Cozen O’Connor Expands its Construction Law Practice in Washington D.C., Adding Stephen M. Seeger and Jesse S. Keene

Monday, September 23, 2019

WASHINGTON D.C. – September 23, 2019 – Cozen O’Connor today announced it has taken another major step in the expansion of its Construction Law Group by adding two of the country’s premier construction industry litigators — Stephen M. Seeger and Jesse S. Keene — to its Washington D.C. office. Seeger and Keene have played leading roles in developing some of the largest building projects in Washington, D.C., one of the hottest and fastest-growing commercial and multifamily construction markets in the United States. Both come to the firm from Peckar and Abramson P.C., with Seeger joining Cozen O’Connor as a shareholder and Keene as a member.

“The construction business is booming in Washington, D.C. — the city and its surrounding region are second only to New York City in terms of market size,” says Michael J. Heller, Cozen O’Connor’s executive chairman and chief executive officer. “Steve and Jesse are highly regarded throughout the building industry and I’m excited to have them join us. Each brings an unrivaled, in-depth understanding of the economics, culture, language, and technology that underlie major building projects in the Washington, D.C., region.”

“Ours is one of the leading construction practices in the country and adding Stephen and Jesse to the Washington, D.C., office helps us expand further into what is a very lucrative construction market,” adds Bruce Ficken, chair of Cozen O’Connor’s Construction Law Group. “As building industry legal advisers, Steve and Jesse have spent most of their careers in this market. As such, their legal counsel is grounded in direct, local experience — experience that allows them to work closely with clients, structuring practical agreements and recommending creative solutions that anticipate and resolve potential legal issues at the outset. I’m thrilled to welcome them to the firm.”

Seeger has successfully tried dozens of complex construction industry cases in the state and federal courts in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia; and represented clients before U.S. and International arbitral panels, administrative boards, and boards of contract appeals. With that perspective, he counsels clients on litigation avoidance and opportunity optimization.

He brings a strong background in standard form commercial construction contracts and the government mandatory terms and conditions, advising clients on the nuances and pitfalls often found in plans, specifications, regulations, and jobsite realities. His cases include power plants, EPC work, lock and dam construction, subway line and station construction, and the design and building of hospital and medical research facilities, condominiums, and office buildings.

Rated by his peers as AV Preeminent, the highest ranking for ethics and legal ability, Seeger has also been named to a number of other professional listings, including Top 100 Washington, D.C., Super Lawyers; Best Lawyer in America; and the Washington, D.C., “Legal Elite” by Smart CEO Magazine. Chambers & Partners also identified Seeger as a leader in the District of Columbia Construction Bar.

“I chose Cozen O’Connor because of its large and growing construction practice with a terrific reputation and the firm’s national footprint,” Seeger says.  “I can continue to build out my practice and, when necessary, draw from a very deep pool of talented and experienced attorneys in related practice areas across the country.”

Seeger earned his J.D. at George Washington University Law School and his B.A. at Lehigh University.

Identified by Super Lawyers as a “Rising Star” for the past six years, Keene also brings substantial experience as a litigator, focusing on construction and government contracts. His background includes serving as lead counsel in state and federal courts and arbitration and mediation proceedings — advising/representing an array of major construction industry players, including architects, owners, general and subcontractors, suppliers, and sureties.

He regularly represents clients in contract negotiations, breach of contract claims, requests for equitable adjustment, bid protests, mechanics liens, payment and performance bond claims, and other commercial disputes. As an experienced litigator, he too helps clients avoid litigation by identifying and resolving potential legal issues at the outset of the project’s development.

Keene is a member of the ABA’s Construction Industry and Litigation section; the Society of Construction Law — North America; and the Washington Building Congress’s Regional Development Committee; and serves on the Board of Governors for the Virginia State Bar’s Construction Law and Public Contract Law section.

Keene earned his Master of Laws degree (LL.M) at George Washington University Law School; his J.D. from Gonzaga University School of Law; and his B.A. from Washington State University.

About Cozen O’Connor’s Construction Law Group

With more than 40 attorneys practicing in 10 offices throughout the United States, Cozen O’Connor’s Construction Group has the depth and geographical reach to handle its clients’ most complex problems in the United States and abroad. The Construction Group includes attorneys ranked nationally by leading peer-reviewed publications, including Chambers USA, U.S. News/Best Lawyers, and The Legal 500.

When construction matters intersect with other disciplines, the Construction Group draws on the resources of a full-service, international law firm. The firm’s construction clients benefit from experienced and integrated corporate, environmental, labor and white-collar practices, among others. In addition, the firm’s nationally recognized insurance team regularly advises construction industry leaders on alternative insurance coverage programs, liability and risk review, coverage issues, and claims

About Cozen O’Connor

Established in 1970, Cozen O’Connor has more than 750 attorneys who help clients manage risk and make better business decisions. The firm counsels clients on their most sophisticated legal matters in all areas of the law, including litigation, corporate, and regulatory law. Representing a broad array of leading global corporations and middle market companies, Cozen O’Connor services its clients’ needs through 31 offices across two continents.

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