Harris Beach bulks up real estate practice

Newly minted Harris Beachers David Altman, Keith Brown and Michael DiLeo.

Harris Beach plans to add five attorneys to its new Suffolk County office, created this month via a merger with Melville firm Brown & Altman.

The merger, completed last week, “positions us well to be at the forefront of new development in Suffolk County,” noted Thomas Garry, managing partner of Harris Beach’s Uniondale office, and the firm plans to press the advantage by beefing up staff by month’s end.

The merger bolsters Harris Beach’s expertise in a broad range of services associated with real estate development, including leasing, zoning and environmental law, with state and federal litigation experience.

“This is a group of talented attorneys who will complement our commercial real estate practice and give us the opportunity to continue to expand in this geographic area,” Harris Beach CEO and Partner James Spitz said in a statement announcing the merger.

Brown & Altman founding partners Keith Brown and David Altman have joined Harris Beach, as have Brown & Harris partner Michael DiLeo and associates John Anzalone, Frank Marallo and Andrew Stoecker. Four administrative staffers are also along for the ride, and the team will continue operating out of its Broadhollow Road office, rebranded as Harris Beach.

Brown, a zoning and land-use expert who earned his JD from Touro College’s Fuschberg Law Center in Central Islip, called the merger an opportunity for “a larger platform upon which to expand our services … throughout the tristate area.”

“The economy is growing at a rapid rate and there’s a lot of opportunity in Suffolk County for us to expand our breadth and capacity to work on larger development projects,” Brown said Monday.

Including its new acquisitions, Harris Beach now boasts over 200 attorneys in its New York, New Jersey and Connecticut offices.

In addition to zoning, Brown’s other practice specialties include real estate development, liability avoidance and litigation and compliance with federal and state environmental laws. Altman, with whom Brown launched Brown & Altman in 2008,

earned his JD at the Hofstra University School of Law and has built a career in real estate law, commercial litigation and environmental law, including long experience with municipal law, transactional real estate and corporate transactions.

Partner DiLeo, a commercial financing expert, is also a Long Island legal product, having earned his JD at Hofstra Law.

While the founding partners have done a good job growing their eight-year-old practice and have turned away previous merger opportunities, hitching Brown & Altman’s wagon to Harris Beach now “was just a really good fit for us,” Altman told Innovate LI.

“Opportunity like this doesn’t come along very often,” he said. “Sometimes, it’s just a matter of circumstance.”