Larry Watkins

Larry O. Watkins

Phone:(501) 688.8837
Location: Little Rock
Bar Admissions: Arkansas

Larry Watkins represents and advises owners, contractors, and suppliers on construction contracts, project finance, licensing & business regulation, and design & construction litigation, mediation, and arbitration. He is also an American Arbitration Association Panel Construction Industry Arbitrator and Mediator, a Professor of Construction Law (ADJ) at the University of Arkansas School of Law, Little Rock, and a frequent author on and presenter of construction legal matters in Arkansas.

Larry has construction contract experience with all types of projects, including public buildings, private facilities, hospitals, offices, residential developments, educational buildings, industrial facilities, energy plants, and infrastructure. He has also worked with every type of project delivery method and contract, such as design-bid-build, construction manager (CM), construction manager at risk (CMAR), design-build, engineering procurement, and construction (EPC), and engineering, procurement, and construction manager (EPCM). As one of the only construction attorneys in Arkansas who has worked on public-private partnership transactions, project development, and financing, Larry provides clients with administrative and transactional guidance for public-private partnership projects.

Furthermore, Larry has been the managing attorney, lead attorney, and attorney for numerous Arkansas design disputes and construction litigation matters, including mechanic’s lien disputes, breach of contracts, construction defects, design defect, indemnity, breach of warranty, cost overruns, schedule delays, contractor licensing, bid protests, and force majeure events.

In addition to his Arkansas construction legal matters, Larry provides general corporate & contract legal counsel as well as OSHA legal services, such as compliance counsel, citation representation, and appeal counsel.

Before joining Mitchell Williams, Larry was corporate counsel for a large engineering and construction company, handling all construction & project finance transactions and managing all construction litigation, mediation, and arbitration. Prior to practicing law, he was a project superintendent, project engineer, project manager, and senior project contracts manager for some of the largest construction, architecture, and engineering companies in the United States. With over 20 years in the construction industry, his knowledge of and experience with all aspects of commercial, public, industrial, energy, and infrastructure projects constitute an invaluable asset to a project team.


  • Public Construction Projects: Extensive experience with city and county construction projects using agency construction management, at-risk construction management, general contractor construction management, and lump sum competitive bidding (statutory compliance and contracts for 6 projects).
  • Construction Contracts Drafting/Negotiation (Commercial Office): Lead Attorney for office & operations construction ($40MM), negotiating Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR) contracts.
  • Construction Contract Structuring and Drafting (Commercial Office): Counsel for construction manager (CM) for a large multiphase commercial construction addition project during occupancy of the existing building.
  • Construction Contract Drafting/Negotiation (Private Hospital): Contract negotiation and detailed scope definition for a CMAR contract for a large hospital project ($120MM).
  • Project Financing Deal & All Project Contracts (Industrial & Infrastructure): Sole attorney for negotiating financing, procurement, design, and construction for a bio-refinery and energy plant ($1.7BB) and wastewater & process water treatment plants ($150MM) for a megaproject.
  • Construction Contract Drafting/Negotiation (Industrial & Energy): Lead attorney for Wood Pellet Plant ($125MM) and MSW to Syncrude Process Plant, negotiating EPC & Lump Sum contracts with owner ($220MM)
  • Construction Contract Drafting/Negotiation (Industrial & Energy): Sole attorney for Ethanol Plant ($160MM), negotiating design-build/EPC Lump Sum contracts for owner
  • Public-Private Partnerships (Water): Lead transaction attorney for wastewater treatment plant P3 ($90MM) and desalination plant P3 ($500MM)
  • Public-Private Partnerships (Energy): Lead transaction attorney for power generation P3 ($300MM) and MSW to ethanol P3 ($350MM)
  • Subcontractor Contracts (Industrial Process): Lead transaction attorney for process technology & equipment subcontractor providing design, fabrication, and construction ($26MM)
  • Supplier Contracts: Lead attorney negotiating purchase and O&M contracts for large equipment suppliers and O&M providers ($50MM+)
  • Litigation: Attorney for general contractor in a construction defect matter (structural failure) with multiple parties in multiple venues ($200MM)
  • Litigation: Attorney for large general contractor in construction site negligence multiparty matter
  • Mechanic’s Lien Disputes: Attorney for owner in complex litigation over 10 mechanic’s liens.
  • Mediation: Attorney for heavy civil contractor in construction defect and breach of contract multiparty matter
  • Project Counsel: Represented an owner disputing GC change orders and payment for a commercial facility, and represented contractor in owner payment dispute for a large geothermal project
  • Regulatory Counsel: Represented consulting firm before Arkansas Contractor’s Licensing Board, negotiating a very favorable settlement.
  • Regulatory Counsel: Represented an energy & industrial client and negotiated a settlement between the client and the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) for alleged permit violations
  • OSHA Counsel: Represented Arkansas petroleum company during an OSHA investigation and succeeded in decreasing the number and severity of the citations.


  • University of Arkansas at Little Rock, William H. Bowen School of Law J.D. with high honors (2012)
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill B.A., magna cum laude (2009)

Professional Recognition

  • Mid-South Super Lawyers Rising Star: (2018)


  • Ex Officio Board Member, Associated General Contractors (AR)
    • Member, Legislative Committee
  • Arbitrator & Mediator Panelist, American Arbitration Association Construction Industry
  • Professor of Construction Law (ADJ), University of Arkansas School of Law, Little Rock
  • Member, Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA)
  • Member, American Bar Association, Construction Industry Forum
  • Member, American Bar Association, Project Finance & Development Committee
  • Member, Arkansas Bar Association, Construction Section

News & Articles

Firm News



Three Contract Options for Differing Site Conditions,” Construction Executive Magazine

“A Day Late and a Dollar Short: Construction Schedule Contract Clauses and Delay Disputes,” AGC Blueprint Magazine, Associated General Contractors of Arkansas

“What Is Construction Law, Anyway?” Construction Law Resource

“What Does an Arkansas Construction Lawyer Do?” Presentation at Associated General Contractors of Arkansas Meeting

“Project Delivery Methods for Process Plant Megaprojects,” Presentation at Novus International Meeting

“Transportation Public-Private Partnerships in Arkansas: The Road to P3s in the Natural State,” AGC Blueprint Magazine, Associated General Contractors of Arkansas

“Why Arkansas Construction Attorneys Must Understand Construction,” Presentation at University of Arkansas School of Law, Little Rock

“Common Construction Claims and Design Disputes,” Construction Law Resource

“Construction Project Delivery Methods,” Construction Law Resource

Tortious Interference with Business Expectancy – A Trap for the Wary and Unwary Alike, 34 U. Ark. LittleRock L. Rev. 619 (2012).

“Construction Risks,” Construction Law Resource

“Statute of Repose and Substantial Completion: What You Call it Matters,” Construction Law Resource

“Arkansas’ Statute of Repose and Substantial Completion,” Construction Law Resource

“Construction Liens in Arkansas,” Construction Law Resource

“Construction Project Delivery Methods for Refining, Energy, and Industrial Projects,” Construction Law Resource

“Phases of a Construction Project,” Construction Law Resource

“Process Plant Project Delivery Methods: Overview and Key Considerations,” Construction Law Resource

“Arkansas Solar Power Expands,” Construction Law Resource