Considered among New York’s leading and most prominent land use attorneys, Stuart A. Klein, partner at Adam Leitman Bailey P.C., represents property owners, construction professionals, and civic groups with a focus on the City’s construction, building, and zoning codes. He has extensive experience with civil and criminal litigation and maintains a strong focus on administrative law, including city and state disciplinary proceedings, and helping clients navigate the dense regulatory environments of city, state, and federal agencies.
Mr. Klein has held several positions in New York City government, notably as General Counsel and Inspector General of the Department of Buildings, Inspector General of the Department of City Planning, the City Planning Commission and the Board of Standards and Appeals. He also served as Special Assistant to the Deputy Mayor with oversight over construction and land use, Simultaneously with his other positions, for seven years he served as the Mayor’s Trustee to the NYC Fire and Police Pension Boards where he exercised the Mayor’s vote on all matters relating to pension fund investment and allocation of more than five billion dollars in assets.
In his many leadership roles, Mr. Klein drafted legislation and agency regulations, including decriminalization of the City’s building and fire codes; oversaw investigations of city employees, contractors, architects, engineers, and licensees in the construction trades; headed the Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Panel for the Construction Approval Process; helped establish several municipal offices and agencies; and served as a liaison between city government and the development and construction industries.
Since entering private practice, Mr. Klein has represented hundreds of design professionals and construction licensees – such as crane operators, plumbers, and electricians – in disciplinary proceedings initiated by the New York City Department of Buildings and in challenges to rulings of the Department of Buildings and other agencies in Article 78 proceedings in New York State courts. Mr. Klein has also been a constant presence at the New York City Board of Standards and Appeals, representing property owners seeking variances from strict requirements of the New York City Zoning Resolution, permissions for special permit uses, and relief from the Department of Buildings code interpretations.
Mr. Klein has earned particular recognition for his opposition work, representing neighborhood associations and property owners in efforts to stop or minimize the impact of harmful developments in their communities. Mr. Klein has also negotiated license agreements for access to neighboring properties during construction for builders throughout the city and successfully defended actions under New York Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law §881 in cases where negotiations have broken down.
Mr. Klein began his career as an Assistant District Attorney in Kings County where he served as a senior attorney in the Rackets Bureau, investigating organized crime and political corruption.