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Robert S Peckar
Office:
41 Madison Avenue
20th Floor
10010
City:
New York
State:
New York
Country:
USA
Tel:
+1 201 343 3434
Fax:
+1 201 343 6306

Questions and Answers:

Who's Who Legal Thought Leaders: Construction

Robert Peckar is a founding partner of Peckar & Abramson, formed almost 40 years ago. Over his career Bob has earned the reputation as one of the world’s leading construction lawyers, successfully representing major global construction clients in the avoidance and resolution of construction disputes and, more recently, in the legal aspects of anti-corruption compliance programmes. He is a graduate of Rutgers University and Columbia Law School and an active member of major bar organisations

WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO PURSUE A CAREER SPECIALISING IN CONSTRUCTION DISPUTES? 

My father was an engineer building major projects and involved in many claims. Once I decided to practise law, I knew that specialising in the effective resolution of construction disputes was my calling.

HOW IMPORTANT IS LOCAL KNOWLEDGE WHEN MANAGING CONSTRUCTION DISPUTES? 

Local knowledge is critical. It is foolish to enter a foreign market relying entirely upon protocols and instincts drawn from a different jurisdiction.

CONSTRUCTION DISPUTES IN DEVELOPING MARKETS SEEM TO BE BURGEONING; THIS IS AN AREA IN WHICH YOU REFER TO YOUR CONSIDERABLE EXPERIENCE. WHAT DO YOU FIND MOST INTERESTING ABOUT WORKING IN THOSE REGIONS? 

Unlike the common law environment, dealing with disputes in developing countries in legal systems that provide no legal precedent and where judicial resolution of disputes is not an attractive option provides quite a fascinating challenge. The international character of project team members provides additional complexities.

TO WHAT EXTENT IS COMPLIANCE BECOMING AN INCREASINGLY IMPORTANT PART OF CONSTRUCTION DISPUTES? 

Compliance has developed into a key aspect of a company’s corporate citizenship and legal survival. However, it is rare when compliance issues are central to construction disputes.

YOU BELIEVE STRONGLY IN EQUIPPING YOUNGER LAWYERS WITH THE SKILLS AND KNOWLEDGE NEEDED TO BECOME EXPERTS IN THEIR FIELD. COULD YOU TELL ME MORE ABOUT YOUR WORK IN THIS AREA? 

Since the formation of Peckar & Abramson almost 40 years ago I have firmly believed that working with younger lawyers is both an obligation and a privilege. There is no substitute for sitting with a young lawyer who has just drafted a mediocre brief and taking them through the weaknesses point by point so that they learn how to improve, or for taking a younger lawyer to a hearing where they see how preparation, experience and personal style work together to achieve a great result.

WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST MEMORABLE MATTER YOU HAVE WORKED ON? 

Over my career there are many matters that could be called “most memorable”. The one feature all these matters have in common is a successful result. Matters that are memorable because of a poor result are memorable for the wrong reason!

IF YOU COULD PROVIDE ONE PIECE OF ADVICE FOR ASPIRING CONSTRUCTION LAWYERS, WHAT WOULD IT BE? 

Perhaps a cliché, but “preparation, preparation, preparation” is still the most important aspect of being a successful construction lawyer. A well-prepared lawyer is confident, and confident lawyers are able to see options that the unprepared lawyer cannot even consider.

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR PROUDEST ACHIEVEMENT IN YOUR CAREER THUS FAR? 

I will sound like the proud father, but the growth and success of Peckar & Abramson, being led by a wonderful generation of younger leaders to whom Rich Abramson and I passed the baton, is without doubt my proudest achievement. 

Biography:

Who's Who Legal Construction: Lawyers

Robert S Peckar is the founding partner of Peckar & Abramson and a recognised leader of the construction bar. Having spent the first half of his career successfully litigating complex construction cases, he has since concentrated his efforts in guiding clients to the resolution of complex project disputes through creative solutions, including the use of ADR processes of which he is one of the leading advocates. In recent years, Mr Peckar has dedicated a significant portion of his practice to issues confronting complex international construction projects, including counseling global clients on policies and practices to combat corruption and operate in accordance with domestic and international corporate integrity laws.

Mr Peckar has devoted his career to serving the construction industry and bar. He regularly makes presentations to major industry and bar groups domestically and internationally. He has served as general counsel to major construction industry organisations, and is a fellow of the American College of Construction Lawyers where he presently serves as chair of the international law committee. Mr Peckar has written many articles on construction law, mediation of global arbitration disputes and corporate integrity issues. He is the contributing author of several construction law textbooks.

Mr Peckar's prominence in construction law has led to glowing praise from clients and colleagues alike. Chambers USA – America's Leading Lawyers for Business has stated he is “undoubtedly one of the sector's super-lawyers”, “super-intelligent, creative and business-oriented”, and on “everyone's shortlist” for dispute resolution. Mr Peckar has been named as the leading construction lawyer in the world by Who's Who Legal from 2006 to 2014.

Mr Peckar graduated from Rutgers College and Columbia Law School.

WWL says: Robert Peckar is known to be “a very well-respected” and “a really key member of the construction market”.

This biography is an extract from Who's Who Legal: Construction which can be purchased from our Shop.

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