Jennifer S. Recine, Co-Chair of the firm's Real Estate Litigation practice, is a first-chair trial lawyer with extensive experience handling complex real estate disputes, civil RICO and other securities actions, professional malpractice, tax and other high-stake matters. She regularly represents private corporations and partnerships, publicly traded companies, political bodies, state and municipal governments and high net worth individuals.
Jennifer is recognized as a leading real estate litigator by Chambers USA, with clients noting that Jennifer is “a force to be reckoned with” and “a very commercial lawyer." In the real estate sector, Jennifer advises clients on commercial real estate, land use and environmental disputes involving the investment, development, construction and sale of billions of dollars in real estate assets and infrastructure projects.
Jennifer’s securities experience includes representing activist investors, class action defense and defending against short-selling attacks on publicly traded companies on civil RICO and other grounds.
In addition, Jennifer has successfully litigated and arbitrated complex commercial matters and sensitive tax disputes on behalf of numerous clients.
Jennifer is recognized as one of the nation’s top litigators by publications including Crain’s New York (Notable Leaders in Real Estate, Notable Women in Law), Law360 (Real Estate MVP), Lawdragon (500 Leading Lawyers in America), Chambers USA, The Legal 500, Benchmark Litigation (Top 250 Women in Litigation; Litigation Star), National Law Journal (Litigation Trailblazer; Real Estate Trailblazer), Diversity Journal (Woman to Watch), Bisnow (Female Power Players) and Best Lawyers.
Real Estate Disputes, Land Use and Environmental Actions.
- BD Hotels and Chelsea Hotel Owner LLC, owners of the iconic Hotel Chelsea, in successfully ending two years of litigation and 15 days of trial with New York City’s Department of Housing Preservation Development prompted by a vocal minority of hostile tenants objecting to the redevelopment of the historic hotel. After Jennifer uncovered crucial evidence of an HPD exemption in the Department of Building’s files during an on-going trial against HPD -- that HPD had failed to turn over in discovery -- that undercut HPD’s jurisdiction over the building, and after seeking emergency relief from the trial court demanding the immediate dismissal of HPD’s case, HPD conceded by voluntarily dismissing its lawsuit and the Department of Buildings instantly lifted a stop work order that had stalled construction for more than two years.
- Real estate developer Bruce Eichner’s Continuum Company in zoning issues surrounding the company’s high profile residential development of two 39-story apartment towers at a former spice factory near the Brooklyn Botanic Garden in New York City and in defense of a class action claim concerning NYC timeshare the Manhattan Club.
- Beverly Hills Unified School District in its ongoing NEPA action against the Federal Transit Administration challenging the proposed route for the extension of the purple line subway in Los Angeles, set to run under Beverly Hills High School, and the placement of construction staging sites next to the high school’s portable classrooms. The Judge, agreeing with Jennifer’s arguments, directed the agency to examine alternatives.
- New Yorkers for Tourism in filing a hybrid action pursuant to Articles 78 and 30 in New York State Supreme Court to challenge the City of New York and New York City Planning Commission’s zoning text amendment to require special permits for all new hotels citywide.
- Maverick Real Estate Partners in 18 jointly administered bankruptcy proceedings to recover default interest on a portfolio of loans secured by Brooklyn multifamily properties. Jennifer successfully opposed confirmation of the borrowers’ Chapter 11 plan for failing to provide the requisite default interest rate. Jennifer is now pursuing an appeal concerning whether default interest rates can apply to the non-monetary default of misrepresenting the ownership structure of the debtors at origination, a matter of first impression.
- A leading real estate developer in resolving pandemic-related real estate disputes concerning its marquee luxury building in New York City.
- Won dismissal of breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty claims against Workspace, a mixed-use cooperative corporation that owns two buildings in New York City’s SoHo brought by a minority shareholder, 106 Spring Street Owner, a portfolio company managed by 60 Guilders and funded by both Carlyle Realty Partners and 60 Guilders. Jennifer also successfully opposed 106 Spring Street Owner’s motion for leave to amend its complaint.
- Defended clients’ termination of an agreement to sell a 5-acre development parcel in Long Branch, New Jersey, permitting them to keep the parcel for a small fraction of the damages demanded by the contract buyers. A new beachside community, Ocean Gate, is under development at the site in the sought after Long Branch shore area.
- Obtained reversal of a taking of a parking lot from developer Steel Equities to satisfy the zoning requirements for Calpine’s newly constructed Long Island Power Plant on the grounds that it violated the Fifth Amendment by conferring a private benefit on Calpine.
- Defended a foreclosure action on behalf of distressed investors in Miami Savoy Hotel permitting them to purchase the debt for a substantial discount.
- Secured sole ownership for real estate investor Eric Hadar and the Eric Hadar Family Trust of what his adversaries called “invaluable” Manhattan real estate development sites and the “crown jewels” of the disputed partnership’s assets.
- Negotiated the successful resolution of disputes arising from construction defects and delays on residential, commercial, and public/private development projects.
Complex Business and Tax Disputes. Jennifer has successfully litigated and arbitrated complex commercial matters and sensitive tax disputes on behalf of numerous clients, including
- New York investment banker Denis Bovin.
- New York architect Robert Siegel of Gwathmey, Siegel & Associates Architects.
- Developer Eric Hadar and his development company Allied Partners.
- JFK Holdings Company in contract disputes with the City of New York, the Department of Homeless Services and The Salvation Army.
Securities, Corporate Governance, and Civil RICO. Jennifer’s securities experience includes representing activist investors, class action defense, and defending against short-selling attacks on publicly traded companies on Civil Rico and other grounds. In these contexts, Jennifer has represented Fairfax Financial Holdings, Lehman Brothers Holdings, AmTrust Financial Services, Soroban Capital Partners and Energy Transfer.
Trust & Estate and Fiduciary Duty Litigation. Jennifer has handled high-profile and hotly disputed Trust and Estate controversies for high net worth individuals and families, as well as trustees, including
- Secured the reinstatement of trustees removed for purported misconduct.
- Reinstatement of directors improperly ousted from the board of 1035 Fifth Avenue Corp.
- Successful Third Circuit appeal dismissing breach of fiduciary duty verdicts against certain officers and directors of the historic Lemington Home in Pittsburgh, PA.
- Procured the dismissal of a lawsuit by Alexis I. duPont-de Bie Sr., a seventh-generation heir to the duPont family fortune, against his trustee, Tredegar Trust Company.
Professional Malpractice. Jennifer has prosecuted and defended malpractice claims against attorneys, accountants and other professionals including the recent successful defense of a high-profile suit by prominent female performer Rihanna against her former representatives.
Criminal and Regulatory Enforcement. Jennifer has successfully represented individuals and organizations in white collar criminal and regulatory inquiries by the U.S. Justice Department, the Department of Labor, securities regulators, and state prosecutors and regulators.
- New York State Assembly in the Moreland Commission investigation.
#MeToo Complaints. Jennifer has handled sensitive anti-harassment issues, including relating to “#MeToo” complaints and opposing #MeToo lawyers who have frequently been in the press, on behalf of both companies and individuals.
Pro Bono. Jennifer secured a reversal from the 11th Circuit of a federal district court’s dismissal of contract claims by 11 federal guest workers against their employer, Fancy Farms, for repayment of recruitment fees illegally charged to the workers in their home country, Honduras, by the farm’s recruiter. In a matter of first impression, the 11th Circuit overturned the district court’s ruling, concluding that the District Court improperly failed to consider the purpose and policy behind regulations prohibiting recruitment fees in interpreting provisions mandated by the Department of Labor in the contracts between the guest workers and the farm.