Buchanans takes on NY construction team

Pittsburgh firm Buchanan Ingersoll is taking on a four-partner construction law team to ramp up its New York presence.

The team is joining from 80-lawyer boutique firm Baer Marks & Upham. Its recent projects include the renovation of Grand Central Station and the New York Museum of Modern Art.

The group is led by partner James Frankel, along with fellow partners Eugene Scheiman, Mary Jane Augustine and Dan Friedman and four other lawyers. They boost the 450-lawyer firm's New York office to 30 lawyers after being open for just over a year.

Buchanans' chief operating officer Thomas VanKirk says: “This is a very high-end and high-profile construction group. We represent a number of developers and people who require the services of real experts in the construction area.”

The group will work closely with the construction team in London, part of the private finance initiative (PFI) practice led by Barry Francis which came from Beachcroft Wansbroughs (The Lawyer, 11 October).

“We view the entire practice as being global in nature and one in which James and his group can help us develop the practice in London and where London can help further them,” says VanKirk.

The firm acts for developers that include one of the leading real estate developers in the US, Turnberry Associates. It has a worldwide construction law capability of 20 lawyers.

The new group brings in work from international clients that includes structural engineers Cantor Seinuk Group, which is involved in the Canary Wharf development.

Frankel says: “Many of our clients consider us a close business adviser as well as their outside counsel – moving our practice to Buchanan Ingersoll gives them greater access to broader resources and options.”