ACCL Membership Directory

Robert B. Thum

  • Partner, Construction and Government Contracts
  • Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
  • 725 South Figueroa St, Suite 2800
  • Los Angeles, California 90017


  • Undergraduate: A.B. Princeton University /1967
  • Law School: Cornell Law School / 1970

Career History

1970-71           Squire, Sanders & Dempsey

1971-74           Judge Advocate Division, U.S. Marine Corps

1974-94           Pettit & Martin

1994-2008      Thelen, Marrin, Johnson & Bridges

2008-10           Howrey

2011-present   Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman

Professional Activities

Robert B. Thum is a partner in the Los Angeles and San Francisco offices of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, where he is a member of the Construction and Government Contracts Group of the Litigation Department.  He graduated from Princeton University cum laude in 1967 with an A.B. degree in History, and received his J.D. degree in 1970 from The Cornell Law School where he was Editor of the Cornell Law Review.  He served as a prosecutor and special courts martial judge in the U. S. Marine Corps Judge Advocate Division, before joining Pettit & Martin in San Francisco in 1974.  Since then his practice has been focused on litigation/arbitration of construction claims, troubled project counseling, mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution.  At Pettit & Martin, Thelen Marrin Johnson & Bridges, and Pillsbury he has handled construction matters across the United States, including transportation (rail, airports, highways/bridges), infrastructure (dams, tunnels, aqueducts, pipelines), power (nuclear, fossil fuel, solar and hydro power plants, transmission lines), as well as industrial plants, hospitals, labs and academic buildings, luxury hotels and resorts, high rise buildings and commercial facilities of all sorts.

Rob has been an arbitrator for over 30 years, serving on the American Arbitration Association’s national panels of neutrals(Construction, Large Complex Case and Megaproject panels).

He is regularly ranked in Chambers USA, Best Lawyers in America, Who’s Who Legal, and Legal 500, and was named Best Lawyers’ 2017 “Construction Lawyer of the Year – Los Angeles”.

Professional Affiliations

ABA Forum Committee on the Construction Industry; ABA Section of Litigation, Construction Committee; ABA Section of Public Contract Law; Association of Business Trial Lawyers; Associated General Contractors; The Beavers

Representative Articles, Publications, Speeches and Seminars

Co-author, Practical Construction Law (Fed. Pub. 2016)

Author, “Contribution, Equitable Indemnity and Good Faith Settlement: in Construction Contracts, Defects and Litigation (CA CEB 2013)

Co-author, California Construction Law (Fed Pub. 2009)

Author, “The Authority to Issue Changes”, in Construction Change Order Claims (Wiley 2005)

Co-author, “Trying a Complex Construction Case to a Jury” (ABA Forum Committee 2004)

Author, “Construction Defects” in California Construction Contracts and Disputes (California CEB 2000)

Co-author, Handbook of California Construction Law (AGC of California 1993)

Court Admissions

Supreme Court of Ohio 1970

U.S. Court of Military Appeals 1971

Supreme Court of California 1974

U.S. Supreme Court  1975

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, U.S. Court of Federal Claims, various U.S. Courts of Appeals and U.S. District Courts

Community Activities

ACE Mentor Program

Board of Directors, Town Hall Theater

President, Board of Directors, Lafayette Arts & Sciences Foundation

President, Board of Directors, Piedmont Children’s Choirs

Commissioner, City of Berkeley, Parks and Recreation

President, Berkeley Rowing Club

← Return to Previous Page