Adam J. Paterno is a New York-based construction law attorney whose practice is national in scope. Mr. Paterno frequently represents owners, developers, contractors, subcontractors, construction managers and design professionals across the United States in contract drafting and negotiations. From the Santiago Calatrava-designed St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church at the World Trade Center campus to the redevelopment of Penn Station in New York City, Mr. Paterno has gained significant experience representing an array of large public and private institutions on some of the most notable projects in the construction industry. He has spoken on various topics in construction law and given continuing education seminars to architects and engineers.

Mr. Paterno routinely drafts architecture and engineering, construction management, system commissioning, equipment purchase, license and access agreements and contracts addressing the general operation and functioning of large facilities. He also has experience with streetscape, multifamily and oil recovery projects. Recently, he assisted a large New York-based medical center in the drafting and negotiation of a wide range of critical agreements that were needed in the wake of a $1 billion loss the institution suffered after Superstorm Sandy and is involved in the center's expansion and redevelopment efforts throughout the U.S. Currently, he is actively involved in drafting and negotiating agreements required for the redevelopment of the home of the annual New Year's Eve ball drop in Times Square, a 2 million-square-foot, mixed-use megaproject in West Palm Beach, Florida and the expansion and redevelopment of a private school in New York City. He also is assisting a large healthcare provider with its ongoing redevelopment and expansion efforts throughout the New York metropolitan area, an investor in connection with one of northern Virginia’s largest multifamily developments and one of New York City’s most well-known houses of worship with its ongoing facility upgrades and redevelopment efforts.

Prior to and during law school, Mr. Paterno worked in radio, television and publishing, holding positions at several major media corporations. During such time, he had the opportunity to work with many notable individuals, including White House Deputy Chief of Staff Michael Deaver, White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer, U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, Author Elmore Leonard, Journalist Cokie Roberts and University of Chicago Economist Steven D. Levitt.

While in law school, Mr. Paterno interned for the Honorable Julianne S. Eisman of the Nassau County Family Court and in the legal division of Bloomberg L.P. Mr. Paterno was a member of the Hofstra Moot Court Association, a finalist in the Nassau Academy of Law Moot Court Competition, awarded Best Direct Examination in the 2006 American Trial Lawyers Association Intra-School Trial Competition and achieved the highest grade in his Litigation and Drafting Skills and Insurance courses, respectively.

Mr. Paterno has been recognized as a Rising Star in New York by Super Lawyers magazine and a Next Generation Partner by the Legal 500 USA. In addition, he was previously recognized nationally as one of only four construction law attorneys to be honored as a Law360 Rising Star and named to its list of top attorneys "whose legal accomplishments transcend their age."

Mr. Paterno completed the National Institute for Trial Advocacy Trial Skills program and served as an evaluator for the American Bar Association's (ABA) Student Trial Advocacy program at Fordham Law School. He is authorized by the New York State Court System to serve as a volunteer mediator, and maintains New York State property and casualty insurance and real estate broker licenses. Mr. Paterno recently served as co-chair of Holland & Knight's first small and emerging business networking event for its New York office, currently serves on the hiring committee and chairs the summer associate program for the New York office.

Representative Experience

  • Obtained the reversal of a $10 million judgment and the dismissal of a contractor's complaint against a construction company on the ground that the contractor's delay claims were barred by the contract's no-damages-for-delay clause
  • Represented a remediation contractor in connection with brownfield site redevelopment in Yonkers, N.Y., and successfully obtained dismissal of nine out of 10 causes of action alleged against the contractor
  • Represented a Manhattan co-op in connection with a license pursuant to N.Y. RPAPL §881 to enter adjoining property in order to undertake a multimillion-dollar capital project; served as lead counsel over the course of a two-day evidentiary hearing and obtained a successful outcome
  • Obtained the successful dismissal of 11 causes of action against a general contractor in connection with the development of a Manhattan condominium

  • Assisted the Embassy of Ireland with the design and construction of its new Washington, D.C., facility
  • Drafted and negotiated construction, construction management, commissioning, architecture/engineering, access and maintenance/service contracts in connection with a New York-based medical center's campus transformation and expansion projects throughout New York, Nevada and Florida
  • Provided counsel to a major not-for-profit corporation in drafting and editing its standard form of contract for use on the construction of various healthcare facilities throughout New York City
  • Drafted and negotiated critical engineering, architecture, construction management and consulting agreements on behalf of a religious institution for construction of a Santiago Calatrava-designed church next to the World Trade Center site
  • Represented a Manhattan-based museum in connection with the drafting and negotiation of a construction management agreement for construction of a new wing
  • Drafted and negotiated construction management, construction and owner-architect agreements on behalf of a Manhattan-based private school in connection with the school's renovation and expansion project
  • Develop master design and construction agreements for a multinational professional services company for use across all of its U.S. offices
  • Draft and negotiate design and construction contracts required for a software company's global headquarters in Tampa, Florida
  • Represented a Native American tribe in connection with architecture and construction management agreements needed for a casino and resort in Carter Lake, Iowa
  • Draft and negotiate contract documents required for a $400 million medical research tower in East Baltimore, Maryland

  • Assisted in the resettlement of an endangered Iraqi family to the United States because of their U.S. affiliation during the 2003 Iraq War
  • Represented a national civil rights organization in connection with polling site compliance with the federal Voting Rights Act
  • Provided counsel to an unaccompanied immigrant child facing deportation from the United States as part of the Kids in Need of Defense program
  • Represented a nonprofit community center in lease negotiations
  • Represent a not-for-profit agency providing free summer vacations in the country to New York City children from low-income communities in connection with various construction and facility-related matters


  • University of Michigan, B.A., Political Science and Communications, high honors
  • Hofstra University School of Law, J.D.
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • District of Columbia
  • New York
Court Admissions
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
  • U.S. Court of International Trade
  • All State Courts in New York
  • American Bar Association, Forum on the Construction Industry
  • New York Building Congress, Healthcare and Higher Education Committees
  • New York City Bar Association 
  • Phi Alpha Delta
  • University of Michigan Alumni Association
Honors & Awards
  • Chambers USA – America's Leading Business Lawyers guide, Construction, 2024
  • The Legal 500 USA, Next Generation Lawyer, Construction, 2020-2022; Next Generation Lawyer, Real Estate – Construction (Including Construction Litigation), 2023, 2024
  • Rising Star, New York Super Lawyers magazine, 2014-2022
  • Construction Lawyers Society of America, Fellow
  • Law360 Rising Stars, Construction, 2021
  • Most Trusted in Construction Transactions, Corporate America Legal Elite, 2015
  • The Hofstra Law Conscience, Associate Editor
  • American Trial Lawyers Association Intra-School Trial Competition, Best Direct Examination, 2006
  • National Society of Collegiate Scholars
  • Nassau Academy of Law Moot Court Competition, Finalist, 2007
  • Hofstra Moot Court Association