Lee Bergstein was a city and state prosecutor focusing on the real estate industry for almost nine years before starting Bergstein Flynn and Knowlton PLLC (BFK). Lee uses that experience to inform all his work, whether it be a complex transaction or litigation. In all matters, Lee’s clients can expect an organized, aggressive and creative brand of advocacy.
Lee provides transactional and litigation support to small to medium sized businesses, condominiums and cooperatives, real estate developers, landlord, tenants and related professionals.
While at the OAG, Lee was a member of a real estate task force that identified and investigated developers, landlords, attorneys, title companies, and other individuals or entities accused of engaging in fraud, and other white collar crimes. During that time, Lee gained exposure to the pitfalls and perils of professionals working in the real estate industry. He has leveraged that experience to represent the best interests of condo and cooperative boards, both as general counsel and in a litigation capacity. He also represents small to mid-size real estate developers. In addition, Lee uses his background to represent the best interests of homeowners and tenants, successfully negotiating license fees for residential and business owners affected by adjoining developments, and vacate agreements for residential tenants confronted with a new landlord and/or building conversion.
In addition, Lee works with startups and small businesses to mitigate their short and long term risk. Lee uses his white-collar investigative experience to identify pain points in a company’s operating structure and works with those companies, in collaboration with his partners, to address those pain points. Lee also provides litigation support to professionals and small businesses when their needs can simply not be addressed at a conference table, and defends their interests when faced with the threat of lawsuit, regulatory investigation, or criminal investigation.During his time at the New York State Office of the Attorney General (OAG), Lee was assigned to the Criminal Enforcement and Financial Crimes Bureau, where he led complex white collar investigations involving securities fraud, Ponzi schemes, market manipulation, and other financial serious crimes.
Prior to his time at the Attorney General’s office, Lee worked for over six years at the Queens County District Attorney’s Office where he handled the prosecution of countless violent and nonviolent crimes, and continues to provide criminal defense support to clients at BFK.
Lee has tried dozens of criminal cases to verdict and negotiated hundreds to plea settlement. A self-described life-long litigator and trial advocacy instructor, his philosophy: “I love being in a courtroom and working towards my client’s goals through advocacy but what I enjoy even more is using that experience to view each and every business decision through the prism of potential litigation, to avoid the cost and aggravation of it for my clients. But, it helps knowing that if the worst occurs, and we have to litigate, they are in good hands.”
In addition to his litigation experience, Lee has taught and tutored prospective lawyers for many years. From 2011 through 2014, he served as an Adjunct Professor of Law for Trial Advocacy at the Hofstra University School of Law. More recently, he served as a guest instructor of Trial Advocacy at Columbia Law School.
Lee is committed to superb customer service, diligent attention to detail, and optimizing technology for his clients’ benefit both inside and outside of the courtroom.