Drew Colby


Drew Colby’s construction law practice encompasses both transactional matters and payment and performance disputes. Drew’s clients comprise the entire spectrum of the construction industry from owner/developers to subcontractor, as well as design professionals. He is universally recognized as one of the foremost leaders in construction law by industry members and counsel, a reputation earned over the course of his 35-year career. Clients appreciate Drew’s hallmark honesty, accessibility and pro-active style. Indeed, the trust developed by his depth and breadth of knowledge often results in Drew acting as Outside General Counsel for clients on a wide range of issues.

On the transactional side, Drew has negotiated and drafted well over 1,000 contracts and service agreements for ground-up and renovation projects within many industries including retail, mixed-use, multifamily housing, hospitality, healthcare, and recreation. Drew is highly experienced drafting unique project-specific provisions that bridge the gap of disagreement between project participants. He is also often called upon to resolve disputes that arise during on-going construction activities. These skills and Drew’s understanding of the nuances unique to the construction industry foster the growth of long-term relationships.

When litigation becomes necessary, Drew is thorough, aggressive, and efficient. However, he also understands mediation is often the preferred forum for resolution of construction disputes. To this end, Drew has participated in over 400 successful mediations. When experience and competence count, Drew is the trusted advisor sought by clients who need immediate, accurate, and substantive advice.

Drew earned an AV Preeminent Rating from Martindale Hubbell, which represents the highest possible rating on both legal ability and ethics based upon the confidential opinion of peers and judges.

Representative Experience

  • Represented a real estate developer whose project was floundering (e.g., Project Schedule threatened, cost overruns, etc.). He developed a strategy that resulted in the prompt termination of the contractor and retention of an excellent replacement contractor. Within 30 days, the Project was back on track and budget.
  • Represented a contractor who was wrongfully terminated. He immediately recorded a mechanic’s lien and aggressively litigated the case resulting in a substantial payment to an extremely grateful and satisfied client.
  • Represented a contractor who was about to be terminated. Drew negotiated a resolution that allowed the contractor to return, which then facilitated the Project being completed on time and budget.
  • Represented a design professional in a claim against the owner who used plans in violation of copyright protections. Drew negotiated deal resulting in full payment to design professional plus additional payment for a limited licensing agreement so that another design professional could incorporate and then stamp plans.
  • Represented a contractor in a bid protest involving conflicting bidding requirements resulting in re-bidding of a $1,000,000+ project that the client ultimately won.
  • Represented a subcontractor in building envelop case. Triggered insurance coverage resulting in insurer paying claims against subcontractor and contractor paying subcontractor’s outstanding invoices.
  • Negotiated complex condo conversion contract on behalf of an owner/developer that included carefully crafted transferable warranties to tenants.
  • Represented a contractor who avoided bankruptcy by negotiating a multi-party installment payment process, enabling the contractor to stay in business and honor payment obligations

Professional Associations

  • Boston Bar Association
  • Real Estate Bar Association, Construction Section
  • Wentworth Institute of Technology, Industry Advisory Board


  • Know Your Contracts: Indemnity Clause Might Not Provide For Attorneys’ Fees
  • Construction Contingency Clauses
  • Two Sneaky Clauses That Present Unanticipated Risks
  • Massachusetts Construction Law & Litigation Chapter (MCLE 2020)
  • COVID-19 Construction Checklist (2020)
  • Force Majuere Trap (as applies to COVID-19) (2020)
  • Rights Arising from Coronavirus-related Project Shutdown (2020)
  • Payment Disputes (Lorman 2020)
  • No Damage for Delay Clauses in Construction Contracts (2017)
  • Benefits and Challenges of Mature Construction Cycle (2017)
  • AIA 2017 Contracts (2017)
  • Strategies for Negotiating Liquidated Damage Clauses (2016)
  • OSHA Fine Increases (2016)
  • Contractors Can Be Liable for Following Owner’s Directives (cannot waive building code)(2016)
  • Key Factors to Consider in Hiring a Contractor (2015)
  • US Department of Labor to Aggressively Pursue Misclassification Matters (2014)
  • Snooping e-Mail Case (2014)
  • Prompt Pay Law (2014)
  • Retainage law (2014)
  • Avoiding Landmines During a Construction Recovery (2013)
  • Charting the Course to Successful Green Construction (2012)

Practice Areas


  • Massachusetts

  • United States District Court For The District of Massachusetts

  • United States Court of Appeals, First Circuit


  • Suffolk University School of Law -J.D. (cum laude)

  • University of Massachusetts, Amherst –B.A. (cum laude)

Awards & Recognition

  • Recognized by Best Lawyers in America® – Construction Law 2024