Stephen J. Gillespie


Fax (516) 794-1277


Stephen provides superior legal skills, representation and experience to large and well-known owners, developers, major construction managers and trade contractors, commencing at project planning stages through contract negotiation with construction managers, design consultants and contractors. In addition, Stephen assists owners and developers in handling all types of construction issues that arise, including claim-handling and dealing with construction managers, design professionals and trade contractors, including at project close-out. Stephen also represents construction managers and trade contractors in handling disputes over construction payments. In addition, Stephen handles many types of related real property issues, including mechanic’s liens, licensing agreements and working with lenders and real estate attorneys on the developer’s behalf.

Stephen is also involved in WSSG's surety practice, representing surety companies in connection with performance and payment bond claims, negotiating with owners concerning take-over and other completion strategies, along with recovery from the surety’s indemnitors. Stephen also frequently becomes involved in bankruptcy issues on behalf of owners/developers and surety companies.

Stephen has a varied practice which involves both construction transactional work as well as construction and commercial litigation. This full experience and knowledge base of construction issues enable him to provide his clients with the unique perspective of being able to draft and negotiate complex construction agreements with construction managers, contractors and design professionals, armed with the experience of past disputes. This enables him to provide superior insight in contract drafting and negotiation, as well as providing advice and action when disputes and issues arise during the construction process.

Stephen also litigates, mediates and arbitrates multi-million dollar construction-related disputes in both the federal and state courts located in New York and New Jersey and the various ADR organizations on behalf of owners, contractors and surety companies. He has a proven track record of success at winning cases on an accelerated basis, saving significant litigation costs. Stephen has also drafted and argued numerous successful appeals before the First and Second Departments, along with serving as trial counsel on many construction claim disputes involving tens of millions of dollars.

Stephen attended Binghamton University and was awarded his undergraduate degree in 1996, majoring in Philosophy, Politics and Law. Stephen attended Brooklyn Law School, receiving his law degree in 1999 and is admitted to practice in both New York and New Jersey. Stephen previously worked as an associate with a large defense firm where he engaged in general insurance liability litigation, the defense of construction work-site claims and medical malpractice cases. In 2001, Stephen joined Westermann Hamilton & Sheehy (which has evolved into WSSG), becoming a partner in 2008 and a member in 2011.

Representative Cases

  • 49 East 21 LLC v. C.H. Schmitt and Co., Inc., 46 A.D.3d 391, 847 N.Y.S.2d 462 (1st Dep’t 2007).
  • R.P. Brennan General Contractors and Builders, Inc. v. CPS 1 Realty, LP, 63 A.D.3d 619, 880 N.Y.S.2d 490 (1st Dep’t 2009).
  • Arc Electrical and Mechanical Contractors Corp. v. Invensys Building Systems Inc., 2 A.D.3d 314, 770 N.Y.S.2d 299 (1st Dep’t 2003).
  • Hi-Tech Bridging, Inc. v. Ethel Bates, New York Supreme Court, New York County, Index No. 600668/08 - Successfully defended a property owner/developer and discharged over $500,000 in mechanic’s liens on a pre-answer motion to dismiss.
  • Solar Electric Systems, Inc. v. Ladies Mile, Inc., Supreme Court of the State of New York, New York County – Successfully dismissed a $1,000,000 delay claim on notice and no-damage-for delay grounds following discovery.
  • Matter of Plaza Residential, Supreme Court of the State of New York, New York County - Successfully dismissed a $10,000,000 mechanic’s lien upon motion application.
  • Utica Mutual Ins. Co. v. Empco Contracting, Inc., United States District Court, District of New Jersey - Awarded judgment of over $1,000,000 on summary judgment motion.
  • CPS 1 Realty LP v. Brennan, 981 N.Y.S.2d 535 (N.Y.A.D. 1st Dep’t 2014) – Obtained summary judgment determination that defendant contractor, and its owner under a guarantee, are liable for a set percentage of delay as decided at arbitration, which was affirmed on appeal.

Representative Projects

  • The Plaza Hotel, 768 Fifth Avenue, New York, New York
  • Grand Madison, 225 Fifth Avenue, New York, New York
  • O’Neill Building, 655 Sixth Avenue, New York, New York
  • 250 West Street, New York, New York
  • 93 Worth Street, New York, New York
  • 15 Renwick Street, New York, New York
  • 33 Beekman Street, New York, New York
  • Park Slope Residences, 267 Sixth Street, Brooklyn, New York
  • 9 Orchard Street, New York, New York

Articles and Presentations


  • Construction Law: What Do You Do When...?, National Business Institute, 2004 and 2008
  • Contributor, Vol. 33, Lien Law, Bender’s Forms for the Consolidated Laws of New York

Practices Areas

  • Construction and surety law
  • Commercial litigation and general business law

Bar Admissions

  • New York, 1999
  • New Jersey, 2001
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York, 2001
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, 2001


  • J.D., Brooklyn Law School, 1999
  • B.A., Binghamton University, 1996