Feb 21, 2011

SGR Expands Real Estate Practice in Atlanta

ATLANTA (February 21, 2011) — Smith, Gambrell & Russell announced today that a new team has joined its Real Estate practice in the Atlanta office.

Aasia Mustakeem joins the firm as Partner in the commercial real estate practice from Epstein Becker Green’s Atlanta office. She represents developers, purchasers and sellers in connection with acquisition, disposition and development of office, hotel, retail, industrial and mixed-use projects. Joining the firm with Ms. Mustakeem is associate Crystal Wells Cook whose practice focuses on financial products, real estate law and corporate law.

“We did not hesitate in our efforts to add Aasia to our Partnership. Lawyers of Aasia’s stature are an uncommon find for any law firm. Aasia and Crystal possess skills and experience that complement our commercial real estate practice firm-wide,” said SGR’s Managing Partner, Stephen M. Forte.

Ms. Mustakeem’s experience includes advising lenders and borrowers in secured loan and workout transactions, representing both landlords and tenants in negotiating commercial leases, representing owners and developers of hotel properties, representing companies that acquire and operate health care facilities, representing companies and institutions nationwide in the ownership, operation and finance of corporate-owned real estate, counseling companies involved in the purchase and sale of timberlands, advising companies in connection with project and infrastructure finance and representing energy companies, particularly in connection with sustainable development projects.

Ms. Mustakeem serves on the Boards of Directors for Grady Memorial Hospital and Zoo Atlanta, among others. She recently received the 2010 Commitment to Equality Award from the State Bar of Georgia Women and Minorities in the Profession Committee. Ms. Mustakeem earned her B.A. degree from the University of Pittsburgh, cum laude, and her J.D. from Georgia State University College of Law, cum laude. She is admitted to practice in Georgia.

Crystal Wells Cook’s real estate and lending transaction experience includes various aspects of restructuring real assets, negotiating leases, analyzing complex acquisitions and purchasing and disposing of timberland. Ms. Cook is a licensed Certified Public Accountant and has worked for two of the Big Four public accounting firms where she developed extensive experience in real estate partnership taxation.

Ms. Cook earned her B.S. degree from the University of Connecticut, cum laude, and her J.D. from Duke University. She is admitted to practice in Georgia.

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