Matters

Affordable Housing Developer – Resolution of Breach of Contract Claims against NYCHA

Negotiated a favorable settlement on behalf of a national developer of affordable housing, resolving a breach of contract litigation against the New York City Housing Authority related to a high-profile and long-stalled project to redevelop a large New York City public housing complex.

Consumer Products Manufacturer – Paraguayan Litigation

Represented an international consumer products manufacturer in a legal action brought against it in Paraguay. We are working with the U.S. State Department to deal with the unusual legal rulings involved.

Bio-Reference Labs – Congressional Hearings

We helped Bio-Reference Laboratories, a genetic testing company, convince the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property to hold hearings on October 30, 2007 on the adverse impact of gene patenting on genetic testing by laboratories and on clinical research. Bio-Reference Laboratories' CEO was a key witness. We are working closely with Representative Xavier Becerra of California, a member of the House leadership, as well as with the chair of the Judiciary Committee and Subcommittee for a positive outcome for Bio-Reference.

Library for the Blind – Government Appropriations

Representation of an international library for the blind in soliciting government appropriations for charitable use. The library provides the visually impaired, blind, physically handicapped and reading disabled with books, magazines and cultural programs in audio, in large print and in Braille.

Assisted Living Facility – State Approval for Expansion

Representation of an assisted living facility in Far Rockaway, New York, in obtaining Congressional and local elected official support for its application for state approval for the expansion and beautification of its facility.

Asian Government NYC Headquarters Acquisition

Represented the government of an Asian nation in the acquisition of its main headquarters in Manhattan, including a cultural center.

Rep. Carolyn Maloney – Sexual Assault Investigation Legislation

Assistance to Rep. Carolyn Maloney in drafting H.R. 2874 (107th Congress) to assess the extent of the backlog in DNA analysis of rape kit samples and to improve the investigation and prosecution of sexual assault cases with DNA evidence. As part of the "Justice for All Act," the legislation was passed overwhelmingly by the House of Representatives and unanimously by the Senate. The Debbie Smith Act, named for a rape survivor whose attacker was identified through DNA evidence, was signed into law by President Bush in October 2004.

Rep. Carolyn Maloney – Declassification of Nazi War Crimes Files

Assistance to Rep. Carolyn Maloney on the strategy and drafting of H.R. 4007 (105th Congress) for the declassification of the U.S. government's secret Nazi war crimes files. The legislation was passed in 1998 as Senate Bill 1379, and signed by President Clinton that year.

Parkchester Condominium Redevelopment

Represented a joint venture between The Community Preservation Corporation, Morton Olshan of Mall Properties Inc., and Jeremiah O'Connor of The O'Connor Group, in the complete renovation and rehabilitation of the 171-building Parkchester condominium in the Bronx, New York, including the acquisition and financing of 6,361 unsold residential condominium units, 500,000 square-feet of retail and commercial space and five parking garages. Our work included government relations, land use, real estate and tax advice. The project required the cooperation of our clients, utility companies, state and city politicians, religious leaders and local residents, and included the passage of special legislation.

9/11 Families and Victims – Compensation Fund Assistance

Pro bono assistance to victims and their families in recovering funds from the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund.

Private Company – Political Misuse Investigation

Representation of a private company in connection with a state Attorney General's investigation into whether a former governor improperly used the company to engage in "dirty tricks" against a political rival.

Commission for Art Recovery – Baron Herzog Collection

Representation of the Commission for Art Recovery in recovering 10 paintings from the Hungarian government that were stolen from the heirs of Baron Herzog, a Hungarian aristocrat, during the Nazi regime. At Herrick's request, Senator Hillary Clinton wrote to the Hungarian Foreign Minister in support of our efforts. Senator Clinton issued a press release regarding her letter and also posted it on her website. To date, Herrick has also garnered support from Senator Lautenberg, Senator Kennedy and Congresswoman Nita Lowey.

New York State Judiciary – Budget Litigation

Trial counsel for the New York State Judiciary in its litigation against the Executive and Legislative branches for violation of the separation of powers doctrine in the under-funding of the judicial budget.

Domino Sugar Factory Redevelopment

Represented an affiliate of the Community Preservation Corporation in the development of the 11.5-acre waterfront complex in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, that was formerly home to Domino Sugar. We advised CPCR on the site's rezoning, which will result in one of the largest residential redevelopment projects in the city.

We laid the groundwork for the formal land use and environmental review process, collaborating with Mayor Bloomberg's office, community leaders, and city and state departments and agencies on the design and development. This work included obtaining approval from the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, special permits pursuant to a zoning resolution by the New York City Planning Commission, approvals from the New York State Department of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The Republic of Turkey’s New York Consulate

Representing the Republic of Turkey in the development and construction of a new and expanded consulate at 46th Street and 1st Avenue across from the UN's General Assembly; a signature project as it expands its diplomatic footprint around the world. Our work includes advice on government relations, real estate development and construction, leasing, land use and zoning.

Second Avenue Subway Development Transaction

Represented an apartment corporation in a complex transaction involving the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's condemnation of portions of the property to make way for the construction of the Second Avenue subway.

Labor Union – Ethical Practices Counsel

Advised the Ethical Practices Counsel of a major international labor union concerning allegations of organized crime influence and corruption.

Severodonetsk Azot – Stopping Improper Government Seizure of Privatized Plant in Ukraine

Representation of a U.S.-based chemical company in a hard-fought dispute over the massive chemical plant, Severodonetsk Azot, in Eastern Ukraine. Corrupt political forces in Ukraine took control of our client’s plant through the commencement of a bogus lawsuit in Kiev and the outright seizure of the plant by a private militia. Herrick argued an appeal in Kiev’s court of appeals and also met, in Kiev, with Ukrainian ministries and the U.S. Embassy as part of a concerted effort to exert political pressure on the Ukrainian government to end the illegal actions.

As part of these efforts, Herrick alerted the New York Times to situation and the Times, in investigating the story, uncovered that the political dispute over the Severodonetsk Azot plant had led to Ukrainian President Yushchenko dismissing his prime minister and the rest of her government. See Deal for Ukraine Company Renews Charges of Abuse (The New York Times, Sept. 15 2005). The Ukrainian Supreme Court ultimately reversed the Kiev court and upheld our client’s ownership of the plant.

Real Estate Companies – Second Avenue Subway

Representation of major real estate companies in negotiating condemnation matters with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority related to the Second Avenue subway.

342 East 72nd Street Corporation – Second Avenue Subway Entrance Relocation

Representation of 342 East 72nd Street Corporation in fighting the relocation of a new subway entrance. The original plans called for the entrance to be embedded in the basement of a building at the corner of 72nd Street and Second Avenue, but the MTA announced a new plan to move the entrance to the middle of the block on 72nd Street between First and Second Avenues—directly in front of residential buildings. Herrick is helping the local building owners fight this plan.

New York Fire Alarm Association – Opposition to New Fee Rules

Representation of the New York Fire Alarm Association, a trade organization comprised of companies who monitor fire alarm systems in New York City, in government relations matters. The New York City Fire Department recently published its intent to adopt new rules—which are unduly onerous and would be a major headache for the industry—regulating the fees that these companies would have to pay the city. Thanks to Herrick’s efforts, the FDNY agreed to postpone adoption of the new fee rules for a year. It also agreed to work with the industry over the next year to promulgate rules that are reasonable.

Small Hotel Owners Association – Regulatory and Legislative Advice

Representation of the Small Hotel Owners Association in its dealing with the New York City government. We counsel the association and its members on how to respond to the city's efforts to regulate the industry. We negotiate legislation and zoning changes and advance the industry's interests before the relevant city agencies and elected officials.

Asphalt Contractor – Post 9/11 Reconstruction Bidding Dispute

Representation of an asphalt contractor in challenging the bidding procedure used by New York City and utility companies to award significant street reconstruction work near the World Trade Center site after the September 11th terrorist attacks. We obtained several temporary stays on the grounds that the bidding procedure violated public procurement laws. The city cancelled its invitation to bid and used a different procurement procedure.

Telecommunications Equipment Company – New York City Comptroller Investigation

Representation of a major telecommunications company in a high-profile investigation by the Comptroller of the City of New York into the sale of two-way radio equipment. We obtained full payment of multi-million dollar invoices for the company.

Major International Technology Company – Government Procurement Assistance

Assistance to a multi-billion dollar technology company which provides automated time and attendance systems in its dealings with the City of New York's technology officials.

Wells Fargo N.A. – Landmarks Advice

Represented Wells Fargo, N.A. in obtaining approval from the City's Landmarks Preservation Commission for signage at its new consolidated headquarters on 42nd Street.

Rent Stabilization Association of NYC – Litigation in New York State Supreme Court

Representation of the Rent Stabilization Association of NYC, the largest trade association in New York City dedicated to protecting and serving the interests of the residential housing industry, in litigation filed in New York state Supreme Court challenging the legitimacy of the state's Tenant Protection Unit and a set of new rent regulations that violate rent regulated owners' rights.

Telecommunications Company – NYC Fiber Optic Franchise

Representation of a major new telecommunications company in negotiating and obtaining approval for New York City franchise to install fiber optic cable throughout the City of New York.

New York Racing Association – Integrity Counsel

Represented New York Racing Association (NYRA), as Integrity Counsel, in assisting NYRA’s Board of Directors and management in ensuring that NYRA, its officers, employees and operations comply with all the applicable laws and regulations of New York Racing, Pari-Mutuel Wagering and Breeding Law §206(5), and AML and Patriot Act concerns. NYRA holds the exclusive right to conduct racing and pari-mutuel wagering at Aqueduct, Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Courses. We are also assisting NYRA on general corporate and tax-related matters.

New York State Association for Affordable Housing – Challenge to Local Law 44

Representing the New York State Association for Affordable Housing and individual developers in litigation seeking to invalidate Local Law 44 - which requires any developer receiving city funding to submit quarterly wage reports - as unconstitutional, pre-empted by New York state law, and imposing an unreasonable economic burden on small businesses competing for affordable housing work.

Developer – Dispute with the City of Long Beach, New York

Representing a real estate owner/developer in a high-profile dispute with the City of Long Beach, New York over zoning ordinances relating to a planned four tower condominium project. Herrick helped secure an appellate win permitting our client to seek monetary damages against the city in this litigation which also seeks a judgment declaring that our client is entitled to a building permit that would allow completion of the ocean front development as originally approved.

Challenge to New York State’s Charter School Funding Law

Herrick achieved an important victory on behalf of the plaintiffs in Brown v. New York, securing a ruling in New York State Court denying a motion to dismiss our lawsuit challenging New York State's method of funding public charter schools. Our clients, five families whose children attend charter schools in the state and a Charter School advocacy organization for its member New York charter schools, argue that New York's practice of providing charter students with as little as three-fifths of what district students receive in the same community, violates the state Constitution and disproportionately affects children of color and lower incomes. The ruling was particularly important as similar claims raised by charter school parents in four others states – North Carolina, New Jersey, Arizona and Texas – all failed to survive defense motions to dismiss. Herrick continues to represent the clients in defending the ruling on appeal to the Appellate Division, Fourth Department.

Nissan North America – Taxi of Tomorrow

Representing Nissan North America which recently won the City's competition to create the "Taxi of Tomorrow" in government relations matters. We are providing strategic and policy guidance to help Nissan finalize the process with The Taxi and Limousine Commission and the City to bring the new Nissan taxi on the road.

Trade Group – City of New York Legislation

Advising a trade group that represents companies that do significant construction work in New York City, in government relations matters. The City of New York recently introduced new legislation aimed at improving safety by promoting rule changes regarding licensing of trade members. Herrick is working with the industry to promulgate legislation that is reasonable and insure the public's safety.

Staten Island Retail Center Complex Development

Representing the Alpert family in connection with the development of a large shopping center complex in Staten Island. Our work includes a significant Uniform Land Use Review Process application involving street mappings, special permits, government relations activities and an environmental impact statement.

Former Government Official – Conflict of Interest Investigation

Representation of a former senior official of New York City's Economic Development Corporation before the city's Conflict of Interest Board in connection with publicly reported allegations of improprieties.

Egyptian Government – U.S. v. Schultz

Counseled the Egyptian government in connection with the successful U.S. prosecution of a defendant accused of conspiring to smuggle Egyptian antiquities.

New York City Union – Healthcare Software License

Representation of a major New York City union and its benefits fund in negotiating software license and maintenance agreements and an ASP agreement with a large, publicly traded health care technology provider.

Bronx Brownfield Redevelopment

Represented a New York developer in redeveloping a large Brownfield site in the Bronx and negotiating the relevant transactions documents, including financing, joint venture and purchase option documents. Complex redevelopment issues made use of our Government Relations, and Land Use and Zoning Groups.

Madoff Litigation – Filings Against the SEC

We represent a number of victims of Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme. In January of 2009, we filed notices of claim with the Securities & Exchange Commission alleging negligence under the Federal Tort Claims Act. The SEC rejected our claims six months later, and on Wednesday, October 14, 2009, we filed the historic and first known lawsuit against the SEC seeking monetary damages under the FTCA, Molchatsky and Schneider v. United States. We were lead counsel on the Molchatsky case and filed two additional cases against the United States on behalf of other Madoff victims. While the Second Circuit ultimately dismissed the action, essentially saying that the SEC had absolute immunity, the case sent a message that Herrick will leave no stone unturned on behalf of its clients. The firm continues to defend Madoff victims in clawback actions initiated against them by the Madoff bankruptcy trustee.

Bio-Reference Labs – Gene Patenting Legislation

Representation of Bio-Reference Laboratories, Inc. in providing legislative advice and governmental solutions to help enable it to conduct diagnostic tests currently prevented by laws allowing owners of gene patents to grant exclusive licenses for those tests.

New York City Water Board Bill Credit Lawsuit

Herrick litigators successfully represented the Rent Stabilization Association and building owners Prometheus Realty, Portofino Realty and Tuscan Realty in a complete New York State Supreme Court victory against the New York City Water Board, and the New York City Department of Environmental Protection for illegally sidestepping the State's Public Authorities Law.

On June 6, 2016, Herrick won a temporary restraining order, stopping the Water Board from raising rates by 2.1% and granting a $183 bill credit for 1-3 family homeowners, which excluded larger multi-family dwellings. On June 20, Justice Carol R. Edmead of State Supreme Court in Manhattan ruled that the actions of the water board were “an abuse of discretion” and exceeded the board’s authority. Herrick government relations co-chair Kevin Fullington, litigation partner Michael Berengarten and associate Jared D. Newman represented the plaintiffs.

Resources

Gotham Organization – Mixed-Use Development

Representation of Gotham Organization, a premier New York developer and construction company, in various government relations matters.

Clear Channel Outdoor – Victory in MTA Signage Zoning Dispute

Herrick won an important decision for client Clear Channel Outdoor in litigation challenging New York City's attempt to enforce local zoning laws and regulate signage on MTA property. In a ruling covering three separate cases, a New York state court judge found that certain MTA facilities are not subject to the jurisdiction of the City of New York, and the city may not enforce its zoning resolution as to certain outdoor signs located on MTA property. The ruling vacated the NYC Department of Buildings' 2012 rejection of the plaintiffs' requests to register 13 signs that would go up on railroad rights-of-way, trestles or overpasses owned or controlled by the MTA - a decision based on newly adopted city restrictions on outdoor advertising signs within 200 feet of arterial highways.

Land Use Counsel on World Trade Center Complex

Land use counsel to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in connection with the development of the new World Trade Center complex.

Private Club – Negotiations with the MTA over East Side Access Project Construction Issues

Representing a private club in its negotiations with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority on a mitigation plan to address the myriad of concerns related to impacts to the organization and its landmark designated clubhouse on the East Side of Manhattan from ongoing construction to complete the MTA's $10.2 billion East Side Access project, the first LIRR expansion in more a century and the largest transit project in the country.