Howard M Rosen
Office:
1325 Avenue of the Americas
10th Floor
10019
City:
New York
State:
New York
Country:
USA
Tel:
+1 212 382 0909
Fax:
+1 212 382 3456

Questions and Answers:

Who's Who Legal Thought Leaders - Construction

Howard Rosen serves as a partner in the construction law group at Peckar & Abramson. In this role, he represents construction companies and developers in private project transactions and disputes. He also has extensive experience litigating claims for public construction contractors in various courts and alternative dispute forums. Howard has been involved in numerous complex arbitrations, representing both claimants and respondents. He has also been successful in using mediation to achieve favourable settlements for clients in matters involving deficient design and defective construction claims arising from high-rise condominiums and commercial buildings.

What attracted you to a career in the construction sector?

While I was in college, I had summer experience on high-rise construction in Manhattan as an electrician’s helper. This was during the construction boom in the mid-1970s. As a relatively new attorney in 1977, I had been working for a commercial litigation firm and was looking for a new opportunity when I was offered a position with an old-line construction law firm. The cases were often based on interesting issues of contract law, and I appreciated litigating disputes over something tangible. So, I made construction law my career.

How has the legal market changed over the course of your career?

The legal market has changed since I began practising as a construction lawyer in several ways.

First, the financial stakes to the clients are often far greater, as the cost of even a typical construction project has soared.

Second, the changes in technology in construction, such as web-based project designs and email communication, have increased the complexity of resolving the disputes. Law firms had to keep pace with changes.

How does your mediation experience enhance your litigation and arbitration practice?

Our firm prides itself on encouraging our clients to engage fully in mediation to resolve their disputes. Even when mediation fails to result in a settlement initially, the mediation process illuminates the critical issues and uncovers the critical facts involved in the matter, and, therefore, facilitates the success of litigation or arbitration.

What qualities do clients look for in an effective dispute resolution lawyer?

The clients expect their lawyer to quickly understand the contractual and technical nuances of the dispute and bring to the table a clear understanding of the law and the litigation or arbitration process to better advise them on how to resolve the dispute hopefully without litigation.

How do you adapt your approach when advising public and private companies? To what extent do their concerns and priorities differ?

The owners of private companies have the flexibility to make decisions in their best interest without being concerned about outside shareholders second-guessing their decisions. This often requires more formal reporting on claims and litigation to publicly held companies.

What steps does the legal industry need to take to ensure efficient dispute resolution in the construction sector?

One step that the legal industry could take is to make more of an effort to convince clients that it is important to include a mediation requirement as part of the dispute resolution procedures in the construction contract.

How do you expect the field of construction law to develop over the next five years?

Over the next five years, as the costs of litigation continue to climb, I expect even more emphasis on early dispute resolution, including mediation. What will help this trend is the continuation of the currently strong real estate market and increased government funding of public projects. Parties are less likely to fight in an “up” market and economy. Conversely, a downturn in the market or economy, a financial crisis or a government shutdown could increase the frequency of disputes and claims.

What has been the greatest achievement of your career to date?

The greatest achievement of my 41-year career has been developing close professional relationships with the owners and senior management of my clients so that they developed confidence in my advice and counsel as issues and disputes have arisen during construction projects. I have been largely successful in keeping my clients out of trouble and achieving the results that they expected.

Biography:

Who's Who Legal Construction: Lawyers

Howard Rosen is a partner in the construction law group at Peckar & Abramson. He represents construction companies and developers in private project transactions and disputes. Mr Rosen also has extensive experience litigating claims for public construction contractors in various courts and alternative dispute forums.

Mr Rosen has been involved in numerous complex arbitrations, representing both claimants and respondents. He has been successful in using mediation to achieve favourable settlements for clients, and has defended against multimillion-dollar delay claims in state and federal reported court cases. He has achieved significant recoveries of litigated claims on behalf of contractor clients and has conducted jury and non-jury trials on breach of contract and construction claims.

Mr Rosen is a former chairman of the construction law committee of the New York City Bar Association. He has organised and chaired a CLE programme on effective mediation in the construction industry and is a certified provider of a CLE programme on the New York mechanic’s lien law and adjacent building challenges to construction in New York City. He is a former faculty member of the New York University Real Estate Institute, where he taught construction law. Mr Rosen is a former associate member of the board of the Associated General Contractors of New York State, as well as a member of the public contract law and construction industry sections of the American Bar Association. He is also on the panel of construction arbitrators of the American Arbitration Association.

He received his bachelor of science degree from Cornell University and his law degree from New York University School of Law.

WWL says: Howard Rosen is “an excellent attorney” with considerable experience advising construction companies and developers on transactional matters and disputes.

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

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