Frank J. Cerza

Partner

  • location icon New York, NY
    77 Water Street
    Suite 2100
    New York, NY 10005

Frank J. Cerza is a partner in the New York office of Lewis Brisbois and chair of the Italy Practice. His practice focuses on corporate and real estate business transactions and commercial finance. Mr. Cerza represents American and Italian companies and individuals in cross-border transactions between the U.S. and Italy. He also represents clients in connection with corporate, real estate, commercial contracts, employment, privacy, tax, economic development and regulatory, litigation, and intellectual property matters. In addition, he serves as outside general counsel to Italian and international companies doing business in the U.S. and assists American companies in their business endeavors in the U.S. and Europe.

Mr. Cerza’s experience includes business and strategic planning, joint ventures; formation of U.S. companies and partnerships; acquisitions and sales of businesses, work-outs and restructuring, leasing and sales of retail stores, offices, showrooms, and other commercial properties; land use and regulatory, and negotiation of contracts of employment, sales representation, distribution, franchising, and licensing.

Published Opinions

  • “Leasing Retail Stores in New York City,” Expect Focus International, 2017
  • “Using Independent Sales Representatives to do Business in the United States,” Expect Focus International, 2016 
  • Co-Author, “TTIP’s Impact on U.S. and EU Trade Relations,” Expect Focus International, 2015
  • “Navigating Commercial Lease Assignment Provisions: Tenants Beware,” Pepper Hamilton, 2013

Professional Presentations

  • Speaker, “Economic Development Incentives and Investing in the United States,” Conference for Members of the Ordine dei Commercialisti Monza e Briana at the Italian Trade Commission, New York, New York, October 2018.
  • Speaker, “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Gross Sales, But Were Afraid to Ask” International Council of Shopping Centers Law Conference, San Antonio, Texas, 2017.
  • Speaker, “Attracting Foreign Investment into the United States,” Conference for Members of the Consiglio Nazionale dei Dottori Commercialisti, New York, New York, November 2016.
  • Workshop leader, “Don’t Get Burned on the Boilerplate,” ICSC Law Conference, Hollywood, Florida, 2016.
  • Speaker, “Key Sublease Issues to Consider When Downsizing Your Business,” ICSC Law Conference, Phoenix, Arizona, 2015.
  • Panelist, First Annual Fashion Law Society CLE, Villanova University School of Law, 2015.
  • Workshop leader, “Navigating Commercial Sublease Clauses,” ICSC U.S. Shopping Center Law Conference, 2014.
  • Discussion leader, “Negotiating Commercial Leases in Mixed Use Projects,” ICSC U.S. Shopping Center Law Conference, 2013.
  • Panelist, “Retail Issues”, Real Estate Forum - A Market Update, European American Chamber of Commerce, New York, New York, 2013.

Admissions

  • State Bar Admissions
    • New Jersey
    • New York
  • United States District Courts
    • United States District Court for the District of New Jersey
    • United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York

Admissions

New York

New Jersey

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York

U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey

Associations

  • American Chamber of Commerce in Italy, Representative for the State of New York
  • Italy-America Chamber of Commerce of New York, Director and Vice President
  • Italy-America Chamber of Commerce of Texas, Director National Italian American Foundation, Member

Awards & Honors

Received honors from VISIONS/Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired for his pro bono work dedicating more than 100 hours of legal services to assist VISIONS, at the VISIONS Manhattan Advisory Board Awards Ceremony hosted by AIG, September 22, 2016. 

Education

Villanova University School of Law

Juris Doctor, 1980

University of Pennsylvania

Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude, 1977

Representative Matters

  • Represented Italian luxury hotel and restauranteur in connection with restaurant license agreement with Florida hotel and resort developer.
  • Represented New York based engineering firm in connection with redemption of ownership interest of co-founding member and reorganization.
  • Represented foreign companies in connection with U.S. compliance, banking and regulatory matters.
  • Represented seller in connection with sale of New York packaging company.
  • Represented Italian energy company in connection with complex multi-country corporate and tax structure Represented Italian conveyor manufacturer in connection with buy-out of North Carolina joint venture partner Represented international fashion company in connection with tax-free reorganization and restructuring.
  • Represented high-end Italian men’s fashion company in connection with multistate retail store leases in various cities and shopping malls.
  • Represented Italian women’s clothing company in connection with New York retail store lease.
  • Represented Spanish retailer in connection with employment law and retail related issues.
  • Represented French gelato franchisor in connection with multistate franchising.
  • Represented Italian wine maker in connection with a long-term U.S. distribution agreement.
  • Represented Italian company in connection with trademark license to manufacture clothing for U.S. licensor Represented Italian manufacturer of kitchen products in connection with leasing of 10,000 square foot showroom and retail space in New York City.
  • Represented American investor in connection with acquisition of equity participation in prestigious Venetian glassware manufacturer.
  • Represented international fashion company in connection with multistate franchising in U.S.
  • Represented Italian pasta company in connection with acquisition of U.S. trademark.
  • Represented terra cotta vase manufacturer and distributor in connection with acquisition of Texas manufacturing company Represented manufacturer and distributor of frozen desserts in multistate distribution agreements.
  • Represented high-tech conveyor manufacturer in connection with establishment of Michigan manufacturing facility Represented high-end international fashion company in connection with construction, renovation and establishment of retail clothing store on Madison Avenue.
  • Represented insurance brokerage company in connection with subleasing of 54,000 square feet facility in New York City Represented fashion company in connection with acquisition of multimillion-dollar commercial condominium and showroom unit in New York City.
  • Represented U.S. investor in connection with acquisition of$30 million townhouse in New York City.
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