Keranen  tom

Thomas M. Keranen

Senior Counsel


500 Woodward Ave
Suite 3500
Detroit, MI 48226
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Fax: +13133096850
J.D., Detroit College of Law, Detroit, Michigan, 1981, (now Michigan State University College of Law)
M.S., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1976
B.S., Michigan Technological University, Houghton, Michigan, 1972, Civil Engineering
State Bar Licenses
Court Admissions
U.S. Court of Federal Claims
U.S. Court of Appeals, 6th Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit
U.S. Supreme Court
Super lawyers 2015
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Thomas M. Keranen

Senior Counsel

Thomas M. Keranen is a member in Clark Hill PLC’s Construction Law Practice Group. Tom’s practice is concentrated on all legal aspects of the design and construction industries, representing the parties to the process, including owners, design professionals, contractors, program and construction managers, design-builders, sub and trade contractors, suppliers and vendors, sureties and insurers, on a wide variety of public and private projects, including federal and international construction.

His practice covers significant experience with P3-like projects, including GSA Design-Build-Finance-Leaseback projects and State of Michigan DMB Design-Build-Finance Leaseback projects. His practice also includes work with other governmental agencies, municipalities, water and sewer authorities, school districts, road commissions, drain commissions, Indian tribes, and others on their design and construction projects, including the drafting of design and construction contracts and design-build contracts.

Tom is an industry supporter and is actively involved in the development and management of alternative forms of project delivery including Integrated Project Design (IPD); Building Information Modeling (BIM); Design/Build; and, Public Private Partnerships (P3). Over the last several years, Tom has been actively involved with representing the Design-Builder on University Student Housing projects; by drafting a proposal for a P3 Courthouse project; a state consolidated laboratory facility; and D.O.T. Design-Build-Finance-Maintain interstate highway projects.

Prior to his law career, Tom worked on behalf of public agencies on their design and construction matters and contracts – starting in the late 1970’s as the Associate Director of Facilities at Eastern Michigan University where he re-wrote the University’s design and construction contracts and negotiated P3 project relationships before they had that name. EMU continued on as a client after Tom started practicing law, and he provided counsel on many University development projects, historic preservation projects, new construction, athletic facilities, etc. over the following 20 years.

In a somewhat specialized practice area, over the years, Tom has represented many of Michigan’s Native communities in federal, state, and tribal courts, binding arbitration, and informal dispute resolution proceedings on matters involving casino and hotel initiatives, land and trust issues, the National Indian Gaming Act, Bureau of Indian Affairs issues, state compact issues, Michigan State Gaming Board, casino licensing, labor and employment issues, and many matters affecting the unique legal needs of tribal sovereignty, governance, construction and operations.

Tom is also licensed as a Professional Engineer in Michigan. Before commencing his law practice, Tom served in engineering functions for a state highway department, a major Midwestern city, facilities planning and construction at a major university, and as a project manager for a general contractor.

Tom obtained his Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering from Michigan Technological University; his Master’s Degree in Engineering from the University of Michigan; and, his Juris Doctor Degree from Detroit College of Law (now Michigan State University College of School). He is admitted to practice law in Michigan, Florida and Wisconsin state courts, various Tribal Courts, various United States District Courts, various United States Courts of Appeal; the United States Court of Federal Claims; and the United States Supreme Court.

Tom is a member of a number of state and local bar associations, including the United States Court of Federal Claims Bar Association, and the Board of Contract Appeals Bar Association. He is also an active member of many construction industry associations, including the Associated General Contractors of America (including AGC’s Michigan Chapter), Construction Owner’s Association of America, American Society of Civil Engineers, National and Michigan Society of Professional Engineers, American Consulting Engineering Companies, Washtenaw Contractor’s Association, Detroit Area Construction Association, Engineering Society of Detroit, Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association, and other industry groups.

Tom frequently presents and contributes to many industry programs and publications, and has served as adjunct faculty in the School of Architecture at Lawrence Technological University, located in Southfield, Michigan and at Eastern Michigan University, located in Ypsilanti, Michigan. He serves on the Professional Advisory Committees for the Construction Management Programs at Eastern Michigan University and Northern Michigan University. Tom was previously Chair of the Professional Advisory Committee for the Civil Environmental Engineering Program at Michigan Technological University.

Tom has served on the Construction Arbitration and Mediation Panels of the American Arbitration Association for many years, and often serves as an arbitrator or mediator on disputes involving design and construction claims under the Association’s Large Complex Case Rules. He also previously served as a voting delegate on the Engineers Joint Contract Documents Committee responsible for the EJCDC contract documents from 1998 to 2007. Tom continues to serve on the Associated General Contractors “Contracts Committee” and is active with the drafting of the ConsensusDOCS contract documents

He has served as an adjunct faculty at Lawrence Technological University from 1993 – 2003, teaching “Law for Architects” in the School of Architecture and is currently adjunct faculty at Eastern Michigan University, teaching “Construction Law” in the University’s Construction Management Program.

Best Lawyers in America (2019 and 2021 Editions) for Construction Law; Litigation-Construction
Michigan Super Lawyer (Construction)
DBusiness Top Lawyer (Construction)
Honorary Member of Sigma Lambda Chi Fraternity at Ferris State University for “contributions to the Construction Industry” and the Ferris Construction Management Program.
Michigan Society of Professional Engineers, Ann Arbor Chapter, “Young Engineer of the Year” in 1976
State Bar Associations (Michigan, Florida, and Wisconsin)
American Bar Association, Construction Industry Forum, and Public Contract Law Committee
American Arbitration Association, Commercial/Construction Industry, Large Complex Case Mediation and Arbitration Panels
Associated General Contractors (AGC), National Association and Michigan Chapter
United States Court of Federal Claims Bar Association
Board of Contract Appeals Bar Association
Construction Owners Association of America (COAA), National Association and Michigan Chapter
Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association (MITA)
American Counsel of Engineering Companies (ACEC)
Washtenaw Contractors Association (WCA)
American Society of Civil Engineers
U.S. Court of Federal Claims Bar Association