Nicole Ortiz

/ Pennsylvania's Best Lawyers 2017

Bruce Ficken is the type of lawyer you want on your side: a powerful advocate for his clients and a determined trial attorney. One of his most valued attributes is the listening skills he’s developed over his years as a lawyer, not just to his clients, but to the adversaries, judges, and arbitrators he encounters as well.

Mr. Ficken has been representing clients in construction and commercial litigation cases since 1973, trying more than 60 cases both in the U.S. and abroad, and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. He got his start at Pepper Hamilton after working as a summer associate under Robert and Ken Cushman, who were nationally recognized construction litigation attorneys. In the fall of 1973, he was assigned to the construction group to find out how he liked it. "Long story short, I’m still doing it."

Pepper Hamilton’s reputation is founded on how its attorneys approach and dedicate themselves to their clients, something Mr. Ficken is well known for.

"We’re not in the business of making mountains out of molehills. We try to make molehills out of mountains."

"We’re not in the business of making mountains out of molehills. We try to make molehills out of mountains. We try to keep things simple, but at the same time when we’re unable to resolve issues, this practice is used to trying cases. And we’ve done so for years successfully."

A particularly noteworthy case for Mr. Ficken was the work he did on the Tropicana parking garage collapse in Atlantic City, a case that truly highlighted his honed legal skills. The collapse led to three deaths and 31 injuries and involved extensive multiparty litigation. Luckily, the matter was settled and fairly resolved after mediation.

In addition to the many notable cases he’s worked on, Mr. Ficken has also worked extensively throughout Philadelphia. "Our representation involves much of the skyline of Philadelphia," he says, including the Convention Center, the current Comcast Center, the FMC Tower, many of the high rises in West Philadelphia, and much more.

This work has really helped to solidify the firm’s construction practice group as a member of the city’s construction community. "We represent subcontractors on major claims, and we represent developers throughout the city. We are attuned to contractor clauses and contractor organizations."

Beyond his work with Pepper Hamilton, Mr. Ficken was also a co-editor and co-author for Construction Litigation (the first two editions) and Hazardous Waste Disposal and Underground Construction Law. Additionally, he was a contributing author to the Construction Law Handbook and Moisture Control in Buildings. Mr. Ficken has served as the co-chairman for the annual Construction SuperConference and is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, a rarity for someone who specializes in construction litigation.