David Wanhatalo is a member of the firm's Construction and Project Development practice group representing various owners, general contractors, subcontractors, and designers in connection with the design and construction of projects.

David assists clients throughout the construction process, including the drafting and negotiating of contracts, claims resolution during the project, and litigation and arbitration arising after the project. David has extensive experience drafting and negotiating construction contracts, design contracts, design-build contracts, transportation and logistics contracts, material purchase agreements, equipment purchase and installation contracts, as well as equipment leases. He also has significant experience with federal government contracts and licensing agreements. In additions to his construction contract experience, he is regarded as an authority on complex contracts, called upon to draft, review and negotiate contracts across various industries for firm clients.

David has been involved in several large and complex lawsuits and arbitrations involving various design, construction, and equipment related issues. David also assists clients with lien and bond claims and compliance with Alabama’s general contractor licensing requirements.

Before attending law school, David worked in the construction industry for several years. His most recent position was as a project manager, where he oversaw the construction of several bridge projects. He has also worked as an engineer on various heavy construction projects, including the Central Artery Tunnel (the “Big Dig”) in Boston, as well as the Central Expressway Project in Dallas. David’s construction experience includes estimating, scheduling, interpreting plans and specifications, design, subcontract management, change orders, claims, safety and cost engineering. He is also a licensed Professional Engineer (P.E.) in the State of Virginia.

He is a member of the American Bar Association and its Forum on the Construction Industry, the Alabama State Bar, and the Birmingham Bar Association. David is also a member of the Associated General Contractors and the Design-Build Institute of America.


  • Draft and negotiate various contracts related to construction projects, including owner-contractor agreements, design-build agreements, architect/engineering agreements, equipment installation and supply agreements, and purchase orders.
  • Assist contractors, subcontractors, and engineers assert lien and bond claims.
  • Assist contractors, subcontractors, owners, and engineers with all aspects of construction disputes, including change orders, claims, arbitration, and litigation.
  • Assist contractors, subcontractors, and owners with issues involving Alabama's general contractor licensing requirements.

Honors & Recognitions

  • Named, Chambers USA, Construction (2024), "Up and Coming" in Construction (2022-2023)
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® Construction Law since 2021, Litigation-Construction since 2021
  • Alabama Super Lawyers "Rising Star," Construction Litigation (2011-2012)
  • Senior Editor of the Journal of the Legal Profession in law school and received the Best Paper Award for Trademarks and Unfair Competition
  • C.S.I. Scholarship
  • Cooperative education program
  • Claude Harris Endowed Scholarship
  • Lanny S. Vines Endowed Scholarship
  • Williams G. West Jr. Scholarship
  • American Society of Civil Engineer's Outstanding Senior Award
  • Former officer in the Tau Alpha Pi National Honor Society


Speaking Engagements


Professional & Community

Professional Activities

  • Associated General Contractors of America, Alabama Section, Birmingham Chapter
  • American Bar Association Forum on the Construction Industry
  • Alabama State Bar
  • Birmingham Bar Association
  • National Society of Professional Engineers
  • Board Member, Alabama Germany Partnership


Legal Practice Assistant

Karen Williams
(205) 458-5329

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