Lexis Practice Advisor - Real Estate

Contributing Authors & Firms

Our contributing authors are leading practitioners in their respective transactional practice area.

Advantage Title<br />

Advantage Title

Firm: Advantage Title
Founded in 1987, Advantage Title is a leading privately owned title insurance agency headquartered in New York, offering comprehensive title services for attorneys, developers and lenders nationwide. Advantage Title is part of the Advantage Group, which includes Advantage Foreclosure, Advantage Legal, Advantage Settlement and Mortgage Advantage. All provide integrated real estate related services and an unwavering commitment to customer support.

American Institute of Architects

Firm: American Institute of Architects

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) publishes more than 180 contracts and administrative forms that are recognized throughout the design and construction industry as the benchmark documents for managing transactions and relationships involved in construction projects. The AIA's prominence in the field is based on over 120 years of experience creating and updating its documents. During that time, owners, architects, contractors, attorneys, insurance experts, and many others have contributed to the development and revision of the AIA Contract Documents. As a result, these comprehensive contracts and forms are now widely recognized as the Industry Standard.

Mary Jane AugustineMcCarter &amp; English&nbsp;&nbsp; <br />

Mary Jane Augustine

Firm: McCarter & English, LLP

Mary Jane Augustine of McCarter & English is a veteran construction law practitioner who has worked in the sector for more than 35 years. She has been recognized by Chambers USA every year since 2008 as a construction “Leader in the Field.” As a full-service construction transactional lawyer, Mary Jane provides strategic advice and assists clients in structuring the design and construction portions of complex building projects.  Her clients include project owners, developers, contractors, construction managers, design professionals and end-users.

Mary Jane, who has worked as a contracts consultant to an international project management firm and as corporate counsel to a “signature” architectural firm, in addition to being an attorney in private practice, has acquired a great deal of business and practical  knowledge over the years that has led her to be  recognized as a leading and influential voice among her peers. She is particularly knowledgeable about every aspect of the design and construction process, and she brings that breadth of experience to her clients at every step of the process.

Mary Jane explains alternative project delivery methods and contractual configurations, and how they might be used on a particular project. She also guides her clients through the decision-making process as they determine which contracting strategies will be most advantageous for their projects. Mary Jane then drafts and negotiates design, construction and related contracts reflecting those strategic decisions that both protect the client’s rights and provide a clear roadmap for management of the project.

Mary Jane has formerly served as Managing Partner of McCarter’s New York Office and  Practice Group Leader for the firm’s Construction Practice Group.

  • Emory University School of Law, J.D.
  • Emory University, M.B.A.
  • Harvard University, Graduate courses in sustainability
  • McCarter & English, LLP
  • New Jersey Bar Association
  • New York Bar Association
  • American Bar Association Forum on the Construction Industry
  • American Arbitration Association National Panel of Construction Arbitrators
  • LEED Accredited Professional (LEED AP)
Day Pitney

Marie Caroline Bertrand

Firm: Day Pitney LLP

Marie Caroline Bertrand is counsel in Day Pitney’s Real Estate, Environmental and Land Use department. Her practice involves the acquisition, disposition, financing and leasing of commercial real estate. She has experience drafting and reviewing equity documents (including joint venture agreements), property management agreements and acquisition documents.

Marie has assisted purchasers and sellers in the acquisition and disposition of various types of commercial real estate, including office buildings and multifamily residences, throughout the United States, China, England and South Korea. She has represented purchasers of loans and subordinate debt as well as borrowers and lenders in the negotiation, documentation and amendment of commercial real estate mortgage loans. She has also reviewed and strategized work-out, restructuring and foreclosure options for distressed borrowers and/or potential distressed debt purchasers.

Marie serves in a leadership role with the Day Pitney Attorneys of Color Network and is actively engaged in the firm’s efforts to promote diversity in the legal profession.

Prior to joining Day Pitney, Marie worked in a boutique real estate firm in New York City for four years and interned at the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. She is fluent in Portuguese and conversational in French and Spanish.

  • American University Washington College School of Law, J.D. cum laude 2007
  • University of Pittsburgh, B.S.B.A. summa cum laude 2004
  • Admitted to practice in New York and Connecticut
  • Real Estate Finance Association
  • International Council of Shopping Centers
  • Connecticut Hispanic Bar Association, Vice President, 2016-2017
Bock &amp; Clark

Bock & Clark

Firm: Bock & Clark

Founded in 1973,  Bock & Clark is a leading provider of national commercial real estate due diligence services including ALTA Surveys, Environmental Reports (ESAs), Property Condition Assessments and Zoning Reports.  Using their own staff along with a network of experienced professionals, Bock & Clark takes pride in their commitment to a quality product at competitive pricing.  Recognized for a standardized, easy to read work product, the company continues to develop its services to provide  comprehensive surveys and reports to its clients who include law firms, title companies, REITs, corporate real estate departments, lenders and all others associated with the transaction of commercial properties.  Bock & Clark services all 50 states as well as Canada for single-site and multi-site projects.

Bock & Clark’s Handbook for ALTA/ACSM Land Title Surveys has become an industry resource used by many law firms and others in the procurement and review of ALTA Surveys.  Additionally, members of the corporate staff are regularly engaged by organizations throughout the country as guest lecturers on subjects related to due diligence.
Kristen M. BoikeJenner &amp; Block

Kristen M. Boike

Firm: Jenner & Block

Kristen Boike practices transactional real estate law at Jenner & Block, and is a member of the Firm’s Real Estate, Real Estate Securities, and Climate and Clean Technology Law Practice Groups. She has had significant experience with leasing, acquisitions and dispositions, private placement memorandums, corporate mergers and acquisitions, and real estate finance. She is also well versed in issues relating to green and sustainable buildings and has written on numerous topics related to this area.

Prior to joining Jenner & Block, Ms. Boike worked at Access Living as a PILI fellow, assisting with the legal needs of individuals with disabilities. During law school, she was a research director for the Voting Rights Initiative of the Election Law Project, and participated in the Urban Communities Clinic.

  • University of Michigan Law School, J.D.
  • University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform, article editor
  • Harvard College, A.B.
  • Jenner & Block
  • Licensed to practice in Illinois

Steve Collier

Firm: Alston & Bird LLP

Steve Collier is counsel at Alston & Bird LLP, based in Atlanta as part of the firm’s Real Estate Finance and Investment Group. He has over 30 years’ experience primarily in the field of commercial real estate finance. Steve’s clients include insurance companies, national banks, pension fund advisors and other institutional commercial real estate investors. He represents clients both as lenders and borrowers.

Steve’s practice spans all aspects of commercial real estate finance including traditional portfolio permanent loans, CMBS lending, construction loans, mezzanine debt and Agency financing. He works with all property types including office, multi-family, retail, industrial, hospitality and senior housing. Steve’ career spans 2 major real estate downturns, and he has considerable experience with problem loans including workouts, restructures, deeds in lieu, discounted payoffs, foreclosures, receiverships, REO sales and bankruptcy 363 sales.

  • Emory School of Law, JD
  • Georgetown University, BSFS
  • Hansell & Post, Associate
  • The Prudential Insurance Company of America, Associate General Counsel
  • Alston & Bird LLP, Counsel
  • Admitted to practice in the State of Georgia
  • Georgia Bar Association, Real Estate Section
  • Atlanta Bar Association
First American Title Insurance Co.

S.H. Spencer Compton

Firm: First American Title Insurance Co.

S.H. Spencer Compton is a vice president and special counsel at First American Title Insurance Co., New York Division, and has served in the same capacity since 2001 when he joined the pre-merger First American Title Insurance Co. of New York as a vice president. He also oversees all New York 1031 exchange transactions for First American Exchange Co.

With his highly developed experience in finance/commercial real estate and leasing, Spencer is an invaluable resource to First American’s wide-ranging institutional, corporate, and high net worth client base. He is a frequent contributor to the New York Law Journal, the New York State Bar Association’s Real Property Law Journal, and The Practical Real Estate Lawyer. He is a well-regarded and prolific CLE lecturer and presenter for First American.

  • Brooklyn Law School, J.D.
  • New York University, B.F.A.
  • First American Title Insurance Co.
  • Duval & Stachenfeld LLP
  • Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison
  • Latham & Watkins
  • Rogers and Wells
  • New York State Bar Association, budget officer, real property law section
  • Connecticut Bar Association
  • Practicing Law Institute, faculty member

Annemargaret Connolly

Firm: Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP

Annemargaret Connolly is a partner based in the Washington D.C. office of Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP. She is the head of Weil’s Environmental practice, a leader of Weil’s Climate Change Practice Group, and a member of the Firm’s hydraulic fracturing task force. She advises clients on a wide range of global environmental compliance and liability issues, most notably in the context of mergers & acquisitions, real estate transfers, financing transactions and infrastructure projects.

She also works closely with the Firm’s European and Asian offices on cross-border transactions, assisting in identifying and allocating environmental risks and educating foreign clients on potential issues raised by global environmental movements. She undertakes and oversees due diligence assessments, retains and works with consultants, engineers and other environmental professionals to quantify potential liabilities, and drafts and negotiates contract language to effectively allocate the risk of environmental liabilities between the parties. She also advises on disclosure issues in the preparation of financial statements and public securities filings and negotiates transaction-specific environmental insurance transactions.

In addition, Ms. Connolly counsels clients on a variety of environmental and health and safety topics including climate change, renewable energy projects and concerns, compliance with hazardous waste and hazardous material, wastewater and air emission requirements, occupational safety issues, asbestos, mold and other building concerns, as well as shareholder, successor and lender liability.

She is consistently recognized by Chambers USA, Legal 500 US and Best Lawyers in America as a leading environmental attorney for corporate transactions.

  • George Washington University Law School, J.D.
  • Syracuse University, B.A. and B.S.
  • Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP
  • Licensed to practice in the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
  • Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of DC Appleseed Foundation
  • Member of the George Washington University Athletes Board of Advisors.
  • Member of Law360 2016 Environmental editorial advisory board

Stephen Del Percio

Firm: URS Corporation
Stephen Del Percio is an in-house attorney for one of the world’s largest engineering and construction companies and a frequent author and lecturer on topics related to construction, real estate, and green building. He is a 2000 graduate of Columbia’s School of Engineering and Applied Science and spent two years with Morse Diesel/AMEC as a construction project manager on a high-rise office building in Times Square prior to attending William & Mary Law School, where he earned his J.D. in 2005 and served as the Managing Editor of the Environmental Law & Policy Review.
  • William & Mary, J.D.
  • Columbia University, B.S.
  • URS Corporation
  • Morse Diesel/AMEC
J. Bryan EcholsWaller Lansden Dortch &amp; Davis LLP

J. Bryan Echols

Firm: Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis LLP

Bryan Echols is a Partner in the Nashville office of Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis LLP. He focuses his practice in real estate law with an emphasis on acquisitions & dispositions, development & land use, leasing, and real estate finance.  He also assists clients in the areas of banking & financial services.

Bryan has played an integral role in many projects in and around Nashville. He has completed acquisition, loan and condominium establishment for multiple distinctive residential, office and mixed-use developments in downtown Nashville. He counsels clients in real estate negotiations including completing protracted negotiations for multiple tenants in a 400,000 square foot building. He has also been prominent in the acquisition, zoning and development of first-class residential projects in the middle Tennessee area.

He has led seminars for real estate professionals and attorneys on a wide range of topics including land use and zoning, due diligence investigations, lending principles, foreclosures, conservation easement drafting and tax aspects.

Bryan has been recognized by Best Lawyers in America for Land Use & Zoning Law and Real Estate Law, and was selected by Best Lawyer’s in America as Nashville’s outstanding Land Use attorney in 2013. He was also named by Nashville Business Journal as a Commercial Real Estate MVP in the Professional Services category in 2010.  His contributions toward preservation in the community were acknowledged by the presentation of the Patron’s Award by the Heritage Foundation for Franklin and Williamson County, Tennessee.
  • United States Air Force Academy, B.S.
  • Vanderbilt University Law School, J.D.
  • American Jurisprudence Awards in Contracts II, Commercial Paper, and Labor
  • Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis LLP
  • Dickinson Wright PLLC
  • Stites & Harbison PLLC
  • United States Air Force, Judge Advocate
  • Licensed to practice in Tennessee and Georgia
  • Tennessee Bar Association
  • Nashville Bar Association
  • National Association of Industrial and Office Properties
  • Heritage Foundation for Franklin and Williamson County, Board of Directors member
  • Franklin Tomorrow, Board of Directors member
  • Williamson County Chamber of Commerce, Board of Directors member

First American Title Insurance Co.

First American Title Insurance Company is the largest subsidiary of First American Financial Corporation (NYSE: FAF), a FORTUNE 500® company, and one of the leading providers of title insurance, settlement services and risk solutions for real estate transactions. Celebrating more than 125 years of service, First American Title Insurance Company is one of the leading title insurers in the nation today.

So how did a one-county abstract company evolve into a global provider of title insurance and settlement services? By consistently providing customers with the most accurate information, developed with insight and delivered with integrity.

For more than a century, First American has maintained a consistent focus on its customers’ success. By listening to their needs and anticipating products and services that would be a good fit, First American continues to provide innovative products and services, automated processes and advanced technology solutions.

As an integral part of First American Title Insurance Company, the National Commercial Services Division is recognized as a leader in the commercial industry. Operating through a network of offices strategically located nationwide, National Commercial Services offers expert handling of the simplest to the most complex commercial real estate transactions, both here and abroad. By incorporating cutting-edge technologies, creative underwriting and single-point responsibility for every client, National Commercial Services is able to streamline the transactional process – saving its clients both time and money.

First American also offers a vast array of related products and services. So from due diligence to closing, we are here to undertake your most challenging projects.

Put our expertise to the test! We stand ready to contribute to your success.

Monica L. GeardingTaft Stettinius &amp; Hollister LLP

Monica L. Gearding

Firm: Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP

Monica Gearding is a partner in the Real Estate and Construction practice groups at Taft. She focuses her practice on commercial and corporate law, with an emphasis on real estate matters, commercial lending and consumer finance. Her real property experience includes commercial real estate sales and acquisitions; acquisition and construction financing; single family, condominium and mixed use developments; commercial leasing; property management; broker licensing; and construction and development work. She is also a member of the firm's Professional Women's Resource Group (PWRG).

  • Case Western Reserve University School of Law, J.D., cum laude
  • Ohio State University, B.A.
  • Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP
  • Honda of America Mfg., Inc.
  • Licensed to practice in Ohio
  • Urban Land Institute of Cincinnati, executive committee member
  • City of Wilder, Kentucky, city council member

Thomas D. Goslin

Firm: Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP

Thomas D. Goslin is counsel based in the Washington D.C. office of Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP. He focuses on a wide range of environmental, energy, and other regulatory concerns in the context of mergers and acquisitions, private equity investments, financing transactions, infrastructure projects and corporate restructurings. He has extensive experience with environmental and regulatory liability and risk allocation issues, drafting and negotiating contract terms, managing due diligence, and administrative and judicial proceedings to obtain regulatory approvals necessary to close client transactions. Mr. Goslin has been involved with teams representing a wide range of clients in a variety of industries, particularly the renewable and traditional power generation, oil and gas, natural resources, infrastructure, and automotive industries.

Mr. Goslin also assists clients in identifying business opportunities and risks arising from proposed changes to federal and state legislation and regulation, with respect to renewable energy development and greenhouse gas emissions. He is a leader of Weil’s Climate Change practice group, has published numerous articles, and has been interviewed by several publications concerning renewable energy development and the legal ramifications of climate change.

  • American University Washington College of Law, J.D
  • John Carroll University, B.A.
  • Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP
  • Licensed to practice in the District of Columbia and Pennsylvania
  • Vice Chairman of the American Bar Association Renewable, Alternative, and Distributed Energy Resources Committee
Mary Christine GraffWinston &amp; Strawn LLP

Mary Christine Graff

Firm: Winston & Strawn LLP

Mary Christine (Christi) Graff  joined Winston & Strawn LLP in 1998 and is a partner in the real estate group. She has assisted clients throughout the country in a wide range of real estate and finance matters, including commercial property acquisitions and dispositions, commercial leasing, real estate development, land use and joint venture transactions, project finance, secured lending, and renewable energy transactions, including solar and wind development projects.

Christi is the author of articles on real estate matters such as purchases and sales and leasing, and is a frequent speaker and lecturer on a wide variety of real estate topics including purchase and sale, loan and leasing transactions. She also received the David C. Hilliard Award for Outstanding Service as co-chair of the Real Estate Law Committee of the Chicago Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Section.

  • University of Chicago Law School
  • University of Chicago Law School Roundtable, comment editor
  • Creighton University, B.A., Economics  and Political Science, summa cum laude
  • Winston & Strawn LLP
  • Altheimer & Gray
  • Licensed to practice in Illinois
  • Chicago Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
Paul Hastings

Joseph Hammon

Firm: Paul Hastings LLP

Joseph Hammon is an associate in the Real Estate practice of Paul Hastings and is based in the firm’s Chicago office. Mr. Hammon represents and counsels clients in real property acquisitions and dispositions, financing, leasing, joint ventures, and development, and has experience with the real property aspects of complex corporate transactions.

  • University of Chicago Law School, J.D. 2013
  • Georgetown University School of Foreign Service 2004
  • Paul Hastings LLP
  • Licensed to Practice in Illinois

David H. Kaplan

Firm: Sullivan & Worcester LLP

David H. Kaplan, formerly a partner, serves as of counsel to Sullivan & Worcester. His practice focuses on structuring mergers and acquisitions, structuring real estate transactions, including real estate investment trust (REIT) transactions, international tax planning for multinational clients, and other tax planning for business entities.

David has structured REITs and REIT transactions in a variety of real estate verticals, from office buildings to data centers and communications towers, for investors both in the United States and abroad. Sullivan & Worcester’s REIT team has been recognized as an industry leader nationally, most recently by the Legal 500, which recognized Sullivan & Worcester as the winner in the REIT category for The Legal 500 United States Awards 2015.

Prior to joining Sullivan & Worcester, David concentrated on corporate law, primarily mergers and acquisitions, securities law, and advice to private companies.

  • University of Michigan Law School, JD, cum laude
  • Claremont McKenna College, BA, cum laude
  • Sullivan & Worcester LLP
  • Day, Berry & Howard LLP
  • Licensed to practice in Massachusetts and Minnesota.
  • American Bar Association, Tax Section
  • Boston Bar Association, Tax Section
  • International Fiscal Association

Leonard M. Kessler

Firm: LenKesslerADR

Leonard M. Kessler is an attorney, arbitrator and mediator with a background in complex construction and commercial disputes. He also has a Bachelors in Electrical Engineering.

He is the former chief legal officer for the 21,000 employee Infrastructure & Environment Division of URS Corporation (now part of AECOM), which provides architecture, engineering, design, environmental, design/build, construction, and construction management services in approximately 250 offices in more than 50 countries. At URS he managed a 40-person legal department responsible for the review, negotiation and approval of all contracts and for the supervision and direction of all outside counsel representing URS in litigation, arbitrations, claims, disputes and other matters, both in the United States and foreign jurisdictions.

Mr. Kessler has experience with disputes involving general contractors, trade contractors, suppliers, developers, architects, engineers, and sureties in connection with private and public (federal, state and municipal) projects for the construction of office buildings, hotels, museums, casinos, roads, bridges, tunnels, condominiums and apartment buildings, hospitals, schools, shopping centers, stadiums, arenas, airport terminals, courthouses, power plants (gas, nuclear, coal, hydroelectric and cogeneration), paper mills, and other large-scale civil and mechanical construction projects. He has also been involved with disputes regarding environmental and hazardous waste remediation projects.

The disputes have dealt with breach of contract, nonpayment, changed conditions and extra work, construction defects, delays, mechanic's liens, standard of care and professional liability, bid protests, payment and performance bond claims, insurance coverage, default, warranty, employment issues, personal injury arising from construction defects, negligence and other torts, and general commercial issues.

Additionally, he has represented clients in contract drafting, negotiation and administration, and teaming agreements, joint ventures and shareholder agreements. Construction projects have ranged in value from $5 million to almost $1 billion.

  • Rutgers University (JD) Rutgers Law Review; Rutgers Journal of Computers and the Law-Managing Editor.
  • City College of New York - Grove School of Engineering (BEE); Eta Kappa Nu Honor Society for Electrical and Computer Engineers.
  • LenKesslerADR – Arbitrator and Mediator
    • Member of the American Arbitration Association Large, Complex Construction Case Panel of Arbitrators
    • Mediator for the New York State Supreme Court - New York, Kings, Queens and Nassau Counties - Commercial Division ADR Program
    • Mediator for the New Jersey Superior Court – Civil, General Equity and Probate Cases
    • Mediator for the United States District Court, EDNY ADR Program
  • Gilbane Building Company – Vice President, Lead Counsel, Global Construction
  • URS Corporation – Senior Vice President-Associate General Counsel
  • AMEC Construction Management, Inc. (formerly known as Morse Diesel International, Inc.) – Vice President & General Counsel
  • Ebasco Services Inc. – Associate General Counsel
  • Kelley Dry & Warren – Associate
  • Cravath, Swaine & Moore - Associate
  • Admitted to the Bar: New York
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
  • American Bar Association: Construction Industry Forum and Dispute Resolution Section
  • New York State Bar Association: Dispute Resolution Section, Real Property Law Section, and Construction Law Committee
  • New York City Bar Association: Construction Law Committee
  • Nassau County Bar Association: Construction Law Committee and Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee
Leslee LewisDickinson Wright PLLC

Leslee Lewis

Firm: Dickinson Wright PLLC

Leslee Lewis is a member of Dickinson Wright and practice department manager of the Real Estate, Energy & Sustainability & Environmental group. With over 18 years of experience, she serves as general corporate counsel to national, regional and emergent businesses and nonprofits in daily contracts and affairs, organization, financing, transactions and governance.

  • Notre Dame Law School, J.D., cum laude
  • Alma College, B.A., summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa
  • Dickinson Wright PLLC
  • Licensed to practice in Michigan
  • ALI-ABA's The Practical Real Estate Lawyer, National Editorial Board
  • Principles of the Law of Nonprofit Organizations, American Law Institute, Consulting Member
  • American Law Institute, Member
  • State Bar of Michigan Real Property Law Section, 2013-2014 Summer Conferences
  • Residential Transactions Committee, State Bar of Michigan Real Property Law Section, Past Chairperson
  • Michigan Community Resources/Community Legal Resources Outreach Committee
  • Dickinson Wright Real Estate Newsletter, Past Editor
  • Dickinson Wright Education Task Force, Past Chairperson
  • Women Lawyers Alliance, Member
  • State Bar of Michigan (Business, Real Estate and Estate Planning  Sections), Member
  • Grand Rapids Bar Association, Member
  • Lake Michigan Academy (West Michigan Learning Disabilities Foundation), Past Board President, and 10 year Board Member, Board of Directors
  • Transitional Housing Council (Liz's House/My Sister's House), Dwelling Place, Board Member
  • Endowment Committee, Grand Rapids Children's Museum, Past Member
  • Fundraiser Committee, Michigan Women’s Foundation, Past Member
  • Haven Builders, Past General Counsel
  • 2009 Rothbury Music Festival (Sustainable Epicenter), Local Corporate Coordinator
  • Green Rocks! Sustainable Schools Contest, Organizer
  • Eagleview Homeowners Association, Secretary and Past President
Reed Smith

Thomas Maira

Firm: Reed Smith LLP

Thomas Maira is a partner in the New York office of Reed Smith. His practice focuses on advising private equity investment funds, lenders, real estate investors, real estate owners and operators, investment banks, financial institutions, public and private companies, REITS, governmental agencies, and entrepreneurs in real estate private equity, real estate acquisition and sales, and real estate finance, including:

  • Acquisition, disposition and investments, including distressed transactions, in connection with the real estate assets, portfolios, platforms, operating companies and assets.
  • Joint ventures (restructuring, workouts, partner/member disputes, unwinds, and recapitalizations, as well as formation and controlling party and preferred equity investments)
  • Real estate finance (mortgage, CMBS, bridge and mezzanine loan workouts and restructurings, distressed loan sales and acquisitions, mortgage, bridge loan and mezzanine financing and refinancing)
  • Real estate development, leasing and asset management
  • St. John’s University School of Law, 1996, J.D.
  • Pace University – Lubin School of Business, 1993, B.B.A.
  • Reed Smith LLP
  • Babcock & Brown LP – Real Estate Counsel – Americas
  • Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, LLP
  • Admitted to practice in New York and New Jersey
Michelle M. McAteeJenner &amp; Block

Michelle M. McAtee

Firm: Jenner & Block

A partner at Jenner & Block in Chicago, Michelle M. McAtee focuses on all aspects of real estate transactions. Lenders, borrowers, and real estate private equity sources seek her counsel on complex commercial loans and capital market transactions, as well as in restructuring and workouts. She also has extensive leasing experience, representing both landlords and tenants in office, retail, warehouse and industrial leases, and extensive experience in the areas of construction and development, including drafting and negotiating ground leases and complex reciprocal easement agreements. In the area of real estate securities, Michelle represents clients in the design and documentation of Delaware Statutory Trust and tenant-in-common real estate investment programs involving  retail, office, warehouse and multi-family housing projects across the country.

Michelle is a member of the firm’s Real Estate and Real Estate Securities practices. She also serves the firm as a member of its Alumni, Diversity & Inclusion, and Hiring Committees. She  was named a “Rising Star” in real estate law by Illinois Super Lawyers in 2011, 2012 and 2013. She has written on numerous topics related to her practice area.

  • University of Iowa College of Law, J.D.
  • Marquette University, B.S.
  • Jenner & Block
  • Licensed to practice in Illinois and Massachusetts
  • Chicago Bar Association
  • Commercial Real Estate Executive Women Chicago

Stephen Millas

Firm: Alston & Bird LLP

Stephen Millas is counsel in the Real Estate Finance & Investment Group in the New York office of Alston & Bird LLP. Mr. Millas regularly represents institutional lenders in connection with the origination of traditional secured real estate debt financings, including CMBS loans, construction loans in New York and senior and subordinated mortgage financings of all types of properties including commercial, office, multifamily, retail and manufacturing facilities. This also includes handling all real estate facets of development, financing and acquisition of infrastructure projects, such as power generation facilities (natural gas, oil, coal, wind energy and geothermal), transmission lines, wind power facilities and toll roads.

In acquisitions and dispositions, Steve represents buyers and sellers of commercial real estate, including shopping centers, office buildings, apartment complexes, hotels and other commercial properties. He also regularly represents landlords, tenants and subtenants in retail, office and other commercial leasing transactions, including leases for office space in New York City and other major cities.

  • Boston University (J.D., 1986)
  • Boston University(B.S., 1982)
  • Admitted To Practice in New York, Connecticut and District of Columbia
  • Connecticut Bar Association
  • New York State Bar Association
Akerman LLP

Michael L. Molinaro

Firm: Akerman LLP

Michael Molinaro is a partner at Akerman LLP who dedicates his practice to representing parties in the financial services industry. For more than 30 years, he has represented banks, financial institutions, and insurance companies in loan financing transactions, loan workouts, complex bankruptcy, reorganization and commercial law matters, and commercial litigation. Michael has counseled clients on buying and selling distressed businesses, advised lenders in connection with lender liability and fraudulent transfer issues, and represented secured and unsecured creditors on a wide variety of commercial finance transactions, including health-care, real estate, credit card, intellectual property, leasing, hedge fund, interest rate swap, and derivative transactions.

  • DePaul University College of Law, J.D.
  • DePaul Law Review, note and comment editor
  • St. Joseph’s College, B.S., summa cum laude
  • Reed Smith LLP
  • Loeb & Loeb
  • Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP
  • Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP
  • Licensed to practice in Illinois and before the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois Trial Bar, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh and Eighth Circuits.
  • Federal Trial Bar, member
  • St. Joseph’s College, fellow
  • John Marshall Law School, adjunct faculty

Matthew D. Morton

Firm: Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP

Matthew Morton is counsel based in the Washington D.C. office of Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP. His practice focuses primarily on environmental aspects of complex business transactions, including corporate mergers and acquisitions and financing transactions. In this capacity, Mr. Morton is responsible for coordinating environmental due diligence, managing environmental consultants, counseling clients regarding environmental liability and risk allocation issues, drafting and negotiating environmental contract language, obtaining environmental insurance, coordinating permit transfers and pursuing post-closing resolution of compliance and liability issues. In addition, Mr. Morton counsels on the business implications of pending legislative and regulatory developments and regulatory matters, including permitting requirements. Mr. Morton also has experience with the preparation of environmental impact statements under NEPA and analogous state statutes and securities disclosure issues and provides support to litigation teams involved with government enforcement of environmental matters.

Mr. Morton served on the staff of a global energy company’s Ombudsman Employee Concerns Program, dedicated to investigating and resolving safety and environmental concerns. Mr. Morton has published numerous articles on the legal ramifications of climate change as well as other environmental issues.

  • Boston University School of Law, J.D
  • Bucknell University, B.S.
  • Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP
  • Licensed to practice in the District of Columbia and Maryland
  • Board of Trustee – Legal Response Initiative
Brian O&rsquo;Rourke

Brian O’Rourke

Firm: Verrill Dana LLP

Brian O’Rourke focuses his practice at Verrill Dana on the representation of owners, construction managers, general contractors and subcontractors in the energy, infrastructure and building construction industries. His practice includes contract negotiation, civil litigation, claims management and analysis, arbitration, and public and private procurement. Brian’s contract negotiation work includes advice and consultation concerning numerous energy, civil and building construction and design contracts, including negotiation of a + $200M offshore energy related facility. His trial work includes first chair participation and assistance to lead counsel in a major design defect litigation representing the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority against the designers of the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center in a case that settled after five weeks of trial in favor of the client for more than $22M.

Brian has served as lead counsel in a construction related arbitration and participated in numerous mediations and dispute resolution sessions. He is a registered professional engineer in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and worked for six years as a civil engineer prior to becoming a lawyer. Brian’s experience as an engineer includes design and field supervision of several construction projects, planning and supervising site investigations, installing field instrumentation and analyzing field data. Brian’s clients find that his engineering background helps him quickly understand technical project issues in a cost-effective manner.

Brian lectures regularly on various construction law topics and serves as an Adjunct Instructor at Worcester Polytechnic Institute teaching a graduate level course on construction law. He has written numerous articles on construction law topics. Brian worked as an Assistant District Attorney in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, for two years, where he gained valuable jury trial and courtroom experience.

  • Boston College School of Law, J.D.
  • Cornell University, M.S., Civil Engineering
  • Worcester Polytechnic Institute, B.S., Civil Engineering
  • Verrill Dana LLP
  • McCarter & English, LLP
  • Gadsby Hannah LLP
  • Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office
  • GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc.
  • Licensed to practice in Massachusetts and U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts
  • Massachusetts Bar Association
  • American Society of Civil Engineers
  • Boston Society of Civil Engineers, Former Chair of Engineering Management Group
Jason T. Polevoy

Jason T. Polevoy

Firm: Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP

Jason T. Polevoy is Counsel to the New York law firm of Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP and a member of its Real Estate Department. Mr. Polevoy has extensive experience in all aspects of complex commercial real estate, including development, sales and acquisitions, joint ventures, financing, restructurings and workouts, and office and retail leasing. He also has significant experience in connection with hotel management agreements, architect agreements and construction agreements. He represents real estate owners, developers, investors and lenders, as well as tenants. He is a frequent author of articles and speaker on panels relating to real estate law.

  • University of Pennsylvania Law School, J.D.
  • University of Pennsylvania, B.A., cum laude
  • Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP
  • Kleinberg, Kaplan, Wolff & Cohen, P.C.
  • McDermott Will & Emery LLP
  • Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton, & Garrison LLP
  • Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP
  • Licensed to practice in New York.
  • American Bar Association
  • New York State Bar Association, Real Property Law Section and Commercial Leasing Committee
  • New York City Bar Association, Real Property Law Committee and Chair of Development and Finance Subcommittee
Eric RemenspergerProskauer Rose LLP

Eric Remensperger

Firm: Proskauer Rose LLP

Eric Remensperger, head of Proskauer’s West Coast Real Estate Group, represents institutional investors, private equity firms, private endowments, sovereign wealth funds and REIT’s (both private and public, including non-traded REIT’s) in connection with their equity investments, including major asset purchases and dispositions, with an emphasis on domestic and international joint ventures, sale-leasebacks and master leases. He also has considerable experience representing both traditional banks and private lending sources in connection with structuring and originating acquisition and construction loans, mezzanine loans, and both multi-tranche and uni-tranche financing, as well as workouts.

Chambers USA recently ranked Eric a leading real estate lawyer and said that he is “valued by clients for his ‘intelligence, diligence and good judgment’” and that he is “very good at leading a large team on complicated transactions.”

  • Brooklyn Law School, J.D., cum laude
  • Brooklyn Law Review,  Notes & Comments Editor
  • Manhattanville College, B.A.
  • Proskauer Rose LLP
  • Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP
  • Millbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP
  • Licensed to practice in New York and California
  • Make-a-Wish Foundation of Greater Los Angeles, Board Member
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association, Real Property Law Section, Executive Committee
  • California State Bar Association, Real Property Law Section, Executive Committee
  • 2013 Benjamin S. Crocker Symposium on Law and Business, Chair
  • American College of Real Estate Lawyers, Fellow
Paul Hastings

Brad Ritter

Firm: Paul Hastings LLP

Brad Ritter is a partner in the Real Estate practice of Paul Hastings and is based in the firm’s Chicago office. Mr. Ritter has significant experience representing public and private, equity fund, venture capital, private equity, REIT, individual and other clients in connection with all aspects of complex commercial transactions. He has led the negotiation and drafting of documentation with respect to the formation of joint ventures, like-kind exchanges, sale-leaseback transactions, financings, and the acquisition and disposition of commercial properties. He also focuses his practice on commercial leasing.

Additionally, Mr. Ritter has represented numerous bankrupt debtors in the sale and refinancing of real estate assets, purchasers in the acquisition of real estate assets from bankrupt debtors, and various lenders in the restructuring and refinancing of debt secured with real estate assets held by bankrupt debtors.

  • University of Illinois College of Law, J.D., 1991
  • Northwestern University, B.A., 1988
  • Paul Hastings LLP
  • Licensed to Practice in Illinois
  • Adjunct Professor of Law, University of Detroit Mercy School of Law
  • Member, Dean’s Advisory Panel, University of Detroit Mercy School of Law
Seyfarth Shaw LLP<br />

Seyfarth Shaw LLP

Seyfarth Shaw LLP provides thoughtful, strategic, practical legal counsel to client companies and legal teams of all sizes. With more than 800 attorneys in the U.S., London, Shanghai, Melbourne and Sydney, we offer a national platform and an international gateway to serve your changing business and legal needs in litigation, employment, corporate, real estate and employee benefits. With one of the largest and most experienced construction law practices in the United States, we offer clients the benefits of a classic construction boutique supported by the resources of a large full-service firm. Seyfarth’s award-winning Construction Practice advices and assists companies through all phases of the construction process — from contract preparation and negotiation, documentation, teaming agreements, and project management, through payment and lien conflicts and post-construction disputes.

Paul Hastings

Jessica L. Simons

Firm: Paul Hastings LLP

Jessica L. Simons is of counsel in the Real Estate practice of Paul Hastings and is based in the firm’s Chicago office.

Ms. Simons represents and counsels a wide variety of clients in all aspects of commercial real estate transactions, including acquisitions and dispositions, development, leasing, financing and joint ventures involving commercial properties such as retail stores, shopping centers, office buildings, and hotels. Ms. Simons also assists in the real estate aspects of corporate bankruptcy, mergers, acquisitions, dispositions, public/private offerings and related transactions.

  • University School of Law, J.D. 2004
  • University of Michigan, B.A. 2001
  • Paul Hastings LLP
  • Licensed to Practice in Illinois
Richard E. StraussMoses &amp; Singer LLP

Richard E. Strauss

Firm: Moses & Singer LLP

Richard E. Strauss has been a partner with Moses & Singer since 1979 and is Chair of its Real Estate practice. Richard’s practice covers a broad range of real estate transactions, with an emphasis on representation of financial institutions in their internal real estate transactions.

Richard’s real estate background also includes financing transactions. Some major projects include the construction financing for the World Financial Center office complex in lower Manhattan and the permanent refinancing of the multi-tenanted portion of a new Times Square office building developed as a commercial condominium for the headquarters of a major newspaper publisher. He has also represented lenders in numerous hotel financings across the country. In addition, Richard has represented developers and lenders in rated, securitized financings backed by credit leases and tax exempt bond financings for industrial facilities, housing projects, and other public purpose projects.

He represents lenders in the renegotiation and workout of, or the foreclosure or taking of title to, numerous projects in default. These include commercial and mixed-use projects in development and hotel properties.

Richard has lectured and published on such subjects as real estate workouts, lending to REITs, corporate real estate disaster contingency planning, construction loans and lease issues. He was also honored by Law & Politics in their listing of New York Super Lawyers®.

  • Fordham University School of Law, J.D., cum laude, Pi Tau Sigma, Tau Beta Pi
  • New York University, B.M.E.
  • Moses & Singer LLP
  • Licensed to practice in New York
  • American Bar Association, Real Property Committee
  • New York State Bar Association
  • CoreNet Global Association of Corporate Real Estate Executives
  • Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate
  • Mortgage Bankers Association of New York

Steven Tishco

Firm: Marcus & Pollack, LLP

Steven Tishco is an associate at Marcus & Pollack, LLP. Mr. Tishco concentrates his practice on real estate tax assessment and exemption matters (tax certiorari). He handles all types of real estate tax disputes and appears regularly before the Courts of the State of New York and various New York City agencies. His experience includes litigation and trial work involving the valuation of residential and commercial properties. Mr. Tishco also assists owners and developers in qualifying for various real estate tax exemption and abatement programs, including: The City’s Industrial and Commercial Abatement Program (ICAP), 421-a, and various charitable and non-profit exemptions.

Prior to joining Marcus & Pollack, Mr. Tishco worked as a Senior Counsel at the New York City Law Department’s Office of the Corporation Counsel. He practiced for over 10 years in the Law Department’s Tax and Bankruptcy Litigation Division. While at the Law Department, Mr. Tishco regularly litigated all phases of the City’s real property tax disputes. His work consisted of motion, trial, and appellate practice. While with the City, Mr. Tishco also managed and supervised a staff of City attorneys and assessors in their tax certiorari litigation matters.

Mr. Tishco is a 2004 graduate of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, where served as an Articles Editor for the Cardozo Journal of International and Comparative Law. He received his B.A., magna cum laude, in Journalism from the University of Maryland.

  • Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, J.D., Articles Editor - Cardozo Journal of International and Comparative Law
  • University of Maryland, B.A., magna cum laude
  • Admitted to practice in New York
Euchung UngKleinberg, Kaplan, Wolff &amp; Cohen, P.C.

Euchung Ung represents real estate investors, owners and lenders in partnership, LLC and joint venture transactions (including real estate fund formation), bond, mortgage and mezzanine financing transactions, and transactions involving the acquisition, disposition, development, management, and leasing of office, retail, commercial, mixed-use and hotel properties. He also advises hedge funds and private equity funds on the purchase and sale of real estate mortgage and mezzanine debt, and the negotiating and structuring of complex workout arrangements in connection with the ownership or foreclosure of real property assets.

  • Georgetown University, J.D.
  • Fordham University, LL.M. in International Trade and Business Law
  • Graduate Research Fellow
  • University of London, England, LL.B., with honors
  • Kleinberg, Kaplan, Wolff & Cohen, P.C.
  • Kaye Scholer LLP
  • Robinson & Cole LLP
  • Duval & Stachenfeld LLP
  • Mayer Brown
  • Licensed to practice in New York, Connecticut and Barrister-at-Law, England & Wales
  • North American Chapter of the Fordham LL.M. Alumni Association, Former Co-President
  • Stamford Symphony Orchestra, Former Board Member
  • Chinese Language School of Fairfield County, Member; Former Chair, Board of Directors
  • Greenwich High School Fencing, Assistant Coach
Ross YusteinKleinberg, Kaplan, Wolff &amp; Cohen, P.C.

Ross Yustein chairs Kleinberg Kaplan's Real Estate Department. He practices in the areas of real estate and real estate finance law, with a concentration in joint venture transactions, real estate development, sales and acquisitions, financing, leasing and real estate private equity. Ross represents a diverse group of clients, including owners, operators, developers, lenders, borrowers, landlords, tenants and investors in various transactions such as sales, acquisitions, financings (permanent, construction, mezzanine and revolving), leases, joint ventures and restructurings. Ross has also worked on a substantial number of real estate bankruptcies and workouts.

  • Georgetown University Law Center, J.D.
  • Brown University, B.A.
  • Kleinberg, Kaplan, Wolff & Cohen, P.C.
  • Weil Gotshal and Manges
  • Sills Cummis & Gross P.C.
  • Licensed to practice in New York and New Jersey
  • New York City Bar Association
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