The Real Estate Law Practice Group at McNees delivers sophisticated legal advice to a broad range of clients in virtually all areas relating to commercial real estate law. Our clients include residential and commercial real estate developers, investors, and lenders; buyers and sellers of real estate; businesses and non-profit entities with significant real estate components; and commercial lessors and lessees. Helen serves as McNees’ lead litigation attorney for real estate disputes.

What does Helen do for Clients?
Helen represents businesses and commercial property owners in real estate disputes involving municipal zoning and land development rights, title challenges (both surface and subsurface), easement rights, and lease claims. She also represents developers and homebuilders in construction disputes with homebuyers and subcontractors. She appears on behalf of clients before municipal governing bodies and zoning hearing boards, federal courts, the Pennsylvania Courts of Common Pleas, and the Pennsylvania appellate courts (Commonwealth Court, Superior Court and Supreme Court). Helen focuses on practical solutions, and effectively and efficiently advocates our clients’ interests.

What do Clients have to say about Helen?
“Helen is an extraordinary person whose personality has a unique combination of professionalism, humor, intelligence, ethics, tenacity, kindness, and compassion. She is able to effectively combine these traits into a package that makes you want to work with her to accomplish even the most difficult of tasks.” Barbara J. Bowker, Chief Member Experience Officer, PSECU.

How does Helen spend her free time?
Helen enjoys being outside, whether it is playing golf, hiking trails all over the world, or doing yard work. She also is an NFL fan, and can watch any game any time, even if her favorite Steelers aren’t playing. Helen also still thinks she is a competitive volleyball and softball player, although she is slowly becoming convinced that those days are behind her.


University of Chicago, B.A., 1986

Washington University in St. Louis, J.D., 1990


2021 – Pa. Commonwealth Court – Obtained reversal of municipality’s denial of subdivision plan and sewer planning module on grounds that adoption of intermunicipal agreement did not amend municipality’s land use ordinances

2020 – Pa. Commonwealth Court – Attained reversal of denial of subdivision and land development plan based on municipality’s bad faith in refusing to grant time extension to respond to staff comments

2020 – Pa. Commonwealth Court – Achieved ruling that municipal zoning ordinance unconstitutionally excluded client’s proposed land use and that client was entitled to site-specific relief

2018 – Pa. Superior Court – Prevailed on claim to extinguish subsurface oil and gas rights of former property owner based on former owners’ untimely challenge to early 1900s tax sale

2016 – Pa. Commonwealth Court – Persuaded court that absence of recorded deed did not prevent establishment of consentable boundary line under settlement agreement

2013 – Pa. Supreme Court – Obtained reversal of lower court’s award of over $1 million to delinquent taxpayers by establishing taxpayers had no legal cause of action and municipalities had right to recover collection costs

2008 – Pa. Supreme Court – Argued successfully that retroactive amendment of Municipal Claims and Tax Liens Act for collecting tax claims did not violate remedies clause of Pa. constitution

2008 Pa. Superior Court – Succeeded on claim that retail tenant’s lease and letter agreements prevented landlord from leasing to another tenant selling similar products


The Best Lawyers in America®, 2024

Women of Influence, Circle of Excellence Award Winner, Central Penn Business Journal, 2021

YWCA Tribute to Woman of Excellence Award Winner

Select Lawyers, 2014


Pennsylvania Bar Foundation, Board of Directors 2017-present

Delegate, House of Delegates, Pennsylvania Bar Association 2007-2013

Board of Directors, Dauphin County Bar Association 2005-2006

Certified Mediator, U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pa. 2006-present

Vision Resources of Central Pennsylvania, Board of Directors 2003-2008, 2018-present

Pinebrook Educational Foundation, Board of Directors, 2019-present

Leadership Harrisburg Area, Program Graduate 2001-2002

Deacon, Faith Bible Fellowship of York, Pa. 2017-present


U.S. District Court – Eastern District of Pennsylvania

U.S. District Court – Middle District of Pennsylvania

U.S. District Court – Western District of Pennsylvania

U.S. District Court – District of Columbia

U.S. District Court – District of Maryland

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

Pennsylvania Supreme Court

Maryland Court of Appeals

District of Columbia Court of Appeals


Bar Admissions


District of Columbia


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