Market Overview

Kramer Levin Named Land Use Law Firm of the Year by U.S. News and World Report


Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP is pleased to announce that the firm was named the 2013 “Law Firm of the Year” in Land Use and Zoning by the U.S. News & World Report - Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” survey, the leading survey of lawyers worldwide. Kramer Levin received this honor based on its high performance on client, peer and firm responses to surveys to Best Lawyers' surveys. Only one firm in each of the nationally ranked legal practice areas received this honor. Kramer Levin received the top ranking among 22 nationally listed top-tier Land Use practices.

Kramer Levin's Land Use and Zoning Department, co-chaired by Paul D. Selver and Michael T. Sillerman, is the largest and most experienced legal practice of its type in New York City, one of the most challenging arenas in which to obtain land use and historic preservation approvals. Its client roster includes major corporations, financial institutions, non-profit organizations and commercial, hotel and residential developers.

The firm has served as land use counsel to many of New York City's most significant properties, including the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, Lincoln Center, Rockefeller Center, and Carnegie Hall. Most recently, the firm has served as land use counsel to, among others, Vornado Realty Trust (new office tower on site of Hotel Pennsylvania), Extell Development (the 3 million square-foot mixed-use development known as Riverside Center), Hines Interests and The Museum of Modern Art (Jean Nouvel-designed tower), NYU Langone Medical Center (new clinical, energy and research buildings), Madison Square Garden (interior renovation and renewal of special permit), Howard Hughes Corporation (South Street Seaport redesign and expansion), the Whitney Museum (development of new museum building by the High Line), the Archdiocese of New York (multiple sites), and Solow Building Company (4.3 million square-foot mixed-use development on former Con Edison sites along East River).

Kramer Levin's Land Use practice has more than 20 professionals, including lawyers, an engineer and a planner. It is one of the only practices in the country to include a dedicated veteran land use litigator. In addition, its condemnation practice works with clients to maximize condemnation awards through negotiation and litigation, and assists developers when eminent domain is part of the development process for large projects. It also works closely with Kramer Levin's highly regarded Real Estate and Environmental Departments. Together, they provide the firm's clients with an unrivaled integrated and interdisciplinary real estate practice with over 50 lawyers working collaboratively on development matters in New York City and around the country. This team approach allows for sophisticated, creative and comprehensive problem-solving across the full spectrum of real estate matters.

Members of Kramer Levin's Land Use team have held important City governmental posts with the Economic Development Corporation, the Department of City Planning, the Landmarks Preservation Commission, the Board of Standards and Appeals and the Law Department.

Kramer Levin's Land Use attorneys are leaders in the real estate and legal communities. They have been appointed to prominent positions on The Real Estate Board of New York; they are members of the Boards of the Citizens Housing and Planning Council and the Furman Center for Real Estate Law and Policy at New York University and of the Advisory Board of NYU's Schack Institute of Real Estate.. Several of the firm's partners have taught at Columbia University and New York University, and they speak regularly at continuing legal education programs for attorneys and other real estate professionals.

Land Use Partners

  • Paul D. Selver
  • Michael T. Sillerman
  • Jeffrey L. Braun
  • Gary R. Tarnoff
  • Elise Wagner

About Kramer Levin: Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP, with approximately 375 attorneys, is a full-service law firm with offices in New York, Silicon Valley and Paris. The firm represents clients worldwide, from the Global 1000 to entrepreneurial start-up concerns and individuals. The firm's Land Use Department has one of the largest and most sophisticated zoning practices in New York City. Indeed, the firm's Land Use group was ranked #1 in New York by Best Lawyers in America every year since 2008 and its practice and attorneys ranked in the top tiers in Chambers USA, U.S. News & World Report, and Legal 500 U.S. Additional information about the firm's Land Use department is available on the firm's website:

Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP
Jody Maier, 212-715-7612

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