(212) 692-5547



    • Columbia Law School (J.D., 1993)

    • University of Vermont (B.A., magna cum laude, 1989), Phi Beta Kappa 

Practice Groups

Brian A. Burns


Brian Burns is a seasoned real estate and commercial litigator.  He regularly appears in New York federal court and the Commercial Division of the New York State Supreme Court, and has also litigated cases in the Delaware Court of Chancery, as well as in federal courts across the United States.  Mr. Burns’ extensive real estate litigation experience includes contested financings, ground lease reset disputes, busted joint ventures, lease interpretations, and commercial mortgage-backed securities (“put-back”) cases.  He has handled a wide array of other commercial cases involving subjects such as insurance coverage, telecommunication agreements, auction rate securities, and premium financed life insurance.  His principal institutional clients include affiliates of Column Financial, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Angelo Gordon & Co., Telefónica, S.A., and Telconet, S.A.


Mr. Burns has an active arbitration practice, and has represented clients in American Arbitration Association and FINRA proceedings in New York, California, and New Hampshire.  He successfully represented a client through a 37-day arbitration hearing where the parties asserted claims totaling $7.65 billion, which at the time was the highest dollar value for claims in any AAA arbitration.


In addition to billing clients by the hour, Mr. Burns will represent clients through alternative fee arrangements supported by an independent litigation financier.  Under these arrangements, D&S and the financier will agree to fund a portion (or even all) of the litigation cost in return for an agreed-upon portion of the proceeds.  The client is responsible for paying fees only if the case is successful.  This allows the client to reduce or eliminate a major litigation risk -- the risk of an unsuccessful case.  Mr. Burns has an active collaboration with a litigation financier, which can be a source of client funding in cases where D&S is representing either plaintiffs or defendants.         


Mr. Burns was an Articles Editor for the Columbia Human Rights Law Review, and wrote The Time for Full U.S. Participation in the Inter-American System for the Protection of Human Rights, 24 Column. Hum. Rts. L. Rev. 435-54 (1993).  In 2006, Mr. Burns received the Legal Aid Society Award for Outstanding Pro Bono Service after winning a trial on behalf of a resident alien facing deportation charges. He is fluent in Spanish.


Mr. Burns previously practiced law at Winston & Strawn and LeBoeuf Lamb Greene & MacRae.

He is admitted to practice in New York. 


  • Super Lawyers: New York Metro: 2013-2017


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