Shapiro, Lifschitz & Schram

“They establish very strong relationships with opposing counsel and make a difficult transaction happen without bumps and bruises.”

Marty Saturn – Executive Vice President, Meisel Capital Partners

News & Events

Steven H. Schram, co-president and managing principal of Shapiro Lifschitz & Schram, P.C., has led a team of attorneys representing the Bernstein Companies, one of the oldest commercial real estate firms in Washington, D.C., in a deal valued at $600 million. Marriott International, Inc., the world’s largest hotelier, announced on July 26 that it had officially signed agreements with developers Boston Properties and the Bernstein Companies for a new company headquarters and flagship hotel to be built in Bethesda, Md., just north of the Bethesda Metro Station. The $600 million development is slated for completion in 2022 and will include a 700,000-square-foot, 22-story headquarters building and a 230-room Marriott Hotel.

“This transaction was probably the largest, most complex, and most challenging transaction ever handled by the firm,” said Schram. “I am proud of the firm’s participation in this deal, not only from the standpoint of our legal representation, but because of the long, special relationship our firm has with the Bernstein Companies, a well-respected, multi-generational company. Shapiro Lifschitz & Schram is honored to be a part of this project, which will leave a significant legacy for the Bernstein Companies and its principals in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.”

Marni Lefkowitz Ahram, a member of the firm’s Real Estate and Business groups, assisted Schram with the lead and was praised by all parties for her role in the successful completion of the transaction. Other firm attorneys representing the Bernstein Companies in this matter include Ronald S. Shapiro, Robert A. Foster, Barry J. Fleishman and Barbara Anne (B.A.) Spignardo, as well as Ashleigh Mcfadden, a paralegal with the firm.

Barbara Anne (B.A.) Spignardo was a moderator for Bisnow’s Washington, D.C. State of the Office event held on Thursday, October 13th at Franklin Court. B.A. moderated the program entitled "Gaining a Competitive Edge Through Construction & Design", which included discussions on Tenant Demands, Changing Work Styles, Mobile Technology, & Millennials.  
If you would like more information, please contact B.A. at
BA Spignardo at Bisnow Washington, D.C. Event

This year marks the silver anniversary of Shapiro, Lifschitz & Schram, P.C. Ronald S. Shapiro and Judah Lifschitz founded the firm in 1991, with Steven H. Schram joining as a founder the following year. All three have served as co-presidents of the firm. 

The three firm presidents initially met while practicing law at large and mid-sized D.C.-based law firms and all are renowned in their respective fields. Ron, Judd and Steve determined to start their own boutique law firm to serve clients more efficiently and effectively, while nurturing a smaller firm culture where every client is treated like the firm’s only client.

Keeping in line with their original business model, they have purposely kept the firm at between 10 and 15 professionals, ensuring that everyone the firm serves receives only the best. Clients have become lifelong friends, and colleagues have become a cohesive family, all committed to the same goals. Members of the firm are a highly experienced group of professionals who are passionate about the work that they do and capable of offering innovative and winning solutions through the firm’s collaborative efforts.     

When asked about the challenges of the firm’s early years in business, the founders all agree that they had the normal concerns about capital and maintaining a steady flow of business. Those concerns, however, proved to be unnecessary for Shapiro, Lifschitz & Schram. Amazingly, the firm has been busy since opening. In addition, Ron, Judd and Steve’s clients actually assisted them in the start-up. Most of their existing clients followed them to the new firm and many even gave SLS retainers to ease the transition.

It’s no surprise that, when Ron, Judd and Steve are asked about their most significant cases and client successes, many of these include stories about the early days in business as they helped clients form, grow and maintain companies. As those companies grew and prospered, SLS has been integral in successfully handling litigation matters that preserved the wealth and vitality of their clients’ businesses. 

As the years have passed, the firm has become more and more involved with clients nationally in the litigation arena while continuing to be a strong force in the nation’s capital. SLS continues to serve clients with their business, construction, power and energy, real estate, and trial needs. Some recent matters include: 

  • Successfully representing a client involved in a multimillion-dollar arbitration regarding a $2 billion-plus project, which was one of the largest liquidated damages awards in the history of the construction industry.
  • Developing and implementing a plan to provide a resolution for time-sensitive investor disputes regarding development of a large-scale, mixed-use project involving residential, hotel and retail components. The work included securing financing, establishing the parameters to settle the lawsuit and negotiating the terms of a joint venture agreement.
  • Representing a client that received a multimillion-dollar jury verdict related to the sale of a closely held corporation after the firm tried the case before a jury for 90 days. 
  • Representing a regional homebuilder in a workout and restructuring of $60 million in loans from several institutional lenders that were not acting in consortium. This allowed the client to survive the market downturn. 

Another admirable aspect of SLS and its founders is the firm’s commitment to philanthropy, which resonates throughout the firm. The entire SLS family serves out of a sense of duty to the communities in which they work and live. 

For example, the firm provides pro-bono legal services to Sulam, an educational institution in Rockville, Maryland, that is one of the organizations that has benefited greatly from the firm’s service. Sulam is dedicated to providing children who have learning differences with individually designed programs that reflect “best practices” in a day school environment. 

The firm has provided these services to Sulam since its inception, along with making annual contributions and serving on the board of directors and in several significant leadership positions, including president of the school. In 2015, SLS was honored with the school’s Founder’s Award, a recognition given to those whose efforts have made a major impact on the organization. 

Other organizations that the firm has supported include Life with Cancer (LWC), a program of Inova Health System; the Anti-Defamation League, the nation’s premier civil rights/human relations agency; American Friends of Lubavitch; the American Heart Association; the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center; and the Sasha Bruce Youthwork. 

As the firm’s founders reflect on the last 25 years, they agree that they are humbled by the dedication of their clients, as well as the opportunity to represent and make a difference for so many local and national companies and to give back to and be involved in their communities through service and philanthropy.

Shapiro, Lifschitz & Schram looks forward to many more years of service and extends heart-felt appreciation for the hundreds of people that have made the firm a great success.


Did You Know . . .

Members of the SLS trial group have tried in excess of 50 jury trials and 75 bench trials?

The SLS construction group has worked on sports stadiums across the country including Orioles Park in Baltimore and Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati?

The SLS construction group has worked on power plant projects across the country?

In 2007 SLS was selected for an Honorable Mention as one of the Best Places To Work in Washington DC?

Ron Shapiro, Steve Schram and Judd Lifschitz have all been selected as SuperLawyers by Law and Politics?

The SLS office building is an historic townhouse constructed in the late 1800s?

SLS has been selected by Martindale-Hubbell as a Preeminent Law Firm?

SLS trial lawyers have argued appeals in the U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal for the 4th, 5th, 9th, D.C. and Federal Circuit?

SLS trial lawyers have been lead trial counsel in cases in Arizona, California, District of Columbia, Florida, Louisiana, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Texas, and Virginia, - to name just a few?

Virtually all the cases that SLS trial lawyers mediated have been favorably settled at mediation?

The transactional group at SLS was lead counsel on one of the largest, most complex mixed-use projects in downtown Washington, DC involving 4 lenders and 6 property owners?

In appreciation for the outstanding efforts of each of its employees during 2007, SLS gave everyone (attorneys, paralegals, and staff) a 4 day/3 night expense paid trip to Key West, Florida?

The transactional group at SLS has represented tenants in more than 200 retail leases in the Mid-Atlantic region?

Every attorney in the transactional group at SLS has at least 15 years experience?

The transactional group at SLS has represented developers in the purchase, construction, financing and/or sale of more than 75 multi-family apartment projects?

The transactional group at SLS has represented real estate investors and developers with respect to property in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Delaware, Maryland, the District of Columbia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Texas, Tennessee, Michigan and the U.S. Virginia Islands?

Attorneys in the transactional group at SLS have represented eight national banks in commercial real estate loans?

Attorneys in the transactional group at SLS have represented the FDIC, the Resolution Trust Corporation and several banking institutions in loan workout transactions throughout the Mid-Atlantic region?

The transactional group at SLS has represented homebuilders and commercial real estate developers in work-outs of individual loans and also for work-outs of large portfolios involving dozens of properties in several states?

The trial lawyers of SLS have numerous reported decisions to their credit?