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Chief Counsel of Federal Railroad Administration Rejoins Seyfarth

Parul Dubey on February 1, 2019 - in News, People

NEW YORK – Seyfarth Shaw LLP today announced that Juan D. Reyes III has rejoined the firm in New York as a partner in the Real Estate department and Public-Private Partnership (P3) practice. Reyes returns to Seyfarth from distinguished federal government service, where he was the Acting Administrator and Chief Counsel for the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration (FRA).

During his tenure as Acting Administrator, Reyes oversaw the agency’s staff of 950 and its $3 billion budget. As the principal legal advisor to the FRA on all U.S. passenger and freight rail matters, including safety regulations, legislation, research, and development, Reyes managed a legal department of 50 attorneys and provided executive direction to its two other divisions, the general law division and the safety law division. 

“We thank Juan for his guidance and efforts at FRA throughout his dedicated tenure. We wish him well as he rejoins his colleagues in private practice,” said FRA Administrator, Ronald L. Batory.

In his role as Chief Counsel, Reyes assisted with an array of multi-billion dollar U.S. rail upgrades, including:

  • $24 billion Northeast corridor improvement project
  • Hudson Tunnel Environmental Impact Statements
  • Development of federally funded Amtrak Stations in major cities throughout the country
  • Chicago’s billion dollar Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency (CREATE) project
  • Development of successful strategic plan to mandate the implementation of Positive Train Control (PTC) in 41 railroads
  • Reviewed, advised and developed regulations for Elon Musk’s proposed “Hyperloop” and “Electric Skate” technologies
  • High speed rail projects in Texas, Florida, California and the Northeast

Reyes was active on Capitol Hill for the FRA as well, where he participated in five Congressional hearings and testified before Congress’ Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. He also served in a number of other key roles, including:

  • Senior advisor and counsel to the Build America Bureau, the bank within the Department of Transportation responsible for driving all federally funded U.S. transportation infrastructure development projects
  • Served on the Department of Transportation’s internal committee for autonomous vehicle and emerging technology rulemaking
  • Served on the Northeast Corridor Commission, the rail network that connects eight states and the District of Columbia

“We are thrilled to welcome Juan back to the firm,” said Paul Mattingly, chair of Seyfarth’s Real Estate department. “While in government, Juan was one of the nation’s leading voices on high-profile P3 projects and their financing.” 

“Juan is an outstanding colleague, and we’re proud that he’s returned to Seyfarth,” said Lorie Almon, co-managing partner of Seyfarth’s New York office. “Following his time at the FRA, his combined experience guiding large, critical real estate projects at the federal, state, and local levels is truly unique.”

In addition to his deep P3 expertise, Reyes has substantial experience in various real estate matters, including land use, development, and permitting, with particular emphasis in zoning, planning, landmark and building code matters, and governmental approvals. Before joining Seyfarth and the FRA, Reyes had significant executive branch experience, previously serving as general counsel to the New York City Board of Standards and Appeals, and counsel to the New York City Loft Board, Office of the Mayor.

“Juan’s leadership at the FRA and his firsthand insights into the broad scope of its operations are a perfect fit as he rejoins our nationally recognized real estate and P3 practices,” said John Napoli, co-managing partner of Seyfarth’s New York office.

About Seyfarth Shaw LLP

Seyfarth Shaw has more than 850 attorneys in 15 offices providing a broad range of legal services in the areas of labor and employment, employee benefits, litigation, corporate and real estate. Seyfarth’s clients include over 300 of the Fortune 500 companies and reflect virtually every industry and segment of the economy. A recognized leader in delivering value and innovation for legal services, Seyfarth has earned numerous accolades from a variety of highly respected industry associations, consulting firms and media.

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