Robert Feder (Courtesy of Cuddy & Feder)
Robert Feder, a prominent real estate attorney and founding partner of Westchester County-based Cuddy & Feder, died Saturday after suffering complications from pneumonia. He was 86.
Benjamin Feder, his son and a special counsel at Kelley Drye & Warren, said, “His mind was undiminished, even as his body gave out on him.”
He added that his father had first met many of his clients at the opposite side of a negotiating table.
“He had a holistic feel for the law, for being able to get deals done, for being able to reach across the table to his adversaries, to find a connection and work through issues, no matter how thorny or difficult they were,” he said.
“He viewed the law as a never-ending all-you-can eat intellectual feast. That was the love of the law that he was able to share with me,” he said.
Feder focused on the development, financing, construction, purchase, leasing and sale of real estate. He represented most of the major developers and owners of commercial real property in Westchester and surrounding counties, such as the Robert Martin Co. and Presidential Realty, said firm managing partner Joshua Kimerling.
He also represented General Motors in obtaining developmental permits, environmental clearance and arranging the sale of a 97-acre former assembly plant in Sleepy Hollow, and was instrumental in the development of office parks around the Interstate 287 corridor of White Plains, Kimerling said.
In addition, Feder served as general counsel and a director of Interplex Industries Inc., a manufacturer of electronic precision parts.
He previously served as chair of the White Plains Hospital Board, president of the Legal Aid Society of Westchester and a commissioner of the White Plains Housing Authority.
Feder founded his firm in 1971 with William Cuddy, who died about 15 years ago, Kimerling said, adding the firm plans to keep its name. The 32-attorney firm has offices in White Plains, Manhattan, Fishkill, and Stamford, Connecticut.
“He built a legacy that will continue in the future with many generations of partners, we hope,” Kimerling said.
He said Feder was practicing law until the day he died.
“He represented his clients tirelessly, skillfully and with a devotion that goes beyond what many attorneys might do,” Kimerling said, adding he also devoted much time to charitable organizations, nonprofit boards and the city of White Plains.
Funeral services were held Tuesday in White Plains.
Feder is survived by his wife Marge; their children, Susan, Jessica, Abigail and Benjamin; and their grandchildren. He has one daughter who predeceased him, Judith.