Since its inception in 1977, Hurwitz Fine P.C. has devoted a significant part of its practice to business and corporate matters, advising a diverse business clientele on a wide variety of legal issues. Although our practice is broad-based, our business representations are focused principally on private and closely held businesses, many of which do not have an internal legal department and are in need of “outside general counsel” legal services. Our goal with each client representation is to provide consistently effective legal advice with meticulous attention to detail and with the responsiveness that one would expect of in-house counsel. We work to develop strong relationships with our clients and often wear multiple hats as attorney, business advisor, risk manager and counselor. Practical advice and solutions are a cornerstone of our business practice. Our approach is proven—we are proud that many of our business clients have been clients of the firm for years, some since the earliest days of the firm.
Our services are comprehensive and include the following:
- Strategic business advice
- Choice of entity, entity formation and ownership structuring
- Corporate governance, including the preparation and negotiation of corporate governance documents, including shareholder agreements and LLC operating agreements
- Corporate finance matters
- Commercial agreements (preparation, review and negotiation)
- Licensing matters
- Regulatory matters (federal, state and local)
- Nondisclosure, noncompetition and non-solicitation agreements
- Executive compensation and employment matters
- Risk management and pre-litigation planning
- Business and shareholder disputes
- Business succession and transition planning
Our business attorneys also partner with our colleagues in the firm’s other practice groups to service our business clients in specialized areas of expertise when appropriate, including commercial real estate, banking, estate planning and commercial litigation.
Commercial Real Estate and Development
Hurwitz Fine P.C. provides comprehensive commercial real estate, development and finance services to owners, developers, builders, contractors, lenders, brokers and other real estate development stakeholders. Our attorneys routinely handle multiple facets of sophisticated real estate development transactions and proactively assist clients through a transaction’s entire life cycle, including pre-development planning, site selection and acquisition, municipal zoning and permit approvals, SEQRA compliance, project financing and funding mechanisms, design and construction contracting, project sales and leasing, and project governance and management.
Our attorneys have extensive experience with development projects in which governmental incentives are vital to bridging the “financing gap,” and we assist our clients with navigating complex governmental programs to maximize available incentives for their projects. Our knowledge of, and familiarity with, industrial development agency incentives, including PILOT increment financing (PIF) arrangements, and the requirements of many federal and state grant, loan and tax abatement programs helps our clients achieve positive outcomes for their projects.
We assist clients with transactions that utilize federal and state low-income housing tax credits, federal and state historic tax credits, and tax-exempt bond financing. This includes those receiving grants, subsidies and/or loans from the New York State Housing Finance Agency, Empire State Development, Dormitory Authority of the State of New York, Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative, New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, New York State Homeless Housing and Assistance Corporation, New York State Office of Mental Health, Local Initiatives Support Corporation and NYSERDA. We have also engaged in multiple “year 15” equity investor buy-out transactions at the end of low-income housing tax credit compliance period cycles.
Our real estate practice offers experienced and responsive representation for purchasers, sellers, developers and lenders from start to finish in commercial and residential real estate transactions. Our representation involves negotiation, document drafting, due diligence, including analysis of environmental and engineering reports, and assistance with potential grants, subsidies and tax abatement programs, among other services. We also regularly represent commercial lessors and lessees of retail, office, industrial and multi-family residential space. Our team includes attorneys who serve as examining counsel for Chicago Title Insurance Company and handle all aspects of title examination and title insurance policy issuance, which include generation of certificates of title, preparation of conveyance documents and all ancillary tasks required to close transactions.
Commercial Lending & Finance
Our firm regularly represents lenders and borrowers in connection with various commercial finance transactions, including construction and permanent real estate mortgage loans, related bond transactions, and all types of business credit transactions, such as lines of credit, term loans, revolving credit, letters of credit and multi-bank credit facilities. For decades, we have worked successfully with regional commercial lenders, including M&T Bank and KeyBank, and served as local counsel to non-bank and other national lenders financing major development projects throughout Western New York. Our firm also serves as loan counsel to various economic development agencies in multiple counties throughout the region.
Economic Development & Public Incentives
For more than 30 years, Hurwitz Fine P.C. has represented industrial development agencies (IDAs), local development corporations (LDCs) and other state and local public authorities whose mission is to improve New York State’s economy through the provision of various economic development incentives and programs. Over that time, we have closed hundreds of IDA tax incentive transactions, and we have assisted economic development clients with numerous economic development projects in Western New York. Our attorneys are actively involved in multiple redevelopment projects in the Northland Corridor in the City of Buffalo, including the Northland Workforce Training Center. Most recently, we are assisting our economic development clients with renewable energy projects, including custom PILOT agreements, and host community agreements.
We regularly assist IDAs with tax incentive deal structures, project eligibility issues, and the negotiation, documentation and closing of IDA tax incentive projects. Our attorneys have extensive experience navigating the IDA regulatory landscape, including the requirements of the Industrial Development Agency Act, Public Authorities Law, General Municipal Law, Freedom of Information Law, Open Meetings Law, SEQRA, and other laws and regulations governing or impacting IDA operations.
A significant component of our economic development practice is the representation of LDCs—special not-for-profit corporations empowered to undertake a broad range of economic development activities. We are general counsel to Buffalo Urban Development Corporation (BUDC), the principal economic development corporation for the City of Buffalo. As general counsel, our firm is actively engaged in all legal matters affecting BUDC, from governance and regulatory compliance matters to providing multi-faceted legal services in connection with significant economic development projects. Our work includes property acquisitions, land dispositions, federal and state grant transactions, brownfield redevelopment, commercial financing, construction agreements, leases and development agreements.
Several of our LDC clients operate loan and grant programs, many of which were capitalized with federal or state grant funding, such as the federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. We are fully familiar with the applicable regulations of the U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development and Administration, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and our attorneys have closed numerous loan and grant transactions on behalf of our economic development clients. We also participate in lending transactions utilizing other governmental incentives, such as the Small Business Administration and the Export-Import Bank of the United States.
In addition to our work on behalf of IDAs and LDCs, we are frequently called upon to represent private companies seeking economic development incentives for projects and have assisted municipal entities with evaluating custom PILOT arrangements impacting their municipalities.
Hurwitz Fine P.C. is listed in the prestigious The Bond Buyer’s Municipal Marketplace (commonly known as the “Red Book”) and is a member of the New York State Economic Development Council. Our attorney are also involved in various business and economic development organizations, including Invest Buffalo Niagara and the Amherst and Cheektowaga Chambers of Commerce.
Hurwitz Fine P.C. has long served as legal advisors to licensed professionals and their professional entities in all aspects of their business operations. Our health care practice was established several decades ago by firm co-founder, Robert P. Fine, and we have served as legal counsel in the health sciences industry on general business matters continuously since, representing faculty practice plans, university and other academic institutions, group practices, imaging facilities, diagnostic & treatment centers, ambulatory surgery centers and 503B compounding outsourcing facilities, among others. We regularly counsel clients on a wide range of issues pertaining to business growth, including:
- Entity formation and structuring
- Business consolidations
- Purchases and sales
- Licensing arrangements
- Certificates of need (CONs)
- Real estate transactions and financings
- Collaborations or joint ventures
- Preparation and negotiation of business documents
We also assist in governance matters and navigating disputes, privately through mediation or arbitration, or in court.
Recognition as a “general practitioner” in the health care law arena means that Hurwitz Fine attorneys are versed in many areas of law that are important to the effective and efficient administration of a client’s health care business. We communicate regularly with our clients, keeping them informed of all material developments, and use plain language to convey complex legal concepts. Whether offering advice on personnel decisions or office management, diversity and inclusion, patient relations, compliance, confidentiality, interactions on reimbursement, licensing & accreditation, or regulatory defense, our attorneys work collaboratively with our clients in a cost-effective and efficient manner to accomplish their goals.
Our attorneys are active in several health care law organizations, including the American Health Lawyers Association.
Hurwitz Fine P.C. has extensive experience advising employers on personnel issues, defending employers in federal and state employment litigation, arbitrating claims and disciplinary actions under collective bargaining agreements, and drafting and negotiating employment agreements and employment terminations. Given the current emphasis in society on employee claims against employers, we believe businesses must re-evaluate their personnel procedures, employee handbooks and the method and implementation of progressive discipline contained in such policies periodically to reduce their potential exposure.
Employers must be also sensitive to the risks of potential liability exposure when making decisions regarding an employee's position within the organization, and we have provided risk management counsel to employers in this regard. Hurwitz Fine P.C. attorneys have provided training in employment and labor law to insurance companies, corporations, partnerships and other business organizations and have written extensively on this topic.
We also assist our clients in the defense of various labor and employment matters including:
- Representing employers before the New York State Division of Human Rights, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, as well as state and federal courts.
- Representing employers before the New York State Unemployment Insurance Division and Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board, Workers' Compensation Board, and some representation at Public Employment Relations Board.
- Representing employers before the New York State and Federal Department of Labor (labor audits, wage and hour audits, employment of minors and all other enforcement regulations).
Hurwitz Fine P.C. attorneys are also knowledgeable in all areas of discrimination litigation including:
- Race and ethnic origin;
- Age discrimination under state law and Age Discrimination in Employment Act;
- Disability claims under state law and the Americans With Disabilities Act;
- Title VII claims including gender discrimination and sexual harassment claims;
- Sexual orientation issues, HIV and AIDS status;
- Family Medical & Leave Act;
- Retaliation claims;
- Religious discrimination claims.
Hurwitz Fine P.C. attorneys regularly advise employers in issues of New York State Disability Benefits Law, federal COBRA continuation rights and HIPPA, termination/substitution of group health/accident insurance, conversion of life insurance, ERISA benefits and tax issues, breach of employment contracts and covenant not to compete litigation.
Clients are also advised in the handling of exit interviews and other risk management issues, including insurance coverage under traditional policies and Employment Practices Liability Insurance Policies ("EPLI"). We are panel counsel to certain insurance companies and represent their insureds under EPLI policies.
Hurwitz Fine P.C. attorneys are regularly engaged in the defense of employers in the full range of litigated matters. We also regularly represent employers in front of state and federal regulatory agencies.
Additionally, several of our attorneys have served as court appointed arbitrators or mediators in resolving disputes.
We represent privately owned companies and their principals in asset and equity purchase and sale transactions, exchanges, mergers, consolidations, the acquisition and sale of controlling and minority interests and similar strategic transactions. Our attorneys routinely work with our clients’ internal transaction team and their external professional consultants, including accountants and brokers, to evaluate, structure and negotiate M&A transactions. We view our role in these transactions as business counselors and advisors, not just as deal-closers. We help clients assess and manage deal risks and develop proactive and creative solutions to benefit our clients. Our M&A transaction experience includes the structuring, negotiating and closing of these transactions across many business sectors, including the manufacturing, health care and automotive industries.
Hurwitz Fine P.C. has extensive experience representing not-for-profit organizations and we serve on a continuous basis as outside general counsel for several tax-exempt organizations. In addition, many of our attorneys volunteer as Board members of charitable organizations, which enhances our practical understanding of the challenges faced by our not-for-profit clients.
We regularly assist not-for-profit organizations obtain and maintain tax-exempt status under applicable provisions of the Internal Revenue Code. We provide comprehensive advice and assistance to not-for-profit organizations on a broad range of matters including entity formation and structuring, board and governance issues, regulatory compliance, corporate policies, programs and procedures, compliance with legal requirements including the NYS Nonprofit Revitalization Act, Charities Bureau filings, and strategic transactions, including mergers, dissolutions and restructurings. We also frequently advise our not-for-profit clients on employment, real estate and other corporate matters as relevant to their business.