Our firm can help you at every stage of your business. We handle liquor licenses, investor agreements, commercial leases, corporate formation, all City and State licenses, partnership and employment matters and virtually every other issue that may arise during the course of your business. Our clients consider us their “in-house counsel” for all of their legal needs. We have extensive experience in the hospitality industry that is unmatched by other law firms. We understand what it takes to get things done in this city and we will help you succeed.
David Helbraun is the Managing Partner and the Chair of the firm’s corporate division. Prior to founding the firm, David opened and owned a multi-unit coffee bar/cafe company based in Manhattan. He has been an entrepreneur his entire life and has been running successful small businesses for the past 20 years.
In addition to managing the day-to-day operations of the firm, David oversees all corporate transactions, including business plan review, investor agreements, partnership agreements, buy/sell agreements and commercial lease review and negotiation. He lectures frequently and has conducted seminars at CIA and for the City of New York.
David is a member of the Restaurant & Hospitality Law Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York and is a board member of Drive Change, a non-profit that runs the food truck Snow Day which is operated by formerly incarcerated young people who are trained in hospitality as a way to reintegrate them to the work force. David is also a founding partner of Allday Industry, a hospitality company that provides consulting services to the industry. David is admitted to practice in New York.
Joseph is the Chair of the firm’s licensing division and is in charge of all New York State Liquor Authority and other licensing matters for the firm. Joseph’s primary area of expertise is New York State Alcohol Beverage Control Law and he has extensive experience practicing before the New York State Liquor Authority with regard to various licensing and disciplinary matters. He regularly attends local Community Board meetings on behalf of the firm’s clients and has developed a stellar reputation as a well-prepared and knowledgable advocate. Joseph also handles all Sidewalk Café Permit, Cabaret License, and Food Establishment Permit applications.
Prior to Joining the Firm, Joseph owned and operated his own management company in the area of Combat Sports. He negotiated athlete contracts, sponsorship and licensing agreements, and managed professional athletes in the areas of mixed martial arts and boxing.
Joseph proudly serves on the Executive Board of the New York State Restaurant Association, the Board of The American Institute of Food and Wine and is admitted to practice in New York and New Jersey
Robert is a veteran of representing the interests of clients in the hospitality industry. He does so both as a business litigator counseling individual and corporate clients through every phase of commercial and other litigations in federal and state court, and using that same knowledge in contractual and transactional drafting to craft creative solutions to corporate problems. Prior to Helbraun & Levey, Robert developed a broad background as a litigator at a national law firm where he practiced commercial litigation for clients both large and small. He has always had a fondness for the hospitality industry and there Robert began building a practice catering to hospitality client needs.
Robert is admitted to practice law in New York, New Jersey, and the United States District Courts for the Southern District of New York, the Eastern District of New York, and the District of New Jersey.
Lee is a seasoned trial attorney and litigator representing a wide variety of individual and corporate clients in complex matters in both state and federal court. He has spent his career helping individuals and businesses navigate the difficult waters of business and personal litigation. However, Lee’s counsel does not simply begin or end there. His practice focuses on assisting clients plan and prepare for the known and unknown risks in starting and operating their businesses.
In addition to counseling his clients with respect to their business and litigation needs, Lee has vast experience in representing business and inviduals at every phase of federal and state prosecutions and governmental investigations.
Lee also takes special care to teach and mentor younger attorneys and is now a full Adjunct Professor of Law at Brooklyn Law School. He teaches an advanced course focusing on trial advocacy, evidence and procedure. He also serves as a faculty advisor to the school’s Moot Court Honor Society’s Trial Advocacy Division and regularly coaches, students and teams to local, regional and national championships. He has been designated a New York Super Lawyer Rising Star every year from 2012 to present.
Lee is admitted to practice law in New York, New Jersey and the United States District Courts for the Southern District of New York, the Eastern District of New York, and the District of New Jersey.
Ally Colvin joined Helbraun & Levey LLP in 2011 and currently practices in the firm’s Corporate Law section on matters such as lease review and negotiation, purchase/sale agreements, operating and shareholders agreements, and corporate formation. Ally is a graduate of St. John’s University School of Law and she is admitted to practice in New York State.
Andrew P. Castano is an associate attorney with Helbraun & Levey LLP in its Corporate Law and Litigation Department. Andrew reviews, drafts, and edits various corporate transactions, including investor agreements, operating agreements, partnership agreements, buy/sell agreements and commercial leases. Andrew also assists the Litigation Department with corporate and commercial litigation matters and most of the trials for the firm’s clients.
Andrew received a B.A. in Political Science in 2011 from Albright College. While at Albright, Andrew was President of Albright College’s Pre-Law Society and was a member of the Albright College football team. Andrew received a Juris Doctor from Widener University School of Law in 2014, graduating cum laude. While in law school, Andrew was the Internal Managing Editor of the Delaware Journal of Corporate Law and participated in various legal externships including as a Judicial Extern for Justice Henry duPont Ridgely of the Delaware Supreme Court, Fox Broadcasting Company, and Viacom.
Andrew is also a firm believer in pro bono work as he proudly serves as Advisory Counsel to the Firefighters & EMS Foundation and the International Columbia Association. Andrew is admitted to practice law in New York and New Jersey.
Dana Lapan has worked in all facets of the New York restaurant industry, but her true expertise lies in the projects that you don’t see. She’s formulated Department of Health plans, worked through every stage of a restaurant opening from construction and build out to setting up all insurances and permits to staff hiring and training. She’s set up back-office systems and improved restaurant operations, as well as helped marketing and branding for a variety of restaurant concepts and products.
The operations expertise and management experience she gained during her tenure at AvroKO Hospitality Group, designers, owners and operators restaurants, has grew into a consulting business. Here Lapan has helped open restaurants in New York City, has managed Partnerships and Relations for The Food Film Festival held annually in New York, Charleston and Chicago, and executed pop-ups, festivals and events throughout the country.
Today, Lapan has joined onto Helbraun & Levey as a Licensing Specialist. A University of Arizona and Institute of Culinary Education graduate and an avid diner, you can also find Lapan at any number of city restaurants, because when she’s not working in the industry, she’s living it.
Andrew Fine is an Associate Attorney with Helbraun & Levey. A graduate of Brooklyn Law School, Andrew served as Executive Notes & Comments Editor of Brooklyn Journal of Corporate, Commercial and Financial Law and competed as a member of the Moot Court Honor Society’s Trial Division. Andrew handles corporate, licensing, and litigation matters for the firm. Prior to working with the firm, he gained insight into the regulatory commercial environment through internships with both the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs and the National Advertising Division of the Advertising Self-Regulatory Council.
Patty handles all liquor license renewals, sidewalk cafe permits and works closely with Joseph and Dana in our licensing department. Before working with the firm, she worked as a communications intern for the National Peace Corps Association and was a Dining Room Manager for Trump National Golf Club. Patricia graduated from The University of Maryland in 2013.
Allison has over ten years experience in customer service. She entered the workforce as a hair stylist in a hip Chicago suburb. Before long she outgrew the Windy City and moved to New York where she knew she wanted to transition out of the beauty industry. After a trying her hand at a few interesting jobs, including a brief stint at a local chocolate factory, Allison found her calling as Helbraun & Levey’s Office Manager.
Ryan is a legal intern with Helbraun & Levey and is third-year law student at Fordham University School of Law. At the firm, Ryan assists attorneys with matters in the litigation, corporate, and licensing practices. Before working with the firm, he held many positions throughout the collegiate and professional sports industry. Among these, he worked for the compliance department of the University of Florida athletic department and also interned for the legal department of the New Jersey Devils and Prudential Center. Ryan is a proud graduate of the University of Florida, holding both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree.