Gregory P. Photiadis
Senior Managing Partner
"Our mission was to build an excellent firm. We weren’t just going to be a good law firm; we were going to practice to the standard of excellence. We weren’t going to be all things to all people, but in our core practice areas and for our core clients, we were going to excel. I think we’ve succeeded."
Gregory joined Duke Holzman in 1977 after finishing law school, and under the tutelage of Emanuel Duke, he quickly rose to become one of the most successful, respected and well-known business and commercial litigation attorneys in the region. He has been lead trial counsel in major construction, business and environmental litigation cases since 1978, winning multiple precedent-setting cases, and he continues to direct much of the major litigation within the firm. Gregory also serves as general counsel to his clients, providing strategic business counsel with the aim of achieving clients’ objectives and promoting their interests.
After becoming senior managing partner in 1992, Gregory set out to strategically strengthen and grow the firm. He has served as a mentor to many of the firm’s attorneys, passing on the principles and practices he learned from Emanuel Duke and personally exemplifying the ethical standards and excellent results for which the firm is known and respected. An aggressive, strategic, and thorough litigator and advisor, Gregory keeps his clients’ best interests at the heart of his practice.
Gregory has been involved in numerous complex commercial litigation cases, obtaining superb results during the course of his 40-plus years of practice. He received his first trial experience in 1978, shortly after his admittance to the bar. Since then, Gregory has represented developers, general contractors, subcontractors, engineers and architects on contract matters, claims and litigation in a number of states, including New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Illinois, Wisconsin and Florida, among others. He has also been involved in several cases in complex commercial litigation in the commercial division of New York City Supreme Court.
His experience further includes:
- Successfully defended developer on a $10M claim involving breaches of loan and inter-creditor lender participation agreements regarding a hotel/condominium project in Florida
- Represented numerous parties in adversary proceedings and litigation concerning disputes under commercial loan and financing documents with participating lenders, including Key Bank, Fleet, Chase Manhattan and others
- Brought the first civil RICO lawsuit in New York State, involving a bribery conspiracy in the steel industry, establishing new theories of liability and receiving $21M in settlements and judgments
- Lead counsel for prior owners of four hazardous and non-hazardous waste landfill sites in Western New York and Ohio in defense of environmental remediation claim under CERCLA and indemnity provisions of a sales contract for more than $80M; all claims were successfully resolved for prior owners
- Successfully defended a $22M antitrust lawsuit involving hotel and tourism industry
- Won New York State Court of Appeals ruling authorizing $4M lein foreclosure action to proceed against Seneca Nation chartered entity, defeating claim of sovereign immunity
- Won summary judgment dismissing a $44M lost profit claim for alleged breach and wrongful termination of a tri-party technology development and marketing agreement
As general counsel, Gregory advises his entrepreneurial and business-oriented clientele on new business development, complex financing, capital restructure, acquisitions, mergers, divestitures and everyday business affairs in New York State and beyond. His clients include privately-held companies in a number of industries including real estate development, construction, demolition and waste management, as well as small businesses and entrepreneurs in a range of fields.
Gregory has been selected to the 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023 Upstate New York Super Lawyers list.
Gregory is a member of the Bar Association of Erie County and New York State Bar Association (sections on Commercial and Federal Litigation), and is a Federal Court Mediator for the Western District of New York. He also served as an assistant professor at Niagara County Community College, where he taught three law courses.
Construction & Demolition; Healthcare; Hospitality; Manufacturing; Professional Services; Real Estate and Environmental; Securities
Bar Association of Erie County; New York State Bar Association (Sections on Commercial and Federal Litigation); Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York, WNY Chapter; Federal Court Mediator for United States District Court Western District of New York Court
New York; United States Supreme Court; United States District Court, Western District of New York; United States Second Circuit Court of Appeals; United States Bankruptcy Court of the Western District of New York
SUNY Buffalo Law School, J.D., magna cum laude
Columbia University and SUNY Buffalo, B.A., magna cum laude