Steven M. Charney is Chair of the firm and is regarded as one of the foremost construction lawyers in the United States of America. Steve’s practice includes ongoing representation of contractors that are among the top ten as reported by Engineering News Record. Steve’s background couples extensive academic and hands-on experience in the construction industry with decades of experience in litigating for and providing legal counsel to contractors and developers.
“Practicing law within the construction industry has become an incredibly complex enterprise—one that requires a highly focused understanding of the unique needs of each client. This depth of understanding is the most critical aspect of our business.”
Throughout Steve’s career, he has handled numerous construction related disputes, in court, arbitration or in alternative dispute forums. Steve frequently handles multimillion-dollar delay, lien, default, equitable adjustment, termination and construction and design defect matters. Steve’s experience includes the representation of contractors and owners in connection with some of the most prominent projects built throughout the United States. He represented the developer of the largest private building construction project ever to take place in New York City and represented contractors and design/builders in connection with numerous professional sports facilities (such as the Arthur Ashe tennis stadium and several National Football League and Major League Baseball stadiums). Steve led the Associated General Contractors of America to establish a task force to study mold related issues, and then vice-chaired that task force as it drafted the industry’s first guide to understanding this problem.
Steve serves as an adjunct professor for Columbia University, in both the College of Engineering and College of Law.
Before joining Peckar & Abramson, Steve served as Eastern Division Counsel for Turner Construction Company. Steve was employed by Turner Construction Company for nearly a decade, prior to entering private legal practice, and served in a number of operations related roles, including field superintendent, cost and scheduling engineer, and manager of litigation and claims, before serving as counsel.
Steve is a member of the Associated General Contractors of America, and was awarded the prestigious Gold Coin for his contributions to that organization, including his service on the Risk Management and Contract Document Committees of this leading national organization. Additionally, his contribution to the construction and development industry includes serving as general counsel to the Building Trades Employers Association New York (BTEA) and active engagement with the Association for the Improvement of American Infrastructure (AIAI).
Steve has often published commentary regarding issues applicable to the construction and development industries, including commentary in New York Construction. He is a member of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York and served on the Construction Law Subcommittee of that association. He is also a member of the American Bar Association and the New York State Bar Association.
In view of his accomplishments, Steve has been repeatedly recognized by Chambers USA, as a leading attorney in the field of Construction Law in New York. He has also been repeatedly named to Who’s Who of International Construction Lawyers, selected for inclusion in the publication Best Lawyers, and listed in New York Magazine as a top construction attorney in the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut area. Steve is also a fellow in the American College of Construction Lawyers.
Steve is a graduate of Seton Hall University School of Law, where he attended as an evening student while working full-time in the construction industry. In 1983, Steve received a Master of Science degree in construction management from the School of Civil Engineering at New Jersey Institute of Technology (where he also studied as an evening student while working full-time in the construction industry). Steve also holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Syracuse University, with a concentration in construction technologies. In 2021, he completed FIDIC Certified Course Module 2: Claims and Disputes Resolution.
For a more detailed version of Steve’s bio, please click here.
State of New York
State of New Jersey
New York City Bar Association
New York State Bar Association
American Bar Association
Building Trade Employers’ Association
Associated General Contractors of America
Fellow, American College of Construction Lawyers
Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), Contract Documents Committee and Risk Management Committee
Syracuse University, B.S.
New Jersey Institute of Technology School of Civil Engineering, M.S.
Seton Hall University School of Law, J.D.
Chambers USA, Construction Law, National, Band 1, 2020 - 2021
Chambers USA, Construction Law, New York, Band 1, 2020 - 2021
ALM & Martindale-Hubbell "New York Top-Rated Lawyers", 2019 - 2020
The Legal 500: United States
The Legal 500: United States, recognized as “Recommended Lawyer”, 2021
New Jersey Super Lawyers, 2007 - 2021
New York Metro Super Lawyers, 2006 - 2021
Best Lawyers, 2006 - 2022
Best Lawyers, "Lawyer of the Year" in Construction Law - New York City, 2013
Who’s Who Legal: Business Lawyers
Who’s Who Legal: Construction
“How 2020 Transformed the Conversation Around Hate and Racism in Construction,” Construction SuperConference, March 2021 (Moderator)
“An International Discussion on Contractors’ Assumption of Design Liability,” Leading Construction Lawyers Alliance (LCL Alliance) Webinar, February 2021 (Speaker)
“COVID-19 Discussion: The Present and Future for the Construction Community,” P&A and South Florida AGC Webinar, July 2020 (Speaker)
“The Current and Future State of Construction and Infrastructure: Opportunities and Challenges in the Evolving Crisis,” P&A, Turner Construction Company, Grassi Advisors & Accountants, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and Star America Infrastructure Partners Joint Webinar, July 2020 (Speaker)
"MTA Implements Revised Contractors Debarment Regulations," P&A Client Alert, June 2020
“How to Manage the Impact of COVID-19 on the Construction Industry,” P&A and Anchin Webinar, March 2020 (Speaker)
“Coronavirus – What is the Construction Industry’s Response?,” P&A Call-In Program, March 2020 (Speaker)
"Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Guidance For Contractors," P&A Client Alert, March 2020
"Consequential Damage Waivers and Limitations of Liability: When Should I Include Them in My Contract and How Do I Overcome Them When They Gouge Me? Proving Bad Faith and Fraud", Construction SuperConference, Rancho Palos Verdes, California, December 2019 (Presenter)
"Technology and the Future of Project Delivery - New and Emerging Technologies that will Shape the Construction Industry of the Future", Construction SuperConference, Rancho Palos Verdes, California, December 2019 (Keynote Speaker)