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"My clients value the sincerity and authenticity I bring to the table when I take the time to understand their personal and business interests, and formulate a plan to achieve their objectives." 

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.

Since assuming her leadership role in 2022, Susan has helped double the size of the national law firm’s Baton Rouge office, developing incoming talent, mentoring younger attorneys, and instilling a commitment to the community by working with attorneys and staff to volunteer and serve local nonprofits, impacting organizations in need. Susan is also a leading Partner in the Adams and Reese ARROW program, mentoring rising female attorneys throughout the firm.

Susan stays abreast of the latest trends in the construction industry, including Louisiana code changes, proactive tips to prevent construction defects, latest requirements on OSHA workplace inspections, and risk allocation strategies for design professionals, among other pressing topics. Susan is a published author in LexisNexis, JDSupra, RoofersCoffeeShop, and has been interviewed by the Baton Rouge Business Report. She is a requested guest speaker by the Construction Management Association of America (CMMA) Gulf Coast Chapter and the Louisiana State Bar Association.

Construction

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 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).

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.

Susan has represented businesses in Louisiana in dealing with 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 also works with clients that provide mission management, mission support, and intelligence analysis and offers a unique perspective as counsel from outside of the Beltway. It is important for businesses to understand that in government contracts, the business is subject to relevant contracting rules and regulations, such as under the following:

  • Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR)
  • 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.

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.

Education

  • 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

Bar Admissions

  • Louisiana
  • Texas

Court Admissions

  • 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

Acknowledgements

  • JD Supra Readers Choice Award, Construction, 2024
  • 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, Member; TIPS, Surety and Fidelity Law Committee, Member
  • Claims and Litigation Management Alliance, Member
  • ClaimsXchange, Member
  • Louisiana State University, Construction Industry Advisory Council, Member
  • Council For A Better Louisiana, Leadership Louisiana, Class of 2022 Graduate
  • Federal Bar Association
  • Louisiana State Bar Association
  • Texas Bar Association
  • Baton Rouge Bar Association

Construction

  • Represented International 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.

Professional Liability

  • Advised insurance professionals regarding claims for failure to procure insurance coverage.
  • Represented architects and engineers in claims arising out of defective construction.