New York, New York, June 11-12, 2015
  • American Arbitration Association, Commercial and Construction Panels of Neutrals
  • Selected by American Arbitration Association to serve as Arbitrator Faculty for Best Practices Training Seminars for New Arbitrators, New York, New York, January 29-30, 2009 and Boston, Massachusetts, October 22-23, 2009, and September 14-15, 2010, and for Managing the Arbitration Process in Hartford, Connecticut, November 5, 2012
  • Listed among The Best Lawyers in America® in the fields of Commercial Litigation, Construction Law, and Litigation - Construction, 2010–2019. For more information on the selection process, click here.
  • Recognized by Law & Politics magazine as a Connecticut "Super Lawyer" in Construction Litigation, Business Litigation, and Business/Corporate, 2006–2018. For more information on the selection process, click here.

Related Industries


  • J.D., cum laude, Boston College Law School, 1980, Editor-in-Chief of the Uniform Commercial Code Reporter-Digest
  • B.A., Trinity College, 1977, Faculty of Economics Award

Bar Admissions

  • Connecticut

Court Admissions

  • United States Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut