Jeffrey is a seasoned litigator with expertise in high-profile commercial, real estate, land use, and environmental matters for leading developers, corporations, and nonprofit institutions. His extensive experience in general commercial and business disputes includes breach of contract and business tort claims, insurance coverage claims, professional malpractice issues, construction disputes, and disputes arising from the privatization of government-subsidized housing. Jeff was recognized by City & State as #13 on its list of lawyers who have had the biggest impact on New York law, and Chambers USA and Legal 500 have both recognized Jeff as a preeminent lawyer in New York real estate litigation. He has been included in Super Lawyers as a business litigator since its inception. Jeff has also received recognition for his pro bono work, receiving the Legal Aid Society’s Pro Bono Publico Award multiple times. Jeff is a member of the board of the City Bar Fund and has been appointed by the Appellate Division, First Department, as a Special Master in its Pre-Argument Conference ADR program.
Before joining AEL, Jeff spent most of his career as a litigation partner at two major New York law firms. In that capacity, he litigated numerous commercial and business disputes, including breach of contract and unjust enrichment claims, fraud and other business tort claims, and lawsuits for judicial review of a wide variety of governmental actions. Jeff’s practice focused on complex and often high-profile commercial, real estate, land use and environmental matters for leading developers, corporations, and nonprofit institutions. He also prepared multiple amicus curiae briefs for a trade organization and civil liberties advocacy groups and has worked with legal services organizations to provide pro bono representation to asylum applicants and indigent litigants.
Jeff is a graduate of Yale Law School and Rutgers University, summa cum laude. He clerked for the Honorable Harry Pregerson when Judge Pregerson served as a U.S. District Judge in the Central District of California, Los Angeles. Jeff is admitted to practice in state and federal courts in New York, before the Second and Ninth Circuit Courts of Appeals, and before the U.S. Supreme Court.
- Represented The Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim Museum, The Frick Collection, Columbia University, NYU, Weill Cornell Medical College, and multiple private schools in successfully defending lawsuits challenging their renovation and expansion programs.
- Represented JP Morgan Chase & Co. in a lawsuit establishing that it was not required to allow political demonstrations in the public plaza at One Chase Manhattan Plaza.
- Represented a building owner in a successful constitutional challenge to the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s refusal to allow it to remove an abstract sculpture from its exterior wall and install advertising on the wall.
- Represented numerous real estate developers in successfully defending project approvals, including the former Con Edison site on First Avenue, new buildings at Park West Village, the Trump project at 845 First Avenue, the former Trump Soho Hotel, and a high-rise condominium project near Sutton Place.
- Represented Forest City Ratner Companies in numerous lawsuits in federal and state courts challenging the Barclays Center/Atlantic Yards project, including challenges to the use of eminent domain and to the project’s environmental review.
- Represented the owner of a full city block in defending the block’s rezoning, making significant new law in New York’s highest court on conceptual environmental reviews.
- Represented multiple ground tenants in Yellowstone litigations against fee owners seeking to terminate long-term ground leases.
- Represented the former fee owner of a parcel in the footprint of One Bryant Park in a dispute about the correct interpretation of a ground lease’s rent reset formula.
- Represented the European lender to the redevelopment of a Midtown Manhattan hotel against lender liability claims.
- Represented the sponsor of a luxury cooperative offering plan in litigations with purchasers who refused to close their purchases and sought to recover their down payments.
- Represented a property owner in an arbitration defeating claims that it was responsible for the consequences of water infiltration into an adjoining building.
- Represented numerous developers and property owners in disputes regarding access to adjoining property to effectuate construction or install safety measures during construction.
- Represented the lessee of retail space in a residential condominium in establishing, in New York’s highest court, that lease renewal options are not subject to the Rule Against Perpetuities if they must be exercised prior to expiration of the preceding lease term.
- Represented the purchaser of a private security company in successfully defending a lawsuit by an executive claiming a right of first refusal, and represented the owner of a commercial condominium unit in successfully enforcing its right of first refusal to purchase the adjoining unit.