About Karl

Karl Oles is a partner of the firm practicing in the Construction and Design group. For more than 30 years, he has helped owners, architects, engineers, and contractors solve complex legal problems through negotiation, mediation, arbitration, and trial. Karl has also drafted, negotiated, and analyzed multimillion-dollar design and construction contracts on a wide variety of construction projects. He serves as an arbitrator on the American Arbitration Association’s construction panel. He is coauthor of the current standard treatise on Washington lien law.


“Sources deem Karl Oles to be ‘one of the most well-recognized construction attorneys in Seattle, well-known for tunnel-boring disputes.’ He is ‘incredibly accomplished ’ in contractual matters and high-stakes litigation, especially with major infrastructure projects.”
 - Chambers 2019         


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Honors & Activities

Professional Honors and Activities

  • Completed DRBF basic training, 2018
  • Completed three-day certification workshop for DBIA, 2017
  • Selected as one of “America’s Leading Lawyers for Business” (Washington) by Chambers USA (currently: Construction), 2019
  • Included in The Best Lawyers in America© (currently: Litigation – Construction), 2013-2020
  • A member of one of only 13 law firms nationwide to receive the National Tier 1 ranking in Construction Law from U.S. News – Best Lawyers®Best Law Firms” since the survey’s inception
  • Listed in Washington Super Lawyers® (Construction Litigation, Business Litigation), 2003-2007, 2016-2019
  • Member, Stoel Rives’ Pro Bono Committee
  • Past Chair, Construction Section, Washington State Bar Association

Civic Activities

  • Occasional lecturer at University of Washington in Construction Law
  • Member, Board of Trustees; and teacher, Scholars Online
  • Senior Warden, St. Barnabas Anglican Church
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Insights & Presentations

Insights & Presentations

  • “Protecting Against Risk – Retainage and Bonds (see SHB 1575) (2015),” Bidding Public Works & Construction Contracts, The Seminar Group, June 2019
  • Panel Member, DRBF NW Chapter meeting, June 2019
  • Managing Risk from Gaps in Your Project,” Daily Journal of Commerce, Sept. 2018
  • Remember the Statute of Limitations,” Daily Journal of Commerce, March 2018
  • “‘Lien on Me’: Washington Construction Lien Statutes Applied to Four Scenarios,” WSBA Construction Section Annual Seminar - Washington Statutes Affecting Construction, Seattle, Washington, June 2017
  • Panelist, “Setting the Stage: Preparing for the Preliminary Hearing in Arbitration,” 23rd Annual Northwest Dispute Resolution Conference, Seattle, Washington, March 2017
  • Expect the Best, Prepare for the Worst - Drafting Construction or Design Contracts,” Daily Journal of Commerce, March 2016
  • “Washington Construction Liens: Key Considerations for Owners,” Washington State Bar Association Annual Spring Update, Seattle, Washington, 2015
  • An Introduction to Design-Build for Public Project Delivery,” Daily Journal of Commerce, May 2015
  • “Avoiding Litigation,” Stoel Rives Straight Talk Seminar, 2014
  • “Lien Rights of Architects and Engineers,” Daily Journal of Commerce, May 2014
  • The Construction Lien in Washington: A Legal Analysis for the Construction Industry,” coauthor, Stoel Rives, LLP, 2014 Edition
  • “Brightwater Jury Trial,” seminar, Washington State Bar Construction Section, 2013
  • “Resolving Disputes Economically,” Stoel Rives Straight Talk Seminar, 2013
  • Moderator, “The Construction Contracts Program: Understanding and Negotiating the Clauses in the New Industry Form Documents,” American Bar Association Forum on the Construction Industry, Seattle, Washington, Nov. 2011
  • “Washington Procurement Rules and Regulations”, coauthor, Guide to State Procurement, American Bar Association Section of Public Contract Law, 2011

Related News & Publications

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