Of course, a law firm’s collective experience and specialties are important. But how well your lawyer gets it—connects to the things that really matter to you—is equally critical.
We’re here to help you figure out what you want to do —not tell you what you can’t do. If you ask us what time it is, we won’t tell you how to build a watch. We’ll advise you. Give you options. Have an opinion. Take a stand.
And we don’t work in isolated silos. When you work with us, you’re connected to a versatile team of “go to” lawyers, who are also tightly connected to each other.
Edward J. Hovatter is HFS&L’s founder and master connector. He’s a versatile, energetic entrepreneur and transactions attorney with a network spanning the Philadelphia region’s business community. This rare tandem of attributes enables Ed to help business and real estate clients make deals, solve problems, and navigate disputes—and to connect them to resources, business allies, and experts.
During Ed’s 25-year career, he’s had stints in private practice and as corporate counsel for prominent family-owned companies. Ed was a shareholder at Sherman Silverstein Kohl Rose & Podolsky and a member of its Executive Committee. He was the first ever General Counsel at Dietz & Watson, where he was also Executive Vice President and Director of Human Resources.
Ed’s resume is steeped in accomplishments. He’s achieved Martindale-Hubbell’s AV Preeminent® peer rating, the highest possible for professional excellence. He’s been named to regional “Top Lawyer” or “Super Lawyer” lists nine times. He served on the board of trustees for Moorestown Friends School for 10 years.
Ed enjoys making vintage wine (this year, a Super Tuscan) and spending time with his wife Kim and their three daughters.
D. Max Friedman is HFS&L’s future. Among peers and clients, Max is building a reputation for intellectual curiosity, work ethic, and quick-study intuition.
Before becoming a founding partner of HFS&L, Max began his law career as an Assistant Solicitor for the City of Philadelphia. He managed a caseload of over 120 lawsuits against the city and its employees, including a $1.7 million claim relating to a water main break that flooded about 100 homes and businesses. He took multiple depositions a week, and sat first chair in scores of binding arbitrations and a bench trial. He also became familiar with Licensing and Inspections (L&I) violations issues and how to resolve them.
Max earned a bachelor’s degree cum laude from American University in Washington DC. While at Rutgers-Camden law school, He was a finalist in the Hunter Moot Court Competition and was honored as a Dean's Scholar—placing him among the school’s top 5% students. Since joining HFS&L, Max has been elected to the Executive Committee of the Philadelphia Bar’s Real Property Section. He’s been named to the SNJ Business People’s “40 Under 40” list.
At HFS&L, Max divides his legal practice between commercial litigation and real estate transactions, helping individuals and small and medium-sized businesses. Max is also HFS&L’s HR head and Chief Technology Officer.
Max played varsity tennis in high school and was named first team all-Burlington County two years in a row.
Gregory D. Saputelli is HFS&L’s lead litigator. Greg’s a polished, decorated professional. In fact, he’s a genuine trial attorney—designated as a Certified Civil Trial Attorney by the New Jersey Supreme Court. Fewer than 2% of all active New Jersey lawyers have earned this official stamp of approval. In fact, Greg teaches trial advocacy at Rutgers Law School - Camden.
Greg’s portfolio of clients and cases is wide and deep. He has civil litigation expertise across the spectrum of disputes and in diverse areas of the law, representing companies, businesses, individuals, and government entities. He has also helped clients obtain governmental permits and approvals, and pursue real estate tax appeals. Greg has taken on cases in healthcare law, zoning and land use (including affordable housing mandates), redevelopment law, construction law, insurance law, intellectual property law, eminent domain law, and professional liability and malpractice law (including claims against lawyers, doctors, and engineers).
Here is a sampling of Greg’s notable litigation wins:
Before joining HFS&L, Greg was a long-time partner at Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel, serving as managing partner of its Cherry Hill, New Jersey office for 26 years. He has been recognized locally and nationally as a Super Lawyer, in New Jersey Super Lawyers Magazine (7 times) and in Super Lawyers, Corporate Counsel Edition (4 times). He has been a judge at the National Mock Trial Competitions at Yale University and at the University of Pennsylvania. In 1990, he was an American Delegate to the Moscow Conference on Law and Economic Bilateral Relations, where he participated in workshops and meetings with attorneys and government leaders from Russia and the United States. He was Special Assistant to New Jersey Governor William T. Cahill (1970-1972). He has been quoted in the Chicago Tribune.
Greg is fluent in Russian, and has taught the language at Dickinson College.
 New Jersey is one of only 11 states that directly certify specialists in specific areas of the law. In order to be designated a “Certified Civil Trial Attorney” by the New Jersey Supreme Court, an attorney must (a) demonstrate sufficient experience, education, knowledge, and skill in civil trial practice; (b) demonstrate an unblemished reputation by submitting a list of attorneys and judges who attest to the applicant's character and ability; and (c) pass a rigorous examination.
Gary W. Levi is recognized as a client-centered problem solver, consensus builder, and deal maker. He’s adept with complex business, technology, and commercial real estate transactions for clients of all stripes, including publically traded companies. Gary has particular expertise in start-ups, commercial leases, and commercial condominiums.
Gary’s career covers the spectrum of deals. He’s handled buying and selling shopping malls, leases for national retail chains and corporate headquarters, large-scale construction contracts, and loan workouts, including a deal involving 98 different parcels of real estate, 4 hotels, a golf course, and a sewage plant. He’s handled contracts with electronic medical record (EMR) vendors. He’s created template Master Services Agreements for technology companies.
Gary also has private business experience as a principal/senior executive/general counsel of a successful healthcare data and communications company. He understands real-world business needs and objectives. This understanding informs a practical yet strategic approach to practicing law.
Before joining HFS&L, Gary was of counsel at Sherman Silverstein Kohl Rose & Podolsky and before that was co-chair of the Real Estate and Finance Department at Klehr Harrison Harvey Branzburg, where he also served on the Executive and Associates Committees.
Gary is a published writer on diverse subjects inside and outside the legal arena, including healthcare reform, global agribusiness, and climate change. Gary also played Division I baseball at UConn.
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING.
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING.
HFS&L has guided our company through business acquisitions and real estate transactions, and has given us general counsel. We consider them more like teammates than traditional attorneys. This is the first law firm that’s giving us a return on investment rather than simply an expense.
— Hal Kanefsky, President, Monarch Global Brands, Inc.
About Our Retainer Program
HFS&L’s retainer program has been a tremendous asset to our company. Being able to pick up the phone and discuss potential issues as they occur, in real time, has allowed us to steer clear of problems and steer straight toward our business goals. The retainer program also allows us to more accurately budget for legal services.
— Rob Greene, Vice President, SKAR Pharmacy, LLC d/b/a TextraRX
Testimonials for Ed Hovatter
Over the last dozen years, Ed has helped our company by guiding us from the land use process to resolving the everyday questions that a business owner has running a company. I view my relationship with Ed as an asset to my company—a relationship that helps me move my company forward. This is the first law firm I have worked with that adds value.
— Sam Waddell- SLS Landscaping, Inc.
Ed has impeccable integrity combined with depth of knowledge and an unparalleled work ethic…a truly rare combination which we have come to rely on.”
— Lynn and Joe Sonk
Ed Hovatter represented me in my first home purchase. Now 14 years later, Ed and his staff guided me through the process of selling that home. I was nervous about this process, but Ed and his staff are highly professional and efficient, and made the transaction go very smoothly.
— Ishia Morton
After seeing Ed’s extensive resume, I wasn’t sure if such an accomplished attorney would want to take on a small first -time home purchase. However, Ed always made me feel like I was his most important client.
— Jarrod Rosen
Testimonials for Max Friedman
I had the pleasure of being Max’s supervising attorney when he was Assistant City Solicitor in Philadelphia. Max handled an extremely busy caseload of claims against the City. He did so effectively and efficiently, at all times displaying excellent legal skills and a highly professional demeanor.
Max is a quick study. He rapidly learned the statutory, procedural, and case law related to our practice. Max gained obvious command of the law and facts and was able to distill the essential issues. His written work was excellent, offering clear and concise analysis and persuasive arguments. He used this array of knowledge and skills to negotiate favorable settlements for the City and to present winning arguments in Court.
Max was pleasant and respectful to everyone he encountered and was held in high regard by the agencies he represented as well as his colleagues in the Bar.
— Kenneth S. Butensky, Chief Deputy City Solicitor-Claims Unit, City of Philadelphia Law Dept.
As HFS&L’s Chief Technology Officer, Max Friedman is my point of contact for all IT issues. In my industry, it’s a pleasure to manage the IT needs of a firm with at least one tech-savvy individual, and Max is that guy. With an eye to the future, Max consistently looks for new ways to use technology not only to run the firm more efficiently, but to pass those efficiencies on to benefit the firm’s clients. This separates HFS&L from traditional law firms.
— Seth Alamar, Owner, Triple Threat Technologies, LLC (HFS&L's IT vendor)
Max Friedman represented my company in a dispute with a former business associate. Max kept me fully informed throughout. He worked diligently and efficiently—and protected my business.
— Barbara Zhang, Owner, Global Strategic Initiative, LLC
Testimonials for Greg Saputelli
I would recommend Greg to anyone involved in any type of complex litigation. My case was a Whistleblower lawsuit in federal court that involved a very complex set of issues and multiple parties. The defendants included an insurance company, a municipality, a labor union, the media, and several individuals. Greg’s experience, knowledge, and integrity simply overwhelmed all of the attorneys on the other side. The municipality settled the case for $1.2 million. The Union settled for an undisclosed amount. Shortly after the case was settled, a book was published about it. (Greenhead Politics, Amazon.com.)
— John T. Costello, Linwood, NJ
I’ve been a business owner in the senior care space for nearly 20 years. I recently entered into contract negotiations with a facility that I’ve been working with for years, and sought an attorney to represent my interests. At the advice of my accountant, I hired Greg, who also came highly recommended by several of his other clients. Throughout the process, I was thoroughly impressed with Greg’s professionalism and top-notch negotiating skills. Greg helped me strike a deal that only was the best deal for my business, but satisfied my facility client. In short, Greg helped me preserve a valuable, long-term relationship.
— Mary K. Wright, President/Owner, Senior Friends and Services, Inc.
Testimonials for Gary Levi
Originally, Gary hired me to work with him as a young Real Estate and Corporate attorney. In the years that I spent working with Gary, I learned that he is one of the smartest, most well-rounded transactional attorneys that I have met. Beyond his incredible knowledge base is a patient and thoughtful advocate who is always willing to take the time to educate his client so that together, you can work as a team and achieve the most positive result.
Gary is equally patient and imaginative with his opposition, devising creative ways to get deals done and help his clients achieve their goals.
Gary was my mentor and with him as my teacher, I learned to be an extremely successful attorney, and am now very happy and comfortable being his client.
— Benjamin D. Jogodnik, Managing Director, Mergers and Acquisitions, Toll Brothers, Inc.
Gary represented us in structuring, negotiating, and closing the out-sales of a very complicated, multi-use, multi-party commercial condominium transaction that took over six months to pull together and involved a little bit of everything: from sales agreement, master deed, leasing, title, and environmental concerns, to a Section 1031 exchange, to coordinating simultaneous closings with title companies on opposite coasts sending multiple wires.
Gary single-handedly took on—and outworked—seven opposing lawyers from two large firms. He was extremely responsive. He communicated in plain English. He devised creative solutions to thorny problems. In short, Gary helped us realize significant value from this deal. We’ve been in business a long time and worked with lots of lawyers; Gary’s a different breed.
— Ken Cayre, President/CEO, Cayre Investments
We have benefitted greatly from Gary’s advice and counsel for our commercial transactional work. Gary’s exhaustive knowledge of real estate law and sound business sense helps us identify, address, and resolve key issues before they become stumbling blocks.
Gary has taken the time to understand our core business and related concerns, so he can craft pragmatic solutions to protect our interests while still getting the deal done. He understands when to stand firm and when to show flexibility, and he knows how and where to play each card.
— Henry Waller, Vice President, Toll Brothers City Living ®
We were the buyer in an intricate multiple cell tower easement and lease assignment deal. The deal had reached an impasse. Gary was brought in by the other side at the eleventh hour. In no time, Gary was up to speed, cut through the outstanding issues, and cleared the way to a smooth closing that satisfied all parties.
Even though Gary was on the other side of the deal, I was impressed by his professionalism, depth of knowledge, and ability to craft and coordinate quick and efficient solutions.
I work in a non-traditional real estate business, and it’s often difficult to close deals even with experienced real estate practitioners. Gary is a cut above.
— Chris Fronjian, Vice President - Closings, Landmark Dividend, LLC