Building relationships, building business
Published: July 26, 2010
Tags: Construction Law 2010
As a young man, he worked as a carpenter. Today, he builds relationships.
Delorey twice set out to earn an electrical engineering degree. He got married, moved to northern Wisconsin and started a family before completing the requirements. He worked as a carpenter until a major economic downturn in the 1970s.
Finding an opportunity through the federal Comprehensive Employment and Training Act, Delorey was hired by a friend in the title business in Escanaba, Mich. The legislation encouraged employers to hire people who were changing careers, with the government paying a portion of their salaries.
“I started meeting lawyers, bankers and brokers,” Delorey said. “And I found I had an aptitude for researching real estate titles.” He began to imagine himself in a new career.
“I went back (to college) as an undergraduate knowing I wanted to go to law school,” he said, and he entered law school knowing he wanted to practice in the area of real estate and construction. He was hired by Quarles & Brady shortly before graduation.
Delorey focuses on transactions law, negotiating contracts and dealing with zoning issues and land purchases for major building projects.
“I find it fascinating to help people take a dream or an idea and turn it into reality. I really enjoy being a part of a team that can make something happen,” he said.
In Madison, one of the most high-profile projects happening now is construction of the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, scheduled to open in December. The 300,000-square-foot, cutting-edge biomedical research facility on the University of Wisconsin campus will house the private Morgridge Institute for Research and the public Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery.
Delorey wrote the contract for the project, believed to be the first in the state and one of the first in the country to be built under an “integrated project delivery” contract. Instead of developing separate contracts for architects, designers and contractors, this approach puts everyone on the same page, with one comprehensive document.
“One of the problems in the industry is how adversarial the relationships can be,” Delorey said. “This new way of doing things is much more collaborative … and the idea is you get a better product, you get it more quickly and it eliminates a lot of waste.”
There is growing interest in integrated project delivery, and Delorey has been speaking about his experience with the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery to groups across the country, including a recent presentation at a Harvard symposium.
Delorey advises young people interested in a law career that they will need to study hard and work hard, “but if you like people and like solving problems it’s a good way to go. Law school is great training in how to think through things.”
— Nan Bialek