Real Estate Law

Serving the Firm’s clients in the real estate industry and also those engaged in real estate transactions incidental to other businesses, the real estate attorneys have a broad base of experience in meeting our clients’ needs relating to acquisitions, investments, development, financing, construction, ownership, management, leasing, timber and dispositions of various types of commercial real estate, and all aspects of residential properties including condominiums and cooperatives, and the conversion process. Our practice is diverse and sophisticated, and we are proud of our success in assisting our clients in responding to the challenges and opportunities of the real estate industry and the current market, through innovative and sophisticated approaches that meet client requirements for practical and cost-effective solutions.

Our clients include commercial banks and other institutional lenders, investment banks, private lenders, institutional and private investors, public and private companies, landlords and tenants, developers of office/industrial buildings, residential apartment and condominium communities, golf courses, hotels, shopping centers, resorts and multi-use developments, and corporate users. Our commercial bank clients use the Firm to handle many of their traditional residential and business mortgage loans. We also represent major real estate industry players as well as families and wealthy individuals in acquisitions, land assemblages, joint ventures, partnership and operating agreements, sales, financing, leasing, construction and development issues. We assist clients in buying and selling distressed real estate-based loans (on an individual and portfolio basis) and in developing strategies to maximize their investments. We also have a particular, in-depth understanding of cooperative and condominium laws and represent many sponsors and boards. Moreover, working closely with attorneys in other practice groups within the Firm, our acquisition and development work includes careful consideration of tax implications, governmental regulatory matters, construction, zoning, land use and environmental issues.

Our experience includes all types of real estate transactions, including:

  • Acquisition and Development
  • Leasing
  • Financing
  • Investments
  • Timber

In the process of handling these various transactions, the real estate attorneys handle joint ventures, partnerships and limited liability company agreements from both the investor and the developer side; 1031 exchanges; complex commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS), residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS), structured financing and mezzanine loan arrangements, in addition to the more traditional mortgage financing; covenant, condition and restriction agreements; zoning and permitting issues; land use easements and ancillary rights; leasing and lease enforcement; project or corporate campus management, mixed use development and finance; complex construction, architect and development contracts; public/private partnerships; and other matters and issues inherent to the intricacies of land ownership and operation.

The successful completion of any real estate transaction requires an appreciation of the importance of timing, a technical knowledge of the financing of the transaction, a thorough understanding of the applicable law, including relevant tax and other regulations, and an appreciation and understanding of the business aspects of the transaction. Our attorneys are able to effectively partner with our clients and their other advisors, to successfully consummate transactions in a creative, practical and cost-effective manner. In so doing, we are enthusiastic proponents of technology and use it aggressively to manage costs and to accelerate preparation, delivery and transmission of draft documents and completion of transactions. We are committed to providing the highest quality legal services in a responsive and focused manner, on time and on budget.

Our assistance on financing matters includes:

  • Advising clients with regard to the structure and costs associated with a proposed financing transaction.
  • Drafting and negotiating documentation during all phases of the making of a loan, from loan applications and commitments to documents typically associated with a financing transaction including mortgages, pledge and other security instruments, promissory notes, loan agreements, guaranties (including completion, carve out and “Bad Boy” guaranties), environmental indemnity agreements, opinions of counsel, subordination and attornment agreements and tenant estoppel certificates.
  • Gathering and reviewing due diligence documentation such as title commitments, title exception documents, surveys, leases, land use and zoning compliance documentation, building permits, environmental assessments, and contracts with and certifications from architects, contractors and engineers;
  • Working in conjunction with attorneys from the Corporate and Bankruptcy Sections of the Firm, our real estate attorneys are experienced in handling workout, recovery and bankruptcy situations. We have worked with major financial institutions, including the RTC, extensively during the last several real estate down cycles.  Attorneys in the Firm’s Litigation Section have also handled commercial foreclosures for our lending clients when the need arises.  In addition, our attorneys in our Construction Section provide invaluable assistance on construction, architect and development contracts.