Wally McDonough utilizes his substantial business and legal experience to effectively assist clients to solve disputes through mediation, arbitration and case evaluations. Since founding ELK, Wally has mediated hundreds of disputes in many different areas, ranging from two party disputes up to fifteen party disputes with tens of millions of dollars at stake. The disputes have ranged from construction project issues, to insurance adjustment and subrogation matters, on to labor/employment issues, personal injury and general business disputes. The cases may differ, but the approach applied is the same—to help the parties and counsel to a dispute to see and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of their position, and the practical realities of the dispute. This focus fosters a narrowing of the issues in dispute and encourages settlements. Our Successes page highlights many of those cases.

As an arbitrator, Wally believes that parties in dispute deserve timely, cost-effective and reasoned decisions on their issues. Applying best practices, Wally strives to meet the goals of arbitration—quick and efficient resolution on the basis of the merits of the case, the contracts at issue and the law. Wally has arbitrated dozens of cases in a variety of fields since forming ELK.

Prior to forming  ELK, Wally was a trusted advisor and general counsel for Suffolk Construction, where he was directly involved for over ten years in all aspects of the business. His efforts helped to grow the company from a regional contractor into one of the largest general contractors in the nation, with over $1 Billion in revenues and 750 employees. His tenure as general counsel and senior executive provides him with a unique perspective on the challenges faced by businesses and individuals alike. He has a wealth of practical knowledge and insight into the construction, real estate, insurance and labor/employment industries.

Wally holds a B.A., cum laude, in politics from Princeton University and a J.D. cum laude from Boston College Law School.



  • 2007-Present ELK Consulting Services, LLC/Boston, MA President/Manager
  • 1996- 2007 Suffolk Construction Company, Inc./Boston, MA Executive Vice President/General Counsel
  • 1993 - 1996 Perini Corporation/Framingham, MA Assistant General Counsel
  • 1990 - 1993 Hinckley, Allen & Snyder/Boston, MA
  • 2007- 2009 Litigation Department / Trial Attorney Of Counsel (2007-09)
  • 1987 - 1990 Fine & Ambrogne/Boston, MA Litigation Department / Trial Attorney


American Bar Association—Member Since 1987

  • Forum on the Construction Industry
  • Civil Litigation Section
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution Section

Massachusetts Bar Association—Member Since 1988
Boston Bar Association—Member Since 2002

  • Construction Law Committee—(Committee Co-Chair 2004-06)

American Arbitration Association

  • Northeast Region Construction Advisory Council (2003-2006)

Associated General Contractors of America/Mass. Chapter-Member (2003-Present)
Council on Litigation Management—Member (2009-Present)

  • Construction Litigation Committee Member (2010-Present)

Princeton University Hockey Association

  • First Vice President—1991 to Present



Juris Doctor Cum Laude 1987


Bachelor of Arts Cum Laude 1984, Politics

  • Certificate of Completion:  Program in Political Economy
  • Senior Thesis: School Desegregation in Boston: A Failed Experiment
  • Varsity Ice Hockey Goaltender (1980-84)
  • COSIDA Academic All-America Team, Honorable Mention (1984)
  • Wm. Blackwell Trophy (Team Co-MVP) (1984) 


American Arbitration Association

  • Chairing an Arbitration Panel (December, 2010) 
  • Dealing with Delay Tactics in Arbitration (March, 2010)
  • Advanced Mediation Training (November, 2009)
  • Arbitration Awards: Safeguarding, Deciding and Writing the Award (October, 2009)
  • AAA Arbitration Roadmap (June, 2008)
  • Commercial Arbitrator I Certification (September, 2006)
  • Member--Commercial Panel of Neutrals, Construction Panel of Neutrals

Mediation Works, Inc.

Executive Mediation Training Course (October, 2006)

Dispute Review Board Foundation

Certified Panelist Training (October, 2008)

American Dispute Resolution Center, Inc.  

Member, Panel of Arbitrators (Appointed October, 2007)



  • “Dispute Avoidance and Resolution for Construction Disputes: What is Working and What is Needed”, panelist for Boston Bar Association, Construction and Dispute Resolution Sections (December, 2011)
  • “Presenting Damages at Mediation and Preparing Your Organization for Mediation”, McGladrey, Inc. client seminar, sole presenter (October, 2011)
  • “Dealing with the Fix”—The Practical Response to a Construction Defect Claim, Litigation Management (Fall 2011)
  • “Current Trends in Construction Claims and Disputes”, panelist at Mass. Bar Association Litigation Section Meeting (December, 2010)
  • “Holy S>*t--Crisis on the Project”, presented to Massachusetts RIMS and Associated Subcontractors of Mass. monthly meetings (November, 2010 and December, 2009)                     
  • “Dispute Mediation Options Every Executive Should Know”, RSM McGladrey Webinar panelist (February, 2009)
  • “Mediating the Construction Case”, Boston Bar Association, Construction Law Section Panelist (February, 2009)
  • “Communicating for Profit: Subcontractor/General Contractor Relations, presented as part of Contractor Series for Feeley & Driscoll (November, 2008)
  • “Common Sense for Construction Conflicts: ADR Options and Success Stories”, panelist—DRBF Northeast Regional Conference (October, 2008)
  • “AIA and Consensus Docs Overview—Indemnity, Insurance and other selected topics”—presented as part of Boston Bar Association, Advanced Topics in Construction Law (June, 2008) 
  • “Key Risk Provisions in Construction Contracts”, presented to the Surety Association of Massachusetts (March, 2008)