Real Estate - Massachusetts
THE FIRM This group enjoys a strong presence at state, federal and international levels. It is equally strong in real estate development, investment and financing, and is renowned for its ability to bring innovative solutions to complex commercial real estate matters nationwide. Notable clients include Millennium Partners, Fan Pier Development and Clarion Partners.
Sources say: "A mature and excellent real estate practice."
KEY INDIVIDUALS John Rattigan is a well-known name in major development work, with recent highlights including the redevelopment of the former Ritz Carlton, and an $800 million joint venture development which, at 1.1 million sq ft, constitutes the largest leasing project in Massachusetts. Clients say: "He is exceedingly creative in solving business problems."
The eminent Richard Rudman recently represented National Development of New England and Charles River Realty Fund in the formation of a joint venture for the development of a life science research building on the Harvard University Medical Area.
John Sullivan leads the firm's Boston-based real estate group. His recent highlights include representing AEW Capital Management in its $167 million acquisition of the National Press Building. He is also highly active in commercial real estate work on behalf of pension funds and private equity investors. Clients admire his hands-on approach and laud him as "simply an excellent attorney."
Managing partner of the firm's Boston office Elliot Surkin brings his formidable experience and knowledge of real estate financing and taxation to bear, and maintains strong relationships with major commercial developers and investors.
THE FIRM This group retains its place among the elite of the Massachusetts real estate space, and cultivates a leading practice in the nationwide hospitality and leisure industry. Known for its strengths in complex corporate financing, joint ventures and REIT work, this group is able to match substantive knowledge in both financing and acquisitions with superlative client service. Notable clients include AEW Capital, Beacon Capital, BlackRock Realty and Gallus BioPharmaceuticals.
Sources say: "They're one of the best; their partners are incredibly capable and have a great group of associates."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Michael Glazer is an esteemed commercial real estate attorney, specializing in joint ventures, financing and leasing within the hospitality industry. He recently represented Four Seasons Hotel in a joint venture development, and regularly undertakes high-profile acquisitions and disposals. "His balanced perspective on commercial endeavors was a great resource for us."
Chair of the development and permitting practice Martin Healy is described as "simply a fantastic development guy" whose expertise lies in environmental permitting for major development projects. His key roles include advising the Massachusetts Port Authority on environmental compliance matters.
Financing specialist Minta Kay has a wealth of experience in REIT-related work, and represents debt and equity investors in sophisticated acquisitions and developments.
James Broderick is the head of the firm's real estate investment management practice group, and works extensively on behalf of institutional investors. Clients appreciate the manner in which "he gets to the heart of the matter."
Commentators hail Christopher Barker as a solid lawyer in the real estate space. He has firm experience in joint venture hotel development projects.
Paul Schwartz is singled out as "a dean of the real estate investment space," who has been highly active in working on sophisticated fund formation matters.
Andrew Sucoff is cochair of the firm's real estate, REITs and real estate capital markets practice group. He has been highly active in numerous retail acquisitions for Kimco Realty and other commercial investors, and also has great experience in the development of multifamily and assisted living space.
Lawrence Kaplan has particular strength in zoning and land use, and recently undertook a mixed-use development project for New Balance Athletic Shoe incorporating office and hotel space alongside sports facilities.
THE FIRM Goulston & Storrs is renowned for its real estate strength, and for its capabilities in providing a full service to commercial developer clients in this space. Its attorneys are well placed to handle a range of transactional work, from acquisitions and disposals to financing and development. The team is particularly highlighted for its expertise in the structuring of syndicated transactions. Key clients include Avalon Bay Communities, MIT and CrossHarbour Capital.
Sources say: "We have always been impressed by the quality of work delivered by Goulston & Storrs."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Douglas Husid is a leading zoning and land use practitioner. He is noted, among other areas, for his expertise in permitting, which he recently brought to bear in his work on a large-scale mixed-use development for long-term client Samuels & Associates.
He is joined in this area by urban planning expert Matthew Kiefer, whose recent highlights include assisting in the representation of MS Boston Seaport in relation to a 23-acre joint venture development in the Seaport District of Boston.
Practice stalwart Jordan Krasnow is admired for his proactive, deal-making approach, and for his impressive real estate knowledge. He is highly regarded by both peers and clients: "He's great at getting people around the table and finding a solution; he is diplomatic, knowledgeable and gets the right people involved."
Barry Green is a strong player both in Boston and nationally. He was lead counsel in the acquisition and financing of the Ohio Marriott hotel portfolio. He is described as "very responsive to clients; very bright and very personable."
Clients of established leasing lawyer Frank Litwin benefit from his considerable experience and expertise in development projects. He was lead counsel in the aforementioned Boston Seaport joint venture between Morgan Stanley and Boston Global Investors.
Debbie Horwitz has experience across a diverse range of real estate matters. She recently represented a publicly traded REIT, Federal Realty Investment Trust, in the acquisition of a controlling interest in a 381,000 sq ft shopping center in El Segundo, California.
The seasoned authority Alan Rottenberg has built an established and respected practice in the Massachusetts real estate sector. He has an impressive track record across a broad range of complex real estate matters and brings this experience to bear on behalf of a diverse client base.
Zoning and land use expert John Twohig recently acted for a joint venture between New England Development, National Development and Eastern Development in the acquisition of a 60-acre mixed-use development site from a hedge fund.
Raymond Kwasnick is renowned for his strength in complex leasing, and clients commend him for his skill and tenacity in leasing negotiations. "Ray is spectacular in negotiations," say sources; "his knowledge of the area is great."
THE FIRM Mintz Levin has a strong and expanding development practice, supported by a public financing section, operating locally and nationally. Clients are continually impressed with the team's dedication and professionalism on some of the most high-profile and groundbreaking developments in the state. A host of Fortune 500 companies choose Mintz Levin to represent them in acquisitions, dispositions, leasings and developments, such as Wells Fargo, CVS Caremark and Bristol-Myers Squibb.
Sources say: "The team is very good at adapting to changes and being flexible, and working to find solutions."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Andrew Urban is an expert when it comes to sophisticated financing and structuring. He represents longstanding client CVS Caremark in a range of high-value sale and leaseback transactions. "I like him because he's straightforward, works with us to understand our goals and isn't afraid to roll up his sleeves to get the transaction completed," say sources.
Dan Gaquin is a go-to attorney for real estate investment, and is leading the team on major developments in the gaming space. He has worked on numerous transactions for a number of leading private real estate investors, such as Colony Realty Partners.
Frederick Pittaro is vastly experienced and well respected for his work involving sophisticated real estate matters. He recently led on behalf of The First Church of Christ, Scientist in relation to the 14-acre renovation plan for its headquarters in the Back Bay of Boston.
Eric Freeman undertakes a great deal of high-value acquisitions and dispositions, among other types of matter, on behalf of various private owners, operations and investors, such as Colony Realty. "He has gone out of his way to understand me and my firm," said one impressed client; "he's a fine lawyer."
THE FIRM This superb group has a diverse client base and expertise covering financing and development work. The team is able to call on support from its tax, bankruptcy and litigation groups to provide a truly comprehensive package for its owner, developer and lender clients. The group's recent highlights include representing the City of Quincy in the negotiation and drafting of a land disposition agreement for the redevelopment of the Quincy Center.
Sources say: "They are outstanding as a firm; extremely knowledgeable, very responsive and efficient."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Robert Fishman is a strong all-arounder with a solid reputation in both real estate and zoning and land use issues. He led in group's representation of the City of Quincy in the aforementioned land disposition agreement drafting and negotiation.
Michael Zabowsky has a highly regarded practice with an emphasis on financing. He represents extensive asset portfolios in loan restructuring and other matters. "He represented us very well," said one impressed client, "creating a smooth, efficient transaction that everyone was happy with."
Beth Mitchell works both locally and nationally, and has played a crucial role in development projects in the region. Commentators praise her for her "superb understanding of the law and her ability to navigate the bureaucratic waters."
Paul Ayoub is an experienced practitioner with the ability to handle the most sophisticated deals. He counts several financial institutions among his clients and is praised for his leadership skills in getting a deal done.
THE FIRM WilmerHale's real estate practice, while national in scope, is praised for its firm grasp of local real estate, land use and development issues. Core areas of its expertise include senior living, retail and life sciences. In the fallout of the financial crisis, the group has also been a reliable go-to for distressed investments. Notable clients include Benchmark Senior Living, Eaton Vance and Trinity Financial.
Sources say: "They have great reputations and they have good clients."
KEY INDIVIDUALS The preeminent Katharine Bachman "knows the intricacies of complicated and sensitive matters," say sources, "and is an excellent resource, leading clients through with good, practical advice." She recently represented Alexandria Real Estate Equities in leasing transactions relating to life sciences projects.
The highly respected William O'Reilly is praised for his wide-ranging real estate expertise. His recent work includes undertaking the workout of a mixed-use development, representing a high-profile retailer in major acquisitions and dispositions, and advising on the development of an ambitious new lab facility for Novartis.
Chair of the practice group Paul Jakubowski is an expert in complex, high-value lease transactions and has nationwide experience in loan workouts and foreclosures. One impressed source said: "He understands what we as a client are looking for; he has a great skill set and is always available."
Doug Burton covers all aspects of financing and development work, and has been actively involved in mixed-use developments and senior and affordable housing projects across the country.
Sean Boulger is an expert in senior housing joint ventures and multifamily housing projects, among other types of matter. "When I work with him, I always find that the transaction goes smoothly," said one happy client; "he's a good-quality, careful lawyer who is a pleasure to deal with."
THE FIRM This well-respected and broad-ranging real estate group makes its entry into the rankings this year on the back of high praise for its expertise in land use and construction matters, and for its cross-disciplinary strengths in tax credits and public financing. The team's recent highlights include acting for the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority in various brownfields remediation issues relating to the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center phase II development area.
Sources say: "They are very responsive and able to grasp and dissect very complex matters in a very short period of time."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Rebecca Lee is described by her clients as "a real force, doing brilliant work," primarily in the land use and permitting space. Her work highlights include advising on a high-value campus development for the Winsor School, and a $230 million built-to-suit development for AREA Property Partners.
Lorne McDougall undertakes sophisticated real estate work and is a powerful advocate for his clients during negotiations. "Nothing gets by him, yet he's very easy to deal with," say interviewees; "even difficult clients like him - he masterfully defuses potentially explosive negotiations."
Dave Rodgers has a broad range of real estate skills, and is particularly highlighted for his expertise in relation to construction projects. "He is brilliant, methodical and meticulous," say sources.
THE FIRM This team is held in high esteem for its strength in financing, representing lenders in syndication and lease work, as well as for its growing practice in development work. The group also has experience in multifamily and mixed-use projects.
Sources say: "The team has creativity combined with attention to detail and knowledge of how the client likes to work."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Philip Notopoulos offers expert guidance in acquisition and easement work, and recently worked on a significant rail expansion project. One impressed source said: "Phil has always been right on top of very complex zoning, permitting and financing processes - I always feel I'm getting the best advice from him."
Philip Lapatin is a well-regarded commercial leasing expert, representing both landlords and tenants. Client praise for him is high: "He has done a superb job; we couldn't have asked for better."
THE FIRM Nixon Peabody's Boston group is well known for its expertise in the nationwide affordable and senior housing industries and the related field of tax credit financings, among other areas. Its real estate investment finance team is well placed to provide services in loan restructuring and workouts. Its recent highlights include representing Boston Tea Party Ship in the negotiation of a loan and grant for the construction of the Boston Tea Party Ship Museum.
Sources say: "They have a very good working knowledge of the industry."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Paul Bouton is an expert in affordable housing financing and development. Clients admire his quiet but effective professionalism: "He's able to rise above the fray, keeping his eye on the ball; his balanced approach makes him a very good advocate for his client."
Firm CEO and managing partner Andrew Glincher "has a unique ability to be a crossover between a business lawyer and a litigator," said an impressed source. He is commended as both a leader and a front-line advocate, with strength in loan recovery and restructuring.
Matthew Lynch is a respected lawyer with a broad practice, covering all aspects of real estate work. "I like working with him because he understands my business, how I work and where I want to get to," according to one client.
THE FIRM This widely acclaimed national and international practice occupies a firm position in the Boston market. The group has a reputation for providing strong real estate financing support to its corporate and private equity clients, which include APG Asset Management, TPG Capital and the TJX Companies.
Sources say: "They're extremely responsive, and their work is very high quality."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Eminent real estate practitioner Walter McCabe is a go-to lawyer for sophisticated structuring and finance work. "He's the kind of guy you want on a complex transaction," say observers; "great at thinking outside the box and coming up with solutions."
Richard Gordet has a strong reputation in counseling private equity investors, and is particularly commended for his expertise in joint ventures. One client said: "He is extremely interested in making sure that everyone understands all the options - he is an extremely strong lawyer and adds a lot of value for us."
Richard Toelke is cochair of the real estate practice group at Bingham McCutchen LLP. He has a broad-based practice, with a particular emphasis in recent years on multifamily acquisitions and dispositions. He is praised for his collaborative approach and his "understanding of the business goals."
Paul Laudano, also of Brown Rudnick LLP, is lead counsel on the $2.5 billion development of the Revel resort and casino project. Clients appreciate that he is "calm and thorough in his approach - totally attentive and amazingly helpful."
Thomas Phillips of Brown Rudnick LLP has broad-ranging expertise, and is highlighted in particular for his strength in retail leasing issues. He recently represented MGM Resorts in its western Massachusetts casino development. He also handles nationwide lease negotiation work for Ulta Beauty.
Andrew Stern of Foley & Lardner LLP is a recognized expert in commercial real estate and office leasing. He regularly represents the likes of Snyder Properties and the Potpourri Group, among other commercial clients, and is described as "sincere, caring, committed and always available."
Christopher Milton of Greenberg Traurig, LLP undertakes a range of complex real estate issues, including acquisitions, dispositions, leases and financing. He recently served as special counsel to MetLife in relation to an $80 million loan to the owner of a condominium unit at Reservoir Woods Main Campus.
Scott Cooper recently joined Hinckley, Allen & Snyder LLP from Holland & Knight. Cooper is a well-respected financing expert who represents financial institutions in complex transactional work. "He's just a fantastic financing lawyer who really knows his stuff," say interviewees.
Richard Nylen of Lynch DeSimone & Nylen LLP is a well-regarded practitioner whose expertise in land use helps his clients to bridge the gap between real estate and environmental law at both local and federal level.
Cynthia Keliher of McCarter & English, LLP is a revered negotiator, bringing her skills to bear on behalf of landlords and tenants in relation to major developments. Her recent highlights include representing the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority in connection with ground lease and air rights dispositions. She is described as "generous, selfless and always engaging."
Deirdre Robinson is chair of the affordable housing practice group at Murtha Cullina LLP. She has a reputation as "a superwoman of an attorney," who handles commercial leasing, financing and developing matters, as well as affordable housing assignments.
Steven Weinstein of Riemer & Braunstein LLP has a solid reputation in Boston for representing banks in complex real estate transactions, and for his particular strength in workouts and loan restructurings.
Brian Blaesser of Robinson & Cole LLP manages an excellent and broad-ranging transactional and litigious real estate practice. "He does excellent work," say sources; "he's really knowledgeable, and an engaging and personable guy to deal with."
Carla Moynihan, also of Robinson & Cole LLP, is a respected drafter and negotiator who works on complex projects for clients such as Distinctive Hospitality, Mica Creek Sagamore and Guardian Life Insurance. One impressed client said: "She takes a personal interest in accomplishing the mission and is a strong advocate for my interests."
Seyfarth Shaw LLP's Andrew Pearlstein has a reputation for being "a very pleasant guy who goes out of the way to help his client and give a consistently good product." He represents financial institutions, developers and owners on sophisticated commercial work.
Peter Friedenberg of Sherin and Lodgen LLP is highly commended by his clients. He recently represented the Massachusetts Department of Transportation in the negotiation of a ground lease to a private developer as part of the 'Big Dig' project. "His work is always flawless and perfectly formulated," say sources.