"I enjoy working with clients to help them achieve their goals. Understanding the client’s interests and formulating a plan to achieve their objectives is a critical part of our relationship.
Susan Eccles serves as the Partner in Charge of the Adams and Reese Baton Rouge office, while maintaining a diverse legal practice centered on construction, state and federal procurement/government contracts, commercial litigation, and professional liability.
Susan graduated from the CABL Leadership Louisiana Class of 2022, among the more than 50 business leaders from across the state networking to gain awareness of the more critical issues in Louisiana, including economy, healthcare, transportation, education, coastal issues, and poverty, among others.
Susan advises owners, contractors, architects, engineers, and carriers on a wide array of construction issues ranging from regulatory compliance and licensing concerns to construction defect, termination, and subrogation actions.
Helping clients obtain the requisite Louisiana licenses and approvals prior to bidding, contracting, or breaking ground on a project, Susan identifies and avoids potential legal pitfalls, guiding contractors through every step of a construction project, and ensuring proper due diligence from every angle. She handles contract creation, review, and disputes ranging from mediation to litigation.
When a client’s construction project does not go as planned, Susan helps resolve performance disputes and contract claims to keep projects moving forward. Susan has worked on and successfully resolved delay claims, unforeseen site conditions disputes, unauthorized material substitution claims, construction defect claims, bond tenders, project terminations, subrogation matters, and engineering, surveying, and warranty claims. Susan also assists clients with regulatory matters, when contractors are called before the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors.
Susan frequently counsels clients on the implementation of new technologies in reducing costs, improving efficiency, and increasing safety on construction projects.
Susan recently earned a Certificate in Construction Management, graduating from LSU’s Post-Baccalaureate Program.
State and Federal Procurement/Government Contracts
Susan has significant experience in local, state, and federal procurement processes, assisting clients in every phase of the procurement life cycle. She guides state and federal prime and sub-contractors through complex guidelines and requirements during bid and performance.
Susan advises on regulatory and compliance issues, bid protests, contract negotiations, and requests for proposals, all through her understanding of the regulations, policies, and programs impacting the procurement process, including the Model Procurement Code, Small Business Administration programs, Minority, and Women-Owned Business Enterprise programs, and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE).
It is important for businesses to understand that in government contracts, the business is subject to relevant contracting rules and regulations, such as the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS), teaming agreements, subcontract flow down provisions, contract modifications, novation requirements, name change procedures, releases, claims submissions, and mandatory disclosures. Susan works with clients that provide mission management, mission support, and intelligence analysis and offers a unique perspective as counsel from outside of the Beltway.
Susan has represented businesses in Louisiana in dealing with IDC federal contracts involving hurricane repair and natural disaster aftermath, through the Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and other federal agencies.
Susan has developed a niche national security component of her government contracts practice, representing a client impacted by national security challenges and liabilities. This experience helps Susan represent businesses’ interests in anticipating and responding to national security business threats, administrative proceedings, and counseling clients through diverse, complex, high-stakes regulations in top-secret, security clearance situations.
In addition to federal procurement, Susan provides guidance on state and local procurements, including CMAR (construction management at risk), Louisiana Public Works Act, and Louisiana Public Bid Law. Such guidance includes advising clients prior to issuing requests for proposals, guiding clients through legislative approval of CMAR applications, and working with proposers on protesting awards.
In addition to her construction and procurement background, Susan is experienced in representing professionals including brokers, agents, architects, and engineers on professional liability claims as well representing clients in general commercial litigation matters.
- Loyola University New Orleans College of Law, J.D., 2005
- Louisiana State University, Post-Baccalaureate Program - Certificate in Construction Management, 2022
- Loyola University, B.A., 2002
- United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana
- United States District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana
- United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana
- United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
- United States Court of Federal Claims
Areas of Practice
- American Bar Foundation, Fellow
- Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Rating
- Louisiana Rising Stars® (by Thomson Reuters) Construction, 2014–2021
Professional Affiliations & Memberships
- American Bar Association, Forum on the Construction Industry, Member; Public Contract Law Section, Council Member; TIPS, Surety and Fidelity Law Committee, Member; Forum on Air and Space Law, Member
- Federal Bar Association
- Louisiana State Bar Association
- Texas Bar Association
- Baton Rouge Bar Association
- Council For A Better Louisiana, Leadership Louisiana, Class of 2022 Graduate
- Construction Management Association of America (CMMA), Gulf Coast Chapter
- Represented Fortune 100 Contractor in establishing a Louisiana subsidiary and obtaining Louisiana construction licenses.
- Advised clients regarding construction contracts, subcontracts, and internal policies, procedures, and job site programs.
- Prosecuted subrogation claim on behalf of international insurer in connection with refinery explosion.
- Defended insurance carriers on large loss claims relating to nonconforming work and delays on federal, state, and private projects, including actions alleging bad faith.
State and Federal Procurement/Government Contracts
- Represented defense contractors in novating book of federal military construction work.
- Served as outside general counsel to federal defense contractor and provided guidance on mission support.
- Prepared and prosecuted certified claims on behalf of contractor and sureties on federal projects.
- Advised insurance professionals regarding claims for failure to procure insurance coverage.
- “Risk Allocation Strategies for Design Professionals,” LexisNexis, A Practical Guidance Practice Note, August 2023
- “Important Louisiana Licensing Tips for Out-of-State Contractors for 2023 Hurricane Season,” July 2023
- “Louisiana Issues Construction Code Changes, Effective Jan. 1, 2023,” published article on JDSupra (among most widely-read articles in 2023) and presentation to the CMMA Gulf Coast Chapter