Construction Law & Litigation

Construction Law & Litigation

With one of the largest, dedicated teams of Board Certified Construction attorneys, Becker’s Construction Law Practice Group is well-known nationally for its knowledge of the construction industry and experience effectively protecting the interests of its clients. Practice Group Chair Steven Lesser is Past Chair of the American Bar Association’s Forum on Construction Law, the largest organization of constructional lawyers with over 6,000 construction professionals around the world. He also previously served as Chair of the Florida Bar Construction Law Certification Committee that prepares and administers an examination, evaluates peer review to determine those construction lawyers to be Board Certified by the Florida Bar.

The firm has handled numerous and varied construction-related cases, many of which have involved complex delay issues with a multitude of defendants, and scores of construction defects. Our construction attorneys represent clients in both transactions and disputes ranging from single- and multi-family dwellings to large commercial buildings, planned unit developments, multi-use retail, industrial and governmental projects.

Chambers USA has recognized the firm’s Construction group every year it has published its global law firm ranking guide. A ranking in “Band 1” by Chambers indicates the very top of the field according to clients and peers. Excerpts from Chambers include: “Highly regarded team renowned for its condominium association work and expertise in representing owners, developers, and contractors. Impressive involvement in public-private partnership matters, and experience in construction defect claims. It also provides a full suite of other construction services such as licensing, insurance, government procurement contracts and surety work. Sources say: “They have a deep construction practice and handle major projects. In every dealing I’ve had with them, I’ve come out thinking that they are top tier.” “Highly professional with the personnel and resources to handle any matter.” “The team has an undisputed reputation for residential construction matters and is increasingly involved in commercial cases… regularly representing owners, developers, sureties and contractors, the group is particularly knowledgeable on condominium projects”. Chambers continued, the firm “represented Carnival Corporation in defense of significant damage claims exceeding $3 million. The firm also represents Swire Properties in the design and construction of Brickell City Centre in Miami which is the largest mixed use project Florida. AECOM and Zurich Surety are among the group’s other key clients.”

Corporate

Becker’s Corporate Practice Group takes pride in becoming part of our clients’ business team. We make it a priority to understand our clients’ operations and strategy, and develop solutions from a business and as well as a legal and regulatory perspective. Our clients look to us to quarterback their transactions and focus on closing. We consider your success, our success.

Corporate Transactional Practice

  • In-House Counsel Services for public and private companies
  • Corporate Governance
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Employment Agreements and executive compensation
  • Broker-Dealer and Investment Advisor Regulatory
  • Private Funds
  • Asset Protection, Wealth and Business Preservation
  • Intellectual Property
  • SEC Disclosure and Securities Regulation

Corporate Finance

  • Capital Markets
  • Private Equity
  • Reverse Acquisitions
  • Bankruptcy

Financial Services

  • Asset Based Lending
  • Commercial Finance
  • Debt Restructuring
  • Real Estate Finance
  • Creditors Rights / Foreclosure

Regulatory Proceedings

  • Securities Arbitrations

Tax

  • Corporate Transactions
  • Individual Income Tax Planning
  • Tax Controversy

Government Law & Lobbying

Government Law and Lobbying – at the local and state level in Florida and the federal level in Washington, D.C. – has been a core practice for Becker since its founding in 1973. Our team of lawyers and lobbyists includes several who have served in high-level government positions and distinguished themselves in the political and legislative arenas and in state, local and federal government. Our team includes former and current city attorneys, former and current elected officials, former legislative aides to Florida legislators, former chiefs of staff to U.S. Congresspersons in Washington, D.C., and campaign managers for a myriad of elected officials. This first-hand working knowledge of government, at every level, provides clients with valuable insights, unparalleled access and a deep understanding of the legislative, administrative, and regulatory processes to help navigate the maze of government.

The racial, ethnic, gender and political diversity of our lobbying team provides our clients with the distinct advantage of working with an array of state and federal legislators and local government officials from both sides of the aisle as well as the various caucuses. The team’s varied relationships and knowledge of different issues offers clients new opportunities for coalition building with like-minded groups and connections to lawmakers from both sides of the aisle. This diversity, along with the backing of over 130+ lawyers and other professionals throughout the firm, is part of our formula for success. The Becker team enjoys the resources of being part of a large law firm but operates like a “boutique” lobbying practice, providing clients with personal attention and “on call” availability. Like all highly functioning teams, our team members rely on each other’s unique set of political contacts, knowledge of various issues, and political intelligence to best serve the client in a collaborative way and to best help you tell your story.

 

Trust & Estate Planning, Probate

Trust & Estate Planning

 
Becker’s Trust & Estate Planning attorneys have strong credentials and deep experience in this highly specialized area of the law. The firm serves clients’ needs in the following areas:

  • Structuring estate, gift, income and generation-skipping plans through wills, trusts, family-limited partnerships, qualified personal residence trusts, grantor-retained annuity trusts, charitable lead and annuity trusts, charitable remainder trusts, and private foundations and gift-giving programs intended to reduce estate taxes.
  • Creating disability plans through the use of revocable trusts and powers of attorney for asset management and medical directives for health care management.
  • Planning for special circumstances including second or later marriages, same-sex couples, multi-generational wealth transfer, charitable giving and trusts for beneficiaries with special needs.
  • Offshore estate planning for U.S. and foreign individuals.
  • Advising the owners of closely held businesses, including the preparation of shareholders’ and partnership agreements, reorganization, dissolution and transferring ownership to children and other family members.
  • Working with personal representatives and successor trustees. regarding all aspects of probate and trust administration.
  • Representing beneficiaries of estates and trusts.
  • Providing guidance to U.S. taxpayers on the U.S. federal income tax and the non-U.S. tax consequences of doing business or making investments abroad.

 

Probate

Our attorneys have experience in all aspects of probate including disputes among beneficiaries, will contests, challenges to personal representatives, challenges to rights of beneficiaries, construction of wills and other testamentary documents, fee disputes, estate tax litigation, fraud and undue influence claims, incompetency claims and all other matters that may arise relating to probate or trust administration.

Are you a personal representative or a beneficiary of an estate?

Whether or not the decedent had a will, the primary way to transfer assets from the name of the deceased to the beneficiaries is to go through the probate process. Probate, the court’s oversight of the distribution of the estate’s assets, is generally needed to gain access to bank accounts or to re-title real property. This process may seem simple, but it can often touch on sensitive family issues and become difficult to manage. In general, this process should never be attempted without an attorney’s assistance.

Becker works with clients as well as with out-of-state heirs and personal representatives to ensure that all aspects of estate administration come to resolution as quickly as possible. We understand the need to handle these matters delicately and promptly, and we offer the proper guidance to our clients throughout this complicated yet necessary process. We are typically called upon to handle:

  • Full, Summary and Ancillary proceedings
  • Identification and collection of the decedent’s assets
  • Preparation of Federal Estate Tax Returns
  • Trust administration

Public, Private Partnerships (P3)

Continued downward pressure on government budgets combined with mounting need for improvements to roads, sewers, schools and other public assets creates business opportunities for private companies to partner with public entities to fill that void. Public, Private Partnerships (P3) are mutually advantageous arrangements allowing public needs to be met with private financing, ingenuity and experience and permits the public sector to transfer some of the risks of such projects to the private sector.

Becker established its Public, Private Partnership practice team with attorneys having proven public and private sector knowledge, experience and contacts in order to assist governmental entities and businesses seeking to partner on public facilities in overcoming dwindling government funds and ever-increasing demands for improved roads, sewers, schools, civic buildings and other public assets.

Becker’s P3 team has long standing experience representing governmental entities and private sector governmental vendors. Representative projects include Louisiana State University’s P3 development of the Nicholson Gateway, a residential hall/mixed use, multi-phase project estimated at approximately $400 million. Other P3 representations include projects at the University of Central Florida and Bethune Cookman University (a private development following the P3 model). The firm is currently engaged on P3 projects such as the Wet N Wild water park in Fort Lauderdale, the Broward County Convention Center Hotel and Nova Southeastern University’s residential hall (another private development following the P3 model). The firm represents both public and private sector participants, so we are adept at anticipating issues and concerns our client’s partners may have and we can offer early solutions.

Real Estate

Real Estate law has been a core practice for Becker since our founding in 1973. The firm’s Real Estate attorneys have helped shape the local landscape through representation of developers of multi-family and single-family residential communities; business and property owners; and financial institutions. They have represented clients in the successful acquisition, financing, development and sale of all types of unimproved land and improved properties for residential and commercial use, including large land assemblages, major office buildings and office parks, shopping malls and centers, luxury hotels and resorts, condominiums and multi-family housing projects.

Our attorneys help guide clients through the full cycle of a real estate transaction, from the creation of the entity through the acquisition of land, governmental approvals including land use planning and zoning, entitlements and variances, environmental matters, title insurance matters, financing, permitting, construction and completion issues, leasing, property management and disposition. As the economy has fluctuated, our attorneys have assisted clients with loan workouts of real estate assets, title disputes and Real Estate Owned (REO) assets.

The group represents institutional investors and lenders, asset servicing companies, regional and national developers, and owners (including governments and corporate users) in structuring and implementing complex real estate transactions. Our team serves the needs of lending institutions in regard to all types of real-estate-based financing transactions, as well as protecting the interests of such lending institutions in foreclosures and bankruptcies. Our attorneys have handled large, multi-parcel real estate transactions, and are knowledgeable in all aspects of sales and acquisition of property. Becker also serves as a registered agent for most major state and national title insurance companies.

We represent regional and national financial institutions in real estate and asset-based business loan transactions including advice and legal representation in all aspects of the transaction from commitment letter terms to loan closing, loan documentation, structure of loan terms, insurance and post closing matters.

Community Association

Becker grew out of its pioneering role creating the law pertaining to the operation of common ownership housing. Many of the leading cases in the field bear the firm’s name. Our attorneys are recognized as individual leaders in the field through published works, public service, legislative activities, and industry group leadership positions. Several attorneys are members of the prestigious College of Community Association Lawyers (CCAL). In Florida, Becker has the largest, dedicated team of Board Certified attorneys in Condominium and Planned Development Law among any firm in the state.

The attorneys in the Community Association Law Practice Group cover the entire spectrum of legal counseling of condominium, cooperative, time shares and homeowners’ associations. In addition, the practice group provides counseling to country clubs, master associations and owners’ ad hoc committees. Each attorney plays an integral part in their client’s professional team – assisting the Board and management prepare for and conduct meetings, answering questions about documents and the pertinent law, enforcing the covenants and restrictions, and drafting and negotiating contracts for the provision of services.

Each client is assigned a Community Association attorney who is primarily responsible for providing legal counsel to the officers and directors, as well as the manager, on the operation of the association. The association’s attorney also serves as a liaison between the client and other attorneys in the firm to ensure that all the association’s legal needs are being met by attorneys who practice exclusively in those specialized areas.

Business Litigation

Becker represents clients in complex business litigation throughout the United States in federal and state courts, and in arbitrations. Approximately half of the firm’s attorneys are full-time litigators, experienced in a range of litigation including corporate governance, breach of contract, real estate acquisition, intellectual property (including trade secret, copyright and patent infringement), non-competition and employment agreements, employment discrimination, bankruptcy, bid protests, land use, class actions and appeals. We represent government entities, publicly traded corporations, insurance companies, financial institutions, developers, entrepreneurs, contractors, design professionals, small businesses and individuals.

Our lawyers are widely recognized by their peers in the profession for their achievement. As an example, many of Becker’s Florida litigators are Board Certified by the Florida Bar and noted experts in their practice areas including Business Litigation, Civil Trial, Appellate, and Construction Law.