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Harper Heckman


  • (T) 336.387.5181
  • (F) 336.387.8915

As the Chair of Nexsen Pruet’s Construction Law Practice Group, Harper has the knowledge and background clients need to take on virtually any industry issue – from contract negotiation to project claims.  And he has a long list of representative matters to back it up, with experience counseling clients in number of sectors across a wide range of concerns.

An Award-Winning Practice

Harper’s legal abilities and knowledge of industry issues have earned him a number of notable recognitions throughout the years.  In 2015, Harper was elected chair of the American Bar Association (ABA) Forum on Construction Law, the largest group of construction lawyers in the world. In 2018, he was elected a Fellow of the American College of Construction Lawyers. In 2016, he was inducted into the Legal Elite "Hall of Fame" as the state's category winner for construction law. In Best Lawyers in America, he was named Greensboro's 2018 Lawyer of the Year for Construction Litigation (also included in 2013) and Greensboro's 2017 Lawyer of the Year for Construction Law.  He is also a past Chair of the North Carolina Bar Association's Construction Law Section and the Contract Documents Division of the ABA's Forum on Construction Law.



University of North Carolina, J.D., 1991, with honors

University of North Carolina, B.A., 1988

Bar Admissions

North Carolina

Civic & Professional Memberships
  • Chair, American Bar Association (ABA) Forum on the Construction Industry
  • Fellow, American College of Construction Lawyers 
  • University of North Carolina School of Law - Adjunct Professor of Construction Law (2004 - Present)
  • Elon University School of Law - Adjunct Professor of Construction Law (2009 - Present)
  • NCDRC Certified Superior Court Mediator
  • North Carolina Bar Association - Construction Law Section (Past Section Chair, Lien Law Rewrite Committee,Co-Chair Specialization Committee)
  • American Bar Association - Forum on the Construction Industry (Governing Committee; Contract Documents Division Chair; Publications Committee Chair)
  • Elected a Fellow in the American College of Construction Lawyers (2018)
  • Best Lawyers in America, Construction Law (2008 - Present); Litigation – Construction (2011 - Present); 2018 Lawyer of the Year, Litigation-Construction; 2017 Lawyer of the Year Construction Law, Greensboro; 2013 Lawyer of the Year, Litigation-Construction, Greensboro
  • Business North Carolina's "Legal Elite", Construction Law (2005 - Present)
  • North Carolina Super Lawyers® - Construction Law (2006 - Present)
  • International Who's Who of Construction Lawyers (2013-Present)


  • Represented University in arbitration and mediation arising from delayed construction of student housing project
  • Represented structural steel erector in the defense of three wrongful death claims arising from building collapse
  • Represented construction manager in the recovery of extended representation fees through mediation with municipal agency
  • Represented owner of a high rise hotel in Santa Monica, CA in litigation and mediation seeking the recovery of damages caused by defective design
  • Represented electrical subcontractor in federal court litigation involving delay and disruption claims by and against a general contractor on a federal prison hospital
  • Represented mechanical subcontractor in collection of delay and disruption claims associated with the construction of a high-rise hotel at Universal Studios
  • Represented electrical subcontractor in multi-party litigation and mediation arising from delays in construction of University Student Activity Center
  • Represented owner of multi-phase mixed use and highway construction project in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina.
  • Represented hospital in contracting for a $250 million facilities expansion with the architect and general contractor
  • Represented utility company in defense of jobsite accident and wrongful death claims.
  • Represented highway contractor in disputes involving its subcontractor and the North Carolina Department of Transportation
  • Represented owners, contractors and subcontractors in proceedings before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Board

Reported Decisions

Aetna Casualty & Surety Company v. Ind-Com Electric Company, 139 F.3d 419 (4th Cir. 1998)

City of New Bern v. Carteret-Craven EMC, 356 N.C. 123, 567 S.E.2d 131

Energy Investors Fund, L.P. v. Metric Constructors, Inc., 133 N.C. App. 522, 516 S.E.2d 399


ABA Forum on the Construction Industry, The Construction Lawyer, Comments from the Chair:

The Case for the Responsible Use of Reverse Online Auctions in the Construction Sector, ABA Construction Forum, Annual Meeting, 2013

Key Provisions of the AIA B101 Owner-Architect Agreement:  The Hot Button Issues and How They Have Changed, ABA Construction Forum, Mid-Winter Meeting, 2008

What's Up DOCS?  Your First Look at the New Consensus Documents, ABA Construction Forum, Teleconference, 2007

Drafting the Perfect One-Year Warranty, The Construction Lawyer, Summer 2007

State-by-State Analysis of Legal Issues Affecting Architects, Engineers, Contractors and Others, Aspen, 2005

Time is Money: An Analysis of Liquidated Damage Clauses, The Construction Lawyer, Fall 2004

Contingent Payment Clauses, The Construction Business Handbook, Aspen, 2004

State-By-State Guide to Architect, Engineer and Contractor Licensing, (Co-Author), Aspen, 1999

State-by-State Survey of Economic Loss Doctrine in Construction Litigation, American Bar Association Litigation Section, 1996

When not in the office, Harper enjoys teaching construction law to others.  For the past ten years he has served as an adjunct professor of construction law at the University of North Carolina and Elon University Schools of Law.

He is a die-hard Tar Heel fan and attends as many football, basketball and baseball games as he can fit in to his schedule.  He and his wife, Kimberly, are the proud parents of three girls, ages 15 to 25.

Harper Heckman main bio photoHarper Heckman outside NP photo

"Some lawyers want to be viewed as the smartest, others the meanest. As for me, I pride myself on practicality.  A longtime client of mine says it best:  ‘Don't worry about the cheese, just get me out of the trap!’"