Roy Wagner Photo

Roy E. Wagner

Leader, Construction Law


Roy is a Partner in the firm’s Real Estate practice group and leads the firm’s Construction Law group.

With more than 30 years of experience in the construction industry, Roy leverages his expertise to serve as a tactical advocate for his clients and helps them navigate a range of issues affecting the construction industry. He provides strategic representation and counsel on real estate, commercial, and construction matters, including assisting owners, real estate and design professionals, contractors, and developers in facilitating their projects and strategically solving their legal disputes such as construction and design defect claims, professional liability claims, delay, disruption and/or acceleration claims, extra work claims, and mechanic lien claims. His in-depth knowledge of construction-related insurance coverage issues further enables him to help clients resolve claims.

Understanding that unique construction issues can touch broader aspects of his clients’ businesses, Roy works closely with other attorneys in Michael Best’s Labor and Employment, Corporate and Transactional, Real Estate, and other practice areas to provide clients with comprehensive advice to help them achieve their business, construction and real estate objectives.

When disputes do arise, Roy has established a successful record as an effective and aggressive advocate for clients involved legal conflicts. His collaborative approach includes utilizing mediation, arbitration, and litigation to resolve disputes. He has successfully argued before numerous trial and appellate courts including the Wisconsin Supreme Court and has also served as both arbitrator and mediator. He was recently re-appointed to his second term as a Board Member of the Dispute Resolution Section and is the former two-term Chair of the Construction Law Section of the State Bar of Wisconsin.


  • Counsel to a trade contractor on a $400 million sports stadium dispute involving claims of design defect, coordination, sequencing, and change orders.
  • Counsel for a design/build subcontractor in litigation and mediation of construction and design defect claims arising out of a unique and complex four-story glass lobby wall supported by stainless steel cables. Resolution of all claims at mediation achieved, in part, due to ability to manage proper allocation of insurance coverage issues under CGL and professional liability insurance policies.
  • Counsel for a mechanical contractor on a $90 million project. Client was sued by another subcontractor for interference, which was dismissed on summary judgement and ultimately led to a precedential appellate court decision upholding the economic loss doctrine and its interplay between subcontractors on the same project.
  • Counsel to a general contractor in a case against subcontractors, resulting in client recovering 100% of its damages, costs, and fees including attorney fees.

Roy is also a leading thought leader on Construction Law topics, and regularly lectures to lawyers and trade groups on construction and procurement practices. Prior to joining Michael Best, Roy served as a Partner and Chair of the Construction Law and Litigation group of a Midwest-based law firm.

Honors & Recognitions

  • The Best Lawyers in America©, Construction Law, 2013-present
  • The Midwest’s Best Lawyers©, Construction Law, 2021
  • Icons of Construction, The Daily Reporter, 2020
  • Leader in the Law, Wisconsin Law Journal, 2015
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent®
  • Educator of the Year, The Daily Reporter’s “Newsmaker of the Year”, 2013
  • Charles Dunn Author Award, State Bar of Wisconsin, “Mediating Complex Construction Claims,” 2009

Professional Activities

  • Board Member, State Bar of Wisconsin’s Dispute Resolution Section
  • Member, State Bar of Wisconsin’s Litigation, Construction and Public Contract Law Section
  • Member, American Bar Association – Forum on Construction Law
  • Past Chair, State Bar of Wisconsin’s Construction and Public Contract Law Section (2008 – 2010)
  • Past Board Member, State Bar of Wisconsin’s Construction and Public Contract Law Section (2006 – 2012)
  • Past Chair, Architectural Review Commission, Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin.



Community Involvement

  • Volunteer of the Year, Architectural Review Commission for Whitefish Bay



Community Involvement

  • Volunteer of the Year, Architectural Review Commission for Whitefish Bay
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