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Rachel C. John



Rachel John draws on more than a decade of construction and real estate experience in public and private practice to guide professional designers, contractors and real estate owners through complex transactional matters. She offers practical guidance to real estate investors in their commercial real estate projects throughout the U.S. and across market sectors. Drawing on her experience with government contracts and procurement, Rachel guides clients through complex state and local regulations in order get their projects off the ground. Clients trust Rachel to offer bespoke advice tailored to their business needs. 

Prior Experience

Before joining Faegre Drinker, Rachel served as a senior associate at a New York law firm covering a wide variety of construction and business matters. She assisted in the prosecution of delay damage claims in excess of $100 million against public authorities in New York City and in the defense of professional design clients in a condominium collapse lawsuit in Florida. In addition, Rachel provided counsel on design and construction contracts, corporate governance and regulatory compliance. 

Rachel also served as assistant general counsel with the New York City Department of Design & Construction where she advised on a wide range of legal matters including procurement, bid protests, grant funding compliance, project insurance and surety issues, and utility agreements. She was lead or co-lead counsel on several major projects undertaken by the agency, including the establishment of a design-build program for the agency’s multi-billion-dollar project portfolio.

Personal Interests

Rachel is an avid crafter and home cook, much to her husband Neil’s dismay. She enjoys jogging and exploring New York City by bicycle, and is an unapologetic cat lady and contracts nerd.


Bar Admissions

New York

Court Admissions

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York

  • Associate of the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA)

Brooklyn Law School
J.D. Certificate in Real Estate Law (2011)

State University of New York at New Paltz
B.A. in Political Science and Economics (2008)

Insights & Events

Other Perspectives
  • Panelist, So you think a Teaming Agreement is Too Much Trouble? Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA) Design-Build Conference & Expo 2022, Nov. 2-4, 2022; DBIA Webinar, Mar. 8, 2023. Best practices for, and legal impact of, negotiating comprehensive teaming agreements. 
  • Panelist, Fair and Balanced – What Makes DBIA’s Family of Contract Documents Different? DBIA Design-Build Conference & Expo 2022, Nov. 2-4, 2022. Key differences between DBIA, AIA, EJCDC and Consensus Documents standard forms for design-build project delivery.
  • Panelist, Green Hues in Contracts. Brooklyn Law School, Introduction to Sustainability and Future Cities Boot Camp, June 23, 2022. Negotiating performance-based green energy and emissions limitations in design, construction and commercial leasing agreements. 
  • Co-Author, Equity and the Property Tax Burden for Citizens in Ulster County. Discussion Brief #1, Ctr. Reg’l Res. Educ. & Outr. (Sept. 2008) (available at https://www.newpaltz.edu/media/the-benjamin-center/discussionbrief1.pdf). 
  • Co-Author, Lessons on Sharing Services from the First Two Years of the SMSI Program: The Highlights, 9 NYSBA Gov’t, L. & Pol’y J. 69 (2007)

Leadership & Community

Professional Associations

  • DBIA National Committees: Contracts; Design Advisory and Engagement Committee
  • American Bar Association Forum on Construction Law, Division 3: Design

Civic Activities

  • New York Welsh, Board Member
  • Brooklyn Animal Action, Volunteer
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