Duane Morris Adds New York Construction Practice From Thelen LLP

Dec 01, 2008, 13:49 ET from Duane Morris LLP

Significant Lawyer Group for "Vital Industry" Now Part of Firm's Full-Service New York Office

NEW YORK, Dec. 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Duane Morris LLP announced today that it is adding a 20-lawyer Construction practice to its New York office. The arrival of the group of construction and real estate lawyers from Thelen LLP further strengthens Duane Morris' Construction Group and expands its New York office to nearly 100 lawyers. With the addition of nine partners and 11 special counsel and associates, the firm, which has 650 lawyers firmwide, now has 60 lawyers serving the construction industry.

"We are very pleased to welcome such a renowned and impressive team of construction and real estate lawyers," said John Soroko, Chairman and CEO of Duane Morris. "They possess considerable experience and knowledge of the complex issues facing owners, developers, investors, lenders and the construction industry as a whole. With this group of lawyers, Duane Morris further strengthens its position as one of the leading firms in the country in construction litigation, alternative dispute resolution and construction transactional law. Our expanded capabilities will allow us to play an increasing role in a vital industry for New York and the nation."

The new team is led by partners Allen Ross, Frederick Cohen, Arthur Silverman and Richard Dyer, each of whom has decades of experience as a lawyer in the construction industry, with established national reputations in the field. The group has garnered recognition in the highly respected Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business as one of the leading construction practices in New York. Chambers ranked the group as the top construction practice among general practice law firms in New York, and cited four members of the group for individual excellence in construction law. The group and its leaders are authors of well-known texts on construction law, and have received numerous national accolades.

"The benefit of joining a firm with Duane Morris' diversity of practice and strong reputation in the business world is self-evident," said Ross. "Our clients are very pleased with our move to this powerful player in the construction world, and in the general business scene."

"We could not be happier to have found a new home in Duane Morris," said Cohen. "The accomplished construction lawyers throughout the firm's international offices, and the astonishing breadth of experience of our new colleagues in New York made it crystal clear to Allen, the rest of the group and me that this is where we belong."

The new lawyers represent clients throughout the construction industry, including important developers involved in the rebuilding of the financial center in Lower Manhattan. Other clients include some of the "brand-name" large entities around the city, including academic and healthcare centers, institutional public entities, private developers, owners, contractors, subcontractors, design and engineering firms and sureties. The lawyers focus on litigation, including alternative dispute resolution and mediation, as well as transactional matters involving the negotiation of both complex construction agreements and complex real estate financing, workout structures and documentation.

Attorneys in the group have handled all types of disputes, including breach of contract, construction delays, so-called extra work disputes, incomplete or defective design, inadequate and uncoordinated project management, excessive changes, impossibility and commercial impracticability, differing site conditions, denial of site access, defective materials and equipment, improper inspection, structural failures, safety violations, environmental hazards, terminations, mechanic's liens, stop notices, payment and performance bonds and post-completion warranty issues, among others.

The team also has extensive transactional experience, negotiating design/build, construction and program management agreements; general conditions and trade contracts; joint venture contracts; consortium and partnering agreements; and design, build, operate and turn-over (DBOT) agreements. It has handled EEO and OSHA; surety bonding, mechanic's lien and insurance issues. In addition, the group offers experience addressing real estate matters, including transactions, corporate transactions, leasing and financing.

Duane Morris' New York office, founded in 1994, has grown rapidly into a full-service office, with nearly 100 lawyers practicing in numerous and varied areas of law. The firm's New York lawyers handle matters including transactional and corporate matters such as mergers and acquisitions; securities compliance and corporate governance; public, project and structured finance; real estate transactions, including real estate acquisitions and dispositions, financings, workouts and restructurings, development and leasing; tax; estates and asset planning; healthcare transactions and international law, including trade regulation and other regulatory and commercial matters. They are also involved in complex litigation; including patent, trademark and copyright litigation and prosecution; employment disputes; securities and commercial disputes; white-collar criminal defense; products liability; real estate controversies; healthcare regulation and litigation and bankruptcy matters.

The newly expanded construction law group includes the following attorneys.


Mark Canizio, Construction

Michael Chartan, Construction

Frederick Cohen, Construction

Richard Dyer, Construction

Dennis Konner, Real Estate

Kenneth Lazaruk, Construction

Allen Ross, Construction

Arthur Silverman, Construction

John Wojak, Jr., Construction

Special Counsel/Associates:

Jose Aquino, Construction

Lawrence Chiarelli, Construction

Michael Davis, Construction

Meghan DiPerna, Construction

Charles Fastenberg, Construction

Michael Hogan, Construction

James Lotito, Construction

Brian Markowitz, Construction

Joseph Mascia, Real Estate

Jon Popin, Real Estate

Jessica Singh, Construction

About Duane Morris

Duane Morris LLP, a full-service law firm of more than 650 attorneys, offers innovative solutions across diverse industries in the United States and internationally to address the legal and business challenges of today's evolving global markets.

SOURCE Duane Morris LLP