Lynn R. Axelroth

Tel 215.864.8707
Fax 215.864.8999

Lynn R. Axelroth represents corporate, institutional, individual, and public owners; developers; public/private joint venturers; lenders and other funders of debt and equity; prime and trade contractors; and design professionals in all aspects of complex real estate development; construction, project, and design contracts; financing and working out distressed properties; and risk management and avoidance and alternative dispute resolution. Lynn was the first Managing Partner of the firm's Philadelphia office and is the former Practice Leader of the firm's Construction Group.

Among other representations, Lynn has represented a world-class orchestra in connection with the design and construction of its new concert hall; a Major League Baseball team in the development of a new ballpark and a spring training and Minor League facility; the nonprofit developer of the then-largest regional visitors center in the United States; a transportation authority in the acquisition and turnkey development of its headquarters facility; health care institutions in the development of medical office building condominiums, hospitals, and surgicenters; universities in the development of research, classroom, dining, and dormitory facilities; developers of high-rise office towers, hotels, and apartments; private entities in public/private developments of mixed-use commercial, retail, and entertainment projects; lenders in the workout of multilender loan transactions; and the owner of a daily newspaper starting its first publication in North America.

Representative Matters

  • Represented the Allston Development Group of Harvard University in all aspects of construction and design contracting for the Allston Initiative, a multiyear, multibillion-dollar expansion of Harvard's campus
  • Represented an urban university in the acquisition and redevelopment of a multimillion-square-foot post office facility for numerous academic uses
  • Represented a university and health care system in the development of offices, structured parking, and outpatient hospital facilities
  • Represented a multihospital health care system in the resolution of disputes in its billion-dollar capital improvements project, and developed form design, construction, and procurement agreements
  • Assisted Comcast in connection with Americans with Disabilities Act issues in the design of its 800,000-square-foot world headquarters office tower in Philadelphia
  • Represented the Independence Visitor Center Corporation, a nonprofit developer, in the redevelopment of Independence Mall in Philadelphia, in partnership with the National Park Service, including design and construction contracts for the Independence Visitor Center (which serves Independence National Historical Park, the City of Philadelphia, and the eight-county Philadelphia region), the new museum housing the Liberty Bell Center, a new café, and new visitor center in City Hall
  • Represented a Fortune 50 company in licensing issues arising from the acquisition of a multistate engineering firm
  • Represented a world-class orchestra in connection with the design and construction of its new concert hall, including drafting and negotiating the agreements with its construction manager and design professionals and the operating agreements with a regional performing arts center
  • Represented a developer in negotiating design agreements with world-renowned architects for two new restaurants in New York City
  • Represented a Major League Baseball team in the development of a new Major League ballpark and spring training and Minor League facility, including bidding issues, fine arts obligations, and negotiating and drafting design, concession, signage, and construction agreements and agreements with neighborhood associations
  • Represented a transportation authority in the acquisition and turnkey development of its headquarters facility
  • Represented health care institutions in the development of medical office building condominiums and surgicenters
  • Represented pharmaceutical companies in the design and construction of headquarters buildings, research and development facilities, and pilot plants
  • Represented owners of high-rise office towers and mixed-use developments in connection with design and construction contracts

Professional Activities

American Bar Association
Real Property Section; served as Co-chair and Vice Chair of the Committee on Construction Lending and as a Member of the Committee on Workouts and Foreclosure and the Design and Construction Committee; Member, ABA Forum on the Construction Industry; First Chair and Founding Member, Division of Owners and Lenders; Member, Forum Governing Committee; Steering Committee Member of Documents Committee; served on Strategic Plan Review Committee and Nominating and Division Selection Committees

Philadelphia Bar Association, appointed to Investigative Division of the Commission on Judicial Selection and Retention, served on Large Law Firm Management Committee; chaired Partnership Law Committee, Business Section; Member, Real Property Section

American Arbitration Association, commercial and construction industry arbitrator (1991-2005)

American College of Construction Lawyers (ACCL), Elected Fellow; past Member, Board of Governors; Editorial Board, ACCL Journal, Member, Diversity Committee

American College of Real Estate Lawyers (ACREL), Elected Fellow

American Law Institute, served on ALI-ABA Special Ad Hoc Committee on the Financial Crisis

Serves on Associated General Contractors BIM Forum

Design Advocacy Group of Philadelphia (2007-2010)

Forum of Executive Women

Pro Bono Counsel, Women's Way Funding Federation (1990-2006)

International Association of Attorneys and Executives in Corporate Real Estate (2003-2008)

Served on National Building Information Modeling Standard Legal and Risk Group

National Network of Commercial Real Estate Women (Philadelphia Chapter), served on Executive Committee, Board of Directors

Leadership, Inc. (Class of 1991-1992)

Recognition & Accomplishments

Honored by Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW)'s Philadelphia Chapter as one of five women making the most significant impact on commercial real estate in the Philadelphia Region over the last 25 years, May 2009

Named one of the Top 50 Women Leaders in the Law in Philadelphia

Chambers USA, real estate law, 2003-present

The Best Lawyers in America, construction law, real estate law, 2003-present

The International Who's Who of Lawyers, construction law and real estate law, 2002-present

Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America, 2005-present

Who's Who Among Executives and Professionals, Honors in Commercial Real Estate Development and Construction, 2003-present

Marquis Who's Who of Emerging Leaders of America, 1991-1994

Recipient, Philadelphia Business Journal's, Forum of Executive Women's, and National Association of Women Business Owners' Women of Distinction Award, 1999

Recipient, Chapel of Four Chaplains Legion of Honor Award for Outstanding Community Service


Writes and lectures extensively on complex commercial real estate development, construction, public-private partnerships, and financing and workouts, and frequently is cited by other authors on construction and real estate topics

Author of articles on current economic difficulties, such as "The Troubled Project: What to Do When the Market Turns"

Serves on the editorial board of the Journal of the American College of Construction Lawyers

Has been cited in an opinion on the Colorado Supreme Court

"The Owner's Perspective," Fundamentals of Construction Law

"Issues for Owners and Lenders," Inside the Minds series, Legal Strategies for the Construction Industry: Handling Litigation and Ensuring Successful Projects

"AIA Contract Documents: The AIA A201 Waiver of Consequential Damages from the Owner's Perspective," Construction Lawyer

Construction Law Glossary, co-author

"Americans with Disabilities Act: Owner's Vigilance Required," Realty Review

"Contract Forms and Contract Drafting," Construction Lawyer

"Condominium Workouts: A Survival Guide," ALI-ABA

"Relocation Risk: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Allocate Now or Litigate Later," Practising Law Institute

"The Lender's Checklist," Under Construction

The New AIA Documents from Owners and Lenders Perspectives," Probate and Property, Vol. 13, No. 6

"Watch Out for Seven Issues When Owner's Lender Demands Assignment Agreement," Brownstone Publications

"Moving the Stalled Project Forward," American College of Construction Lawyers

"Minimizing the Risk of Tenant Fit-Out Work," Tri-State Real Estate Journal

Architect's Essentials of Negotiation, Author of forward: "A Word from an Owner"

Speaking Engagements

Panelist, "Noticeably Older, Arguably Wiser, And Still in Need of Work:  An A201 Analysis," ABA Forum on Construction Law Annual Meeting, Nashville, April 2016

Panelist, "Construction Contracting Today," ALI Webcast, May 2014

Panelist, "Ethics for Public Owners of Complex Public Private Projects," ABA Fidelity Surety Law Committee, Midwinter Meeting, NYC, January 2014 

"Construction Documents in Litigation: How to Evaluate 'Hot Spot' Contract Provisions," Ballard Spahr teleseminar, August 26, 2009

Panelist, "Integrated Project Delivery," ABA Live Interactive Webcast 

Panelist, "Commercial Real Estate Defaults and Workouts," ALI-ABA Live Video Webcast

Panelist, "Handling Commercial Real Estate Defaults: Workouts," ALI-ABA Live Video Webcast

"The Construction Contracts Program: Understanding and Negotiating Clauses in the New Industry Forms," ABA Forum on the Construction Industry Regional Program

Panelist, "The Troubled Project: A Case Study of a Condominium Development in Tough Times – The Multi-Family Dilemma, What to do When the Market Turns," Maryland Institute for the Continuing Professional Education of Lawyers

"Hot Topics in Construction – Building Information Modeling," Ballard Spahr Breakfast Briefing

Panelist and planner, "Workout Strategies for Troubled Condominium Projects," Lorman Live Teleconference

Moderator and panelist, "The Newest Family of AIA Documents – Will Integrated Project Delivery Make Conflict Obsolete?" ABA Center for CLE Live Teleconference

"The New AIA A201 Document – What It Means to You," Washington, D.C., Chapter of Professional Women in Construction

Panelist, "The New Age of Condominium Workouts – Perspectives from All Angles and the Tremendous Potential for Disaster," ABA Real Property Section Spring Symposium

"The 2007 AIA Documents: New Forms, New Issues, New Strategies – A201 Highlights and Headlines," ABA Real Property Section Spring Symposium

"The 2007 A201 General Conditions: A Guide to the Hot Button Changes," ABA Forum on the Construction Industry teleseminar

Panelist, "Distressed Condominium Projects: A Survival Guide in Uncertain Financial Times," ALI-ABA Live Video Webcast

Panelist and moderator, "The 2007 AIA Documents: New Forms, New Issues, New Strategies—Point/Counterpoint on Key A201 Provisions, The Hot Button Issues and How They Have Changed," ABA Forum on the Construction Industry Mid-Winter Meetings

Panelist, "Condominium Workouts: A Survival Guide," ALI-ABA 90 Minutes live teleconference

Panelist, "Construction Defects in a Time of Financial Crisis," an ALI-ABA live audio teleconference

Panelist and Workshop Leader, "Building Boom, Condo Bust: A Survival Guide for Condominium Workouts," American College of Real Estate Lawyers

Panelist, "Top Ten Issues in Negotiating Design and Construction Contracts," American College of Real Estate Lawyers annual meeting

Panelist, "Financial Performance Agreements in Construction Projects," ABA Forum on the Construction Industry

"Doctoring AIA Documents for the Health of the Owner," Annual Real Estate Institute

Panelist, "Construction Claims: Getting to the Bottom Line," Joint Meeting of the Forum on the Construction Industry and the TIPS Fidelity and Surety Law Committee

Program Chair/speaker, "Fundamentals in Construction Law," American Bar Association Forum on the Construction Industry

Panelist, "Construction Risks," Practising Law Institute

Board Memberships

Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts of the University of Pennsylvania, Board of Overseers (2001-present), Executive Committee (2001-2011)

Design Advocacy Group of Philadelphia, Board of Overseers, Executive Committee

National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), FY 2011-2013; served on Bylaws Task Force, Broadly Experienced Architects Committee, Audit Committee, Continuing Education Committee, Public Member Task Force, Licensure Task Force (FY 2013-2015); NCARB appointed member of the National Architectural Accrediting Board Visiting Team (FY 2016)

Independence Visitor Center Corporation, immediate past Chair, current trustee (2001-present)

The Foundation for Architecture, Board Member (1990-2004), Chair (1990-2000)

Central Philadelphia Development Corporation and its Center City Green Committees, past board member

Arts and Business Council of Greater Philadelphia

Maternal and Family Activities Inc., d/b/a Franklin Maternity Hospital (1992-1998); Chair (1997-1998)

Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, past board member on executive committee

Moore College of Art, past member, Women's Leadership Advisory Board

World Affairs Council, past board member

University of Pennsylvania Law School (J.D. 1983, cum laude)
Editor, University of Pennsylvania Law Review

Temple University  (B.A. 1977, summa cum laude)
Member, Phi Beta Kappa; President's Scholar