THE FIRM This national powerhouse has established a deep bench of real estate attorneys in Philadelphia. The practice has attracted key clients such as JG Petrucci, BPG Properties and the National Center for the American Revolution. Attorneys have this year been handling an impressive range of real estate matters, working on distressed real estate initiatives across the country as well as leasing, finance and transactional issues. The Philadelphia office also houses a strong land use and zoning practice.
Sources say: "This is a great firm with a long-standing reputation in real estate and many excellent lawyers."
KEY INDIVIDUALS David Gifford is lauded as "one of the top real estate development attorneys in the city." His recent highlights include advising on the real estate aspects of the development of the Museum of the American Revolution. He also demonstrates particular expertise when handling major bet-the-company leases.
Land use and zoning specialist Neil Sklaroff headed the team's work on behalf of JG Petrucci to obtain land use permits for its sale of land to Teva. "He's just fantastic," say sources.
Practice chair Michael Sklaroff has "done a great job building the practice" according to sources. This year he has handled a complex zoning case before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court which has proved important in determining the interpretation of the municipalities planning code. He also deals with real estate development, real property tax and eminent domain matters.
Department vice chair Bart Mellits has represented Wexford Science & Technologies throughout the Eastern states and maintains a strong development practice.
Alan Ritterband is a highly experienced attorney with specialist knowledge of construction law. He recently advised the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania on the development of a new court building involving complex easement and lease arrangements.
Sources praise Tina Makoulian as "an excellent lawyer: she is responsive, bright and analytical." She has knowledge of land use and zoning as well as complex real estate developments. Clients say she "understands our business and is incredibly hard-working."
Philip Korb is highly thought of among peers. He handles a high volume of work relating to condominiums and has particular expertise in transfer tax.
Matthew McClure has a broad practice covering land use, historic preservation and related litigation. His clients include universities, developers and nonprofit organizations.
Dominic De Simone has recently handled a complex CMBS loan restructuring on behalf of one of his clients. He focuses on real estate finance and has particular expertise in distressed real estate transactions.
Mark DePillis is known to peers and clients as a "very good lawyer." He has acted on behalf of the National Center for the American Revolution in an ongoing development project and has particular expertise in construction law.