Overview

Brian G. Lustbader understands construction law from the inside out. With experience managing his family’s contracting business, as well as a civil engineering degree and decades of experience in construction law, Brian brings a unique perspective of business, technical and legal acumen.

Brian concentrates his practice in construction contract drafting and negotiation; alternative dispute resolution, including mediation and arbitration; and general litigation. His sharp writing and negotiation skills allow him to provide maximum value to his clients during all phases of a construction project. He has successfully resolved through mediation numerous construction disputes that had been mired in litigation.

Brian primarily represents owners and developers, though he has acted as counsel for architects, engineers, and contractors and subcontractors as well. His experience as a contractor informs his representation of  construction clients, since he understands the process from both sides of the fence.

Brian also has comprehensive experience assisting clients in protecting or gaining access to neighboring properties during construction. He notes that, given the high-density nature of construction in New York, this has become a hot-button issue. When working with license agreements, Brian brings a level-headed and systematic approach to assisting his clients, which allows him to effectively work with all parties toward the client’s desired result.

As co-chair of the New York State Bar Association Real Estate Construction Committee, Brian has overseen preparation of an owner-oriented rider to the AIA A107 Contractor Agreement form, and is currently preparing an owner-oriented rider to the AIA B104 Architect Agreement form.

  • Experience

    Representative examples of Brian’s successes include:

    • Contract drafting and negotiation for a $140 million project in Jersey City for mixed residential use on behalf of a major New York-based developer.
    • Preparing and developing an agreement for a $60 million project on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.
    • For developers whose projects require protecting or gaining access to neighboring properties during construction, preparing and negotiating license agreements on their behalf, including those for a developer of a multistory residential building in Lower Manhattan and a developer of a condominium project on the Upper East of Manhattan vis-à-vis adjacent residential buildings and church.
    • For property owners affected by neighboring construction, negotiating license agreements and, in several cases, litigating on behalf of owners adversely affected by such construction, including a public trust and various private homeowners in landmarked districts of Manhattan.
    • Negotiating a multimillion dollar construction contract with a public authority on Long Island on behalf of a major construction contractor.
    • Representing a public university in litigation against contractor for improper installation of buried hot water and heating pipes.
    • Successfully mediated litigation between stone supplier and its supplier.
    • Before joining Schiff Hardin, Brian assisted in the creation of a new law in New York by obtaining outright dismissal of an improperly filed mechanic’s lien by a developer.
    • Successfully mediated and settled a dispute between a major public university and its architect regarding a curtain wall design failure.
  • Credentials

    Education

    • Columbia Law School, J.D., 1978
      Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar
    • Massachusetts Institute of Technology, B.S., Civil Engineering and Humanities, 1975
      Phi Beta Kappa

    Bar Admissions

    • New York
      • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
      • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York

          Professional Memberships

          • American Bar Association, Dispute Resolution Section, Mediation Committee, Arbitration Committee, ADR Practice Management, Business & Skills Development Committee, Forum on Construction Law, Contracts Documents Division, Project Delivery Systems Division, Dispute Avoidance & Resolution Division, Litigation Section, Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee Construction Litigation Committee, Real Estate Litigation and Condemnation Committee, Owners & Lenders Division Committee
          • Construction Management Association of America, Legal Counsel Committee
          • New York County Lawyers Association, Construction Law Committee
          • New York State Bar Association, Commercial and Federal Litigation Section, Real Estate Section, Co-Chair, Construction Law Committee
        • Insights

          TITLE
          News Release

          Schiff Attorneys Named to 2019 New York Metro Super Lawyers, Rising Stars Lists

          Schiff Hardin LLP is pleased to announce that nine lawyers have been recognized on the 2019 New York Metro Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists.

          News Release

          2020 Best Lawyers in America Lists Recognizes 63 Attorneys, Three “Lawyers of the Year”

          Schiff Hardin LLP is pleased to announce that 63 attorneys have been included in the 2020 edition of The Best Lawyers in America, with three attorneys also being named a “Lawyer of the Year” in their respective areas of practice.

          News Release

          Three Practices Recognized in The Legal 500 for Fourth Year in a Row

          Schiff Hardin LLP is pleased to announce that three of the firm’s practice groups have been recognized for the fourth year in a row in The Legal 500 United States 2019 guide, which provides a nationwide analysis of law firms that provide cutting-edge and innovative advice.

          News Release

          Chambers USA 2019 Ranks 23 Attorneys, Four Practice Areas

          Schiff Hardin is pleased to announce that four practice areas and 23 attorneys have been recognized in the 2019 edition of Chambers USA, a leading legal industry ranking.

          News Release

          Thirteen Attorneys Named New York Metro Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

          Schiff Hardin LLP is pleased to announce that 11 attorneys have been recognized on the 2018 New York Metro Super Lawyers list and two have been named Rising Stars.

          News Release

          61 Schiff Attorneys Named to 2019 Best Lawyers in America List and Six Recognized as “Lawyer of the Year”

          Schiff Hardin is pleased to announce that 61 attorneys have been included in the 2019 edition of The Best Lawyers in America, as well as six who were named a “Lawyer of the Year” in their respective areas of practice.

          News Release

          The Legal 500 Recognizes Three Schiff Hardin Practices for the Third Time in a Row

          Schiff Hardin LLP is pleased to announce that three of its practice groups have been recognized for the third consecutive year by The Legal 500 United States 2018 guide, a nationwide analysis of law firms with input from more than 300,000 corporate counsel on which firms provide the most cutting-edge and innovative advice.

          News Release

          Chambers USA 2018 Recognizes Four Practice Areas and 22 Attorneys

          Schiff Hardin is pleased to announce that four practice areas and 22 attorneys have been recognized in the 2018 edition of Chambers USA, a leading legal industry ranking.

          Article

          Other Publications

          • “Termination for Convenience – Pre-Nup in the Construction Context,” New York State Bar Association, N.Y. Real Property Law Journal (Vol. 45, No. 2, Spring/Summer 2017)
          • “Be Cautious When Using Design-Build Agreements for P3s,” Law360 (Sep. 23, 2015)
          • Design/Build Agreements for P3s: Panacea or Problem?,” Real Estate Weekly (Aug. 11, 2015)
          • “Gaining Access to Neighboring Properties for Protection During Construction,” New York State Bar Association, N.Y. Real Property Law Journal (Vol. 42, No. 1, Winter 2014)
          • “Protection of Neighboring Property During Construction,” Schiff Hardin Insight (Fall 2013)
          • “Dispute Avoidance: Mediation and Related Construction Industry Matters,” in Straight from the Top: Leading ADR Lawyers Discuss Best Practices for Alternative Dispute Resolution (2012)
          • Performance Bonds: Default, Defenses and Discharge,” New York Law Journal (Nov. 3, 2011)
          • "AIA Document A201-2007, ConsensusDOCS 200 Forms," Mazur Carp (Aug. 4, 2008)

          Speeches & Presentations

          Brian is a frequent seminar leader and lecturer on construction contract drafting, bid protests and claims. Examples of his presentations include:

          • “Hot Topics in Not-for-Profit Law: Construction 101 for Not-for-Profit Attorneys,” New York State Bar Association, Real Property Law Section, Not-for-Profit Committee (Jan. 27, 2017)
          • “AIA Agreements—Owner’s Perspective,” (co-presenter) New York State Bar Association, Real Property Law Section Committee on Condominiums and Cooperatives Annual Meeting (Jan. 26, 2017)
          • “Construction Issues Leasing Attorneys Need to Address,” New York State Bar Association CLE (Nov. 2013)
          • “Negotiating the Owner/Architect Agreement,” New York State Bar Association CLE (Oct. 2013)
          • “Fundamentals of Construction Contracts: Understanding the Issues,” Lorman Education Services (Jul. 2012)
          • “Everything You Wanted to Know about Mechanics Liens in New York,” New York County Lawyers’ Association (Jan. 2011)
          • “How to Update Performance Bond Agreements in 2010: What Construction Lawyers Need to Know about Default, Defenses and Discharge,” Webinar (Mar. 2010)
        • Citizenship

          Civic and Charitable Memberships

          • Park Avenue Synagogue, Immediate Past President
        image description

        Public-private partnerships: panacea or problematic?

        New York partner Brian Lustbader weighs the advantages and disadvantages of public-private partnerships, an increasingly popular innovation among public agencies looking to address intractable procurement and construction issues. More