Howard D. Venzie, Jr., Esquire

Howard D. Venzie, Jr., Esquire

Owner/Sole Member

During the years of 1971 – February 1, 1975, Mr. Venzie was associated with the law firm of Pepper, Hamilton & Scheetz in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and specialized in construction litigation.  In March 1975, he started his own practice which developed into the firm of Venzie, Phillips & Warshawer where he served as President/Principal.  Venzie, Phillips & Warshawer was listed in U.S. News and World Report’s 2011-2019 editions of “Best Law Firms” as a top-ranked Philadelphia (Tier 1) law firm.

Mr. Venzie has presented many program lectures and seminars to several Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware builder and contractor associations, the Construction Specifications Institute, the Pennsylvania Utility Contractors Association and the American Institute of Architects on numerous construction related topics, including the arbitration and mediation of construction claims and disputes and has presented CLE programs on commercial and construction arbitration and mediation for the American Arbitration Association, the American Bar Association, the Pennsylvania Bar Institute and LexisNexis Mealey’s Construction Conferences.

Over the years, Mr. Venzie has been an active lecturer to various construction contracting firms and industry associations.  He has organized and conducted in-house seminars for several major national building contractors involving construction contracts, subcontractor bonding, design-build, insurance and other risk management subjects.  He has served as a program speaker in American Arbitration Association seminars involving construction industry arbitration and mediation, construction contracts and claims and the training of commercial and construction industry arbitrators and mediators including arbitrators on the “Large and Complex Case” panel.  Mr. Venzie has authored several articles on arbitration and mediation which have been published in various construction industry and ADR publications.  He has also been a guest speaker on arbitration practice at Villanova Law School and on mediation at Columbia University, School of Engineering.

Mediator Experience

Since the mid 1980’s, Mr. Venzie has represented clients in mediations and other non-binding ADR proceedings relating to commercial and construction claims and disputes.  Since 1988, Mr. Venzie has served as a mediator in more than eight hundred fifty (850) construction and commercial cases  involving claims and disputes arising out residential; commercial; institutional (education and medical/health care facilities); heavy/highway projects, including turnpikes and bridges; industrial; manufacturing and transportation and other infrastructure facilities; power plants; wastewater treatment plants; utility; and marine construction projects (ranging between $50,000 – $50,000,000) in which the mediation process was successful.  Many of the construction mediations involved large complex cases which required extended mediation sessions and included multiple parties. For a representative sampling of cases, click here.

Arbitrator Experience

In addition to his representation of construction industry clients in arbitration and litigation matters since 1971, he has served as an arbitrator in approximately one hundred (100) construction/commercial cases.  His experience as an arbitrator includes serving as both a neutral and non-neutral party-appointed arbitrator and as chairman in many large/complex arbitration cases.  A representative sampling of such arbitration cases that were concluded by interim and/or final awards includes: the construction of a hydraulic piping system for equipment upgrades in a steel mill expansion; the installation of a walking beam and other sheet steel process equipment in a steel mill in Ohio; a wastewater treatment plant for a paper de-inking mill; the remediation of a municipal sewer system; the construction of a gas/steam turbine electric generation power plant and a large railyard complex; the construction of a large office complex for a healthcare equipment provider; the construction of a design/build power (gasification) project in Delaware; the construction of over 1000 miles of telecommunications (fiber optic) cable in Northeast railroad rights-of-way; the major renovation of a large public transportation authority office complex in a major Northeastern city; a large site-work project for the construction of warehousing facilities; the design/construction of a cofferdam/dewatering system for a flood control project in Louisiana; the demolition of office complex in downtown Washington, D.C.; and the environmental cleanup of PCV’s and other hazardous waste contamination at railroad switch and maintenance yard.

  *Rate schedule available upon request
**References upon request

Awards and Honors

  • Founding Co-Chair of the Pennsylvania Bar Association Commercial/ Construction Arbitration and Mediation Committee
  • Selected for Best Lawyers® in the categories Arbitration, Mediation and Construction Law and recognized in The Best Lawyers in America (2005-2021)
  • Selected as Best Lawyers® 2018 Construction Law “Lawyer of the Year” – Philadelphia
  • Selected as Best Lawyers® 2014 Construction Law “Lawyer of the Year” – Philadelphia
  • Selected for Philadelphia’s Best Lawyers® in the category Alternative Dispute Resolution (2009, 2011 and 2015)
  • Selected as a Pennsylvania “Super Lawyer” in the category Alternative Dispute Resolution for Pennsylvania Super Lawyers – Philadelphia Magazine (2005 – 2014)
  • Selected as a “Super Lawyer” in the categories Construction/Surety and Alternative Dispute Resolution for “Super Lawyers Corporate Counsel Edition” (2009 – 2010)
  • Selected for the 2013 edition of The International Who’s Who of Construction Lawyers in the category of Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Selected for the 2012 edition of Who’s Who Among Business and Professional Achievers
  • Selected for the 2006 edition of The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers in the category Construction Law
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Lawyer – Peer Rated for Highest Level of Professional Excellence – 1981-present

Professional Associations

  • The American Bar Association (Forum on the Construction Industry; Senior Lawyer Division); The Pennsylvania Bar Association (Former member of Committee on Construction Law).
  • AAA National Construction Mediator Panel; AAA Construction Master Mediator Panel.
  • Former member of the following AAA panels:  AAA Construction Industry Arbitrator Panel; AAA Construction Large Complex Case Arbitrator Panel; AAA Construction Arbitration Master Panel; AAA Construction Mega Project Panel; AAA President’s Panel of Mediators (former panel).
  • Former member of the following AAA faculties, advisory councils, committees, and boards:  AAA Board of Directors; AAA Commercial Arbitration Panel; AAA National Construction Arbitrator Training Faculty and National Construction Mediator Training Faculty; AAA Regional Construction Advisory Committee (Chairman); AAA Philadelphia Advisory Council for the Large and Complex Case Program; AAA National Construction Dispute Resolution Committee.
  • Former mediator for the Court-Annexed Mediation Program of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.


  • “Closure Issues in Construction Mediation,” THE PUNCH LIST (AAA) vol. 23, no. 3, Nov. 2000 -Jan., 2001
  • “The Evaluative Process in Mediation,” CURRENTS (AAA), June 1999
  • “Mediation as an Opportunity Process,” CURRENTS (AAA), March 1998
  • “Some Guidelines for Effective Advocacy in Mediation,” THE PUNCH LIST (AAA) vol. 20, no. 3, 1997
  • “Waiver by Judicial Proceedings and the Effect of the Construction Industry Arbitration Rules of the American Arbitration Association,” CONSTRUCTION LAWYER, vol. 8, no. 2, Forum Committee on the Construction Industry, April 1988.

ADR Training and Experience

  • AAA Principled Deliberations – Decision-Making Skills for Arbitrators (ACE008), 2018
  • AAA Dealing with Difficult Attorneys (ACE013), 2016
  • AAA Arbitrator Subpoenas: Are They Worth the Paper They’re Printed On?, 2015
  • AAA Get a Grip! Wrangling the Mediation Process to Improve Your Chances of Success in Multi-Party Disputes 2015
  • AAA Webinar, What’s a Respondent Like You Doing in a Place Like This? Confronting Arbitrability and Jurisdiction Issues in Arbitration, 2013
  • AAA Webinar, Mediation of Construction Disputes: Controlling Your Own Destiny, 2011
  • AAA Webinar, Lien on Me: Construction Lien Issues in Arbitration, 2011
  • Faculty, AAA Construction Arbitration: A Blueprint for an Effective Process, 2011
  • AAA Advanced Mediator Training, 2011; AAA Webinar, Arbitrator Boundaries: What are the Limits of Arbitrator Authority?, 2010
  • AAA Webinar, Why Construction Mediations Fail: Avoiding Common Mistakes, 2009
  • AAA Arbitration Awards: Safeguarding, Deciding & Writing Awards (ACE001), 2008
  • AAA Dealing With Delay Tactics in Arbitration (ACE004), 2007
  • AAA Chairing an Arbitration Panel: Managing Procedures, Process & Dynamics (ACE005), 2006
  • Faculty, AAA Construction Arbitrator II: Advanced Case Management Issues, 2005
  • AAA Arbitrator Ethics & Disclosure (ACE003), 2005; AAA Mediator Skills Training, 2003; AAA Neutrals Conference, 2003
  • AAA Arbitrator Update 2001
  • AAA Construction Train the Trainer course, 2000
  • AAA Mediator Retreat, 2000; AAA Large Complex Case Program Arbitrator Training, 1997
  • AAA Construction Industry Arbitrator Training; Faculty, AAA Complex Case Management for the Construction Neutral, 1996
  • AAA Large Complex Case Program Arbitrator Training, 1993
  • AAA Mediator Training, 1993