Steven M. Charney is the chairman of Peckar & Abramson and is regarded as one of the foremost construction lawyers in the United States of America, having repeatedly been the recipient of accolades in numerous publications, including New York Magazine, Super Lawyers, Chambers USA, Best Lawyers in America, and the International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers, to name only a few. He is also a fellow in the prestigious American College of Construction Lawyers.
His practice regularly includes ongoing representation of contractors ranking among the top 10, as reported by Engineering News Record, as well as regional contractors. As a result of Mr. Charney’s depth of experience and understanding of the industry, he is regarded both as an outstanding litigator as well as a leading counselor and advisor. His insight, practical perspective and dedication to service of the construction industry have led to his recognition as a go-to advisor to the nation’s leading contractors in addressing emerging and challenging issues. In addition to his practice serving the needs of Peckar & Abramson’s clients, Mr. Charney is particularly active in serving the construction industry. Mr. Charney is often sought to lead industry wide efforts, and to speak or write on critical topics affecting the industry.
Mr. Charney has successfully handled numerous construction-related disputes in litigation, arbitration and alternative dispute forums. He frequently handles multimillion-dollar disputes, regularly including delay, lien, default, equitable adjustment, termination, and construction and design defect matters. His representation of contractors and owners includes some of the most prominent projects built in the United States and internationally, including stadiums, arenas, pipelines, manufacturing facilities, infrastructure projects and office and residential developments and towers.
Mr. Charney is also a recognized leader in addressing emerging and challenging issues affecting the construction industry. He serves as general counsel to the Building Trades Employers’ Association of New York and is actively involved in the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), where he serves on its Contract Documents Committee and the Steering Committee of its Risk Management Committee. Other examples of his leadership include having co-chaired and served as lead draftsman of the effort that led to ConsensusDOCS Green Building Addendum, the first industry standard agreement addressing “green” construction, and serving as vice chair and a lead draftsman in developing Guidelines for Addressing Mold in Construction, also a first-of-its-kind publication.
Mr. Charney’s focus on the evolving challenges in the construction industry have led to numerous speaking engagements throughout the country and internationally. The areas in which he regularly speaks publicly, and guides clients, stem from his wealth of knowledge regarding construction agreements (including integrated project delivery (IPD), resolving and avoiding disputes, subcontractor default and other evolving insurance products, compliance protocols and policies, and green building.
Mr. Charney's practice took a unique turn in the wake of the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center in 2001. The contractors who conducted the rescue, recovery and debris removal work at the site could not be sufficiently insured for the unique risks inherent in that effort. Mr. Charney's clients, including the Building Trades Employers’ Association of New York, called upon him to address that problem. His efforts led to the passage of legislation by the United States Congress, which was signed into law by the president of the United States, funding $1 billion to form a captive insurance company to provide such insurance.
Prior to joining Peckar & Abramson in 1990, Mr. Charney spent nearly a decade with Turner Construction Company. During that time, he attended graduate school and law school as an evening student. With Turner, he ultimately served as Eastern Division counsel, and before that in a number of operations-related roles, including field superintendent, cost-and-scheduling engineer, and manager of litigation and claims.
Mr. Charney is admitted to practice in the State of New York and the State of New Jersey. He is also member of the New York City Bar Association (having served on the Construction Law Subcommittee) the New York State Bar Association and the American Bar Association. Mr. Charney received his bachelor of science from Syracuse University, and, as a night student while working full time in the construction industry, his master of science degree from the School of Civil Engineering at New Jersey Institute of Technology and his law degree from Seton Hall University School of Law.