Real Estate & Construction

Recent News:

Cozen O’Connor Taps Nevada Litigator Karl O. Riley to Manage its Las Vegas Office

Riley joins the firm as a member within the firm’s Commercial Litigation department. Additionally, Riley will be a part of the Labor & Employment, Class Actions, and Appellate practice groups.


The real estate and construction industry is a major component of the global economy. In the United States alone, millions of people are employed in related occupations. Industry leaders in this sprawling and vital sector must be prepared to evolve and adapt when unforeseen circumstances arise. The COVID-19 global pandemic has brought the importance of agility to the forefront.

Cozen O’Connor has a renowned real estate and construction practice that provides clients with the long-range perspective members of the industry demand. Our attorneys regularly counsel clients on acquisitions, development, financing, construction, disposition, and disputes. The firm’s dedicated real estate lawyers are often involved in the industry’s most sophisticated deals and most complex litigation. They are privy to — and often a driving force behind — critical legal advancements. And when clients face real estate projects in distress, our distressed real estate team works with developers, investors, banks, non-bank lenders, construction companies, landlords, tenants, owners, and operators to address distressed assets head-on.

Our practice has a truly national reach, and we represent commercial and residential developers, shopping center and office developers, property owners, real estate investment trusts, banks and lenders, investors, national and regional retail companies, real estate brokerage companies, public and privately held companies, property management companies, municipalities, general contractors and subcontractors, architects and engineers, building owners and manufacturers of construction-related products. Our attorneys counsel clients on issues related to office buildings, shopping centers, warehouses, commercial and industrial structures, highways, bridges, dams, docks, piers, refineries, drilling structures, and all residential structures from single-family dwellings to apartment house complexes.

Real estate and construction are exceedingly technical fields, and Cozen O’Connor attorneys are known for the depth of their technical knowledge. Whether discussing the specifics of compressive strength, load specifications, liquidation calculations, or insurance rates, our attorneys are fluent in industry-specific terminology, operations and formulas. Having lawyers with this degree of substantive background saves time, improves communication, and results in more sophisticated advocacy on behalf of our clients.



  • Defend clients in commercial disputes involving real estate transactions
  • Represent construction clients in cases of catastrophic personal injury or death, design errors and omissions, defects, surety and performance bond default matters, “sick building” syndrome, and delay/cost overrun damages
  • Respond to OSHA and ADA civil rights violation claims
  • Lead industry-wide construction products litigation and arbitrations


  • Lead real estate acquisitions, dispositions, development, and leasing deals
  • Analyze and prepare construction-related contracts
  • Arrange complex financings via senior debt, mezzanine debt, or structured finance
  • Perform loan restructuring, workouts, and foreclosures
  • Handle environmental impact assessments and risk allocation
  • Advise clients on partnering, leasing, and zoning transactions

Corporate and Regulatory

  • Provide guidance on insurance, indemnification, mechanic’s liens, and surety
  • Counsel clients on OSHA and ADA compliance
  • Assist clients with environmental regulations, land use, zoning, and condemnation laws
  • Advise construction and real estate professionals on industry best practices and standards



  • Real Estate
  • Environmental Law
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Corporate Law
  • Labor & Employment
  • Tax
  • Insurance Coverage Claims/Litigation
  • Subrogation





New Virginia Law Prohibits Pay-If-Paid Clauses in Construction Contracts

May 22, 2022

Senate Bill 550 makes changes to Virginia's Prompt Payment Act and its wage theft statute that will take effect on January 1, 2023.

In or Out? House Pressures Federal Contractors to Exit Russian Market

April 14, 2022

The House's Federal Contracting for Peace and Security Act would prohibit federal contractors from continuing to do business in the Russian Federation.

Pennsylvania’s Prompt Payment Act Applies to Mixed Use Construction [Alert]

August 12, 2021

Kenny Cushing and Nick Berenato discuss the Pennsylvania Superior Court's decision in El-Gharbaoui v. Ajayi.

Climate Change – Real Estate Impact [White Paper]

March 22, 2021

Matthew Weinstein and Harrison Haas discuss how climate change impacts the real estate industry and the ways property owners, developers, governmental authorities, and others intend to tackle the perceived effect of climate change.

Boards Should Prepare Now for a Potential Second Wave of COVID-19

June 05, 2020

Leni Cummins and Jennifer Miller discuss changes to governing documents condo and coop boards should make that better equip themselves for this new reality.

Debt Cancellation Income Arising in Connection with the Ownership of Real Estate

June 03, 2020

Part II of a two-part series on the income tax rules applied to taxpayers recognizing cancellation of indebtedness income.

Now is the Time for Construction Impact Claims [Alert]

June 02, 2020

Chris Sweeney and Alex Busch explain why now could be the perfect moment for contractors to draw a baseline and measure the impacts to date and start measuring future impacts.

Lease Provisions To Consider in the Age of COVID-19

May 27, 2020

Adam Silverman discusses some provisions worth considering in new lease documents in the COVID-19 era.

COVID-Driven Commercial Litigation – What Businesses Can Expect

May 08, 2020

Adam Schlatner and Michael de Leeuw discuss potential COVID-19 related litigation, based on what is already happening and the legacy of other downturns.

Commercial Tenants Raising Impossibility of Performance and Frustration of Purpose [Alert]

May 06, 2020

Menachem J. Kastner, Emily Shoor, and Andrew Punzo discuss the case law behind New York courts applying the common law doctrines of Impossibility of Performance and Frustration of Purpose narrowly and strictly and only in limited circumstances.

Midwest States Allow Resumption of Some Construction Projects [Alert]

May 04, 2020

Sam Mogensen and Chris Sweeney provide updates on recent stay-at-home orders in the midwest and how they are impacting the construction industry.

Real Estate Tax Appeals [Alert]

April 30, 2020

Joe Bright advises real estate owners to consider filing an appeal of the assessed values assigned to properties for the tax year 2021.

New York’s Phased Plan to Reopen begins with Construction Industry [Alert]

April 29, 2020

Nick Berenato discusses New York's plan to reopen in phases.

UPDATE: Several Midwest States Close Non-Essential Businesses – Potential Construction Impacts

April 10, 2020

Chris Sweeney, Stephen Seeger, Jesse Keene, and Alex Busch detail the various stay-at-home orders issued by Midwest states and the impact of each on the construction industry.

Federal Income Tax Consequences of Defaults and Restructurings Under Lease Agreements

April 10, 2020

Thomas J. Gallagher and Dennis L. Cohen discuss the intricacies of section 467 lease agreements and the surprising and unexpected consequences.

New Jersey Imposes Additional Requirements on Construction Project Sites [Alert]

April 10, 2020

Nick Berenato and Chris Sweeney discuss New Jersey's latest executive order and what it means for construction project sites.

Property Owners Must Act to Reap Benefits of Two New Laws [Alert]

April 02, 2020

Leni Cummins, David Hackett, and Marty Schrier discuss how property owners and condo and coop boards can take advantage of programs in FFCRA and the CARES Act.

What is Emergency and Essential Construction Under Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order? [Alert]

March 31, 2020

Leni Cummins and Jennifer Miller discuss the Department of Building's guidance following Governor Cuomo's order halting all non-essential construction in New York.

D.C. Closes Non-Essential Businesses, Restricts Sick Employees of Essential Businesses [Alert]

March 31, 2020

Chris Sweeney, Stephen Seeger, Jesse Keene, Kelly Trout, and Alex Busch discuss the D.C. mayor's order closing all non-essential businesses and how it impacts the construction industry.

COVID-19 Construction Update: NJ, NY, DE, and PA Close Businesses

March 27, 2020

Nicholas Berenato, Chris Sweeney, Stephen Seeger, Jesse Keene, and Alex Busch review the executive orders from the governors of Delaware, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania and the impact on the construction industry.

West Coast States Close Businesses Due to COVID-19 [Alert]

March 25, 2020

Chris Sweeney, Stephen Seeger, Jesse Keene, and Alex Busch discuss orders in California, Oregon, and Washington closing businesses due to coronavirus.

Pennsylvania Law Passed Requiring Mandatory Use of E-Verify in the Construction Industry [Alert]

October 11, 2019

Michael Hanlon and Fran Rayer discuss the new Pennsylvania law affecting the construction industry that goes into effect on October 6, 2020.

Indemnity and Additional Insureds: Tools for Risk Shifting

August 22, 2017

Fred Jacoby, Ray DeLuca, and Jeff Mullen, of Cozen O'Connor's Construction Law Group, published, "Indemnity and Additional Insureds: Tools for Risk Shifting," in The Legal's Construction Law supplement.

In The News

49 Cozen O'Connor Attorneys Named Pennsylvania Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

June 01, 2022

Super Lawyers has selected 49 Cozen O'Connor attorneys to the 2022 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists.

Cozen O’Connor Continues to Gain Traction in Real Estate with Zoning and Land Use Attorney G. Evan Pritchard

November 15, 2021

Pritchard brings extensive experience with securing zoning entitlements throughout Northern Virginia and the District.

Cozen O’Connor Welcomes Former Toll Brothers Vice President and Counsel Wendy F. Klein Keane to Construction Practice

July 26, 2021

The former vice president and litigation and risk management counsel brings to this nationally recognized construction practice close to two decades of distinguished experience having managed hundreds of litigations and arbitrations through discovery, hearings, appeals, and/or settlement.

Cozen O’Connor Adds Former Silverstein Properties Executive Vice President and General Counsel Jonathan W. Knipe

March 08, 2021

Knipe has spent the past 15 years with Silverstein Properties, serving in the capacity of chief legal officer and corporate secretary, and was instrumental in the rebuilding of the World Trade Center properties after 9/11.

Cozen O’Connor Taps Nevada Litigator Karl O. Riley to Manage its Las Vegas Office

September 08, 2020

Riley joins the firm as a member within the firm’s Commercial Litigation department. Additionally, Riley will be a part of the Labor & Employment, Class Actions, and Appellate practice groups.

Cozen O’Connor Welcomes Two More Construction Law Attorneys to its Washington D.C. Office

October 07, 2019

Cozen O’Connor today announced attorneys Christopher M. Sweeney and Alexandra E. Busch have joined its Washington D.C. Construction Law practice, bringing to four the number of lawyers who have joined the fast-growing practice in just the past two weeks.

138 Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named to the Best Lawyers in America

August 28, 2019

Best Lawyers selected 138 Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 21 of the firm’s national offices for inclusion in the 2020 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.

Legal 500 Recognizes Six Cozen O'Connor Practice Areas and Nine Cozen O'Connor Attorneys in its 2019 Legal Guide

June 14, 2019

The Legal 500 United States named Cozen O’Connor’s Aviation, Construction, Immigration, Insurance, and Maritime practices and Cozen O'Connor attorneys Scott Bettridge, Raymond DeLuca, Geoffrey Ferrer, Bruce Ficken, David Heffernan, Jeffrey Lawrence, Robert Magovern, Anne Mickey, and Jeffrey Mullen to its 2019 Legal Guide.

Adam Silverman Elected Fellow of American College of Real Estate Lawyers

April 03, 2019

Adam Silverman, a member of Cozen O'Connor’s Real Estate Practice Group in Philadelphia, has been elected a Fellow in the American College of Real Estate Lawyers (ACREL).

Calif. Builders Strategize Ahead Of 2020 Solar Panel Rules

January 11, 2019

David Shimkin, a member in the firm's Commercial Litigation Department, was quoted in Law360's article, "Calif. Builders Strategize Ahead Of 2020 Solar Panel Rules."

Cozen O'Connor Leads McCarthy Cook & Co. in $179.7M Purchase of Mountain View Office Campus

September 14, 2018

Paul Rutter, a member in Real Estate, was featured in the Dealmaker Section of the Daily Journal. Paul led the Cozen O'Connor team that negotiated real estate investment and development firm McCarthy Cook & Co.'s $179.7 million acquisition of an office campus in Mountain View.

Going after Amazon's HQ2 is like going after the Olympics

September 13, 2017

Jeffrey Mills, a member of Cozen O’Connor’s Real Estate Practice, discusses how competitive incentives could benefit Amazon’s search for a new headquarters in the Philadelphia Business Journal.


William F. Davis

Vice Chair, Real Estate

(212) 883-4947

Josh M. Greenbaum


(215) 665-2788

Fred Warren Jacoby

Vice Chairman

(215) 665-2154

Vincent P. Pozzuto


(212) 908-1284



138 Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named to the Best Lawyers in America

August 28, 2019

Best Lawyers selected 138 Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 21 of the firm’s national offices for inclusion in the 2020 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.

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