Real Estate: Nationwide
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLPDechert LLPFried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP
Greenberg Traurig, LLPHolland & Knight LLPSkadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP & Affiliates
Real Estate: Nationwide
THE FIRM This prestigious firm has 200-plus real estate attorneys located across the USA, giving it almost unparalleled breadth and depth. The firm relies on this strength in representing clients in purchases and sales, commercial and retail leasing, joint ventures, restructurings, workouts and sales of loan portfolios and lending transactions. The team has an equally broad client base, representing owners, developers, investors, Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), funds, hospitality groups and retail clients, among others. The team represented a major REIT in the acquisition of an equity interest in multiple companies, which together comprise a large property portfolio. The matter - which included acquisition, restructuring, transfer tax and loan work - required the team to tap into resources in its California, Texas, Delaware and New York offices.
Commercial Awareness "Its strongest qualities include its understanding of the real estate and financial markets coupled with its knowledgeable legal expertise, responsiveness and overall ability to get a deal done."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Robert Ivanhoe, based in New York, is chair of the global real estate practice.
THE FIRM This leading firm has a real estate team that can assist clients across the gamut of related work, advising on tax, corporate restructuring and bankruptcy matters as well as the more standard real estate work, such as acquisitions and sales, loan origination and capital markets. This comprehensive offering allows the team to undertake the most complex matters on behalf of its lender, investor, developer, fund and REIT clients. The team has worked on a high profile representation of Centro Properties Group on the disposition of its US shopping centers to a private equity firm. Other notable clients include Deutsche Bank, JPMorgan Chase, Fortress Investment Group and MPG Office Trust.
Commercial Awareness "The advice is absolutely first rate, and the business knowledge and help they give us on business matters is invaluable."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Harvey Uris is global head for real estate. He is based in New York.
THE FIRM This firm's 175-attorney real estate practice performs a range of challenging, often cutting-edge, work for its large base of developer, lender and investor clients. Noted for its handling of complex transactions, the team has been highly active in representing investment banks and private equity funds in the acquisition of distressed properties or distressed property loan portfolios. It has provided financing, tax and structuring advice to a major joint venture created for the acquisition of a $2.25 billion loan portfolio which comprises performing and non-performing loans. Notable clients include Bank of China, Tishman Speyer and Citibank.
Sources say: "The folks there have been in this business for a very long time and are familiar with all the things that you need to look out for when you're acting with a lender in this space."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Jay Epstein is the chair of the US real estate group. He is based in Washington, DC.
THE FIRM This real estate group tackles complex projects by drawing on its specialties in environment, bankruptcy, tax and securities regulation. The team typically represents owners, developers, lenders, REITs and investors, although its international reputation has also led to it representing foreign entities and sovereign funds looking to invest in the US. The group's work highlights include high profile development projects, joint ventures, leasings, purchase and sale transactions and financings. It does a great deal of work for Tishman Speyer, including, recently, handling a complicated multiparty leasing transaction relating to the Skadden Arps office space in DC.
Client Service "The team is very user-friendly and incredibly responsive. Great client service and very intelligent."
KEY INDIVIDUALS The team is lead by Jonathan Mechanic in New York.
THE FIRM This firm's real estate group is well respected among peers for its complex transactional work, often involving distressed projects or troubled debt. It provides a full complement of real estate services, including acquisitions, dispositions, leasing, development, financing and joint ventures. Recently, the team performed a $505 million portfolio acquisition for private equity firm TPG capital from ProLogis. It also advised Infinity World Development in a $2 billion financing of a joint venture named CityCenter Holdings.
Sources say: "The competency and service level is just so high."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Phillip Feder is the chair of the real estate team. He is based in Los Angeles.
THE FIRM This thriving firm has a real estate team that is well respected for its capital market transactions, working on complex financing structures, including secured and unsecured credit facilities, as well as leasehold financings. The team, which comprises real estate litigators and bankruptcy lawyers, also provides clients with assistance in acquisitions, dispositions and dispute resolution. The firm's clients include foreign and domestic financial institutions, REITs and insurance providers. The team has recently represented Wells Fargo in various matters, including the restructuring of approximately $1.4 billion in structured debt, where the collateral consisted of a portfolio of office buildings in Chicago.
Sources say: "I always get a consistently a high level of quality. I think it is a superb firm. I've never met a partner that wasn't top drawer."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Marc Hayutin (Los Angeles), Lee Smolen (Chicago) and Alan Weil (New York) are the global coordinators for the firm's real estate group.
THE FIRM This firm's strong real estate team is active on the financing side, handling restructuring regarding over-leveraged assets and work for opportunity funds backed by international financial institutions. The team also has extensive experience representing corporate clients on transactional matters and is becoming increasingly busy in development and recapitalization. The firm performs high profile work such as the representation of affiliates of key client The Blackstone Group in relation to its acquisition for $9.4 billion of the shopping center business and managed funds of Centro Properties Group. Other notable clients of the firm include The Carlyle Group, CarrAmerica Realty Operating Partnership and Northwood Investors.
Sources say: "It has a sophisticated practice representing sophisticated clients."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Gregory Ressa is head of the real estate department. He is based in New York.
THE FIRM This firm's impressive real estate finance practice has been active representing clients on private capital, joint ventures, acquisitions and financings. The team enjoys a strong reputation for its capital markets and bankruptcy practices, providing services in, among other things, restructuring, securitization, public offerings and distressed debt. Clients of the firm include REITs, financial institutions and major investment banks. The team has recently been representing Vornado Realty Trust in numerous matters, including the restructuring of its debt investment in Times Square Crowne Plaza its concurrent acquisition of an equity investment. Other notable clients include Loews Corporation, Whitehall Funds and Apollo Global Management.
Sources say: "They have incredible attention to detail at a senior level."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Coordinating the firm's global commercial real estate practice is Joseph Shenker, who is based in New York.
THE FIRM The firm's real estate practice provides its clients with innovative structures for the development and acquisition of, and investment in, property. The firm is especially adept at complex debt structures and loan work, advising clients on everything from single asset securitized loans to loans backed by credit leases. The firm's real estate group includes attorneys with experience in litigation, tax, ERISA (Employment Retirement Income Security Act) and bankruptcy. Recent work includes representing JPMorgan in the refinancing of a hotel portfolio. Other notable clients include UBS, Bank of America and Westbrook Partners.
Sources say: "Very capable and very sophisticated."
KEY INDIVIDUALS William McInerney is a key contact and cochair of the firm's corporate finance practice. He is based in New York.
THE FIRM This experienced team works seamlessly with the firm's tax, mergers and acquisitions, finance and bankruptcy groups to represent owners and investors on a range of development, acquisition, disposition, financing, leasing and distressed asset work. On the financing side, the team recently advised a syndicate of mezzanine lenders in relation to an $800 million loan to affiliates of The Blackstone Group secured by a portfolio of hotels. On the dirt side, the team represented Genting Group in its $236 million acquisition of The Miami Herald building and associated waterfront property.
Client Service "I think they are fantastic. Someone on the team is always available to address our questions 24/7."
KEY INDIVIDUALS New York-based Steven Wilner is a key contact.
THE FIRM The firm's real estate group practices at the intersection of real estate finance and securitization and workout work, including the restructuring of debt and other complex financial structures. Clients include investment banks, private equity firms, sovereign funds, insurance companies and mortgage lenders, among others. Recently, the team has been representing a consortium of four major banks regarding financing of a potential bidder interested in the $10 billion loan portfolio put on sale by Anglo Irish Bank. Other notable clients include CWCapital, ING Real Estate Finance, Prudential Insurance Company.
Client Service "The culture of the firm is one which is focused on making things happen. They understand the issues from both sides and address the concerns in a constructive way."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Key contacts are Joseph Heil (San Francisco) and Richard Jones (New York and Philadelphia).
THE FIRM This team exploits the firm's geographical footprint and multidisciplinary practice to provide a broad range of services to its clients. It represents clients on acquisitions, dispositions, development, financing, hospitality, land use, permitting, sustainable development and leasing, with niche practices in time share and government-owned properties. Its diverse range of clients includes owners, developers, REITs, financial institutions, institutional funds and hospitality groups; and recently it represented Jamestown in the $123 million acquisition of a hotel located close to the White House. The team also represents foreign investors in their US dealings, as illustrated by its recent representation of Shen Zhen New World Investment in its acquisition of a hotel in California.
Commercial Awareness "We use them on complex transactions involving many attorneys at all levels and they consistently deliver outstanding legal work in a timely fashion."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Based in New York, Joseph Guay is the firm's real estate group contact.
THE FIRM This firm's real estate group has a diverse practice, offering expertise in acquisitions and dispositions, leasing, financing, workout, mixed-use developments and even tax matters. The group enjoys a strong reputation among peers for its representation of large publicly-traded companies, although the attorneys also represent REITs, borrowers, lenders, investors, developers, owners and luxury retailers. The team has recently provided sale and development representation to Hines Interests, a major national developer, while other clients include AIG Global Investment, Vornado Realty Trust and Giorgio Armani.
Sources say: "Very deep and able to handle large and complex matters."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Ronald Sernau and David Weinberger, both based in New York office, are cochairs of the firm's real estate department.
THE FIRM This team is active in commercial real estate transactions and finance matters, and also a wide range of matters relating to distressed assets and projects, including workouts, restructuring, foreclosure and refinancing. The team represents a wide range of market players, including investors, such as Rockpoint Group and Capital Management, and lenders, such as Wells Fargo. The team has also recently represented developer Stellar Management in relation to the proposed redevelopment of San Francisco's Villas Parkmerced.
Sources say: "Their responsiveness, thoroughness and expertise have been a great asset and I would strongly recommend them to anyone."
KEY INDIVIDUALS The firm's real estate team is lead by Jesse Sharf and Fred Pillon, both based in California.
THE FIRM This firm's integrated real estate practice represents clients on multi-state transactions, including raising and deploying capital, debt and equity restructuring and large scale development projects. The team is particularly highly regarded in fund formation and the representation of private funds and REITs, and offers experience across a range of residential, commercial, retail and hospitality assets. Recently, it has represented Rockwood Capital in capitalization and the formation of various joint ventures.
Sources say: "Through personal, trusted relationships with the team, we access first-rate real estate-related legal expertise at a first-rate firm with deep and broad capabilities in virtually any area if needed."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Andrew Sucoff and Gilbert Menna lead the firm's real estate, REITs and real estate capital markets group. They are both based in Boston.
THE FIRM This international firm is another major player in the REIT space and is active in matters both in the USA and across the world, including the Middle East, Latin America and Asia. As a recent example, the team has been representing Bright Start Holdings regarding a project to develop a Four Seasons resort in Dubai. The team is also active in joint venture agreements and leasing projects.
Sources say: "Very knowledgeable and cost-effective." "Hogan compares favorably with the other top firms with which we work."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Bruce Parmley is the head of the firm's real estate practice and is based between Washington, DC and Abu Dhabi.
THE FIRM Jones Day's real estate practice is broad in its offering, assisting a range of market participants on everything from acquisition and disposition to financing and development. Among its recent engagements, it has advised Trammell Crow Residential in relation to the $215 million redevelopment of a transit station used by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) into a large mixed-unit development. Other notable clients include Mill Creek Residential Trust, Morgan Stanley and the Rockpoint Group.
Sources say: "The team's strengths are its knowledge and responsiveness."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Robert Lee (Chicago) and David Lowery (Dallas) lead the group.
THE FIRM This firm makes full use of its breadth in handling the environmental, tax and bankruptcy aspects of real estate transactions, in addition to the more conventional work. It is experienced in financings, equity and debt structures, acquisitions, sales and workouts, and also offers special expertise in negotiating and structuring joint venture agreements. Recently, the team represented CIM Group regarding a joint venture for the acquisition and development of a 12 million sq ft mixed-use project.
Sources say: "They provide extremely pragmatic and practical advice. They have a deep bench of attorneys with strong market intelligence in many different areas."
KEY INDIVIDUALS The head of the firm's national real estate practice is David Bryant. He is based in Chicago.
THE FIRM This firm's real estate group is well equipped to represent its clients in the development, financing and refinancing of large scale projects, particularly within the spheres of gaming, hotels and resorts. As an example, the team recently represented Downstream Development Authority of the Quapaw Tribe in relation to a $295 million hotel and casino financing. It also handles acquisitions, sales and investments on behalf of corporate and private clients, which include the likes of Greystar Real Estate Partners and Ares Management.
Sources say: "The quality is fantastic, really second to none."
KEY INDIVIDUALS New York-based James Hisiger is chair of the firm's global real estate group.
THE FIRM This international firm has a real estate practice that encompasses both traditional real estate work and real estate financing, and as such represents the range of market players, including owners, developers, investment banks, REITs and funds. Notable clients include Carlyle Realty, Heitman America Real Estate Trust and Starwood Capital, whom the firm recently represented in relation to the acquisition, for $286.5 million, of a portfolio of seven multifamily apartment complexes in Virginia and Maryland.
Sources say: "They are smart and recognize all the issues, but practical when it comes to assessing what really matters."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Keith Willner in DC and Chicago-based Jeffrey Usow lead the firm's international real estate practice.
THE FIRM This firm's real estate team has extensive experience in public sector financing and infrastructure projects and has recently been busy in the public-private partnership (PPP) arena. It continues to advise client Shorenstein Properties in relation to various matters, including the acquisition of properties in San Francisco and Silicon Valley. Other notable clients include CalPERS Real Estate, Honeywell International and SKS Investments.
Sources say: "The quality of work and timeliness of turnaround are the best that I have seen."
KEY INDIVIDUALS San Francisco-based Robert Herr is head of the practice.
THE FIRM The team here has extensive experience in structuring and restructuring complex transactions and has also been at the forefront of work in the growing PPP space. Its clients, which are both foreign and domestic, include investors, developers, hedge funds and private equity firms. The team recently represented Sunrise Senior Living on the debt and equity restructuring of a portfolio of properties, as well as acquisitions and dispositions. Other notable clients include Colony Capital, Ventas and Paramount Group.
Sources say: "They consistently do excellent work. They have good business sense and lots of really smart associates."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Eugene Pinover and Steven Klein are cochairs of the practice. Both are based in New York.
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23 May 2013: Chambers USA Awards for Excellence 2013, New York
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3rd October 2013: Chambers Bar Awards 2013, London
10 May 2012: Chambers Europe Awards for Excellence, Amsterdam