Design Professionals

We provide strategic and pragmatic legal foundations for our clients in the design industry to ensure excellence and compliance, while minimizing risks and responding to challenges.

A successful building project relies on the talent, experience, and dedication of its design professionals. Those attributes are shared by the attorneys in our Design Professionals practice area who serve the legal needs of architects, engineers, and surveyors throughout the Northeast.

Our premier team of experienced lawyers crosses over several disciplines to ensure that all the legal needs of this unique practice of professionals are met expeditiously and cost-effectively. 

We provide advice and assistance to design firms ranging of all sizes: firms with large, international practices, businesses that have significant regional presence, and small, energetic, growing firms.

We strive to share our knowledge and keep our key constituency informed of changes in the law that affect their businesses by speaking at professional society meetings at state and local levels, and by offering in-house loss-prevention seminars.

Advice and Representation Regarding Loss Prevention and Litigation
Members of the practice advise and represent design professionals regarding potential claims and lawsuits, and work to avoid or minimize losses. In litigation, we advocate for the fairest, least costly, and earliest resolution of the dispute. We defend architects, engineers, and other design professionals in malpractice and contract litigation. Our attorneys have been involved in numerous lawsuits on behalf of architects and engineers, ranging from major construction projects involving the removal of hazardous waste, and the construction of hydroelectric facilities and professional sports stadiums, to office building renovation projects, and the evaluation of bridge and dam structures and facilities. Our attorneys also have extensive experience in various forms of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), including arbitration, mediation, and mini-trials.

Legal Advice and Representation for State Licensing Matters
We advise clients about compliance with state licensing and practice requirements and provide advice and representation at licensing hearings.

Legal Advice on Business Structuring and Operations
In consultation with the firm’s Corporate Practice Area, we advise clients on a wide range of business decisions, including incorporation, partnership, restructuring, and mergers and acquisitions. Our attorneys also advise design professionals regarding real estate transfers, employee and personnel matters, pension planning, and the collection of unpaid fees. In consultation with the firm’s Environmental Law Practice Area, we advise clients regarding environmental matters and governmental requirements in this highly regulated and developing area. At all times, our attorneys practice “loss prevention” by identifying areas that may lead to liability.

Legal Advice and Representation on Contract Matters
Our attorneys advise clients about contracts and actively assist in their negotiation, as well as update and standardize contracts. We keep abreast of legal developments affecting the client/professional relationship and advise design professionals regarding these developments.

Our Clients

  • Architects
  • Engineers
  • Surveyors
  • Other design professionals

Key Contacts


This website presents only general information not intended as legal advice. Although we encourage calls, letters and emails from prospective clients, please keep in mind that merely contacting Harter Secrest & Emery LLP (HSE) does not establish an attorney-client relationship between us. Confidential information should not be sent to HSE until you have been notified in writing by HSE that a formal attorney-client relationship has been established. Information sent to us before then may not be treated as confidential by HSE or the court.

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