Barbara G. Werther, Construction Lawyer at Ober|Kaler (Washington, DC)

Barbara G. Werther

202.336.5215 fax

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • Virginia

Court Admissions

  • Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals
  • Civilian Board of Contract Appeals
  • Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia
  • Supreme Court of Virginia
  • United States Court of Federal Claims
  • United States District Court for the District of Columbia
  • United States District Court for the District of New Jersey
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania


  • George Washington University Law School (J.D., 1978)
  • University of Pennsylvania (B.A., magna cum laude, 1975)

Barbara G. Werther


Barbara G. Werther, a principal in Ober|Kaler's Construction Group, has more than 30 years of experience in construction and government contracts law. In the private sector, she not only litigates claims on behalf of owners, general contractors and subcontractors in federal and state courts, as well as arbitration, but also drafts and negotiates construction contracts for developers, owners and general contractors. In the public sector, she routinely prosecutes substantial claims against the government for changes, delays, acceleration, inefficiencies, and default terminations. She has also represented both sureties and contractors in performance and payment bond disputes, and has represented government contractors in False Claims Act cases. Barbara also represents government contractors in bid protests and claims at the Boards of Contract Appeals and the Court of Federal Claims. A trained mediator, Barbara also successfully represents clients in mediations

Barbara has lectured extensively to clients and various trade associations on the subjects of contract terms and conditions, scheduling, delays, inefficiencies, changes and differing site conditions, terminations for default, and the impact of environmental statutes on contractors. She was a speaker and panel moderator at the Annual Construction Superconference from 1991-2006 on a variety of construction law topics. She hosted the first annual Women in Construction Conference in Washington DC in 2006, featuring the most well-respected women in construction as panelists, which continues to the present.

Barbara has been recognized as one of the leading construction and government contracts attorneys in the US in the most recent editions of the Best Lawyers in America, Chambers USA, Super Lawyers, Washington DC Area's Best Lawyers and The International Who's Who of Construction Lawyers. She was also a member of the team awarded the 2008 and 2010 Chambers USA Award for Excellence in Construction. Barbara was recently nominated and named a finalist for InsideCounsel's Transformative Leadership Award in the Rainmaker category. Law360 cast Barbara as its featured "Female Powerbroker" in a 2013 interview. Barbara has also completed Advanced Mediation Training with the Center for Dispute Settlement at JAMS.

Barbara is a devoted supporter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of DC, serving on its board since 2005. In 2013, with only a month and a half to train, she competed in the Nation's Triathlon, a Leukemia and Lymphoma Society fundraising event that included a 1.5k swim in the Potomac, a 40k bike course and a 10k run through DC. Barbara won fifth place in her division.

Representative Cases View All
- Obtained the largest jury verdict ever in a commercial case in Jackson County, MS, on behalf of a subcontractor on a complex project involving the dismantling of a fertilizer manufacturing facility
- Successfully settled a nine-figure claim for alleged defective windows where plaintiff had already prevailed in one trial and sought to enforce that judgment in 38 other lawsuits
- Obtained rare summary judgment on behalf of plaintiff contractor in Eastern District of Virginia in a default termination case against a subcontractor
- Represented contractor in federal court in the District of Columbia; first and only case in which the court overturned the Navy contracting officer's non-responsibility determination and directed an award to the contractor

Professional Memberships

Community Service

  • Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, National Capital Region
    • Executive Board, 2005-present
  • Trustees' Council of Penn Women, 1984-present
  • University of Pennsylvania Lacrosse Board, 2004-present


Publications & Presentations [View All]
  • Author, "Todd Construction v. United States: Navigating Performance Evaluation Claims in the Court of Federal Claims," The Construction Lawyer, 2015
  • Presenter, "Tips for playing 'The Price is Right' on your Government Contract Claim," World Congress, National Contract Management Association, 2014
  • Presenter, "Is that Really Proof of Delay? Critical Path Method Analyses versus the Insurgents," Construction Super Conference, 2014
  • Co-author, "Navigating the Buy America Act in Federal Transit Authority Funded Contracts," Under Construction, American Bar Association, 2014
  • Presenter, "Breaking Up Instead of Building Up-Complicating Factors in Terminations of Government Construction Contracts," Navigating the Procurement Headwinds: Shifting Procurement Constraints and Priorities, 20th Annual Federal Procurement Institute, American Bar Association and Federal Bar Association, 2014
  • Author, "Finally - A Different Result for a Government Contractor's Differing Site Condition Claim," Construction OberView, Ober|Kaler, 2014
  • Presenter, "Guidelines and Considerations When Terminating Government Contracts," Webinar, Lorman Education Services, 2013
  • Co-presenter, "Daubert Motions in the Construction Industry," Webinar, Ober|Kaler and FTI Consulting, 2013
  • Presenter, "Construction Contracting for Embassy Officials," DMS Construction Consulting Services, 2013
  • Presenter, "Construction Forum Trial Academy," Forum on the Construction Industry, American Bar Association, 2012, 2013 
  • Co-presenter, "The Do's and Don'ts of Government Construction Contracts," Webinar, Ober|Kaler, 2012
  • Co-presenter, “Discovery in Construction Arbitration: When is 'Enough' Enough?” 14th Annual Spring Conference, American Bar Association, 2012
  • Presenter, "Construction Bond and Contract Provisions," Audio Conference, Lorman Education Services, 2011  
  • Presenter, "Getting Better All the Time: Advanced Negotiation Strategies," ABA Construction Forum Midwinter Joint Meeting, 2011
  • Moderator, “Cutting Edge Techniques for Mediation of a Real Estate Dispute – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,” Annual Convention, The Counselors of Real Estate, 2011
  • Panelist, Fall Conference, Trustees' Council of Penn Women, 2010
  • Panel moderator, "Where Do Women Stand: America's Top Philanthropic Entrepreneurs," Bisnow, 2010
  • Panel moderator, "Where Do Women Stand: Breaking Stereotypes," Bisnow, 2010
  • Author, "How Non-U.S.-Owned Companies Can Compete for Federal Government Contracts,", 2010
  • Author, Inside the Minds: Best Practices for Resolving Government Contracts Disputes, Aspatore Books, 2009
  • Presenter, "Fundamentals of Mediation," International Centre for Dispute Resolution, 2009
  • Panel moderator, "Show Us the Money: Is the Stimulus Working?" Women In Construction Conference, 2009
  • Author, "$130 Billion for Construction in the Economic Stimulus Bill: Where It Will Be Spent,", 2009
  • Panel moderator, "Are Women Good for the Construction Industry?" Women In Construction Conference, 2007
  • Panel moderator, "Women as Negotiators," Women In Construction Conference 2006
  • Chapter author, "Terminations," Construction Law Handbook, Aspen Publishing, 1999, Updated annually