Co-Chair of Construction & Design Practice
Tannenbaum Helpern Syracuse & Hirschtritt
Melissa Billig is Co-Chair of Tannenbaum Helpern’s Construction & Design Practice. She represents owners, developers, architects, engineers, construction managers and contractors engaged in the design and construction process on projects in New York City and across the region. Melissa delivers a range of experience as both a results-driven litigator and a strategic counselor, adept at drafting and negotiating complex contracts.
Melissa represents clients in high-profile, multi-party contract disputes and defective design and construction claims. She has extensive experience in the resolution of construction disputes, both prior to and during litigation, as well as alternative dispute resolution (ADR). Her transactional practice focuses on drafting and negotiation of design and construction agreements, as well as license (access) agreements.
Melissa has represented clients in conjunction with large to midsize development projects, including the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center expansion and renovation, the Governors Island Park project and the Culture Shed project at Hudson Yards. She has also represented clients in connection with certain private residential renovations.
Prior to joining Tannenbaum Helpern, Melissa was a partner with Ingram Yuzek Gainen Carroll Bertolotti LLP, and previously an associate at Wilson Elser. She has been consistently selected to Super Lawyers and has been awarded AV Preeminent Rating from Martindale-Hubbell, the highest attorney rating available. Melissa was also selected by New York Magazine as a “Top Women Leaders in the Law”. Melissa is an active Member of the Board of Directors for the Center for Architecture and is involved in various committees including the Development and Marketing committees.
B.A., State University of New York at Buffalo (cum laude)
J.D., Brooklyn Law School
– Prior Affiliations
- Ingram Yuzek Gainen Carroll Bertolotti LLP
- Wilson Elser
- Member, Board of Directors, Center for Architecture (Development and Marketing committees)
– Bar Admissions
- State of New York
- State of New Jersey
- United States District Court for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York
- United States District Court, District of New Jersey
– Award Recognitiion
- Super Lawyers, 2014-2022
- Super Lawyers, Rising Stars, 2012-2013
- Martindale-Hubbell, AV Preeminent Rating
- New York Magazine, Top Women Leaders in the Law, 2019
– Significant Matters
- Drafted and negotiated architectural, owner’s representative, consultant and other construction agreements for a Developmental Agency of the State of New York, including various agreements for the multi-million dollar Jacob K. Javits Convention Center expansion and renovation project. Drafted and negotiated a series of master agreements to be used by large financial institutions and commercial developers in its contracts with design professionals, construction managers and contractors.
- Represented a Developmental Agency of the State of New York in connection with negotiating and drafting agreements for the Governors Island Park Project.
- Represented a high-end global retailer in negotiating and drafting design and construction agreements for new retail stores.
- Represented an architectural firm which successfully argued for dismissal of all claims against it in connection with 7 World Trade Center litigation under the New York State Defense Emergency Act. Represented an engineering firm engaged in facilitating emergency response at the World Trade Center Disaster Site in successful outcome that included dismissal of all claims.
- Represented architectural and engineering clients in connection with design agreements with owners on various projects.
- Represents clients in the entertainment industry in negotiating and drafting construction related contracts.
- Represented an engineering firm which successfully argued for dismissal of all claims, under the New York State Labor Law, which were asserted against it by an injured construction worker, where the engineering firm had no contractual obligations for site safety.
- Represented and represents various design professionals in disputes that involve adjacent property owners claiming substantial property damage due to construction activities.
- Represented an owner of a condominium unit at a high-end residential building designed by a world- renowned design professional.
- Represented a historic conservation, restoration and repair consultant in a lawsuit involving the State of New Jersey, which successfully argued for dismissal of all claims against it under the entire controversy doctrine, among other grounds.
Five Hot Button Issues in Design Agreements
Reducing Potential Liability in Emergency Response
Find the silver lining – It’s out there
New York Construction & Development Conference – Executing Building Conversions & Upgrades: Converting Office Buildings to Multifamily Units. – 02.15.2023
Succession Planning 2021: What Current Leaders and Future Leaders Need to Know – 11.04.2021
The Impact of Technology and Innovation in Healthcare Construction, Commercial Observer 4th Annual Healthcare Construction Forum – 09.04.2020
Navigating PPP Loan Forgiveness Part II – 06.17.2020
How to Structure Your Architecture Firm When One of Your Partners is Un-Licensed – 10.29.2019
The Design Professional’s Guide to Avoiding Problems, Claims and Disputes – 10.20.2016