Werner Sabo

Werner Sabo is an attorney concentrating in the areas of construction, copyright and real estate law. He is presently Of Counsel to the Chicago law firm of Bryce Downey & Lenkov LLC. His clients include architects, owners, contractors, construction managers, engineers and consultants to the construction industry as well as other businesses. He created the first Web site in Chicago for a law firm and has an in-depth knowledge of computers.


He is also a licensed architect, having practiced architecture for a number of years prior to establishing his law practice in 1981. His architectural practice included work for large and small firms, as well as a large corporation. Projects ranged from large commercial structures, schools, and offices, to smaller buildings and interior work. He is a member of the AIA, ALA and CSI, has been an officer and director of the Chicago Chapter AIA, President of the Chicago Chapter, Construction Specifications Institute for 1995-1996, and has written several articles for the Chicago Chapter Chicago Architect (formerly the AIA Focus), the national CSI Construction Specifier, and other publications. In 1997, the AIA elected him to the College of Fellows. In 2005, he became a Fellow in the Association of Licensed Architects. He is also active on a variety of bar association committees and has lectured on construction law to a variety of professionals and students. As the attorney for a number of architects, engineers, owners and contractors, he has extensive expertise in the area of AIA contracts. His book, Legal Guide to AIA Documents, published by Aspen Publishing, is in its fifth edition. Mr. Sabo is also a construction arbitrator and mediator for the American Arbitration Association, is IMI certified, and is admitted to the federal trial bar. He is also available as a mediator or arbitrator for private cases. Please call Werner Sabo at 312-870-5219 to inquire as to his availability to serve as a neutral mediator or arbitrator for your matter.


Professional Affiliations - past and present


American Bar Association

Illinois State Bar Association

Chicago Bar Association

American Institute of Architects -- assisted the AIA with 1997 revisions to major construction industry contracts. Elected to College of Fellows, 1997

Illinois Council, AIA

Chicago Chapter AIA, past Director and Vice President

Illinois Society of Architects

Association of Licensed Architects. Elected Fellow, 2005

Architects Club of Chicago

Construction Specifications Institute, Chicago Chapter, President for 1995-1996

American Arbitration Association, Panel arbitrator (have arbitrated numerous construction cases, ranging in size to several million dollars); mediator. Also participated on behalf of parties in numerous other arbitration actions.




Author, A Legal Guide to AIA Documents, published January, 1988. Revised volume, April 1989. A comprehensive analysis of major AIA construction documents, winner of two CSI awards.

Author, Legal Guide to AIA Documents, published by John Wiley, 1991. Supplemented annually. Currently in its 5th Edition, published by Aspen Publishing Co.

Author, A Handbook of Construction Claims, 1989. Handbook analyzing construction claims and change orders based on the 1987 version of the AIA construction documents.

Author and publisher of AE LawNews. A newsletter for architects and engineers.

Several articles for the AIA Focus (now Chicago Architect), a monthly magazine for the Chicago Chapter AIA - a number of these articles were republished by various local AIA chapters; The Construction Specifier, a national publication for construction professionals published by the Construction Specifications Institute.

Co-author, Alternative Clauses to Standard Construction Contracts, Disk Library, published in 1993 by John Wiley. This work consists of computer discs for architects to be used in revising and expanding on the AIA contract language.

Contributing author, The Architect’s Guide to Design-Build Services, published in 2003 by John Wiley for the American Institute of Architects.

Contributing author, Construction Law: Transactional Considerations, published by the Illinois Institute of Continuing Education in 2010.




University of Illinois, Champaign. Lectured to 5th and 6th year architecture students in the architectural program as visiting lecturer. Topics included AIA documents, professional responsibility of architects, standard of care required of architects, duties of architects under AIA contracts, responsibilities to clients, and related topics.

Notre Dame University, Indiana. Same as above.

Andrews University, Michigan. Same as above.

Triton College, Illinois. Lectures to pre-architecture students, similar to above.

Purdue University, Hammond, Indiana. Lecture to students preparing to be contractors. Topics included the construction process, duties of the parties to construction, standards of care, professional ethics and similar topics.

Construction Specifications Institute. Several lectures to professionals, including architects regarding AIA documents, standards of care, duties to clients, and related topics.

American Institute of Architects. (Chicago, Northern Illinois, Central Illinois, Northeast Illinois chapters). Several lectures to architects regarding AIA documents, standards of care by architects, duties to clients, responsibilities of architects under AIA contracts, and related topics.

Illinois Society of Architects. Several lectures to architects regarding AIA documents, standards of care by architects, duties to clients, responsibilities of architects under AIA contracts, and related topics.

Structural Engineers of Illinois. Lectures to engineers regarding AIA contracts, standards of care of design professionals in the construction industry, liability of engineers, duties to clients and other consultants and the like.

Society of Architectural Administrators. Lectures to architectural administrators, school board officials and others administering construction contracts related to duties under the AIA documents.

Association of Licensed Architects (ALA). Lectures relating to construction law issues and copyright.

Professional Educational Systems, Inc. (PESI). AIA contracts.

Law Seminars International. Lectures concerning BIM, copyrights and related legal topics.

Lorman Education Services. Lectures related to AIA documents, legal issues in construction.


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