Harry S. Cherken, Jr.

Partner Philadelphia
harry.cherken dbr.com
Phone: (215) 988-2721
Fax: (215) 988-2757


Harry S. Cherken, Jr. represents publicly traded and closely held corporations, partnerships, investors and developers, particularly in the acquisition, construction, development, financing, leasing, management, consolidation and disposition of commercial real estate.

Harry’s experience is varied and sophisticated, ranging from representing a leading semiconductor assembly equipment manufacturer in the acquisition of its worldwide administrative headquarters to a consortium of lenders financing the development of a downtown shopping mall. He has significant experience with leases of all types of facilities on behalf of landlords and tenants.

Harry now serves or previously served as a board member of a number of corporations and charitable groups, including Urban Outfitters, Inc., Lafayette College, the Library Company of Philadelphia, the Armenian Assembly of America, the Reading Terminal Market Preservation Fund, the Woodmere Art Museum, The Howard Karagheusian Commemorative Corporation, The Kulicke Fund and The Balch Institute. He also served for a decade as a Member of the Advisory Board of the Advanced Commercial Leasing Institute of the Georgetown University Law Center – CLE, and has lectured at Villanova University School of Law and the Wharton Real Estate Center of the University of Pennsylvania. He was principal editor of Ladner on Conveyancing, the premier text on Pennsylvania real estate, for many years.


Harry’s leasing work has a retail tenant emphasis and he has handled regional and national expansion for a number of diverse retail chains. As an example, a local retailer chose Harry to handle the lease of its flagship store (after having dealt with him when he represented the other side on a lease). Drinker Biddle is now this retailer’s primary outside counsel, and Harry has represented it in financings and leases for hundreds of locations worldwide.

Harry has also represented commercial owners and developers of office/warehouse/ flex/retail buildings with all aspects of the acquisition, financing and construction of their projects. This includes his representation of an international retailer in the assemblage over time of a series of buildings (totaling nine to date, and consisting of more than one million square feet) within the former Philadelphia Navy Yard, for restoration and occupancy as its headquarters.


Chambers USA, Band 1 – Pennsylvania, Real Estate (2013-2016)
Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business (2005-Present)
Who’s Who in the World
Who’s Who in America
Who’s Who in the East
Who’s Who in American Law
Who’s Who Legal: USA Real Estate
International Who’s Who of Real Estate Lawyers
International Who's Who of Business Lawyers
Guide to the World’s Leading Real Estate Lawyers
Expert Guide, The World’s Finest Lawyers, Construction and Real Estate

Awards Methodology (www.drinkerbiddle.com/content/awards)

Harry has been described by one client as ‘a very strong negotiator’, and by another as ‘incredibly competent and poised’, [with] a ‘great intellectual understanding of the law.’


Another client called him ‘the most diligent attorney I have ever worked with [who] will do whatever it takes to get us to the finish line.’


He stands out for his knowledge in retail leasing both in regional and national cases.



Bar Admissions

  • Pennsylvania


  • Villanova University School of Law, J.D., 1976, Law Review
  • University of Pennsylvania, M.L.A., 2010
  • Lafayette College, B.A., 1971

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania


  • American College of Real Estate Lawyers
  • American Bar Association
  • Board of Governors of the Armenian Bar Association (Past Chair)

Harry's Areas of Focus