The Legal 500

Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP

Work +1 212 859 8000
Fax +1 212 859 4000
Frankfurt, London, New York, Paris, Washington DC

Stephen Lefkowitz

Work 212 859 8780
Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP

Work Department

Real estate, land use, construction and development, pro bono, acquisitions, dispositions and related financings


Stephen Lefkowitz is of counsel in Fried Frank’s Real Estate Department, resident in the New York office. Mr. Lefkowitz focuses his practice on real estate development, with an emphasis on land use, zoning and structuring large-scale, complex projects involving public/private development and financing arrangements. He also represents companies in structuring tax and other municipal incentives with New York City and State.


Mr. Lefkowitz joined Fried Frank as a partner in 2003. Prior to joining the Firm, Mr. Lefkowitz held various positions. From 1976 to 1982, he was an associate professor at Columbia University School of Law. In 1976, he served as counsel to the New York State Senate Committee on Housing and Urban Development. From 1971 to 1975, he served as general counsel to the New York State Urban Development Corporation (Empire State Development Corporation) and had previously served as special assistant counsel to Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller.


Secretary, Board of Directors, Executive Committee of the Alliance for Downtown New York


Mr. Lefkowitz received his LLB from Harvard Law School in 1962, magna cum laude, and his BA from Yale University in 1959, summa cum laude.

United States

Real estate

Within: Real estate

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP’s ‘dominant’ New York offering is led by industry standout Jonathan Mechanic, who has a ‘powerful practice’ representing clients such as Citigroup and Coach. Mechanic, along with Tal Golomb, Melanie Meyers and Robert Sorin, continued to advise the Related Companies on many aspects of the development at Hudson Yards; the team also represented tenants in relation to the major redevelopment project and, in one example, counsel Stephen Lefkowitz acted for Time Warner in the $1.5bn development and purchase of a new headquarters at 30 Hudson Yards. Another name to note on the dirt side is Joshua Mermelstein, whose impressive caseload included acting for Brookfield Asset Management on the $1.03bn purchase of over 120 self-storage facilities in 16 states as well as Puerto Rico. The ‘incredibly strong’ debt finance group includes the ‘energetic and creativeMichael Barker, who handled a range of construction loan and mortgage loan financings for various investment fund lenders, including Children’s Investment Fund and Blackstone Group. In addition to the New York office, where all attorneys named thus far are based, the practice has a ‘small but strong’ office in Washington DC led by Franz Rassman. Rassman, along with Sorin and Golomb, assisted Tishman Speyer with the $270m redevelopment of Macy’s Downtown Brooklyn store.

[back to top]

United States: Real estate

Land use/zoning

Within: Leading lawyers

Stephen Lefkowitz - Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP

Within: Land use/zoning

The ‘excellent’ New York-based team at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP is home to ‘some of the best land use attorneys in New York, who are also easy to work with’. The team is headed by Stephen Lefkowitz, who alongside Melanie Meyers continued to advice the Related Companies on various approvals for the $20bn Hudson Yards development; the group has been working on approvals for ground leases affecting various projects, including the retail podium and residential and office buildings. High-value commercial and residential developments are the mainstay of the practice, and other prominent projects include the development of 550 Madison Avenue by the Saudi conglomerate Olayan America; Carol Rosenthal led the advice. Zachary Bernstein and Tal Golomb are also key names in the team.

[back to top]

Back to index

Legal Developments worldwide

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to