Erinn Contreras is a partner in the Business Trial Practice Group in the firm's San Francisco office and leader of the firm's Multifamily Housing Team and Chambers-ranked Construction Team. She was named by the Daily Journal as one of 2021’s “Top 40 Under 40” lawyers in California. Erinn is a member of the firm’s Compensation Committee.
Areas of Practice
Erinn is a seasoned construction and real estate attorney primarily representing owners, developers and investors in all stages of construction projects. She negotiates and drafts a variety of construction contracts, including design-build contracts, EPC contracts, professional/consultant agreements and modified AIA contracts. Erinn regularly counsels clients on issues that arise during the course of construction and provides strategic business advice to minimize risks.
Erinn also has extensive experience litigating construction-related claims, including construction defect, delay, cost overrun, mechanic’s lien, quiet title and products liability claims, as well as a variety of real estate disputes, including failed real estate transactions, lease disputes, misrepresentation, non-disclosure and encroachment issues. She works collaboratively with clients, consultants, expert witnesses and opposing parties to resolve disputes economically and efficiently. When early resolution is not possible, she vigorously litigates on behalf of her clients.
- Representing a hotel owner in connection with claims against the project design team arising out of design deficiencies and resultant delays relating to the construction of a luxury hotel in Hollywood.
- Representing an owner in connection with delay, disruption and scope change claims against a general contractor relating to renovations of a state-of-the-art laboratory.
- Representing a renewable energy developer and owner in connection with a dispute with a utility regarding construction of a solar project.
- Representing a senior living developer in connection with claims against the project design team arising out design deficiencies and resultant delays and disruptions relating to the construction of a senior living community in Connecticut.
- Representing an electric vehicle charging start-up with a variety of construction-related issues.
- Representing Essex Property Trust, a $19 billion multifamily REIT, in a wide array of matters, including negotiating and drafting construction contracts and litigating construction defect disputes and claims for additional compensation.
- Representing an affordable housing developer in pre-litigation claims involving defective design and construction of a parking garage, and securing a favorable settlement that fully funded the repairs, all lost rent and rent concessions, attorneys’ fees, expert fees and costs.
- Representing a large data center REIT on a wide variety of matters, including litigation and disputes related to construction and product defects, design issues, real estate, and vendor and customer agreements.
- Representing an innovative data center company in a wide variety of matters, including negotiating and drafting construction and design agreements and providing advice and counseling on construction-related issues.
- Representing a real estate investment company as tenant in litigation with its landlord regarding constructive eviction and failure to maintain and repair the leased premises.
- Representing a Los Angeles-based real estate development company in a variety of construction-related matters, including successfully opposing a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction filed by a neighboring property owner seeking to enjoin construction of an apartment project in North Hollywood.
- Representing a Fortune 50 company as tenant in litigation brought by its landlord involving construction of tenant improvements and responsibility for payment of same, and securing a favorable settlement prior to trial.
- Representing a San Francisco-based real estate development and investment firm in negotiating and drafting design, construction and consultant agreements, advising on issues that arise during the course of construction and in litigation and arbitration involving delays, cost overruns, liquidated damages and mechanic’s lien claims.
- Representing an affordable housing developer and mixed-use developer in drafting and negotiating the design and construction contracts for their joint development of the Los Angeles County-sponsored Vermont Manchester Transit Priority Project, a mixed-use development providing 180 units of affordable housing, grocery and retail stores, a SEED school (to be constructed by others), a transit plaza, a Metro training facility and critical infrastructure projects,.
- Representing a premier San Francisco-based real estate development company holding more than 11 million square feet of office space in Silicon Valley by securing a full and complete settlement and release in a multi-million dollar lawsuit, in which neither the company nor its insurers paid a penny.
- Representing an owner of large, multi-family projects in construction defect cases against the developer, general contractor and subcontractors, successfully achieving global settlements with all parties and their insurance carriers.
- Obtaining a substantial judgment on behalf of a state run pension fund in a construction defect trial against a roofing subcontractor.
- Representing real estate buyers and sellers in misrepresentation and failure to disclose litigation.
- Representing numerous homeowners of multi-million dollar homes in construction defect litigation.
- Obtaining a judgment on behalf of a property owner in an action against a tenant.
- Procuring a fully-favorable verdict on behalf of a Fortune 500 company accused of discrimination following a one-week arbitration.
500 X – The Next Generation, Lawdragon, 2023
Leading Lawyer - Construction, Chambers USA, 2023
Fellow, Construction Lawyers Society of America
Top 40 Under 40, Daily Journal, 2021
Northern California Rising Star, Super Lawyers, 2013-2021
Recommended Attorney - Construction, Legal 500, 2020-2023
"Erinn is terrific; she is extremely responsive and has a real depth of expertise in the law."
"She has a great demeanor and is very constructive working with the other side. Erinn is always prepared."
-Clients, California Construction Chambers Feedback (2023)
- July 2021
Construction & Infrastructure Law Blog Posts
"California Construction in the Time of Covid-19," March 24, 2020
- "It’s All a Matter of [Statutory] Construction: Supreme Court Narrowly Interprets the Good Faith Dispute Exception to Prompt Payment Requirements in United Riggers & Erectors, Inc. v. Coast Iron & Steel Co." May 16, 2018
- "'Good Faith' May Not Be Good Enough: California Supreme Court to Decide When General Contractors Can Withhold Retention," March 7, 2018
- Law360, 11.08.2018
- Webinar, 03.09.2021
Trial Law Institute
Diversity Law Institute
Board Member, UCLA Law Women LEAD; Co-Chair, Local Events Committee
J.D., University of California, Los Angeles
B.A., Westminster College
- U.S. Court for the Ninth Circuit
- U.S. District Court, Central District of California
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California
- U.S. District Court, Northern District, of California