Harry S. Cherken, Jr.

Senior Counsel


Harry Cherken delivers business-minded counsel to help stakeholders throughout the commercial real estate market develop and implement strategies aligned to their business and their goals. He 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. A board member of a number of corporations and charitable groups, Harry has distinguished himself as a sharp business mind, both within and outside the realm of commercial real estate.

Commercial Real Estate

Harry also has significant experience handling leases of all types of facilities on behalf of landlords and tenants alike. Clients rely on Harry to drive commercial real estate projects that are essential to their operations and growth. He has helped retailers secure the leases they need to expand nationally and has represented commercial owners and developers of specialty properties with the acquisition, financing and construction of their projects. He has also played an integral role in helping clients secure the space they need for specialty projects, including helping a leading semiconductor assembly equipment manufacturer acquire its worldwide administrative headquarters, assisting an international retailer in the development of its campus that now includes approximately one million square feet, and the preservation of an urban historic farmers’ market threatened with destruction after over 100 years of service.

Representative Experience

  • 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). The firm 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 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.


Harry is the honorary consul to Greater Philadelphia for the Republic of Armenia, having been appointed to that post by the Armenian Foreign Ministry in 2021.

Faculty Positions

  • Villanova University School of Law — Former Lecturer
  • Wharton Real Estate Center of the University of Pennsylvania — Former Lecturer


Bar Admissions


Court Admissions

U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania


Villanova University School of Law
J.D. Law Review (1976)

University of Pennsylvania
M.L.A. (2010)

Lafayette College
B.A. (1971)

Leadership & Community

Pro Bono

  • Representation of the Republic of Armenia with respect to the acquisition of its Embassy in Washington, D.C., and of its UN Mission in New York City

Professional Associations

  • Urban Outfitters, Inc. — Director, 1989-present
  • Perpay, Inc. — Director, 2017-present
  • Armenian Bar Association, Board of Governors, Member, 1990-2003; Vice Chair, 1994-95 and 1996-98; Chair, 2000-01
  • Member, Advisory Board, Advanced Commercial Leasing Institute, Georgetown University Law Center CLE, 2002-12

Civic Activities

  • Lafayette College — Trustee, 2015-present
  • Consular Corps Association of Philadelphia — Contributing Member, 2021-present 
  • The Library Company of Philadelphia — Trustee, 2010-21; Emeritus Trustee, 2021-present
  • Armenian Assembly of America — Fellow Trustee, 1986-present
  • Howard Karagheusian Commemorative Corporation — Director, 2002-present
  • The Kulicke Fund — Trustee, 1985-present
  • The Balch Institute — Trustee, 1992-2000
  • The Woodmere Art Museum, Trustee, 2002-09
  • Reading Terminal Market Preservation Fund — Secretary, 1991-2015

Firm Leadership

  • Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP — Former Managing Partner; Chair, Co-Chair, Real Estate Group (16 years)


  • Chambers USA — Pennsylvania, Real Estate, "Senior Statespeople," 2018-22
  • Chambers USA — Pennsylvania, Real Estate, 2013-17
  • Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business 2005-20
  • Best Lawyers® — Real Estate Law, 1999-2022
  • 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 in Corporate America
  • 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
  • President of Armenia Citation for pro bono representation of the Republic of Armenia on real estate matters.

Awards Methodology

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