John D. Clay


  • Office Contact Info
  • Biography

    John "Chip" Clay is a Partner in the Louisville office of GRSM. He is an effective construction litigator, with a proven track record for representing design professionals, contractors, and owners during every phase of the construction process. Whether it is a complex contract dispute or a catastrophic injury claim arising from a construction accident, Chip draws on his civil engineering training and real-world experience as an engineer for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet to identify creative, pragmatic solutions for his clients in state and federal courts across the country.

    In addition to his dynamic construction practice, Chip counsels business owners, product manufacturers, and developers in highly-technical matters involving product design, premises liability, and intellectual property rights. As a former clerk for the Kentucky Court of Appeals and a registered patent attorney with United States Patent and Trademark Office, Chip often lends his perspective on matters of technical drafting and appellate advocacy. The majority of his pro bono work is focused on advising those who have received surprise bills for medical services.

    When not traveling between construction sites or crossing yet another Kentucky courthouse off his bucket list, Chip enjoys spending time with family and friends, boating on Lake Cumberland, and following University of Kentucky athletics.


    • Kentucky
    • U.S. Patent & Trademark Office
  • Practice Areas
  • Representative Experience

    Representative Matters:

    • Obtained pretrial dismissal in U.S. District Court for Eastern District of Kentucky on behalf of insurance brokerage for claims arising from breach of standard of care.
    • Secured summary dismissal on behalf of multiple engineering firms for matters in multiple Kentucky state courts.
    • Prosecuted mechanic’s lien foreclosure on cooperative utility to successful resolution.
    • Awarded summary dismissal on behalf underinsured motorist carrier from claims arising from catastrophic trucking accident.
    • Successfully defended highway contractor and concrete subcontractor facing indemnity claims from primary tortfeasor.
    • Represented national commercial cleaning company to successful dismissal of personal injury claims arising from foreign substance spilled on floor.
  • Publications & Presentations


    • Highway to the Danger Zone: 7 Tips for Managing Personal Injury Claims Post-Construction: A Case Study, Defense Research Institute Toolbox Talk, September 19, 2022
    • Highway to the Danger Zone: 7 Tips for Managing Personal Injury Claims Arising from Construction Projects, GRSM Steel Team Fabricators Webinar, July 19, 2022
    • “Livin’ on a Prayer”: What Due Diligence Do You Need to Do Before You Bid or Start Work?, GRSM Steel Fabricators Webinar, July 27, 2020
    • I’ve Got a Bad Feeling about This”: What You Can Do to Avoid Having that “Bad Feeling” when You Are Trying to Collect Change Orders, GRSM Steel Fabricators Webinar, February 4, 2020
  • Education


    J.D., University of Kentucky College of Law, 2014

    • CALI Award (Highest Grade): Products Liability

    B.S., Civil Engineering University of Kentucky, 2010

    • KY Engineer-In-Training


    Best Lawyers in America® Ones to Watch distinction in Construction Law (2021-2024), Intellectual Property Law (2024)

    Super Lawyers® Rising Stars distinction in Construction Litigation (2020-2023)