From left: Daniel P. Deegan, partner; John V. Terrana, co-managing...

From left: Daniel P. Deegan, partner; John V. Terrana, co-managing partner and co-chair of Forchelli Deegan Terrana LLP’s tax certiorari practice group; Donald F. Leistman, partner and co-chair of Forchelli Deegan Terrana LLP’s tax certiorari practice group; Jeffrey D. Forchelli, chairman of the firm and co-managing partner. Credit: Cre8tive Photo Group

Uniondale-based Forchelli Deegan Terrana LLP has merged with rival real estate law firm Koeppel Martone & Leistman, LLC in a deal that brings their combined roster of attorneys to 70.

In the wake of the merger, Koeppel Martone and its staff of seven lawyers will leave its Mineola offices and join Forchelli Deegan's expanded offices on the top floor of The Omni office building in Uniondale, John V. Terrana, co-managing partner at Forchelli Deegan, said in an email.

Koeppel's 39 employees, including attorneys and support staff, will join the 112 total employees of Forchelli Deegan, founded in 1976.

"There will be no reduction in workforce as both firms had open positions, which will now be filled," Terrana said.

The combined firm will operate under the Forchelli Deegan Terrana name.

Koeppel Martone senior partner Donald F. Leistman will retain that title at Forchelli Deegan and co-chair the combined firm's tax certiorari practice with Terrana.

Fifty-nine-year-old Koeppel Martone has specialized in real estate tax certiorari — the process by which property taxes are challenged — and has won more than $1 billion in tax refunds for its clients' office buildings, industrial parks, shopping malls and apartment complexes, Forchelli Deegan said.

"I have worked both with and against members of KML," Terrana said. "I have always been impressed by their professionalism and the quality of their work."

Leistman said the merger will allow Koeppel Martone to "enhance our services by collaborating with" Forchelli Deegan attorneys across practice areas.

Koeppel Martone's commercial property clients include CVS, Sears and JCPenney, while Forchelli Deegan represents Walgreens, Target and Kohl's.

Merger negotiations began last summer over lunch at a restaurant, Terrana said.

"The deal closed quickly given how well our firms know and respect each other's attorneys and work," he said.

Forchelli Deegan's practice groups include: land use and zoning; industrial development agency benefits and government incentives; environmental, and litigation.

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