The Legal 500

United States > Real estate and construction

Share this page



In the US construction market, even though stimulus money is dwindling and federal budget cuts are taking their toll, public works projects are still being developed and executed. The public-private-partnership (PPP) model is increasingly being used in connection with horizontal infrastructure construction, while social infrastructure and energy projects are also in the planning stages. Modest growth in commercial and residential construction was a bright spot for the private sector, thanks largely to a growing appetite for multi-family and mixed-use structures. The North East is a strong market for commercial, multi-family, educational and institutional facility projects, while California and Texas in particular have experienced growth in the energy, infrastructure and transportation sectors.

On the power front, ongoing nuclear power projects continue to keep many companies busy. Increased fracking activity across the US, liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals along the Gulf Coast and throughout the East and West coasts, and pipeline building are driving billions of dollars in investment from energy sector operators and foreign investors such as Credit Suisse and a number of Tokyo-based megabanks.

The use of international arbitration and other alternative forms of dispute resolution continues to rise, as do class action lawsuits in the building products area. Recent public works project bids which were won during the recession at low prices are now resulting in a number of claims to recover the true value of the work. The market has also experienced a rise in claims by architects and engineers against owners in connection with public projects.

Carlton Fields PA and Jorden Burt LLP merged in January 2014 and became Carlton Fields Jorden Burt, creating a firm with 370 lawyers across ten offices between Connecticut and Florida. Schiff Hardin LLP merged with New York based construction boutique Mazur Carp & Rubin in July 2013, adding extensive litigation expertise to its practice. Minneapolis firm Leonard, Street and Deinard Professional Association merged with Kansas City firm Stinson Morrison Hecker LLP to form Stinson Leonard Street LLP. Both firms have a good reputation in the construction arena in Minnesota.

The construction ranking gives precedence to firms with national presence, but does include firms which are particularly strong in local and regional markets.

While land use and zoning remains a local topic, this ranking aims at reflecting national presence, regional connections, breadth of expertise and profile, and the scale and quality of the work undertaken by firms.

The commercial real estate market in the United States is thawing. As the outlook improves, the legal market remains cautiously optimistic. While many firms in the market have seen an uptick of work, particularly across New York, Boston, Miami, Los Angeles and San Francisco, nationally the picture is more uneven and cities such as Chicago haven’t seen the same level of growth. Positive market perception and more stability has triggered an influx of capital from wealthy international and private equity investors, identifying real estate as a relatively safe prospect as property values surge. As capital becomes increasingly available, the market for luxury condominiums continues to flourish, principally in New York and Miami. The multi-family sector remains solid and has provided firms with increased activity across the country. New development projects are also inspiring some confidence, particularly within the retail sector. The healthcare, energy, senior living, hotel and hospitality sectors remain robust areas as many firms report a slight slowdown in the distressed real estate sector.

With the job market showing slower signs of improvement and with technology encouraging businesses to become more efficient, the office market remains moderately active with a number of commercial clients looking to downsize as streamlining becomes more prevalent.

The real estate ranking includes an assessment of firms’ scope and national capability, their utilization of resources to represent the interests of domestic or international clients across the country, as well as their depth and breadth of expertise.


Index of tables

  1. Construction
  2. Leading lawyers

Leading lawyers

  1. 1
    • Jeffrey Appelbaum Thompson Hine LLP
    • Lewis Baker Watt, Tieder, Hoffar & Fitzgerald, LLP
    • Deborah Ballati Farella Braun & Martel LLP
    • David Buoncristiani Jones Day
    • Steven Charney Peckar & Abramson
    • Gregory Cokinos Cokinos, Bosien & Young
    • Brian Corgan Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton
    • David Dial Weinberg Wheeler Hudgins Gunn & Dial
    • Bennett Greenberg Seyfarth Shaw LLP
    • Randall Hafer Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton
    • John Heisse Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
    • Ty Laurie Laurie & Brennan LLP
    • Steven Lesser Becker & Poliakoff, P.A.
    • John Nassen Ford, Nassen & Baldwin
    • Andrew Ness Jones Day
    • Stephen O’Neal Jones Day
    • Robert Peckar Peckar & Abramson
    • Stephen Shapiro Holland & Knight LLP
    • Charles Sink Farella Braun & Martel LLP
    • Steven Stein Stein Ray LLP
    • Neal Sweeney Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton
    • George Wenick Smith, Currie & Hancock LLP

Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton’s diverse and sophisticated client base (which includes contractors and design professionals in the chemicals and energy sectors) considers the service provided by the firm to be ‘best in class’, particularly in the power, renewables, pipelines, and sewage treatment arenas. It has also experienced a recent growth in mandates relating to nuclear power projects and liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals. Based primarily in Atlanta, its team of more than 30 dedicated construction attorneys acts across all 50 states, as well as on a global scale. The team is led by Randall Hafer, a ‘mastermind’ with ‘very good judgment’; he took over the role in January 2014 from the ‘extremely knowledgeable’ Brian Corgan, who continues to advise EPC contractors on petrochemical and nuclear energy projects, and ‘commands the respect of his peers’. Also recommended are the ‘diplomatic’ William Poplin, who is highly rated as ‘an effective team builder who provides great inspiration’, and Neal Sweeney, who has ‘notable expertise in scheduling and damages matters’. The team regularly acts for public authorities on infrastructure matters such as road, airport, and waterways projects, and it is increasingly involved in ICC arbitrations and construction projects in Latin America, as well as mixed-use developments and condominium projects. On the contentious front, it is acting for a worldwide supplier of plants, equipment and services in connection with a multimillion-dollar claim concerning a project in South America, and is representing the City of Atlanta in a dispute with a contractor stemming from a $140m design-build-operate contract.

From its New York headquarters, construction specialist Peckar & Abramson fields what many consider to be ‘the largest contractor-focused practice in the US’, with 88 dedicated construction attorneys handling national projects across its network of offices, as well as international mandates through its Miami-based Latin America group. Chairman Steven Charney is considered to be ‘one of the most accomplished construction lawyers out there’; clients also praise founding partner Robert Peckar and government contracts specialist Patrick Greene. Its client base predominantly comprises domestic and international contractors and construction managers, as well as some owners and developers. While dispute resolution remains the core of the practice, it also handles corporate compliance and ethics issues for construction companies, and advises on PPP and government contract matters. The firm recently represented a joint venture of two Indian contractors in ICDR arbitration proceedings against a US government contractor regarding a project in the Middle East. It is also involved in the public works project East Side Access undertaken by New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). The Atlanta office was strengthened by the arrival of Thomas Hall in July 2013, and of counsel Robert Brown in November 2013; Nicholas Sarris and Mark Stapke both joined the Los Angeles office in July 2013.

Watt, Tieder, Hoffar & Fitzgerald, LLP stands out for the ‘sophistication of its practice and the magnitude of work handled’. The team, consisting of 52 partners in six offices across the country, has ‘some of the best trial attorneys representing contractors in the country’, including ‘first-rate’ managing partner Lewis Baker, who ‘has got some star power’. Key clients include global civil contractors and engineering companies, as well as bonding and surety companies, for which it handles non-contentious work regarding large-scale infrastructure and commercial projects, often with international aspects. In January 2013, the firm opened an office in Chicago, recruiting John Sebastian and Frank Marsico and two associates from Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP. Senior partner Thomas Pennington left to join Frost Brown Todd LLC in March 2013.

At Duane Morris LLP, 27 partners in offices throughout the country operate as one integrated team to represent contractors and EPC contractors, large architectural firms, developers and owners in design, development and financing projects. It also advises on the performance and management of major construction projects as well as on government procurement contracts and PPP projects. The firm also benefits from several offices in Asia, enabling it to cater to clients venturing overseas as well as a number of foreign clients engaged in the US. Even though transactional and upfront advocacy work has increased in 2013, the main emphasis is on contentious matters, particularly arbitration matters for international entities involved in large projects. The firm also witnessed growth in the energy field, notably in matters concerning industrial process facilities, pipelines, power plants, and infrastructure and transit projects. In an illustration of its strength on the contentious side, it acted as arbitration and litigation counsel for subcontractor Aker Kvaerner Songer concerning claims exceeding $150m stemming from a coal-fired electric generating facility in Iowa. Albert Bates in Pittsburgh and Robert Prentice in Philadelphia jointly head the practice. Charles Lewis is ‘a terrific litigator’, and fellow litigator Jeffrey Hamera’s ‘knowledge is second to none; he is excellent at critical reasoning’. Both are based in Chicago. New York-based Kenneth Lazaruk is acting for The Related Companies as the successful bidder for the Hudson Rail Yard development project.

At West Coast firm Farella Braun & Martel LLP, practice chair Richard van Duzer leads a ten-partner construction team that acts for design professionals, public and private owners, and general contractors nationwide. Standout figures include Deborah Ballati, who is ‘a leader in the field of construction’, and Charles Sink, who is described as ‘an intellectually gifted lawyer whose treatises on construction contracting are invaluable’. Domestic and international contentious matters make up the bulk of the workload, with the remainder stemming from the development stages of projects. It has been particularly busy on matters within the energy sector, water and waste treatment facilities, hospitals, infrastructure projects, and multi-family and mixed-use developments. Highlights included representing NaturEner USA in a claim against a Spanish manufacturer of allegedly defective wind turbine generators installed on two utility size wind farms in Montana; and representing Lawrence Livermore National Security in a contentious matter pertaining to a demolition contract governed by the Federal Acquisition Regulations.

At Greenberg Traurig LLP, more than 50 lawyers in 19 locations throughout the US make up the firm’s full-service construction practice, which handles a balanced mix of transactional, contractual and contentious matters, and can draw support from the firm’s growing environmental group. The construction litigation practice is co-chaired by Robert Epstein, who handles public contracting matters; Michael Hornreich, who concentrates on litigation; and Jeffrey Walsh, who focuses on business litigation and trials. The team also advises on design, development and construction contracts, and has particular expertise in Chinese drywall and toxic mould issues, as well as in dealing with Occupational Safety and Health Administration cases. It acts for private and public sector clients, and experienced a significant uptick in the PPP arena, where the construction group is assisted by the firm’s strong public finance practice, as well as a growth in transactional matters. The firm is also attracting more instructions from a number of national private entities involved in larger projects. In a standout matter, it represented Municipal Bond Insurance Association (MBIA) regarding the recovery of $52.8m in repair costs from the property manager of a University of Central Florida (UCFF) student housing complex, which was notable for being the second time the team had successfully compelled payment, the first time on behalf of UCFF against MBIA to fund the repair of water and termite damage to the student complex. Hornreich led on that matter. In addition, the firm is acting as lead counsel to CityCenter Land in claims in excess of $400m relating to one of the largest mixed-use developments in the US. In another highlight, Epstein is acting as lead counsel to Triple Five Group on a $2bn retail and entertainment development in the New Jersey Meadowlands.

Headed by the highly recommended Stephen Shapiro, Holland & Knight LLP’s 12-partner team has ‘an outstanding reputation’ and ‘a very diverse practice’, which represents a balanced mix of public and private sector owners and contractors, and ‘knows how to litigate without wasting money’. The team benefits from the firm’s strong real estate and project finance practices, and combines expertise in federal government contracts, institutional building, energy projects and complex litigation. In addition to an uptick in office building and condominium-related work, it also experienced an increase in international infrastructure, oil and gas and energy projects, which fed into the expansion of the firm’s South America teams and the opening of an office in Mexico. The team is acting for New York City’s MTA in connection with disputes arising from the design and construction of the East Side Access project, and is representing a large international EPC contractor in multiple disputes against the owner and subcontractors of a $5bn oil refinery project in South America. Ben Subin in Orlando is ‘a top-notch construction lawyer who always works towards resolutions from a business perspective’. Monte Starr and Paul James are also recommended. Robert Bernstein joined the New York office in February 2013 from McCarter & English, LLP.

Jones Day fields lawyers across all offices dealing with contentious and non-contentious work, and is renowned for its experience in high-value design/build projects. The practice is particularly strong in California, New York, Washington DC, and internationally through its network of Europe and Asia offices. The client roster comprises large private and public owners, big multinational contractors and public authorities. It is particularly active for the latter on infrastructure projects in areas such as water, oil and gas pipelines, highways and rail. Other key focus areas include conventional and renewable energy, power generation, hospital construction, and school districting. Washington DC-based Andrew Ness (‘an absolutely superb lawyer’) is acting for Georgia Power Company and the co-owners on $1bn claims concerning Vogtle Nuclear Units three and four, the first nuclear power plants licensed in the US in over 30 years. David Buoncristiani has ‘strong experience in litigating complex design and construction disputes’, and represented PB Americas in arbitration proceedings concerning Taiwan Radar Facility, a key component of the island’s defense system. In San Francisco, Stephen O’Neal is praised for his ‘great industry-related technical acumen’, and Los Angeles based Daniel McMillan possesses ‘tremendous stamina and a strong work ethic’. Susanna Fodor is also recommended.

Houston-based Scott Greer leads King & Spalding LLP’s construction group, and is ‘one of the best construction attorneys; well versed in the trends in the industry, and recognizes the potential pitfalls that owners and developers may face when engaging contractors’. Greer and counsel Scott Chalmers are ‘well suited for cross-border mega projects in a variety of industries’, and regularly advise clients on large-scale projects in the energy and natural resources and petrochemical sectors, with noteworthy expertise in LNG projects. Highlights included advising Anadarko on all legal aspects of its multibillion-dollar Mozambique LNG exporting facility, including advising on the EPC agreements. On the transactional front, a seven-strong team acts exclusively for owners, and has handled deals amounting to a total value of $100bn. The firm also has strong contentious expertise, with Craig Ledet cited as ‘an outstanding construction litigation specialist with the mind and training of an engineer; he demonstrates a unique ability to marshal a vast array of complex facts’. He is particularly adept at complex global energy-related infrastructure disputes for a largely Texas-based clientele. The multi-jurisdictional arbitration practice also benefits from Doak Bishop’s ‘superb international arbitration expertise’. Notable cases include representing the owners of Sandy Creek Energy Station in a $140m dispute against its general contractor concerning an alleged design defect leading to boiler damage. Exterran Energy Solutions is another key client.

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP fields 18 dedicated partners handling dispute resolution and a growing number of transactional matters across its domestic network of offices, and is also experiencing a growth in the number of foreign investors taking part in domestic infrastructure projects thanks to its Asia offices. It is also able to capitalize on the firm’s growing energy practice, a healthy real estate group, and its construction, government contracting and PPP expertise. Dispute resolution expert John Heisse (‘a terrific lawyer and the author of an indispensable treatise on design build contracting’) leads the practice out of San Francisco, while Washington DC-based Jeffrey Gans was appointed the head of the PPP practice, which focuses on infrastructure and public facility building projects. Also in Washington DC, David Dekker specializes in litigation and dispute resolution, and assists policy holder clients with construction-related insurance recovery matters. The firm is representing Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Mitsubishi Nuclear Energy Services in an ICC arbitration initiated by Southern California Edison relating to the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. Other clients include the University of California and Hunt Construction Group.

Schiff Hardin LLP acquired New York City boutique Mazur Carp & Rubin in July 2013, supplementing its existing strength in transactional, projects and procurement matters with Mazur’s significant trial and arbitration expertise. Ken Roberts leads a 16-partner team spread over offices in Chicago, New York and San Francisco, which handles heavy infrastructure projects predominantly for owners, often with an international element, and residential and mixed-use building matters. The team also advises contactors, architects and engineers, and has ‘a reputation for settling cases in mediation’. It continues to handle energy sector matters, particularly regarding retrofit and environmental upgrades for power plants and renewables. Public sector projects comprise a fifth of the overall workload, with clients including public authorities and municipal entities, and in 2013 it defended the city of Kansas City against a multimillion-dollar delay and inefficiency claim made by a heavy highway and road contractor. The acclaimed Mark Friedlander in the Chicago office devotes a significant portion of his practice to structuring construction projects and advising clients on project delivery methods. Gary Rubin and Sayward Mazur in New York are also highly rated.

Seyfarth Shaw LLP fields ‘an incredible group of people with great passion and industry knowledge’. The 17-partner team is led by co-chairs Bennett Greenberg in Washington and Chip Ingraham in Atlanta, who handle negotiation and advisory work for a balanced roster of private and public sector clients, as well as contentious matters. Michael McKeeman (‘always responsive and knowledgeable’) acts for contractor and subcontractor clients, and is growing his workload for public owners. He led a team that acted for Transbay Joint Powers Authority on the development of a $2bn transit center in the heart of San Francisco. ‘Very capable construction litigatorDavid Mancini in Washington ‘knows the industry and other stakeholders very well’. The practice also acts as project counsel for owners and contractors, as well as architects, engineers, design professionals, surety companies, developers and public municipalities and transit authorities. It has been heavily involved in energy, heavy infrastructure, government contracts and procurement matters, and continues to specialize in sports-related projects. The highly regarded Greenberg is leading a team representing the Municipality of Anchorage in a $400m claim concerning design and construction defects stemming from the Port of Anchorage’s expansion.

Primarily based in San Francisco, Smith, Currie & Hancock LLP has ‘a deep bench of strong construction attorneys’ which operates across eight offices nationwide and handles matters for clients coast to coast and internationally, providing legal support for large construction projects and resolving complex claims. Dispute resolution makes up a large portion of the workload, which has recently included work on federal government contracts, energy infrastructure, and healthcare matters. Its client base is largely comprised of private sector entities, although the firm also acts for federal, state and local government clients on transportation infrastructure PPP projects in California, Florida and Georgia. Highlights included representing an EPC construction firm in a dispute against the contracted engineer regarding a power plant project in the US. William Davis, who joined the Washington team in August 2013, recently led the team representing Herman/Stewart Construction and Development in a $22m dispute with an owner concerning off-campus student housing and a retail project in Maryland. The well-regarded George Wenick has extensive experience in public and private contracts on a national level, coupled with international experience primarily pertaining to China, Latin America, and Europe. Robert Chambers is also recommended. Lisa Colon Heron and Kirk Johnston were made partners in December 2012, and John Mastin was promoted to equity partner.

Stein Ray LLP is noted for its ‘savvy and forceful litigators’ who are ‘incredibly responsive and detail oriented without losing sight of the larger commercial picture’. ‘Exceptional’ founding partners Steven Stein and Stephen Ray are singled out as ‘sharp guys’ who handle complicated transactional matters in an otherwise disputes-driven practice. Its client base comprises energy sector entities, particularly those involved in oil transmission, refining, power generation and distribution. It also acts for infrastructure clients on processing plants, transportation, roads, bridges, and waste water projects, and represents EPC contractors, design firms, and lenders. Recent highlights include acting as arbitration counsel to an international mining consortium in relation to claims arising from a facility in Madagascar, and representing one of the largest global EPC contractors in connection with a $280m dispute regarding a minerals processing plant in the US. Clients single out Peter Bedard, who has significant experience in issues arising from the design and construction of commercial, industrial, and infrastructure projects.

At Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP, Atlanta-based construction head Lee Davis is ‘very skilled at sorting out the technical, business and legal issues of a situation’, and former group leader Jennifer Fletcher (also based in Atlanta) garners praise for being ‘smart, efficient, and tough’. The firm also fields construction expertise in Washington DC, Houston, Austin and New York, where Lawrence Dany is based. It is best known for its dispute resolution expertise; Fletcher co-chairs the firm’s litigation practice group with Washington DC-based commercial litigator Richard Murphy, and together with Dany is representing Lend Lease (US) and its subsidiaries in claims against multiple parties arising out of the deconstruction of the former Deutsche Bank Building in downtown Manhattan, the last building to be removed from the Ground Zero site. It also assists EPC and major trade contractors, as well as owners, developers, architects and public bodies, and is particularly recommended for its ‘outstanding knowledge’ of major power, refineries and petrochemical projects. It is also handling an increasing number of PPP and multi-family housing construction matters. Other clients include Black & Veatch and the City of Atlanta.

Thompson Hine LLP’s ten-partner team includes Cleveland-based chairman Jeffrey Appelbaum, who is ‘outstanding in public infrastructure and stadium work on the owner side’, and the ‘knowledgeable and responsive’ Patrick Sweeney. Spread across its Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Washington DC, New York and Atlanta offices, the practice covers transactional, advocacy and consultative construction work for design and engineering firms, contractors, and private owners. It also handles PPP projects and government contracting matters for municipalities and public owners, increasingly with an international component. The firm has its own project management arm in PMC LLC, and acts as mediator and litigation counsel in construction defect claims. Key clients include URS Corporation, for which it has been serving as national counsel since 2008, and BASF, which recently retained the firm as lead construction counsel. Other highlights included acting as project counsel for 49ers Stadium Authority on the design and construction of the $1.2bn San Francisco 49ers Levi’s Stadium. Associate Heather Bartzi is also recommended. Gabe Roehrenbeck joined the Columbus office in July 2013, and Washington DC was strengthened by the arrivals of associate Daniel Broderick in May 2013, and senior counsel John Bergin in January 2014 from Shapiro, Lifschitz & Schram.

Miami-headquartered Akerman LLP’s construction practice is headed by Jeffrey Gilmore out of the Virginia office, and forms part of its real estate group. The highest concentration of construction competence can be found in the Florida, Virginia and Washington DC locations, though the firm fields expertise in most of its offices. It handles construction defect claims for developers, investors and manufacturers both domestically and internationally, and the Florida office is heavily involved in industrial projects in Latin and South America. It also represents private and public owners, public authorities, non-profit companies, lenders, designers, insurance carriers and surety companies. A recent increase in inbound international investments, chiefly in Florida in relation to hospitality and multi-family projects, resulted in an uptick in transactional matters and front-end work such as contract negotiations and reviews. Other areas of expertise include conventional and renewable energy, infrastructure, healthcare, luxury residential buildings and EPC delivery methods. Miami-based Stacy Bercun Bohm is acting for the City of Orlando on the $200m renovation of the Citrus Bowl stadium, and is acting for Miami Children’s Hospital on the construction of a $200m bed tower. In another highlight, Robert Smith is acting as a member of the international dispute adjudication board in a $3.2bn dispute arising from the Panama Canal Authority’s design/build contract for a set of locks. Kim Ashby in Orlando is highly recommended.

Andrews Myers, P.C.’s disputes-driven construction practice consists of 14 dedicated attorneys across its Houston and Austin offices, the latter opening in July 2013 following a recent uptick in work concerning local transportation, hospitality and real estate developers. The Austin team comprises shareholder Jason Spencer, who arrived in June 2013 from Ford, Nassen & Baldwin, and two associates. The practice represents private sector clients and large general contractors, subcontractors, and owners in complex commercial, energy, and heavy infrastructure-related assignments. Ben Westcott is defending the mechanical subcontractors and insulators against two claims brought by a local sports authority regarding the chilled water piping system and its insulation inside Reliant Stadium. On the transactional side, Thomas Myers and the team acted as counsel for development manager Griffin Partners with respect to project delivery systems, contract procurement and purchasing compliance regarding the $55m development of a parking garage and related sky bridges in Houston. The Houston team was further strengthened by the arrival of senior counsel Kristi Belt from Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP and Brent Pharis from chemical company Lyondell in October 2013. William Andrews heads the practice.

Becker & Poliakoff, P.A.’s deep bench of construction attorneys based in Florida and across the East Coast represent owners, developers, contractors, design professionals, and government entities in both transactions and disputes. It has been advising on single and multi-family housing projects, large commercial buildings, planned unit developments, as well as retail, industrial and governmental projects. It has also been growing its PPP workload under the lead of Lee Weintraub, who also deals with construction lien work. Construction chair Steven Lesser provides ‘sage counsel and is highly respected by all’; he acts predominately for private and public owners and governmental entities. In addition to its strong Florida client base the team also represents out-of-state and foreign clients as local lead counsel. It was retained by Swire Properties to prepare, negotiate and advise on construction contracts for the $1bn mixed-use Brickell CityCentre in Miami. In another highlight, William Strop is defending a delay claim for Carnival Cruise Line in connection with the construction of a destination facility for cruise ships in Honduras. Centurion Cargo is a new client.

Dallas boutique Canterbury, Gooch, Surratt, Shapiro, Stein & Gaswirth, P.C. represents general contractors, subcontractors, owners, surety companies, and construction industry trade bodies. The firm is home to founding shareholder Joseph Canterbury, who frequently serves as arbitrator and mediator of construction-related disputes, and is marked out as ‘a dean of construction law in Texas’. David Surratt focuses on construction law and mechanics’ liens, with an emphasis on litigation and arbitration matters. Kyle Gooch is also highly regarded. Clients include Manhattan Construction Company and Panda Energy.

Carlton Fields Jorden Burt was established in January 2014 through the merger of Carlton Fields PA and class-action defense boutique Jorden Burt LLP, creating a firm with more than 25 construction lawyers, including eight board-certified construction attorneys, who advise a client roster comprising public and private developers and owners, general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, homebuilders and design professionals. The firm’s broad expertise encompasses sports, communication, energy, and utility facilities, as well as transportation projects and hospitals. Luis Prats and George Meyer are the key contacts.

Houston-based Cokinos, Bosien & Young is a full-service civil litigation firm with its roots in construction law. The ‘solid practice’ advises project managers, general contractors, subcontractors, owners and developers, design professionals and sureties across the industry spectrum, including commercial, industrial, civil, pipeline, offshore, heavy highway, and residential. The prime focus is on contentious matters, but the firm is also adept at handling transactional work. ‘First-class construction litigator’ Gregory Cokinos garners praise throughout the US, and Richard Flake and Patrick Wielinski in Irving are highly visible as well. Clients include Ewing Construction and JE Dunn Construction.

DLA Piper continues to act as lead counsel to The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey on the reconstruction of The World Trade Center, spearheaded by practice co-head Anthony Meagher in Baltimore. The construction practice’s close links with the firm’s real estate group means owner and developer work are the mainstays, although it also advises contractors. It handles both litigation and transactional work, and fields specialists in disputes arising from construction defects. The transactional work is focused on mixed-use and multi-family buildings and malls, healthcare, infrastructure and PPP projects, and airport construction matters. It also handles international infrastructure and energy work for engineering companies. Brian Fielden in Atlanta is advising the Atlanta Braves on the team's new baseball stadium, a $672m mixed-use venue in Cobb County, Georgia. ‘Excellent attorneyBrian Fielden is ‘technically skilled and incredibly responsive’, and Houston-based of counsel Cristopher Farrar has ‘broad EPC experience’ and ‘the technical understanding and experience to effectively translate the legal issues for the client’. Robert Crewsdon, Arthur Brannan, Mark Grantham, and associate Benjamin Prevost are also recommended.

Litigator Jeffrey Blease heads Foley & Lardner LLP’s eight-partner team and splits his time between the Boston and San Francisco offices. The practice fields 32 lawyers across 15 offices, handling both transactional and contentious matters for engineering firms, contactors and developers nationwide. It is heavily involved in cutting-edge energy projects, especially regarding wind farms and biomass conversion plants, both domestically and overseas, and has experienced a tremendous increase in instructions from new development clients. On the contentious side, it defended a leading technology engineering company against the owner following contract termination on a $350m multi-building commercial project. In another highlight matter, it represented Posen Construction against its subcontractor in a dispute concerning the expansion of Interstate 95 in West Palm Beach, which ultimately resulted in establishing Florida law concerning the interpretation of ‘termination for convenience’ clauses. Ryan Maloney was promoted to partner in March 2013.

Gibbs, Giden, Locher, Turner, Senet & Wittbrodt is ‘extremely responsive and knowledgeable on all facets of California construction law’. The 15-partner team is led by ‘charismatic’ practice head Glenn Turner, who divides his time between the Los Angeles and Las Vegas offices, and includes acclaimed managing partner Richard Wittbrodt and ‘strong strategic thinker’ Barbara Gadbois, who are both LEED AP certified and part of the firm’s green building team. The practice handles transactions, project administration, litigation and alternative dispute resolution throughout the US, for a roster of longstanding general contractor clients in the healthcare, infrastructure and solar energy sectors. It has also experienced a growth in instructions from private-sector clients concerning multi-family constructions. Highlights included representing Layton Construction at trial against Universal Health Services regarding the construction of Palmdale Regional Medical Center. Other clients include Rose Bowl Operating Company and the City of Pasadena. International arbitration expert Nathan O’Malley joined the firm in January 2013 from Dutch firm Conway & Partners.

Holland & Hart LLP’s 20-lawyer construction group is ‘regarded throughout Colorado as the absolute gold standard in construction litigation’. Spread across the firm’s offices in Denver, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, and Boise, the group focuses on civil and commercial matters, as well as resorts and commercial building projects, for private sector clients, engineering and architectural companies, and environmental entities. In Denver, Kevin Bridston and Buck Beltzer are ‘tremendous professionals and very accomplished in their area’. They represented a major environmental contractor against a municipality in a four-week trial regarding a large civil project with claims and counterclaims valued at $40m. Las Vegas based transactional expert Gregory Gilbert has ‘great general construction law knowledge and negotiation skills’. He is representing Desert Express in the development of a high-speed rail line PPP project, and is representing a casino owner seeking to develop an NBA-caliber basketball arena in Nevada.

K&L Gates’ national construction practice forms part of its extensive global construction and engineering group, with the domestic team consisting of some 35 attorneys working from offices in Los Angeles, Dallas, Seattle, Austin, Pittsburgh, Miami and Chicago. ‘Old-school construction litigator’ Richard Paciaroni chairs the dispute-focused practice from Pittsburgh, and clients include a solid share of foreign companies in industry sectors such as energy and power, transportation, heavy industrial, commercial and retail, and manufacturing. The team represented General Electric and Fisia Italimpiati in an ICC arbitration against Qatar Electric & Water Company arising from the construction of a 600MW gas-fired power plant, and Los Angeles based litigator Timothy Pierce successfully represented Chicago Bridge & Iron in upholding a defense verdict on appeal against a false claims case by the City of Los Angeles, settling a 12-year dispute and recovering a total of $20m in claims for the client. On the transactional side, it regularly represents various Skanska entities across multiple jurisdictions. Recent additions to the team include Gregory Jackson in Dallas, Charles Schwenck in Los Angeles, and David Hattery in Seattle.

Kirkland & Ellis LLP’s core construction team is based in Chicago and provides ‘outstanding service’ to a varied client base that includes contractors, engineers, developers, designers and architects. It is singled out for its ‘expertise in dealing with complex design-related professional liability claims’, and can draw on its international platform where necessary. Key partner James Nowacki is ‘a smart and strategic thinker’ who ‘has excellent legal acumen and applies it in a practical manner’. Highlights included advising an owner of advanced bio refinery plants on the preparation of EPC contracts and other agreements for new industrial units in the US and Indonesia, and acting for a developer against a construction management firm in a $100m claim arising from the construction of a hotel and casino. Other key clients include Verizon, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and Boeing.

Operating primarily out of Los Angeles and San Diego, McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP’s construction and engineering practice works closely with the firm’s government and real estate groups. Practice leader Mark Budwig and Laurence Phillips are part of the government contract group and are the key figures for construction work, focusing on all facets of federal and state infrastructure, public works and facilities projects, as well as commercial and private works construction projects. Budwig is representing San Diego County Water Authority in a number of complex disputes. The firm also acts for energy industry clients, as well as clients in the healthcare, water treatment and infrastructure areas. Los Angeles based of counsel Penny Cobey concentrates on PPP projects and government contracts, and is assisting Landmark Properties Holding with the negotiation and drafting of design and construction contracts for several buildings valued in excess of $150m. In Atlanta, a team is advising a global developer in arbitration proceedings against the architect concerning work on a military housing renovation project. The New York office welcomed PPP expert Jonathan Ballan in May 2013 from Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C. and Richard Sigal from Hawkins, Delafield and Wood LLP in January 2013.

Florida-based construction boutique Moye, O’Brien, O’Rourke, Pickert & Dillon, LLP fields a six-partner team serving clients nationwide as well as in the Caribbean Basin, Central America and Canada. It handles transactional and dispute resolution work such as bid protests, and has strong public procurement know-how, handling joint venture formations and preparing prospective PPP and procurement processes for private sector entities including construction managers, developers, and general contractors. The team also regularly serves as construction and project counsel in civil infrastructure, oil and gas, energy, and private theme park-related projects. Team head James Moye is leading advice to a consortium of Spanish and American companies regarding the formation of a joint venture and ongoing matters for a projected $2.1bn PPP highway project. On the contentious side, the firm is representing the prime subcontractor to Savannah River Nuclear Solutions in claims against owner Savannah River Site arising from substantial changes to the project. Sean Dillon is another key senior contact.

Pepper Hamilton LLP’s ‘level of service in all categories is exceptional’. The construction practice, which forms part of the firm’s litigation and dispute resolution department, can call on ‘a team of skilled trial lawyers for all large, complex construction disputes’, including 18 partners spread across offices in Philadelphia, Washington DC, Pittsburgh and New York. It advises private-sector clients such as contractors, owners, designers and manufacturers in a range of industries, including energy (where it handles fracking matters, among others), hospitality, higher education, and public infrastructure. Practice chair and ‘very good lawyerBruce Ficken and Ira Schulman are defending Silverstein Properties in two actions brought before the Supreme Court by hospitality companies alleging lost revenue in excess of $13m due to noise and disturbance emanating from the reconstruction of the Word Trade Center. Bechtel and Parsons Brinckerhoff are other key clients. Raymond DeLuca, Richard Foltz and Kenneth Levin, all Philadelphia based, are recommended, as is Ralph Finizio in Pittsburgh.

David Peden heads Porter Hedges LLP’s Houston-based eight-partner team, which acts for architects, subcontractors, engineers, and lenders. It is also retained by public authorities with respect to school building and renovation projects, although the majority of work is contentious and originates from the energy and infrastructure arenas. Nicholas Simms and Kerry McMahon gained a favorable ruling for prime contractor KBR against a Kuwaiti subcontractor in an ICDR arbitration concerning a claim for idle labor at a US military base in Iraq. Other highlights included successfully negotiating construction contracts and financing for an $80m office tower and a $106m mixed-use redevelopment in Austin, Texas. The team also represented a joint venture of contractors in a multi-party delay case regarding an $80m levitating railroad bridge project over large water lines under the Intercostal Waterway. Denise Nestel retired and Cindy Holub left to become in-house senior counsel at Chevron.

Clients value Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP’s combination of ‘outstanding service and practical advice with great insight into underlying legal issues’. Its balanced practice covers transactional matters and project counseling with litigation; all 18 construction attorneys handle both sides. International work comprises a fair proportion of its overall workload, which experienced a recent increase in instructions relating to architectural services contracts and engineering consulting. While the majority of the clients emanate from the private sector, the firm also has a healthy and growing collection of public sector clients. Joint co-chairs Harold Hamersmith in Los Angeles and Scott Hennigh in San Francisco advise clients across all industries, with an emphasis on infrastructure, heavy construction, and hospitality, especially in Latin America. It recently acted for Baha Mar Development in connection with a $3bn resort development in the Bahamas. Counsel Mathew Troughton and team successfully represented Kinetic Systems against the Federal Financing Bank in a dispute to claim back $1.2m in outstanding payment for work completed for bankrupt solar panel manufacturer Solyndra. Daniel Rosenberg in Chicago is ‘an exceptional attorney’ and Meredith Jones-McKeown was promoted to partner in February 2013.

Weinberg Wheeler Hudgins Gunn & Dial’s ‘highly accomplished construction trial lawyers’ stand out for their combination of ‘fearlessness with good business acumen’. The firm has ‘a national reputation for achieving great results’ in high-end engineering cases, and department head David Dial is recognized as ‘one of the top construction trial lawyers’. Operating out of its Atlanta, Las Vegas and Miami offices, the practice has notable strength in litigation, mediation, and arbitration cases pertaining to public and pseudo-public works projects and design/build projects, and has experienced a growth in instructions from insurance clients, architects and engineers. Key sector strengths include energy and power, heavy infrastructure, the education sector, residential buildings, and hospitality. Highlights included representing American Bridge in a dispute against Carnival Cruise Line concerning an allegedly defective docking facility in Honduras, and representing Veolia Water in an appeal regarding $9m in damages awarded to the City of Atlanta, wherein The Eleventh Circuit Court reversed the award. The matter is currently awaiting retrial. David Larson is ‘a very good trial lawyer’. Co-counsel John Flynn is also recommended.

Oakland-based boutique Wulfsberg Reese & Colvig capitalizes on its trial and arbitration expertise in major construction disputes, but also provides advocacy and other advice. Its client roster spans owners, engineers, design professionals, design/build contractors, and international EPC contractors in industry sectors such as engineering, power and energy, and heavy civil construction. The firm also represents public entities in the defense and prosecution of construction claims. Senior principal James Wulfsberg is recognized for his impressive public and private works expertise in domestic and foreign industrial facilities, public infrastructure projects, and public and privately owned and operated hospitals. Former name partner Eric Firstman left the firm in 2013.

At well-respected New York boutique Zetlin & De Chiara LLP, more than 21 attorneys in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut advise owners on transactions, contracts and litigation matters, and developers and institutions on construction and development projects spanning various sectors, including education and institutions, healthcare, energy, and maritime. Name partner and ‘skilled arbitrator’ Michael Zetlin represents national and multinational firms in a wide range of construction and real estate matters, particularly advising clients on the benefits of the integrated project delivery (IPD) approach. He is general counsel to the New York Building Congress, and to the New York chapter of the American Institute of Architects. The firm is also heavily involved in promoting PPP projects throughout New York State. In addition, the firm handles contentious matters for multinational architects, engineers, and contractors.

California firm Allen Matkins Leck Gamble Mallory & Natsis LLP fields a 21-strong construction group that includes 18 partners, and concentrates primarily on litigation, but also handles contract review and negotiation, dispute resolution and government contracting. The team’s other areas of expertise include green building and private construction projects work. It represents a mixture of private and public owners, general contractors, international clients, and increasingly technical companies. Los Angeles-based Delmar Nehrenberg handles transactional work, while San Francisco-based co-chair Raymond Buddie (‘an engineer with great technical knowledge’) is representing Anderson Plant in $10m arbitration proceedings against a contractor regarding uncompleted work on a boiler conversion in a biofuel generation facility. Other highlights included the ongoing representation of DPR Construction in connection with the $800m UCSF Mission Bay Medical Center project. It also acts for California State University and Kilroy Realty. Orange County based co-chair Kenneth Curtis is also recommended.

Austin-based construction boutique Allensworth & Porter has traditionally represented architects and engineers, but in recent years expanded its client base to include owners, general contractors and subcontractors, as well as developers. The five-partner team handles a healthy mix of transactional and dispute resolution work, with a focus on large, multi-party disputes in the health sector, and is experiencing a growth in instructions relating to mixed-use commercial building, infrastructure, high-rise, toll road, natural gas and oil exploration, healthcare and education projects. Part-time professor and full-time lawyer William Allensworth is described as ‘the best appellate construction lawyer’; he and Joe Basham are ‘smart, responsive, creative, and practical’, as well as ‘highly skilled and exceedingly professional practitioners’. The team recently acted for a general contractor against a subcontractor in a $700,000 claim, and gained a favorable ruling for septic engineering consultant Cedillos & Wilson against an owner of an on-site sewage facility in a five-day jury trial, with Matthew Cano leading on the matter.. In another highlight, Allensworth recently appeared before the US Supreme Court in a review matter pertaining to the enforcement of forum selection clauses.

Arent Fox LLP provides ‘efficient and economical service’ through its integrated and full-service three-partner team, which handles litigation and transactional matters for owners, developers, architecture and design firms, contractors and public authorities. Contentious matters comprise the bulk of the workload, although the practice has experienced an uptick in construction-related M&A at a domestic and international level. Other areas of expertise include drafting and negotiating broad construction management contracts and green building projects. Practice head James Frankel is ‘one of the finest lawyers in New York City specializing in design, construction and real estate matters’, and seasoned litigator Mark Bloom is commended for his ‘good industry experience’. They are leading advice to Nuprecon on the $1.8bn renovation of the United Nations site in New York. On the transactional front, Andrew Ross is handling Tishman Speyer’s construction portfolio.

Philadelphia-based real estate lawyer Mark DePillis took over as head of Ballard Spahr LLP’s construction practice in 2013, following former construction chair Bart Mellits’ move to head of the real estate department. The practice has a strong transactional focus, and has been active in the energy, clean technology and healthcare sectors, as well as advising owners and tenants on office construction projects. It is also handling institutional matters such as university and museum projects, as well as mixed-use buildings and PPP projects. Its client base is largely made up of owners, developers and lenders, and the firm will also assist contractors on subcontractor agreement negotiations. Chair of the real estate and construction litigation practice, Carl Roberts specializes in Building Information Modeling (BIM) and IPD project models, and the litigation team is active in construction defect claims, lien claims, and infrastructure failure claims. The team recently advised an equity real estate investment trust on a multimillion-dollar redevelopment project, and a comprehensive public research university on the design and construction of a new $220m library facility project. Of counsel Ross Eichberg arrived from Nixon Peabody LLP in January 2013 and focuses on real estate in the UAE.

Bracewell & Giuliani LLP’s construction practice has expertise in Houston, Austin, Dallas, and New York, and works closely with the firm’s real estate and energy departments. The team, led by Phillip Sampson, represents private and public entities, owners, large-scale homebuilders, manufacturers, contractors, engineers and architects. Recent work includes advice on residential multi-family structures and commercial buildings, as well as design and construction defect claims and other litigation, mediation and arbitration. On the contentious front, it is representing West Houston Infiniti in construction defect and breach of contract claims. Transactional highlights included acting as lenders’ counsel in connection with the financing of the construction of a $925m chemical plant in the US. Austin-based Stephen Benesh and Houston-based transactional specialist Richard Whiteley are also key partners.

At Bricker & Eckler LLP, Columbus-based practice chair Jack Rosati can call on a dedicated four-partner team that is particularly renowned for its public construction work representing public owners, in particular school districts. Other clients include private owners and heavy highway contractors, which the firm assists on transactions and disputes. It was recently involved in a major contracts audit regarding large-scale water and wastewater infrastructure improvement projects, and is serving as outside counsel to Warren County, Ohio on the design/build project for the construction of a $6.2m office building. It is also advising the City of Canton on the $89m instalment of membrane bioreactor treatment technology, the largest of its kind in North America. Scott Davis left in July 2013 to become chief legal officer at MS Consultants.

Coats Rose Yale Ryman Lee’s comprehensive construction and surety law practice is made up of over 20 attorneys across several locations in Texas, and is adept at serving public and private sector clients on a national and international level. It has a particular focus on the surety industry, providing underwriting and claims advice for a wide range of surety products, but also handles a number of general liability, private and commercial construction, infrastructure, and public work matters, as well as contentious cases such as construction defects. Thomas Barber is representing the City of Sugar Land in the drafting and negotiation of the procurement contracts for the design and construction of a $75 million dollar performing arts venue. The firm also advised a developer on a $10m hospitality renovation project, and advised University Hospital in San Antonio on construction contracts and resulting legal issues in connection with the $900m development of a new trauma tower. William Short left the firm.

California firm Cox, Castle & Nicholson’s construction practice is based primarily in Los Angeles, where its litigators provide advice to private sectors clients including owners, contractors, developers, subcontractors, design professionals, investors, and lenders. The firm has significant experience representing general contractors and owners in construction defect and delay cases. Kenneth Williams chairs the firm’s transactional construction practice and focuses primarily on design and construction agreements as well as real property acquisition and development.

The 12-partner team at Dorsey & Whitney LLP handles complex heavy industry projects for clients such as Bechtel and Norwegian Aker Solutions. It also provides design engineering firms with contract review, pre-litigation and litigation advice, as well as advice on patent-related matters. It has niche expertise regarding Native American gaming law, representing several tribes in construction-related hospitality projects. Team head Jocelyn Knoll is currently defending Kvaerner North American Construction against a $100m claim brought by Longview Power and Foster Wheeler regarding a coal-fired power plant in West Virginia, part of a long-running dispute with Longview over problems tied to the plant’s allegedly faulty design and construction. The firm is also advising a corporate buyer and user on the acquisition, development and construction of a $100m, tier-three data center. Seattle-based Lisa Marchese is noted for her ‘quick responses and good knowledge of the design and construction industry’; she led the team representing prime contractor CCI in a $45m dispute concerning an assignment by the US Army Corps of Engineers to build a pier and seawall in Iraq.

Midwest firm Faegre Baker Daniels fields 20 attorneys spread across four offices in Minneapolis, Indianapolis, Denver and Chicago. The client base mostly comprises private owners, although national and international general contractors and public owners also feature, in sectors ranging from alternative energy to healthcare. It is particularly strong in construction insurance, innovative industrial engineering and automation, and integrated project delivery, and handles work for international clients entering the US and US clients executing projects overseas. Arbitrator Patrick O'Connor has specialist knowledge of waste management facilities, and Indianapolis-based Mark Voigtmann leads the firm's construction law and real estate litigation group. M.A. Mortenson Company is a longstanding client.

Ford, Nassen & Baldwin’s practice comprises 14 attorneys operating across three Texan offices, each with different focus areas: Austin handles the bulk of municipal work, including procurement and claim work for public authorities nationwide; Houston concentrates on energy matters, particularly water, oil and gas; and the Dallas team covers all facets of construction law, with an emphasis on commercial office and multi-family buildings. It is particularly noted for representing large commercial general contractors and owners in the public arena. The firm acts for owners and contractors in disputes involving performance and payment, defect litigation, surety law and contract award controversies. In addition to dispute resolution, it assists clients in preparing and negotiating contracts and other procurement documentation. Recent highlights include advising Swiss EPC contractor Proman AG on the negotiation of contracts with both owner and subcontractor for the construction of a $50m methanol plant in Texas; and representing AGL Constructors in connection with a development and capital maintenance agreement with the Texas Department of Transportation for the $1bn Interstate Highway 35 East project. In January 2014 Paulo Flores joined the Dallas office and Gene Blanton was elevated to shareholder. Name partner John Nassen is also recommended.

Frost Brown Todd LLC is a ‘sophisticated firm’ with a particular focus on contractor and subcontractor representation, and on providing advice to construction managers and architects. The ‘accomplished’ Scott Gurney in Cincinnati handles transactional work and disputes, while recommended litigator John Higgins specializes in complex business and construction cases. Thomas Gabelman has considerable PPP expertise with an emphasis on developing large and complex projects such as the $2.7 billion Brent Spence Bridge Corridor PPP Project. He also serves as special project counsel to Butler County, Ohio on its $400 million Liberty Town Square mixed-use development project. Veteran surety and construction attorney Thomas Pennington joined the Nashville office in March 2013 from Watt, Tieder, Hoffar & Fitzgerald, LLP.

Based in San Francisco, Hanson Bridgett LLP’s well-respected department head Howard Ashcraft has knowledge of contract drafting and lien contracting matters, green building and sustainability projects, and regularly features in large-scale construction litigation. The firm represents design professionals and public owners in public works construction projects, as well as international private owners and financial institutions. It also advises numerous clients from the healthcare and higher education arenas, and has particular expertise in BIM project delivery. In Sacramento, Robert O’Connor and a team represent major contractors on the contentious side. Construction litigator and managing partner Andrew Giacomini works out of the San Francisco office.

Chicago-based Jenner & Block LLP’s broad practice assists clients from the energy and transportation infrastructure sectors, as well as clients involved in high-rise building projects. It also has strength in insurance and environmental work. Highlights included represented Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan on all transactional and contentious matters arising from the $100m acquisition and construction of a rail yard and fertilizer storage warehouse in Indiana. Trial lawyer and arbitrator Joseph Bisceglia handles sophisticated litigation, and the firm recently won an important trial victory for Exelon, PSEG, Calpine and several other large utilities companies in a constitutional case with national implications for the electric power industry. Donald Horvath, who focuses on transactional matters, and senior partner Richard Steinken are also recommended.

Mayer Brown fields dedicated construction lawyers focusing on specific industry groups, and benefits from the firm’s international network. It handles PPP infrastructure developments, greenfield projects, traditional and renewable energy matters, and project finance deals. Infrastructure projects are typically handled by the Chicago office, while Houston-based Charles Kelley is strong on energy matters. In Chicago, practice head Joanna Horsnail is leading advice to the Texas Department of Transportation on the bidding, negotiation and procurement process relating to design/build agreements and concessions for seven alternative delivery highway projects throughout Texas, valued in excess of $1bn. The firm also acted as sponsor counsel to WVB East End Partners, an international consortium comprised of Bilfinger Project Investments International, VINCI Concessions and Walsh Investors, on a $763m municipal infrastructure project connecting the east of Kentucky to southern Indiana. Nathan Galer was promoted to partner in January 2013, and Hugh McCombs retired.

McCarter & English, LLP is predominantly visible in the North East of the United States, where its six-partner construction and infrastructure practice team works closely with the firm’s real estate, environmental and energy departments to advise private and public sector clients such as contractors, architects, owners and developers, as well as universities, with an emphasis on private-sector clients. The esteemed Robert Rubin and practice chair Sarah Biser, who stands out for her ‘excellent knowledge and availability’, both handle transactional and contentious matters. They are acting for Constructuro Urbana on disputes concerning an alleged $1.6bn cost overrun to the Panama Canal third lock project. In addition, the firm is advising Israel Institute of Technology in New York on a joint venture agreement with Cornell University concerning a $2bn project with a 30-year development schedule. Former partner and litigator Glenn Callahan returned to the Philadelphia office in 2013, and Robert Bernstein moved to Holland & Knight LLP in February 2013.

Ober Kaler’s practice is co-chaired by John Morkan and the ‘honest and intelligent’ Joseph Kovars, with a further 16 lawyers spread across its Baltimore and Washington DC offices giving the firm a national scope. Most of its recent work has been government related, such as advising public authorities on heavy highway construction, or assisting private sector clients on government bid protests and PPP projects. Universities and colleges have been a stable client base, though the firm serves all industry sectors, with a strong emphasis on contentious matters. The ‘excellent construction litigation department’ represents private owners in building and construction defect claims, and acts for developers, public authorities, and construction companies. Raymond Burke is ‘an expert among experts in his field’, and has special knowledge of condominium association litigation. The firm is acting as counsel to the US Department of Justice, Antitrust Division and others regarding the review and analysis of the design and construction of an $850m expansion of a Mexican brewery. It also defended Diamond State Port Corporation in a dispute brought by the contractor arising from alleged breach of contract in connection with the rehabilitation of berth four at the Port of Wilmington. Firm chair John Wolf and Barbara Werther are additional key contacts.

Full-service firm Squire Patton Boggs represents foreign governments and domestic local authorities in cooperation with its very strong government and lobbying practice. Led by Robert Brams (has ‘extensive knowledge of government relations and litigation’ and is ‘thorough, helpful, and extremely thoughtful’), the Washington DC-based team comprises 35 attorneys handling transactional, contractual and finance work as well as large contentious cases pertaining to PPPs and complex project finance, energy, infrastructure and major road construction projects. The opening of a new office in Dubai and the hire of Thomas Wilson and two associates from Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton in April 2013 has further cemented its foothold in the Middle East. The firm is advising AECOM on a broad range of construction projects worldwide, and was also selected for the litigation panels of the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office and NJ Sandy Recovery Reconstruction Office. Michael Schaengold, Meagan Bachman and infrastructure and PPP expert Gregory Johnson are also rated.

In Virginia, joint team heads Thomas Folk and Michael Dingman lead Reed Smith LLP’s 22-partner team, which operates from several offices nationwide, including a newly established Houston office in February 2013 to serve domestic and international energy clients. Construction litigator Lee Haag, formerly with Norton Rose Fulbright, joined along with five other partners from various firms. The firm typically acts for private and public owners, contractors, and public authorities, with an emphasis on contentious matters, and the Philadelphia office also advises designers, architects, and engineers. Work relating to PPP infrastructure projects continues to grow, supplementing its ongoing workload in other industry sectors such energy, hospitality, and residential buildings and condominiums. In Pittsburgh, the team handles high-end construction disputes and international arbitration, while the San Francisco office has an emphasis on public projects and wind energy matters. It recently represented Doppelmayr Cable Car in disputes arising from a $400m public infrastructure project connecting the Bay Area Rapid Transit system to Oakland International Airport. Other key clients include Desert Ridge and Comstock Companies.

Virginia-based construction and government contracts boutique Smith Pachter McWhorter is particularly well known for its skill in litigating complex, fact-intensive disputes in heavy civil, power, light-rail, transportation, industrial and process plant projects. The construction practice handles litigation across the United States and also in arbitration forums in the Middle East and Europe. The firm also has significant knowledge advising public entities on audit, compliance and regulatory issues. John Cook, Val McWhorter and Brian Vella are recommended.

Energy specialist Vinson & Elkins LLP fields five partners across its Texas, New York, Washington DC and California offices. The Houston team handles domestic transactional matters and works closely with its UK office on international construction arbitration matters. Houston-based co-chair Ferguson McNiel brings ‘a wealth of strategic and energy industry specific knowledge’, and leads the practice with Nick Henchie in London. The core focus is on high-end, multibillion-dollar projects for sponsor clients, and it acts for EPC contractors and owners on energy-related matters. It is also active in complex domestic and international public infrastructure projects, as well as private and public building construction projects. The ‘very experienced, commercial and focusedKaam Sahely is leading advice to Dyno Nobel on all aspects of the development of an $850m anhydrous ammonia plant in Louisiana. Other clients include Bechtel and Occidental Chemical Corporation. Douglas Bland in Houston is also recommended.

Land use/zoning

Index of tables

  1. Land use/zoning
  2. Leading lawyers

Leading lawyers

  1. 1

DLA Piper is a ‘highly skilled law firm with great depth’ and its nationwide land use, development and government practice has a ‘large amount of talent, support and experience in dealing with complex matters’. It is particularly active in advising on large-scale projects. Chicago-based Ted Novak recently led the team in helping to obtain land use approvals and entitlements for Navy Pier´s $150m centennial plan to redevelop the pier in Chicago. In another 2013 work highlight, the ‘excellent and creativeRichard Rudman in Boston assisted The HYM Investment Group and a Canyon-Johnson real estate fund on zoning matters related to the NorthPoint project in Cambridge, including amendments to the city’s zoning code. Other key clients include EF Education First and BP America.

One of the leaders in this field’, Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP has extensive experience in assisting clients throughout the whole process of land use-related matters spanning from project planning and zoning to environmental reviews and finance. The New York-based, five-partner practice is built around the reputation of Stephen Lefkowitz and is actively involved in some of the largest real estate projects in the state; for example, it recently represented Trinity Church in the rezoning of Hudson Square. The team also advised Major League Soccer on land use and environmental approvals for the development of its new 25,000-seat soccer stadium in Manhattan. Melanie Meyers is singled out for her ‘encyclopedic knowledge of NYC zoning matters’.

With 46 partners across eleven offices nationwide, Holland & Knight LLP provides ‘high-level expertise and excellent representation on all land use and zoning matters’. Recent work highlights include assisting Codina Partners in Florida with obtaining entitlement approvals to add over 500,000 square feet of office use to the Downtown Doral project, and advising new client the Village of Carpentersville in Illinois on a proposed Wal-Mart development. The team also continues to assist IKEA with identifying the site of its first Miami store. Chicago-based Steven Elrod, recommended for his ‘impeccable business experience and professionalism’, heads the practice. San Francisco-based Tamsen Plume’s ‘knowledge is outstanding’ and Whayne Quin in Washington DC provides ‘excellent advice and guidance’.

New York City heavyweight Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP´s land use and zoning practice is widely considered ‘among the best’. In the past, the 20-strong team has been involved in obtaining land use approvals for New York landmark buildings such as Carnegie Hall, the Museum of Modern Art and the Lincoln Center. Among more recent work examples, the team, led by Paul Selver and Michael Sillerman, is advising on prominent large-scale projects such as CIM Group/Macklowe Properties’ development of a new mixed-used tower on Park Avenue in Manhattan, and it helped to obtain landmark and zoning approvals for a 1,050-foot tall mixed-use tower at West 53rd Street. The ‘particularly talented and experienced’ Elise Wagner is recommended and Gary Tarnoff is another name to note.

Latham & Watkins LLP has a tremendous reputation for land use and environmental matters, winning praise for its ‘excellent judgment and recommendations’. Besides acting for longstanding clients such as NBCUniversal, Poseidon Resources and Paramount Pictures, a group of California-based lawyers recently assisted JMB Reality with land use entitlements and environmental clearance for a 731,250 square foot LEED platinum office tower in Los Angeles. It has also been advising Mariott International on obtaining the entitlements for its new West Coast flagship hotel and nightclub, The West Hollywood Edition. Lucinda Starrett and Jim Arnone lead the practice, which includes the ‘very smartGeorge Mihlsten; all three are based in Los Angeles.

With ‘some of the state´s foremost land use attorneys on board’, Perkins Coie LLP undoubtedly has an ‘excellent understanding of local land use issues’ and provides ‘advice that is accurate, reliable and tied to business objectives’. Calling on the expertise of 62 attorneys across 12 offices, the firm has a particularly strong presence on the West Coast, where it recently assisted Lennar with land use entitlements for a $750m waterfront project in San Francisco, the re-use and redevelopment of Candlestick Park and Hunters Point Shipyard. Cecily Barclay in San Francisco also obtained entitlements and vested development rights for BioMed Realty for two life sciences campus redevelopment projects in the city, which are set to be worth $15bn upon completion. Steven Pfeiffer in Portland and Craig Shrontz in Seattle co-chair the practice, which includes Portland-based Mark Whitlow, who ‘knows how to drive the approval process’.

With particular experience in large-scale development projects in Florida and New York, Akerman LLP`s ‘very good’ 15-partner practice is currently advising new client Faena along with Access Industries on site plan approvals and related development matters for various projects, including the redevelopment of the Saxony hotel in Miami Beach. Led by New York-based Michael Bailkin, the department is also advising Street-Works Development LLC on the $1.3bn redevelopment of the entire downtown area of the City of Quincy in Massachusetts. Cecelia Bonifay heads the practice from Orlando.

The 21-partner land use practice at Allen Matkins Leck Gamble Mallory & Natsis LLP demonstrates deep expertise when it comes to seeing high-profile clients in California through the entire lifecycle of a development project; advice includes due diligence, zoning, site permits and environmental reviews. The prominent client roster includes industry heavyweights such as Google, Sunstone Hotel Investors and Ontario International Airport, which the team advised on a 935-acre master planned community in Ramona. The department was recently strengthened by the arrival of land use and renewable energy expert Barry Epstein in San Francisco and of Fernando Villa in Los Angeles.

Ballard Spahr LLP advises on cutting-edge development projects nationwide, but demonstrates particular market prominence in Baltimore, Philadelphia and Las Vegas. The land use practice is headed by highly regarded Matt McClure in Philadelphia. In 2013 it continued to represent Wyndham Vacation Ownership in relation to its $1bn Desert Blue timeshare project in Las Vegas, obtaining additional time extensions for land use approvals and building permits. Other recent work highlights include assisting Wexford Science and Technology with the development of a 272.670 square foot medical office and clinical research building in Philadelphia.

Embedded in its government relations and land development group, Bilzin Sumberg Baena Price & Axelrod LLP’s nine-partner land use practice has a solid presence in Miami and is actively engaged in some of the largest real estate projects in Florida. Past highlights have included advising Bacardi USA on matters related to the historic designation of its corporate headquarter building in Miami. Other representative clients include Acosta Farms, Florida Power & Light Company and Burger King. Al Dotson is the name to note.

Bryan Cave LLP´s land use expertise spans the full spectrum of development-related real estate advice and litigation. With three partners in its New York office, the team represented the New York City Economic Development Corporation on land use approvals for the Seward Park development project, a 1.6m square foot mixed-use project in Manhattan. Other key clients include Gotham Organization, Empire State Development and Boston Properties. Robert Davis, Judith Gallent and Margery Perlmutter are the key contacts.

With five offices in Florida, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney/Fowler White Boggs’ 13-partner land use practice advises a diverse client base on large-scale development projects across the state. Headed by Linda Loomis Shelley, the team was recently retained by Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort to obtain land use and platting approvals for its five-acre development project. It also advised Hollywood Ocean Group on land use matters for the $34m development of Positano Beach, a residential condominium on Hollywood Beach, Florida.

Florida-based Carlton Fields Jorden Burt has a comprehensive approach to land use and zoning matters, advising its national and international client base throughout the whole process of a development project, including due diligence, litigation and environmental reviews. The firm’s strong client roster includes private developers and governmental bodies. Tallahassee-based Nancy Linnan is extremely well regarded.

With a great reputation in San Francisco Coblentz, Patch, Duffy & Bass has extensive experience in advising a sophisticated and diverse client base on major public and private development projects in the Bay Area. Recent work saw the team assisting new client The Sares-Regis Group with land use matters related to potential San Francisco sites for privately held development projects, and obtaining local entitlements for Millennium Partners for its new biotechnology/corporate campus, the Millennium Burlingame Point. In December 2013, the 15-attorney practice added land use expert Gregg Miller to its ranks; he joined from Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP. Pamela Duffy is also recommended.

With particular experience and expertise in advising on development projects in the renewable energy industry, Cox, Castle & Nicholson’s land use and natural resources department is a well-known fixture in California’s real estate market. Spanning the entire spectrum of land use-related advice for clients such as Sony Pictures, KB Homes and Cisco Systems, the 25-attorney group also demonstrates a strong track record in land use litigation. Michael Zischke, Anne Mudge and David Waite are highly regarded.

Well-respected boutique Earl, Curley & Lagarde, PC has a wealth of experience and broad knowledge of Arizona land use and zoning legislation. In the past, the three Phoenix-based founding partners Stephen Earl, Michal Curley and Lynne Lagarde, who are supported by three planning and zoning professionals, have advised on projects such as the Scottsdale Fiesta Power Center, Arizona Mills and Camelback Colonnade.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP’s land use and development group represents a range of high-profile developers and investors nationwide, but is particularly active in California. A key highlight in late 2013 saw practice head Amy Forbes successfully obtain land use approvals for El Toro/Heritage Fields for the redevelopment of its air base in Irvine, California. The eight-strong team is currently advising Madison Square Garden on matters related to the $50m renovation of the Forum in Inglewood.

Embedded within a larger cross-disciplinary real estate department, Goodwin Procter LLP’s land use practice advises on due diligence, site permits, zoning and environmental matters. Martin Healy, who heads the team from the firm´ s Chicago office, obtained approvals for Millennium Place for a $400m mixed-use development on Boston Common. Other key clients include New Balance Athletic Shoe and Entergy Nuclear.

Greenberg Traurig LLP’s 41-lawyer practice spans 12 offices nationwide and demonstrates a particularly strong presence in Florida. The firm recently advised I-75/Palm River Road LLC on its Bass Pro Shops – Estuary Project in Hillsborough County, Florida, including the creation, negotiation and execution of the project plan. Other work saw a team led by Debbie Orshefsky in Fort Lauderdale and Jay Segal in New York advise On Top of the World Communities on all aspects of the development of its 1.3m-acre project. The client roster also includes All Aboard Florida and Portman-CMC.

Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP has a solid presence in California, where it has established strong ties with federal, state and local government entities. Recent highlights include successfully assisting Newport Banning Ranch with its entitlement of a 400-acre operating oil field for its new mixed-use development project in the coastal zone, and advising Simon Property Group on obtaining governmental approvals for the renovation and redevelopment of Del Amo Fashion Center.

McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP’s land use, entitlement and CEQA group has extensive experience that includes a strong government affairs background. The 12-strong team recently advised a major house builder on due diligence, land use and entitlement matters regarding a $100m development project in California. Other key clients include Northside Hospital, Tenaska and AEG. Atlanta-based William Timmons heads the practice and Timothy Tosta in San Francisco is another name to note.

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP represents a diverse client base in all facets of land use and development matters, with particular clout in the San Francisco area. Practice head Robert Herr and his team are currently advising Shorenstein Properties on the $300m renovation of Market Square, a 1.3m square foot office complex in San Francisco. Other representative clients include Allianz USA, Barrett Block Partners and Los Angeles Unified School District. Gregg Miller left the firm in December 2013 to join Coblentz, Patch, Duffy & Bass.

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP’s 22-partner team advises clients such as JMI Realty, Lincoln Property Company and The Irvine Company on a broad range of land use, environment and development entitlements. Among other matters, the team recently advised Geolo Capital on the redevelopment of the Collins Hotel in Miami. Much of the team is based on the West Coast, including practice head Domenic Drago in San Diego, where recent recruit Tony Toranto is also based. San Francisco-based Michael Leake is recommended, as is recently made-up Washington DC partner Michael Gibson.

Vedder Price´s land use team provides an ‘extraordinary’ level of service and has ‘deep subject matter expertise’. The Chicago-based team recently assisted Antheus Capital with obtaining approval for a $250m mixed-use development in Chicago´s Hyde Park neighbourhood, and it continues to assist the University of Chicago and Lake Park Associates with approvals for a number of commercial redevelopment projects near its Hyde Park campus, with a total value of over $250m. The ‘superior’ Danielle Meltzer Cassell, who heads the group, has ‘in-depth, first-hand knowledge of the local land use process’.

Terrific’ boutique Bercow Radell & Fernandez PA is a renowned figure in Miami’s real estate sector, where it provides a ‘superior level of service, knowledge and experience’. Led by ‘polished and professional’ practice head Jeffrey Bercow, the team recently obtained land use approvals for 800,000 square feet of retail space, 1050 residential units, 400 hotel rooms and 250,000 square feet of office space for 107th Avenue Gamma in Miami-Dade County. Other representative clients include Rosal Westview, Florida Power & Light Company and Marriott International. Michael Larkin has a ‘great feel for local politics and is well versed in the legal mechanics’.

With ten attorneys and three urban planners in its land use team, Cooley LLP has broad expertise across land use, zoning and development matters and acts nationwide for a client base across diverse industries. In a major work highlight, the group advised longstanding client Capital One on rezoning its 26-acre campus on the Virginia Capital Beltway. Reston-based Antonio Calabrese heads the practice.

Farella Braun & Martel LLP has developed a good reputation for land use and zoning in California. The five-strong team, headed by San Francisco-based Steven Vettel, is currently assisting California Flower Market Inc with land use entitlements and transactions related to the redevelopment of a nine-acre site and the relocation of the wholesale flower market in San Francisco. Other key clients include First Solar, Landbank Corporate Campus and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Fennemore Craig’s land use group is based in Arizona and advises private and public clients on a range of matters arising from land use entitlements, rezoning, development agreements and site permits. Past work has included acting for large master planned community developers and Arizona-based institutions. Michael Phalen heads the practice from the Phoenix office.

With nine offices across Florida, Gunster Law Firm advises on all facets of land use, development and environmental matters, acting for a strong client roster of national and international public and private clients; for example, New England Development. Brian Seymour heads the 27-strong team.

Herrick, Feinstein LLP’s land use and zoning group is comprised of three partners and three urban planners. It acts for an international client base in a range of matters from its New York base. The team, led by Mitchell Korbey, is currently assisting Read Property Group with the rezoning of Rheingold Brewery and also advises Sherwood Equities on land use and zoning reviews for various sites in West Chelsea and Hudson Yards.

Boutique firm Hopping Green & Sams PA’s 12-strong team assists clients across Florida with development projects from its conceptual stage through to final approval, including due diligence, environmental reviews, land use entitlements and zoning. The group is also well-versed in advising on the implications of development of regional impact (DRI).

Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed, P.A.’s Florida-based land use practice welcomed four new attorneys to its team in 2013, which has added strength to its litigation capabilities. Recent work for the 44-strong practice included obtaining property and land use entitlements for 14 sites for a major retailer. Aaron Gorovitz and Randi Fitzgerald head the practice.

Morrison & Foerster LLP’s practice is ‘excellent in dealing with government agencies’. With a particularly strong presence on the West Coast, the group handles land use and zoning-related matters for clients, many of which are from the energy industry. Practice head Chris Carr, David Gold and Miles Imwalle are currently advising First Solar on land use matters related to the Cuyama Solar Array Project in Santa Barbara.

Paul Hastings LLP fields a 14-strong team that provides ongoing advice for a national and international client roster including Korean Air, The Huntington Library and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Jeffrey Haber is currently advising InterActiveCorp (IAC) on the modification of its headquarters at Sunset Boulevard. Other work saw the group advise a coalition of social justice advocates on amending the San Francisco Bay Area land use and transportation plan. Mitch Menzer is another name to note.

Venable LLP assists clients nationwide and across various industry sectors with planning and land use services. In a recent work highlight, practice head John Milliken represented Vornado in negotiating conditions for the zoning and plan approval for its ten-acre development project Pen Place.

Well-established boutique Withey Morris PLC has in-depth experience in representing clients throughout the entire lifecycle of development projects in Arizona. The firm’s impressive client roster includes industry heavyweights such as Amazon, D.R. Horton, Volkswagen Group of America and Toll Brothers. Michael Withey and Jason Morris are the key contacts.

Real estate

Index of tables

  1. Real estate
  2. Leading lawyers

Leading lawyers

  1. 1

The 14-partner team at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP is led by ‘power attorneyJonathan Mechanic, who is highly regarded for his ‘strong expertise’. The group provides ‘an excellent level of service’ with ‘excellent knowledge’ and ‘practical business judgment’, and has an ‘excellent reputation for complex and sophisticated transactions’. It is advising luxury brand Coach Inc on the construction and development of a condominium unit to be located in Tower C of the Hudson Yards project. Other highlights included assisting Legends Hospitality with its 15-year lease agreement with The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to operate the observation deck at One World Trade Center, and advising Related Companies on two major lease transactions with L’Oréal USA and SAP in the South Tower of Hudson Yards, where the former leased 402,000 square feet for its US corporate headquarters, and the latter leased 115,000 square feet. The team also acted for Lehman Brothers in the sale of 237 Park Avenue where, after a bid process, it entered into a purchase and sale agreement with a subsidiary of RXR Realty to sell the building for $810m. Other key clients include The Royal Bank of Canada, UBS, Brookfield Office Properties, Cantor Commercial Real Estate, The Children's Investment Fund Management, Apollo Global Real Estate Management and Torchlight Investors. Recommended New York-based partners include Robert Sorin who is ‘excellent at both negotiating and drafting’, ‘first-rateStephen Lefkowitz, Ross Silver who is ‘smart, practical and very easy to work with’, Meyer Last who is ‘very intelligent and excellent on leasing matters’, Joshua Mermelstein who is an ‘exceptional transactional attorney’; the ‘incredibly hard-working’ Harry Silvera, and Michael Barker who is ‘highly regarded’ in the market. In Washington DC, Franz Rassman is ‘an excellent attorney’; he advised Google on a long-term lease for a Class A office building located in Washington DC. Brian Lichter recently joined Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP.

With ‘a vast footprint for real estate matters’, Greenberg Traurig LLP’s 200-lawyer practice spans 29 offices across the US, with particular strength in New York, Chicago and Miami. The team has a ‘particular flair for real estate work’ and its ability to provide ‘consistent, in-depth and focused advice’ on ‘high-profile and complex deals’. It is led by the ‘excellent’ New York-based Robert Ivanhoe and the ‘knowledgeableCorey Light, based in Chicago. Light led advice to a consortium of investors led by Cerberus Capital Management, together with Kimco Realty Corporation, Schottenstein Stores Corporation, Lubert-Adler Partners and Klaff Realty, regarding the $3.3bn acquisition of five supermarket chains from Supervalu. Ivanhoe led a team advising Chetrit Group on the $1.1bn purchase of the Sony building at 550 Madison Avenue, and steered a 30-strong team advising RFR Realty LLC and New York Observer publisher and real estate entrepreneur, Jared Kushner on the joint venture, acquisition and financing of a $375m portfolio from the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. Meanwhile, the ‘extremely responsiveStephen Rabinowitz led work on behalf of Brooklyn Bowl, negotiating joint ventures regarding its expansion into Las Vegas and London. London and Miami-based Matthew Gorson led a number of transactions on behalf of Swire Properties regarding the Brickell City Center project. Rebecca Burnham, based in Phoenix, is leading work for RP HFL, a Sunbelt Holdings joint venture, and Ryan Companies US Inc regarding the sale of a key parcel of land and negotiations relating to the Marina Heights office and retail project.

Paul Hastings LLP’s 28-partner real estate practice delivers a ‘consistently excellent performance’ under the leadership of ‘brilliant’ Los Angeles-based global chair Philip Feder. The ‘truly broad and diverse practice’ handles the full range of complex real estate matters. On the development side, Feder led advice to the partnership between Aecom Capital, and Mack Urban on the $80m purchase of six acres of land in downtown Los Angeles from Evoq Properties. For the ‘experiencedCharles Thornton in San Francisco, highlights included assisting Ivanhoé Cambridge with two joint venture transactions where the portfolios were valued at approximately $2bn. Key transactions also include advising Korean Air on the Wilshire Grand redevelopment project in downtown Los Angeles, valued at approximately $1bn, which was led by the ‘forward-thinkingRick Kirkbride (vice-chair of the real estate practice), Mitchell Menzer, Patrick Ramsey and John Simonis; the latter also led advice to TechCore on the $437.5m acquisition of the One Wilshire building in downtown Los Angeles. The ‘proactive and dedicatedRobert Wertheimer heads the firm’s real estate practice in New York and recently advised on variety of high-profile matters for Fisher Brothers spanning a number of development projects, including the joint venture and purchase agreement for the $223m acquisition of 101 Murray Street at St John’s University’s Manhattan campus.

The ‘dedicated’ department at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is noted for its ‘outstanding transactional practice’. Led by the ‘experienced’ Gregory Ressa and with five ‘fantastic partners’ in New York, the team has advised on a plethora of high-profile transactions. It acted for headline client Blackstone in a range of notable matters which included the $7bn creation of Invitation Homes, a national platform that has purchased over 39,000 distressed single-family homes, and also advised on the $1.46bn sale of a portfolio of prime shopping centers to DDR Corp from their existing joint venture. It acted on behalf of the joint venture between Emeritus, Blackstone Real Estate Partners VI and others on the $1.79bn sale of 142 senior housing communities to HCP and Emeritus. It is also advising an affiliate of Blackstone Real Estate Partners VII on the acquisition, along with its Brazilian partner Pátria Investimentos, of 70% of the share capital of Alphaville Urbanismo. Elsewhere, key mandates on behalf of Hilton Worldwide Holdings include advising on a $3.5bn mortgage refinancing secured by a portfolio of 23 hotels located across 13 states, as well as the pending IPO of shares of its common stock. The team also acted on behalf of The Carlyle Group’s real estate fund on the $1.3bn sale of 650 Madison Avenue in New York, a Class A office and retail building. Key individuals include Scott Kobak, Sasan Mehrara and Erik Quarfordt in New York.

With 13 partners across its offices in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP boasts ‘incredible experience’ in real estate matters. Harvey Uris in New York heads the firm’s global real estate practice that is noted for its ‘in-depth expertise.’ Cross-border work included advising Queensland Investment Corporation on a $2bn deal regarding the formation of a joint venture for the investment in a portfolio of regional shopping malls, and advising The Goodman Group on the formation of a US logistics and industrial property development business and a US-focused real estate private equity fund. Headline mandates also included advising Deutsche Bank as lead arranger and administrative agent in the $1bn financing of Two and Four World Financial Center in New York, and advising Sony on the $1.1bn sale of its US headquarters. The team also advised on a number of high-profile sales and acquisitions: for Vannguard Health Systems regarding its $4.3bn acquisition by Tenet Healthcare and for the independent members of the Board of Directors of Inland American Real Estate Trust on the $2.3bn sale of a portfolio of net lease assets to AR Capital. Recommended individuals include Chicago-based Paul Huff and Nancy Olson as well as Audrey Sokoloff, Benjamin Needell and Evan Levy in New York.

New York-based Sullivan & Cromwell LLP’s ‘top-quality’ and ‘innovative’ real estate team has ‘strength in depth’ and is ‘always available for its clients’. The ‘strong industry-focused’ group takes a multi-disciplinary approach to advising its high-profile clients. Anthony Colletta led work on behalf of Whitehall Street Real Estate Fund regarding a $1.3bn mortgage and mezzanine refinancing of its CNL and Tharaldson portfolio companies and advised Goldman Sachs, in partnership with Greystar and two institutional investors, on its purchase of a portfolio of 27 multi-family properties from Equity Residential for $1.5bn. Noted for his ‘perfect judgment’, Joseph Shenker acted alongside Ivan Deutsch and managing partner Robert Schleinin advising Frank McCourt and his affiliated entities on the negotiations and agreements with his former wife as well as Major League Baseball and Guggenheim Partners, resulting in the $2.15bn sale of the Los Angeles Dodgers as well as the Dodgers stadium property and the real estate joint venture that acquired the Chavez Ravine property surrounding the stadium. Praised for his ‘tremendous knowledge’, Arthur Adlerled a number of matters on behalf of Vornado Realty Trust which included the recapitalization of the ownership of 666 Fifth Avenue in New York and the subsequent purchase of the three- floor retail condominium at this property for $708m, as well as closing CMBS financing for $390m. It also advised on the $1.3bn acquisition, along with other partners, of 650 Madison Avenue and a 92.5 % stake in 655 Fifth Avenue for $278m, both of which are located in New York. The team advised AT&T on its pending definitive agreement with Crown Castle International to lease, sublease, sell or transfer approximately 9,700 wireless communications sites for $4.85bn and is acting on behalf of US Real Estate Opportunities on the sale of a 20% stake in the GM Building in New York. Notable individuals also include Benjamin Weber, ‘a real expert in real estate partnership matters’, and the ‘practical and knowledgeableRobert Downes.

A leader in the real estate finance arena, the team at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP, based in New York and Charlotte, North Carolina, ‘is very focussed and experienced’ in transactional matters. Department head, the ‘dedicated’ William McInerney led the team that advised JPMorgan, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and Morgan Stanley as lenders in a $3.5bn CMBS mortgage loan to the subsidiaries of Hilton Worldwide regarding the refinancing of a portion of Hilton’s existing debt and subsequent IPO. The team was instructed by JPMorgan on a $950m refinancing of mortgage and mezzanine loans secured by a portfolio of 51 hotels across the US, owned by a joint venture between Cerberus Capital Management and Chatham Lodging Trust. This matter was led by Melissa Hinkle. Steven Herman led the advice for UBS and Wells Fargo as co-lenders in a $450m single-asset securitized mortgage loan secured by 11 Penn Plaza in New York and led advice on behalf of HSBC as agent for a syndicate of lenders in a $525m mortgage loan secured by the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York. The team was also instructed by clients such as Deutsche Bank, Westbrook Partners, Riverbanc Capital, Macquarie, H-2 Capital and Vornado Realty. James Carroll in Charlotte is ‘excellent’ and senior counsel, Fredric Altschuler in New York is also recommended.

The New York-based five-partner team at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP is ‘technically very good’, demonstrates ‘a strong level of commitment to the client’ and is ‘a go-to firm for complex and high-profile matters’. Rendering advice to clients across the US and internationally, the team is regarded for its reputation in advising on high-profile acquisitions, dispositions, joint ventures, financings and restructurings. The ‘precise and commercialSteven Horowitz advised Meraas Capital, a Dubai-based fund, on the complex disposition of its minority ownership interest in the GM Building in New York. Led by the ‘excellentMichael Weinberger, the team was instructed by Goldman Sachs on a number of financing and loan restructuring and workout transactions; these included a $555m loan to General Growth Properties secured by a portfolio of shopping centers located in Minnesota, Kentucky and Florida, and mortgage and mezzanine loans of $115m to Tamares Real Estate Holdings, secured by two towers in Plaza America, an office and retail complex located in Reston, Virginia and a $500m mortgage loan to Macerich for financing the Kings Plaza Shopping Center in Brooklyn, New York. Weinberger also advised Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank as co-lenders on an $800m mortgage and mezzanine loan to a joint venture led by Vornado Realty Trust to finance the acquisition of 650 Madison Avenue in New York. In an additional highlight, the team was instructed by American Tower Corp on a matter led by Kimberly Brown Blacklow regarding the $1.8bn simultaneous loan and securitization of mortgages on the interests in more than 5,000 cell tower sites across the US. Noted individuals also include Steven Wilner, who recently acted on behalf of clients such as Empire Resorts is ‘very pragmatic’ and ‘always available to the client’. Donald Sternhas an excellent mind for business’.

With a ‘vast national practice’ spanning 13 offices across the US and with 72 partners, DLA Piper’s real estate offering is led by the ‘superbJay Epstien in Washington DC. The team is noted as ‘very commercial in its approach’ and is recognized for its ‘deep bench of expertise’, ‘excellent resources’ and ability to provide ‘timely responses’. The team’s co-vice chair, San Francisco-based Stephen Cowan, led work for Greenland Holding Group Overseas Investment Company regarding the $145m agreement to purchase LA Metropolis, for the development of a $1bn four-tower mixed-use project, and in a joint venture investment with Forest City Ratner Company regarding its high-profile Atlantic Yards development project in Brooklyn, New York, for the development of ten or more mixed-use buildings. The ‘first-rateJohn Sullivan in Boston advised Oxford Properties Group on the formation of a joint venture for the $1.3bn acquisition of 650 Madison Avenue in New York. Cross-border highlights for the team included acting for Shanghai-based Fosun Group on its $725m acquisition of One Chase Manhattan Plaza in New York from JPMorgan Chase which was led by Cowan alongside the ‘thorough’ and ‘thoughtfulAndrew Levy in New York. The team was also instructed by clients such as The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, AEW Capital Management, Ivanhoé Cambridge and Blackstone Real Estate Advisors. Lee Smolen recently joined the Chicago office from Sidley Austin LLP and Joseph Philip Forte joined in New York from Alston & Bird LLP. Cara Nelson and Gregg Graines were recently promoted to the partnership. Co-vice chair of the department, Elliot Surkin in Boston, is also recommended.

Chaired by Fred Pillon in San Francisco and Jesse Sharf in Los Angeles, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP’s ‘outstanding’ 56-partner real estate practice runs across the firm’s offices in California and New York. Singled out as a team that is ‘going from strength to strength’, and with the recent arrival of the ‘brilliant’ Steven Klein in New York from Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP, the team is recognized as ‘a key player in the real estate market’. It was recently instructed by TRI Pointe Homes in a matter led by Michael Flynn in Orange County, regarding the $2.7bn acquisition of Weyerhaeuser Real Estate Company, the wholly owned homebuilding and real estate subsidiary of Weyerhaeuser Company. It also acted for Rockpoint Group on a matter led by New York-based Andrew Lance, regarding the acquisition and financing of a 45% interest in two Fisher Brothers properties in Manhattan (1345 Avenue of the Americas and 605 Third Avenue), in a transaction valued in excess of $2bn. It also advised Investcorp on the acquisition of more than $500m of mezzanine loans and senior loans secured by interests in hotels, office buildings and storage facilities throughout the US. Andrew Dady in New York acted for Blackstone on the $300m financing of a portfolio of office and R&D properties of over 2.4m square feet in Silicon Valley, California. Los Angeles-based Michael Sfregola acted for Shapell Homes on the $1.6bn sale of its assets to Toll Brothers. Other key individuals include Los Angeles-based Drew Flowers, Dennis Arnold and Jesse Shapiro (recently promoted to partner), San Francisco-based Deborah Cussen and New York-based David Furman and Eric Feuerstein.

The ‘national practice’ at Goodwin Procter LLP has an ‘incredibly deep bench of experts’ and provides ‘exceptional service’. It has 43 partners in Boston, California and New York and includes an ‘excellent REITs practice’ alongside strong practices in private real estate investments and fund formation. Key work includes advising longstanding client AvalonBay Communities on its agreement to partner with Equity Residential to acquire Archstone, an apartment complex company and a subsidiary of Lehman Brothers. Other highlights included advising Medical Properties Trust on its public offering of €200m, and advising Forest City Enterprises on two joint venture deals involving institutional investors: firstly on the negotiation of a contribution agreement under which the client will contribute its ownership interest in eight regional retail shopping malls to joint ventures to be formed with QIC, and secondly, regarding the creation of a strategic capital partnership with the Arizona State Retirement System and a $400m equity fund that will invest in multi-family development projects. It also advised Cole Credit Property Trust II, a Phoenix-based REIT, on its $7.1bn merger with Spirit Realty Capital. Recommended individuals include Mark Kirshenbaum and Andrew Sucoff in Boston, as well as Gilbert Menna, who is based in Boston and New York and chairs the firm’s real estate capital markets practice.

The ‘very professional team’ at Kirkland & Ellis LLP is ‘always available, reliable, offers superior advice’ and is ‘attuned to the needs of the client’. Present across the firm’s New York and Chicago offices, the real estate department is noted for its ‘expertise in restructuring matters’ and its strong private funds practice. The team has recently been present on a number of cutting-edge transactions; mandates from Starwood Capital Group included its agreement to acquire stakes in seven shopping centers from the Westfield Group for $1.64bn, its $230m acquisition of Rimrock Mall and Northridge Mall – located in Montana and California respectively – from Macerich, and the $127m purchase of Kitsap Mall and two adjacent strip centers located in Washington state. It also advised the same client on the raising of $4.2bn for the Starwood Distressed Opportunity Fund IX. The team was also instructed by Dune Real Estate Partners relating to the recapitalization and construction financing of 56 Leonard Street, a high-rise residential development project in New York, and it acted for Equity LifeStyle Properties on a series of highly structured acquisitions, dispositions and capital market transactions valued in excess of $900m. For GID Investment Advisers, it assisted with the $400m acquisition of The Ashley and The Aldyn, two luxury rental properties located in the Riverside Park South neighborhood of New York. New client wins include GFI Capital, Hudson Capital Group, Macquarie and Marathon Capital Management. In New York, the ‘first-rateScott Berger, ‘hardworkingStephen Tomlinson, the ‘very professionalJonathan Schechter who ‘thinks outside the box’ and Jennifer Morgan are recommended, along with newly made-up partners David Kaye and Taryn Reynolds. In Chicago, Joshua Hanna, the ‘very responsiveDaniel Perlman and Andrew Small are also singled out.

Shearman & Sterling LLP’s ‘excellent’ real estate practice is particularly noted for its cross-border expertise and ‘strong ability for corporate real estate transactions’. It is led by Chris Smith, who ‘has the ability to cut through issues with practical solutions in a timely way’ and is said to be ‘the best in the business for commercial leasing’. He and Malcolm Montgomery (‘very responsive, commercial and provides sound advice’), advised Warner Music Group on a lease transaction for its new headquarters at the Paramount Plaza building, located at 1633 Broadway in New York. Recent financial instructions include advising Citibank on a number of transactions, including a $3bn multi-currency senior unsecured term and revolving credit facilities for Digital Realty Trust. It also advised U.S. Bank National Association as administrative agent, and the same client alongside RBC Capital Markets as joint lead arrangers and bookrunners, on a $1.5bn syndicated term loan secured by 16 shopping malls for General Growth Properties. Lisa Brill worked alongside Smith and Montgomery in advising GTIS Partners on the structuring and formation of GTIS US Residential Strategies Fund and its various parallel funds in addition to advising the client on various joint ventures including with SR Capital Advisors for the development of residential condominiums in the Chelsea neighbourhood of New York, and with Eastview Realty Advisors LLC to develop and construct a luxury residential condominium in Miami. GTIS Partners also sought advice for a $50m subscription financing from Citibank. The team is also recommended for its expertise in the hotel and hospitality sector where recent clients have included Hersha Hospitality, Four Seasons, Hyatt, Swissôtel and Llao Llao Hotel & Resort. Deputy head of the real estate practice John Opar is highly regarded for his expertise in international transactions and for his experience in Shariah-compliant instructions.

Sidley Austin LLP’s ‘brilliant’ real estate offering is recognized for its ‘sheer breadth and depth of expertise’. Led by Marc Hayutin in Los Angeles, Charles Schrank in Chicago and Alan Weil in New York, it has 75 lawyers in the US with experience advising lenders, investors, owners and developers on a wide range of transactions and disputes, both domestically and internationally. Key instructions included acting for Deutsche Bank on several matters, including advising it and other lenders on the $1.3bn mortgage and mezzanine financing secured by a portfolio of 154 hotel properties in 32 states, and on the CMBS standalone securitization of the $775m mortgage-loan component of the financing. It advised Starwood Property Trust on a $475m construction loan to a joint venture between The Related Companies and Oxford Properties Group for the development of Tower C at Hudson Yards. For Forest City Enterprises, it assisted with the sale of a 49% interest in the New York by Gehry skyscraper to TIAA-CREF and advised on the formation of a new joint venture. Other clients include Wells Fargo, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and KB Home. In California, Aimee Contreras-Camua, Brian Flavell and Paul Walker are ‘exceptional’. In Chicago, Anthony Aiello is ‘highly regarded’ alongside John Chamberlin and John Rafkin. New York-based Jonathan Nunes and Kevin Blauch are also recommended.

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz is recommended for its ‘high-profile’ expertise on a range of real estate work in the context of M&A, strategic transactions, institutional investments, restructurings and private equity, with a particular focus on REITs. Although the group is relatively small, Adam Emmerichvery hardworking’ and Robin Panovkaexperienced’. Stephen Gellman sadly passed away in 2014. The group maintains a good standing in the market by being ‘very focused’ and as such is ‘excellent on complex and high-end matters’. Recent highlights include advising Simon Property Group on the plans to spin off its strip center business and smaller enclosed malls into an independent, publicly traded REIT, advising Cole Real Estate Investments on its $21.5bn merger with American Realty Capital Properties, and advising Penn National Gaming Inc on the $5.5bn separation of its gaming properties into a publicly traded REIT. It also assisted Ventas with its $3.1bn acquisition of Atria’s senior housing portfolio. Other clients include Morgan Stanley, Chatham Lodging Trust and AMB Property Corporation.

The ‘fantastic’ practice at Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP is ‘phenomenal in terms of service’. The ‘creative, insightful and innovative’ Philip Rosen and Michael Bond, who is ‘relentless in pursuit of the clients’ goal’, co-head the firm’s seven-partner practice; it has a ‘formidable bench’ of lawyers providing ‘strong, creative and precise advice’. Rosen advised on a number of matters for Brookfield Asset Management, including advising Verde Realty (a majority-owned subsidiary of funds managed by Brookfield Property Partners) on the $1.1bn acquisition of Industrial Developments International from Kajima Corporation. It also advised the client regarding the $866m acquisition by BSREP Industrial, (a Brookfield fund) of Verde Realty and also acted for Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners on its acquisition of a portfolio of 19 hydroelectric plants and eight reservoir dams in Maine from a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources. It advised Lehman Brothers on a matter led by David Herman alongside Bond regarding the $16bn sale of its entire stake in Archstone, a privately held owner, operator and developer of multi-family apartment properties. Miami-based Beatriz Azcuy-Diaz worked alongside Herman and Rosen advising Annaly on a $230m loan secured by the Steinway building in New York and Samuel Zylberberg led advice to 30RC Trust (a subsidiary of GE Capital) on the $1.3bn sale of the NBCUniversal flagship property at 30 Rockefeller Center to NBCUniversal.

Arent Fox LLP’s ‘exceptional’ group has more than 40 real estate lawyers across Washington DC and New York, and has now expanded into San Francisco. It is recommended for its experience in real estate acquisitions, finance, and dispositions across the country. Goldman Sachs has instructed it on a number of investment and financing activities, including the $1.56bn acquisition and financing of multi-family assets from Equity Residential; the work was led by Mark Katz (‘excellent for real estate finance’), Eleanor Zappone and Dan Kirsch. David Dubrow was the key lawyer advising Fannie Mae on the $7bn loan restructuring of the Archstone portfolio. Other highlights included advising Forest City Ratner Companies on the development of 8 Spruce Street (aka Beekman Tower), a 76-story, commercial mixed-use construction project in Manhattan; the matter was led by Karen Candreva. The firm is also noted for its expertise in the hospitality and leisure sector and has recently acted for Marriott International and its affiliates on a variety of transactions including the development of Marriott hotels in Manhattan and Miami Beach; these were led by the ‘brilliant’ Kimberly Wachen. The firm was also instructed by Quadrangle Development Corporation on the development of the $520m Washington Convention Center headquarters hotel and also represented the client in the $400m sale of the Grand Hyatt hotel to Host Hotels & Resorts, led by Michael Leahy and Thomas Castiello. Department head Kenneth Jacob is ‘an excellent real estate attorney’ and is particularly noted for his experience in the healthcare and senior living sector alongside Wachen. Richard Newman has ‘strong expertise’ in tax-exempt bond financing and David Martin ‘consistently delivers exceptional service’.

Regarded as ‘a strong player in the real estate market’, the 21-partner group at Bingham McCutchen LLP is led by the ‘highly rated’ Richard Fries in New York and the ‘bright and efficient’ Barry Rosenthal in Washington DC. With a presence across seven offices in the US, the team is particularly praised for its ‘experience in real estate finance’; here, Fries led a number of transactions on behalf of M&T Bank including a $200m construction loan to a joint venture between Angelo, Gordon & Co and Extell Development and a $115m acquisition loan to Thor Equities relating to the Carlton House on Madison Avenue, New York. He also led on a range of matters for Silverpeak Real Estate Partners including the restructuring and repositioning of more than $2bn of distressed development projects, mezzanine loans and joint venture interests. The firm is also highly rated for its work within the hospitality and affordable housing sector, where recent highlights include advising Forest City Ratner Companies on the tax-exempt bond financing for a residential building (known as B2), to be constructed in the Atlantic Yards development. Washington DC-based Michael Pickett advised The Doyle Collection on the $150m sale of three separate hotels. Additional key work includes advising The JBG Companies on the purchase and joint venture regarding the Potomac Yard town center development in Landbay G, Alexandria, Virginia. Also recommended are Thomas Klanderman in Washington DC and Carol Dillon in Silicon Valley. Kenneth Lore and a team of nine recently left to join Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP.

The ‘first-rate’ department at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is ‘very professional’, has a ‘broad range of experience’ and a longstanding client base. Headline work led by the ‘outstanding’ Nicole Mesard includes advising The Westfield Group on a number of high-profile transactions, including the $1.64bn divestiture of seven non-core shopping centers in the US to the Starwood Group, the acquisition of the Port Authority’s remaining 50% interest in the World Trade Center retail facilities for $800m, and on its engagement to operate and manage the retail portions of The Fulton Center located in New York. ‘Formidable’ department head Peter Irwin was instructed by JPMorgan Investment Management on a range of matters including its purchase of 425 Lexington Avenue and on a $1.5bn equity transaction with Edens Investment Trust. Additional instructions came from Oaktree Capital Management regarding its joint venture with Kushner Companies for the acquisition and financing of a mixed-use development in Philadelphia, and from Rockefeller Group International on its joint venture with Mitsubishi Estate New York for the acquisition and financing of 50 Beale Street in San Francisco.

Based across six offices in the US, Dechert LLP’s ‘very responsive’ real estate and finance department is ‘of a very high quality’, ‘has excellent industry knowledge’ and advises clients to a ‘very high level’. It is co-chaired by Joseph Heil in San Francisco and Richard Jones, based in Philadelphia and New York. Key instructions included advising Barclays and UBS on the origination and disposition of $1.6bn mortgage and mezzanine loans secured by six Class-A shopping centers, a matter that was led by David Forti in Philadelphia. Jay Zagoren in Philadelphia recently led work for AXA Real Estate. The team advised on a range of matters for Wells Fargo including the sale of £4bn of loans and the London operations of Hypothekenbank Frankfurt by Commerzbank; the London office assisted on the deal. Other matters from Wells Fargo included advising on a repurchase facility, by commercial real estate funds, of a $200m portfolio of interests in syndicated performing, sub-performing and non-performing commercial mortgage loans; this matter was led by Stewart McQueen in Charlotte, who was recently promoted to partner. Additional partner promotions include Kahlil Yearwood in San Francisco and Jodi Schwimmer in New York. Further instructions came from H/2 Capital Partners, Prudential, Citigroup and Freddie Mac.Ralph Mazzeohas the experience and depth that you need to quickly get to the heart of the issue’, and David Linder in San Francisco and Philadelphia based Jason Rozes are also recommended.

Holland & Knight LLP’s real estate practice is ‘truly national’, with a presence in Northern and Southern California, Illinois, New York, Massachusetts, Washington DC, Maryland, Virginia and Oregon. It is noted for its ability to ‘deliver a superior level of service’ and its ‘technical legal and business knowledge, negotiating and deal-making skills are all exemplary’. The firm has seen an increase in cross-border matters, particularly in Latin America and Asia; recent examples include advising FirstBank of Puerto Rico on a $100m real estate and construction loan workout in the British Virgin Islands,(led by Alberto Hernández and Josias Dewey in Miami) and advising Overseas Union Enterprise Limited (OUE), a publicly traded Singaporean company, on an agreement to purchase the iconic US Bank Tower in Los Angeles for $367.5m; this was led by Susan Booth in Los Angeles and by New York-based Martin Miner, who is noted for his ‘extensive knowledge’. In the retail and leasing space, the firm was instructed by Triple Five Group to handle all leasing work in relation to the $3bn American Dream Meadowlands entertainment and shopping mall complex in New Jersey. This work was led by David Allswang and James Mayer in Chicago. In the hospitality sector, department head, Joseph Guay in New York led work for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide on restructuring matters regarding The St Regis Bahia Beach Resort in Puerto Rico.

Jones Day’s ‘extremely responsive’ 28-partner department ‘produces excellent work’. Chaired by Robert Lee in Chicago and David Lowery in Dallas, the department’s ‘diverse’ strengths lie across areas such as acquisitions and dispositions, financing, joint ventures, private equity investments, fund formations and affordable housing and community development. It recently advised Capital One Bank as lead lender, administrative agent and arranger, on the financing for the $100m redevelopment of a New Orleans office building into a mixed-used project. It is acting for the City of Detroit on its Chapter 9 restructuring, in the context of its infrastructure and real estate assets. It also advised DDR Corp on the $1.46bn acquisition of a portfolio of prime shopping centers from an existing joint venture with Blackstone Real Estate Partners VII, and was instructed by Goldman Sachs on a loan and an equity investment in a structured transaction for the redevelopment of a historic structure in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The team includes Brian Sedlak in Chicago, Scott Specht in Atlanta and James Salerno and Steven Koppel in New York; the latter ‘builds excellent client relationships’. The real estate and tax practice was recently boosted by the arrivals of Douglas Banghart, Jeffrey Gaulin and John Kelley to the Boston office from Holland & Knight LLP.

The real estate department at Katten Muchin Rosenman LLPmakes a genuine effort to understand the individual needs of the client’ and has a ‘solution-orientated approach’ to its work. Its experience lies in matters relating to real estate acquisitions, financing and leasing, as well as matters such as restructuring and disposition. Chicago-based national head of the practice David Bryant advised Callahan Capital Partners and Ivanhoe Cambridge on a variety of matters, such as advising on the purchase of interests in office buildings, the formation of joint ventures and financings; in particular, it advised on the acquisition of interests in 1211 Avenue of the Americas in New York. Led by David Dlugie, it advised GE Capital on the $400m sale of business properties, REO properties and mortgage loans. Adam Engel spearheaded work on behalf of AIG and its affiliate life insurance and property and casualty insurance companies and assisted the client with originating over $600m in mortgage financing and the ‘highly skilledBenzion Westreich advised CIM Group on its $2bn acquisition program of real estate investments in the US. Recommended individuals also include the ‘very efficientAlvin Katz, the ‘hardworkingScott Vetri, Douglas Noren, Ira Swidler and Mark Simon. Kenneth Lore and a team of nine recently joined from Bingham McCutchen LLP. Rori Malech joined Hunton & Williams LLP.

Kaye Scholer LLP’s ‘renowned’ real estate department has 42 lawyers across New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. It is particularly active in private equity and CMBS matters, with recent transactions including, for Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board, a $250m mezzanine loan financing for Kyo-ya Hotels, a six-property hotel portfolio located in Hawaii and San Francisco. It also acted for Deutsche Bank on multiple financings with an aggregate amount of $685m for Moffett Towers I & Moffett Towers II in Sunnyvale, California, and for Jefferies LoanCore in providing $74m of mortgage and mezzanine financing for a regional mall in Phoenix, Arizona. Key clients for the firm also include Citigroup Global Markets, Criterion Real Estate Capital, Hersha Hospitality Trust and Magna Hospitality. The ‘brilliant’ Warren Bernstein and the ‘knowledgeable’ Stephen Gliatta co-head the department, where recommended individuals also include Jeannie Bionda, Jeffrey Kapner and Michael Damast.

Latham & Watkins LLP’s 20-partner practice is ‘very good at complex real estate transactions’ and is headed in the US by the ‘brilliantJames Hisiger, the global co-chair of the real estate department. Robert Buday in Chicago led the real estate aspects of the firm’s advice to Spirit Realty Capital on its $7.1bn merger with Cole Credit Property Trust II, and also led on a mandate from Inland American Real Estate Trust regarding its $2.3bn equity interest purchase agreement with AR Capital. New York-based Michelle Kelban, who is ‘very knowledgeable and service orientated’, advised Citigroup Global Markets Realty as secured lender in a loan-on-loan transaction for Lone Star Real Estate Fund II, secured by a four-hotel portfolio real estate loan that was in default; she also advised the client as agent and lead lender on a highly structured acquisition financing for Lone Star Real Estate Fund II, secured by five non-performing loans and 38 properties located in 25 states. Additionally, Kelban led work for Goldman Sachs regarding a $1.5bn secured term loan financing for SuperValu, secured by mortgages on more than 100 properties in 25 states. Other key highlights for the group included acting for Realty Income Corporation on its $3.1bn acquisition of American Realty Capital Trust, a publicly listed REIT; this was led by David Meckler who is based in Los Angeles and Orange County. Kevin Ehrhart in Los Angeles is ‘first-class’ and Sony Ben-Moshe in San Diego is recommended for his experience in Latin America.

Mayer Brown’s ‘fantastic transactional practice’ has 25 partners across seven offices. This ‘professional’ group has ‘excellent cross-border expertise’ and is ‘dedicated to client care’. Among recent highlights, it advised Citigroup Global Markets and Goldman Sachs on a number of real estate finance transactions totalling $2.6bn, and advised affiliates of The Prudential Insurance Company of America on a number of matters; these included the $184m acquisition of the Sabadell Bank building in Miami, Florida, the $92.4m acquisition of a Sofitel hotel in Redwood City, California and the $84.6m acquisition of The James hotel in Soho, New York. Key players in the department include Frank Henneburg and the ‘outstandingKeith Willner in Washington DC, Scott Buser and Leonard Rosenberg in Palo Alto, and Jeffrey Usow in Chicago and Brian Davis – who recently joined from Kirkland & Ellis LLP – in Chicago.

Based in California, New York and Washington DC, Morrison & Foerster LLP’s real estate department is ‘excellent on finance matters’ and possesses ‘deep industry knowledge’. Mark Edelstein in New York chairs the real estate finance and distressed real estate groups and Marc Young in Los Angeles co-chairs the global real estate group. Edelstein worked alongside ‘exceptional transactional and real estate finance lawyer’ Tom Fileti in Los Angeles and David Slotkin in Washington DC to advise Equity Residential on its joint agreement with AvalonBay Communities to acquire a vast portfolio of US apartment properties owned by Archstone; the portfolio was acquired from the Lehman Brothers estate for $16bn. It advised Union Bank, a subsidiary of Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, on its acquisition of the US commercial real estate business platform and related loan portfolio of Deutsche Bank subsidiary PB Bank and its affiliates, in a matter led by Edelstein, Fileti, Marc Young in Los Angeles, and Chris Delson in New York. Young also led the work for Goldman Sachs and Gramercy Capital Corp in the exercise of lender remedies following the default by the owner of the Las Vegas Hilton on a $252m mortgage loan. Lawrence Ceriello recently joined the New York office from Nixon Peabody LLP, where ‘fantastic attorney’ Christopher Delson is also based.

The six partner practice at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP houses a ‘remarkable team’ that is of ‘uniform high quality’ and ‘has the ability to work through very complex issues and provide high-quality legal and business advice on a timely basis’. Peter Fisch led advice to The Lightstone Group on a number of transactions including completing the contribution, in exchange for cash and partnership units, of its ownership interests in two retail outlet centers in San Francisco and Dallas to Simon Property Group: Paragon Outlets, Livermore and Paragon Outlets, Grand Prairie. It advised the same client on the sale of Dakota Square Mall to CBL & Associates Properties. Salvatore Gogliormella, who was recently promoted to the partnership, worked alongside Harris Freidus to advise Las Vegas Sands Corp and its majority-owned public company subsidiary, Sands China, on a $3.7bn credit facility to refinance existing debt on the latter’s existing Macao projects and to finance the construction of two additional Macao integrated resorts; it also advised the client on a $4bn credit facility secured by its Singapore-integrated resort, and assisted on various matters relating to its Las Vegas and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania properties. Chair of the real estate department Steven Simkin is ‘outstanding’, ‘very experienced’ and ‘superb at negotiations and zeroing in on the key issues’. Mitchell Berg and the ‘excellentMeredith Kane are also recommended.

Based across offices in New York, Washington DC, Northern Virginia, Texas, Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP’s 24-partner team is ‘efficient, responsive and knowledgeable’. Key highlights included advising Tishman Speyer on multiple complex leasing transactions, acting for JDS Development Group on a $172m joint venture land acquisition in New York and acting for Triple Five Worldwide on the development of the American Dream Meadowlands, a $3.6bn retail and entertainment project in East Rutherford, New Jersey. It also advised SBE Entertainment Group on a number of activities involving high-end real estate matters. Other key clients include Los Angeles Unified School District and Fifth Street Properties, an LLC partnership between CalPERS and CommonWealth Partners. Department head Robert Herr in San Francisco is ‘business orientated’ and ‘very knowledgeable’. Laura Hannusch, who heads the real estate team in Texas, is rated as ‘technically excellent’ and Marc Shapiro, who leads the New York team is ‘first rate’. Senior partner Fredrick Minnes is also recommended Gregg Miller recently joined Coblentz, Patch, Duffy & Bass and Diane Shapiro Richer joined Ober Kaler.

The 14-partner department at Proskauer Rose LLP is recommended for its ‘excellent response times’ and its ability to ‘always keep the transaction progressing’. The department is co-chaired by ‘experienced’ duo Ronald Sernau and Perry Cacace. Peter Fass, co-chair of the real estate capital markets team, led advice to American Realty Capital Properties on a number of high-profile investment management and M&A matters; these included a definitive merger agreement to acquire Cole Real Estate Investments in a $11.2bn transaction, a $3bn definitive merger agreement to acquire all of the outstanding shares of American Realty Capital Trust IV, a $2.2bn merger agreement with CapLease, and the closed merger between American Realty Capital Properties and American Realty Capital Trust III. Sernau assisted JPMorgan Chase with negotiating a contract to sell One Chase Manhattan Plaza to a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fosun for $725m, and assisted Hines Interests LP with obtaining financing for its new 1,050-foot tower in New York. Other key clients include Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Fortress Investment Group, SJP Properties and Morgan Stanley. Steven Lichtenfeld also co-chairs of the real estate capital markets group, as well as real estate finance. Jeffrey Horwitz heads the private equity real estate group. Other names to note are the ‘very knowledgeable’ David Weinberger and former president and chief executive officer of The Rockefeller Group Kevin Hackett, who recently joined the firm in New York.

Seyfarth Shaw LLP’s ‘thorough’ practice is ‘well versed in real estate finance developments’, is ‘fully attuned to the needs of the client’ and ‘embodies a unique combination of professionalism, skill, sensitivity, substance, strength and class’. The 55 partner team is led by the ‘formidablePaul Mattingly in Atlanta. Recent instructions include advising the DEXUS Property Group on the $770m sale of an industrial property portfolio to the Blackstone Group, as well as on the sale of a West Coast multi-property portfolio to Heitman and the National Pension Service of Korea for $561m. The group also advised LBA Realty on various matters, including the purchase of Kilroy Realty’s Southern California industrial portfolio for $232m, the sale of a multi-property Southern California portfolio to Metlife for $328m, and its joint venture with AEW involving the sale of a 50% interest in 22 commercial properties located in California, Colorado and Texas. Tom Masenga in Los Angeles provides a ‘top-notch service’, Boston-based Andrew Pearlsteinunderstands the business side of transactions’ and Catherine Burns is ‘outstanding’ and ‘a real talent’. Chicago-based Joel Rubin is ‘knowledgeable’. Continuing with its expansion, the team recently welcomed three partners from LeClair Ryan PC in New York: Linda Bielik, Cynthia Mitchell and Adrian Zuckerman. Additionally, Juan Reyes joined from Reed Smith LLP, Mitchel Hill joined from Troutman Sanders and James O’Brien joined the San Francisco office from Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP.

Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP’s 15-partner practice is co-chaired by Brian Diamond and the ‘immensely experienced’ Leonard Boxer in New York, and also spans the firm’s offices in Miami and Los Angeles. For this team of ‘skilled attorneys’, key highlights included advising joint venture company 163 Washington Avenue LLC on a matter led by Karen Scanna and Michel Evanusa, on the $31.5m sale and recapitalization of 163 Washington Avenue, a high-rise luxury condominium building in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. Scanna also led work for 393 West End Avenue Holdings on the $68.3m sale of 393 West End Avenue, a 114-unit pre-war rental building in Manhattan. The team was also instructed on several matters for JPMorgan Investment Management: Diamond and Steven Moskowitz advised it on a joint venture with Carr Properties regarding rental property investment in the Washington DC area, Diana Brummer worked alongside Diamond, Moskowitz, and Evanusa to advise it on a joint venture with affiliates of The Related Companies, Oxford Properties Group and a sovereign wealth fund regarding the development of a 47-story office building in the Hudson Yards project. Other names to note include Los Angele-based Chauncey Swalwell and Stuart Graiwer and Miami-based Eugene Balshem.

Akerman LLP’s ‘professional’ 69-partner team is led by Richard Bezold, ‘a very highly skilled attorney with a wealth of experience’. The group focuses predominantly on high-profile development projects and complex financing transactions. Recent work led by Eric Rapkin includes advising Parmenter Realty Partners on the acquisition of the Rocky Point office buildings as well as Island Center and Waterford Plaza, in Tampa, Florida; the team also advised it on the sale of the Gwinnett Commerce Center for $20.5m and the sale of 1000 Parkwood Circle for $28m in Atlanta. It has been retained as US counsel by an affiliate of Hilton Worldwide: Andy Robins, chair of the lodging and lifestyle team is leading the firm’s advice on negotiating a $72m hotel management agreement for the operation of a 298-room full-service Hilton hotel currently under construction in Rio de Janeiro. Clients also include Samsung, Faena Group and UBS Securities. Steven Polivy, who heads the economic development practice and is managing partner of the New York office, is ‘very well connected’ and Miami-based Manuel Fernandez is ‘excellent’. Steven Bloom recently joined in New York from Bryan Cave LLP and Israel Alfonso joined in Miami from Greenberg Traurig LLP. The Orlando office was also boosted by the arrival of George Graham.

With eight partners in Chicago, Dallas and New York, Baker & McKenzie LLP’s ‘impressive team’ provides a ‘very high level of service to clients’ and is ‘consistently timely’ with responses. Well-known for its expertise in advising on infrastructure, hotels and leisure, finance and funds matters, the team has also expanded into areas such as global corporate property management services real estate portfolio restructurings, mining projects and public infrastructure development matters. Matthew Alshouse led advice to Mirae Asset on the $218m purchase of 225 W Wacker Drive in Chicago, José Antonio Morán led work for Komar Investments on the $65m refinancing of the South Beach Marriott Hotel in Miami, and the ‘highly recommended’ Richard Cremieux advised AJ Capital Partners on the €40m refinancing of a luxury hotel in the Caribbean. Hugo Boss, Motorola Mobility, Invesco, and Downtown Properties are also clients. The ‘knowledgeable’ Michael Smith heads the department from Chicago.

Led by the ‘superbPatricia Stanton, Baker Botts L.L.P.’s team is spread across Dallas and Houston, with close ties to the Moscow office. It has acted on a number of large-scale real estate developments and on several energy and industrial projects worldwide. Paul Landen in Houston has led advice on the real estate aspects of a number of key instructions, such as the $700m first-phase of the redevelopment of CityCenterDC, a 2.5m square foot mixed-use development which involves ground lease arrangements with the District of Columbia. The firm has also advised on a number of financings, asset acquisitions and dispositions for Hines including its Global REIT, Core Fund, Value Added Fund and other entities; these matters which were led by Jonathan Dunlay and Consuella Simmons Taylor. Robert Wright advised Tenaris on the $1.6bn site acquisition and development of a manufacturing facility in Matagorda County, Texas. Kimberly Epstein Schlanger and Chris Wilson were recently promoted to the partnership.

Ballard Spahr LLP’s ‘outstanding’, ‘highly responsive’ and ‘proactive’ team has a ‘high degree of expertise’: with 49 partners, it covers a range of areas including finance, capital markets and real estate developments, and it has strong capabilities within the resort, hotels and housing sectors. Greystone recently instructed the group on a $117m multi-family affordable housing transaction in Georgia. Other highlights included advising Wexford Science & Technology on its $672m merger into BioMed Realty Trust, and advising Printers Row on the negotiation and documentation for the rebranding of the Wyndham Blake Hotel as well as the subsequent asset sale and sale of timeshare interests. Other key clients include Under Armour, Majestic Realty and Diamond Resorts International. Practice chair Bart Mellits in Philadelphia is ‘first-rate’ and Jeffrey Pitcher is a ‘real star player’ and Raymond Truitt is also a name to note. Cristina Coronado and Mary Croft were promoted to the partnership and David Barksdale returned to the firm after a period at Alston & Bird LLP. Lydia Wu, Richard Fineman and Wayne Hykan recently left the firm.

Dentons’ ‘deeply knowledgeable’ 34-partner US real estate department is concentrated in the firm’s New York, Chicago, St. Louis and Kansas City offices, with additional presence in Boston and Washington DC. It recently advised Bank of America and Macquarie Investments on a $120m mortgage loan and a $30m mezzanine loan relating to the Boston Park Plaza hotel, and also advised Bank of America, as agent, on unsecured credit facilities to REITs and investment funds which included a $450m combined term and revolving credit facility and a $200m revolving credit facility. Another key mandate was acting for Lehman Brothers on the disposition of debt and equity positions in real estate projects, including in the sale of the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Kapalua, Maui. The team also closed a number of New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) transactions to the value of $450m. Tampico Beverages, New York University and Wells Fargo also feature on its client roster. David Hall in New York and Robert Fernandez in Chicago are key names to note.

Foley & Lardner LLP is ‘well resourced’ and has ‘excellent business acumen, expertise and provides superb client service’. Recent highlights included advising Excel Trust on the $32m purchase of a retail center in Tracy, California, successfully acting for Assured Guaranty in a high-profile $358m mortgage-related dispute and advising Wisconsin Public Service Corporation on its $390m acquisition of Fox Energy Company LLC. Instructions have also come from such names as Mandel Group, U.S. Bancorp, Town Sports International and SC Johnson. The ‘knowledgeable and experiencedFred Ridley chairs the real estate department, with David Cook and Jason Barglow (‘an expert in the field’) as co-vice chairs. Michael Hatchreally is one of the best real estate attorneys in the US’ and Joseph Rupkey is ‘first class’.

Haynes and Boone, L.L.P.’s 60-strong real estate department is co-chaired by Matthew Schindel in Dallas and Walter Schleimer in New York. Recent highlights for the ‘vast’ practice included advising Flowserve on its acquisition of Innomag and advising High Roller Wells LLC on the $239m sale of Oilfield Water Lines LP to NGL Energy Partners LP. It also assisted SL Green Realty Corp with a joint venture to develop a university dormitory tower at 33 Beekman Street in Manhattan. Clients have also included Archon Group, Rockwood Capital and United Commercial Development.

King & Spalding LLP’s ‘sophisticated’ department has experience in a range of matters relating to real estate capital markets, fund formation, acquisitions, financing and leasing. A notable mandate was advising Cousins Properties on its transformative $1.1bn acquisition of an office portfolio in Houston and Fort Worth. Another highlight was advising GE Capital Real Estate on its $581m combined mortgage and mezzanine loans to Blackstone Real Estate Partners V for the refinancing of the MeriStar Hotel. The team was also instructed by Jamestown LP in a joint venture for the $400m development of residential projects in in Brazil. Atlanta-based Sarah Borders, who heads the department, is ‘a very safe pair of hands’ and Clayton Howell is recommended for joint ventures and transactional matters. Matthew Bromberg recently joined the team in New York from BNY Mellon.

Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLPpreeminent’ six-partner department is ‘excellent on all areas of real estate law’, with particular prowess in transactional and litigation work. It advised the joint venture between Toll Brothers and Starwood Capital Group on the winning bid of a 97-year ground lease to develop a new $300m hotel and residential complex that will be built next to Pier 1 in Brooklyn Bridge Park. It also acted for The Related Companies on a variety of matters, including the Hudson Yards project, and advised Sotheby’s on the potential sale of its headquarters in New York. Additional instructions came from Saint Vincent Catholic Medical Centers, the Moynihan Station development project and the Peebles Corporation. Michael Korotkin and ‘outstanding deal attorneyJay Neveloff co-head the ‘dedicated team’ that also includes the ‘exceptional’ Jonathan Canter, Jeffrey Braun, James Godman and Neil Tucker, who is ‘scrupulously honest’ and ‘tactically very wise’.

The 26-partner team at Norton Rose Fulbright has ‘extensive knowledgebase of real estate-related matters’, including strong expertise in investment funds, debt and equity financing, commercial real estate sales and purchasing, development projects and retail-related real estate matters. Recent highlights included representing Fairway Market on the $100m leasing of four new store locations, and advising Post Oak on the acquisition of a $110m 20-story office building in Houston as well as advising on the $84.9m purchase financing. The team also assisted Merichem Company with the $85m sale of a cresylic acid plant. The ‘renownedJane Snoddy Smith in Austin heads the department, within which recommended individuals also include Douglas Danzig in New York, James Summers and John Jennings in San Antonio and Winston Walp in Dallas. The ‘brilliantTamarah Feigl was recently promoted to partner in Houston.

With seven partners in the US, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP’s real estate practice ‘provides an excellent level of service’. William Murray, who ‘possesses a wealth of experience’, led advice to JMA Ventures LLC on the $447m development of Downtown Plaza, Sacramento, into an arena for the Sacramento Kings. The ‘outstanding’ Michael Liever led on several matters for Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management including the $422.5m sale of the Wilshire Courtyard office and entertainment complex in Los Angeles to Tishman Speyer, and on the sale of the Park Square business park in Santa Clara, California to The Irvine Company. It was also instructed by Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association (LACERA) on various matters; Liever led work on behalf of the client and its separate fund, Capri Capital Partners, on the joint venture regarding the Esprit 1 mixed-use multi-family building in Marina del Rey, California and is advising on its joint venture acquisition of the retail condominium units currently leased by Gap in Times Square, New York. Rachel Gould, who was recently made partner, assisted Liever on the aforementioned deal. Randolph Perry was also recently promoted to the partnership. Key work for department head Dennis Martin included advising Hackman Capital Partners on range of debt and equity transactions. Another name to notes is the ‘first-rate’ Michael McAndrews. Noel Nellis retired from the firm and MJ Pritchett joined Arent Fox LLP.

The five-partner department at Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP has a ‘“can do” business approach’ and is ‘really efficient, smart and gives very practical advice’. It also benefits from a ‘fantastic private equity practice’. It recently advised the joint venture between The Related Companies and Oxford Properties Group in the context of the high-profile development of Hudson Yards, regarding the $1.4bn of financing and equity investment for the first building to be constructed. It advised Kyo-ya Company and its subsidiary Kyo-ya Hotels & Resorts on the $1.85bn refinancing relating to a portfolio of landmark hotels in Hawaii and California. It was instructed by joint venture partners Chatham Lodging Trust and Cerberus Capital Management on the $950m refinancing of a portfolio of 51 hotels in multiple states across the US. From the New York office, ‘industry leaderJeffrey Lenobel heads the ‘deep team’ that is ‘able to understand complex issues’ and it includes Bruce Cybul, Julian Wise, Marshall Brozost and Robert Nash; the latter is recommended for commercial leasing matters.

Thompson & Knight LLP’s ‘pragmatic’ 23-partner practice is led by Dallas-based Andrew Ingrum and also has presence in the Houston office. The ‘exceptional’ and ‘superior team’ has ‘deep knowledge’ of the real estate arena. Headline work includes advising the lead lender on an $860m financing for a $1.4bn project relating to the Museum of Modern Art tower in New York, led by counsel Joe Sarcinella, who recently joined the New York office from Arent Fox LLP. The ‘excellent’ Mark Weibel, together with Gregg Davis, advised Trigild and its president William Hoffman on the $1.2bn consolidated bankruptcies of two Secured California Investments entities. Houston-based Alfred Meyerson and ‘brilliant adviser’ Stephen Block advised Noble Energy on negotiating a long-term lease covering a 20-story office building and related facilities to be constructed in Houston. Mark Sloan, Ted Benn and the ‘very hardworking and personable’ Martha Harris are also recommended, as is Jennifer Taylor Fargo who was recently promoted to the partnership.

With ‘fast response times’ and ‘legal skills that are first rate and practical’, Venable LLP’s 28-partner group includes an ‘excellent transactional practice’. It spans offices in Baltimore, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Towson, Tyson’s Corner and Washington DC. The team regularly acts for Fannie Mae on a range of transactional, program and regulatory matters and recently advised on the modification and extension of a $411m credit facility secured by 12 multi-family properties across the US, which was led by Lawrence Gesner. ‘Excellent decision maker’ Robert Gottleib led the team that advised The Rappaport Companies as part of a joint venture regarding stakes in four shopping centers in Prince William County, Woodbridge, and Manassas for $600m. Thomas Millspaugh heads the department, where recommended individuals also include Mitchell Evall and Andrew Schmerzler who are ‘incredibly smart, good negotiators and excellent draftsmen’. Geoffrey Etnire recently joined the firm in San Francisco.

The ‘highly professional and sophisticated’ group at White & Case LLP, which is based across the firm’s Miami, New York and Los Angeles offices, ‘always takes the extra steps to give the best possible service to clients’. Headline matters included advising Bank of America Merrill Lynch in its role as adviser to Colonial Properties Trust on the $8.6bn merger with Mid-America Apartment Communities Inc, and acting for Citigroup Global Markets as adviser to American Realty Capital Properties on its $3.1bn acquisition of American Realty Capital Trust IV. Illustrating its growing focus on the hospitality sector, the team advised Pegasus Capital Advisors LP and affiliates on the acquisition of Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas. Department head Steven Vainder, a ‘top notch’ and ‘true professional’ based in Miami, led work on several matters for Codina Partners and its affiliate CC Holdings, including a joint venture with another Florida-based developer and manager to acquire and develop property through various high-profile projects in Collier County, Florida, including Traditions at Grey Oaks and Ave Maria. Key individuals include the ‘very experiencedSteven Lutt in New York and James Robinson II in Miami, who is recommended for real estate litigation.

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP’s department is now co-chaired by Thomas Henry and counsel Eugene Pinover, following the departure of former co-chair, Steven Klein to Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP. The team is recognized for its transactional expertise: recent work examples include advising Lantern Asset Management and the ownership group in Montage Hotels & Resorts’ addition of Montage Kapalua Bay to its luxury hotel collection. It also advised St John’s University on the sale of its Manhattan campus property at 101 Murray Street, New York, to the joint venture between Fisher Brothers and The Witkoff Group. Clients have also included Sherwood Equities and Sunrise Senior Living.

Winston & Strawn LLP’s ‘fantastic practice’ has ten partners and acts for owners, investors and developers and its offering includes advice on real estate finance and capital markets matters. Department chair Corey Tessler and Michael Moser, both based in New York, are recommended on the finance side. The Chicago arm is led by Mark Henning and Christopher Murtaugh; it includes William Lang, who recently joined from Nixon Peabody LLP, and Ilan Lerman, who recently led advice to Ares Management as equity funding partner in a joint venture with Tucker Development Corporation to construct a mixed-used development at the foot of the George Washington Bridge. Moser led advice to Wells Fargo on the origination of a $165m mortgage loan secured by One South Wacker Drive, a Class A office tower in Chicago. Additional key clients include RBS, Natixis Real Estate Capital, Altpoint Capital and 737 North Michigan Avenue Investors. Christine Spletzer, noted for her expertise in capital markets and structured finance, was recently made partner. Dirk Mueller recently joined Farella Braun & Martel LLP.

The ‘top-notch’ department at Allen & Overy LLP has ‘fantastic cross-border expertise’ and has extensive experience in portfolio acquisitions as well as finance and joint ventures. China Vanke recently instructed the group on its first investment in North America – a joint venture with Tishman Speyer to acquire a 1.7-acre parcel of land located at 201 Folsom Street as well as the acquisition of 1400 Mission Street for $620m. It also advised Bank of China’s London and New York branches on a $466m loan to an international joint venture led by Sahara Group to purchase The Plaza and Dream Downtown hotels in New York. It also advised SL Green Realty Corporation on the origination of a $925m bridge acquisition financing to a joint venture led by Chetrit Group for the acquisition of 550 Madison Avenue, aka The Sony Building. The ‘focused’ Kevin O'Shea heads the four-partner team, which also includes Isaac Erwin Dweck, Robert Grados and Jacob Pultman, who is ‘excellent on contentious real estate matters’.

The 120-strong department at Allen Matkins Leck Gamble Mallory & Natsis LLP in California is recommended for its expertise in acquisitions, dispositions, commercial leasing, commercial transactions and real estate finance, and also for equity, debt and reorganization matters. Clients have included The Irvine Company, CaliforniaFIRST, Beacon Capital Partners and Los Angeles Unified School District. Department head Anton Natsis is based in Los Angeles and is ‘very knowledgeable’, while vice-chair of the real estate department Gary McKitterick is based in Orange County.

Jack Fields and Michael Boyd head the ‘hardworking’, ‘focused’ and ‘incredibly active’ department at Andrews Kurth LLP. Notable highlights for the Houston and Dallas-based group include advising G2X Energy on the real estate and development aspects of its $1.2bn natural gas to gasoline plant in Lake Charles, Louisiana; led by David Runnels led on the matter. Andrew Campbell assisted Invesco Real Estate with its acquisition of the Williams Tower in Houston, and Mark Arnold led advice to Piper Jaffray as underwriter of the $200m issuance of five separate series’ of taxable and tax-exempt economic development municipal bonds for the construction of a Nebraska Furniture Mart store in The Colony, Texas. Other clients include Crimson Advisors, JPMorgan Chase, Metro National Corporation and NewQuest Properties.

Arnold & Porter LLP’s ‘preeminent’ department has 15 partners and is led by the ‘client-focusedMichael Goodwin in Washington DC. It represents a range of owners and developers as well as institutional lenders and has ‘excellent experience on transactional matters’. It advised Property Group Partners on the acquisition of 2.2m square feet of air rights over an interstate highway in downtown DC, relating to a high-profile project that will link Capitol Hill to downtown at grade level. It also advised Gould Property Company on forming a venture with Oxford Property Group for the development of 900 New York Avenue NW in Washington DC. Other clients include Vornado Realty Trust, Host Hotels & Resorts and American Real Estate Partners. Based across the New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington DC offices, key team members include the ‘first-rateAlan Lawrence, John Busillo, Thomas Larsen and James Richman.

At Bryan Cave LLP, James Buell in St Louis is ‘excellent on corporate real estate matters’ and Andrew Auerbach in New York is ‘first rate’. The team advised Wells Fargo’s real estate arm on a number of matters, including a $47.5m loan for the acquisition of an office project in Arizona, led by Lars Lagerman in Phoenix. It also handled leasing and acquisition matters throughout the US for Regus Group/HQ Global Workplaces, led by where Victoria Goldson in St Louis. The group also continues to advise Empire State Development on the Atlantic Yards project in New York. Other key clients include Real Capital Solutions, Emerson Electric, Sara Lee and Aimco. Ronald Emanuel heads the real estate private equity and joint venture team.

Clifford Chance’s ‘outstanding’ 17-partner department delivers ‘top-quality results’ and has ‘extensive domestic and international prowess’. The group is led by the ‘highly experienced’ Douglas Wisner and includes the ‘first-class’ Ness Cohen. It advised Yes! On its $771m acquisition of 106 manufactured housing communities and related assets from American Residential Communities, and assisted JSRE Acquisitions LLC with the sale of a tenancy in common interest in the retail condominium at the St Regis hotel in New York. Other clients include Almanac Realty Advisors, The Door, CIBC, GEMS Education and Madison International Realty.

Among Cooley LLP’s key strengths are its ‘strong’ capital markets practice and ‘excellent experience in transactional matters’. Reston-based Antonio Calabrese heads the team. It advised Southwest Value Partners on a number of matters relating to its property portfolio, including the acquisition of the Houston Renaissance Hotel and the Hilton Ontario Airport Hotel as well as the acquisition, financing and related management and franchise agreements for the InterContinental New Orleans. Jack Lavoie is leading advice on commercial leasing matters for CustomInk; the team recently finalized a 72,750 lease for its headquarters in the Mosaic District, Virginia. Other instructions came from DuPont Fabros Technology, The Association for Manufacturing Technology, Boston Properties, Caribbean Property Group and JLB Partners. Former department head Thomas O'Connor and Alan Cohen recently joined Duval & Stachenfeld LLP. Ben Pierson also left the firm.

Cox, Castle & Nicholson has offices in Los Angeles, Orange County and San Francisco. The firm acts on a range of matters in the real estate arena including financing, acquisitions, dispositions, disputes, leasing and development projects. Adam Weissburg is noted for his financial expertise – particularly capital markets transactions – and Phillip Nicholson is ‘very experienced’ in real estate transactions as well as contentious matters. Adriana Vesci is strong in real estate finance and development projects, and Randall Black is also recommended.

The eight-partner group at Davis & Gilbert LLP is a ‘proactive team’ that ‘consistently performs well’ and its ‘smart attorneys add value by providing important strategic advice and by getting transactions closed’. The New York-based group is co-chaired by the ‘fantasticMark Maltz and ‘star performerDonald Sonnenborn, who is a ‘great deal-maker’ and is ‘practical, protective of his clients’ interests and focused on the important issues’. Recent highlights include advising Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP on the lease renewal and restructuring of its New York headquarters at 425 Lexington Ave, and advising Tishman Speyer – as landlord – on the lease renewal, expansion and restructuring of 520 Madison Avenue in New York, which is leased by Jefferies & Company. It also advised Young & Rubicam on the sale of its corporate headquarters building at 285 Madison Avenue in New York. Various retail companies have been calling upon the firm for advice on lease transactions throughout the US – for example, Banana Republic, Pret-A-Manger and West Elm. Robert Karin is ‘particularly knowledgeable’ and the ‘brilliantGerald Uram, who formerly chaired the real estate practice, is also recommended. Yossi Subar recently made partner.

Duval & Stachenfeld LLP’s New York-based 24-partner team led by Terri Adler and Bruce Stachenfeld is ‘excellent for transactional work’. Key matters include advising a well-known investment fund manager on the purchase of co-lender interests in two separate tranches of mezzanine debt relating to a multi-billion dollar refinancing of a national hotel portfolio. It also advised on high-profile leasing matters at Pier 57 for Youngwoo & Associates and advising Caribbean Property Group on the purchase of a $1bn portfolio of non-performing loans and REO. Currently enjoying a period of growth, the firm has seen a number of high-profile arrivals including Randy Eckers, a former of counsel at Greenberg Traurig LLP, Pejman Razavilar a former associate at Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP and Scott Shea, from a private equity real estate fund. In addition, Cooley LLP’s former department head Thomas O'Connor and his colleague Alan Cohen joined the firm.

The ‘first-rate team’ at Faegre Baker Daniels handles a wide range of real estate matters such as litigation, development, acquisitions, sales and distressed real estate as well as PPP, investment and finance matters. The firm is particularly noted for its expertise in the retail sector and has advised clients such as Target Corporation. Scott Anderegg in Minneapolis and Mary Lisher in Indianapolis are recommended along with Indianapolis-based Marc Pfleging, who made partner in January 2014.

The very talented department’ at Fennemore Craig is led by ‘expert’ Jay Kramer and based in Arizona. It advised 1700 Broadway Investments, a joint venture between MDC Realty Advisors and Hannay Realty Advisors, on the $100m acquisition and financing of one of the premier office towers in Denver, Colorado. It also acted for Hensley & Co and its affiliate in the $76m sale and lease-back of its three main warehousing and distribution centers in Chandler, Phoenix and Prescott Valley, Arizona. For Sunbelt Holdings, it advised on the acquisition of an equity interest in the Marina Heights project in Tempe, Arizona. Joseph Chandler, Charles King and Stephen Good are all ‘excellent’.

Gardere Wynne Sewell’s real estate attorneys are ‘business-minded’ and ‘very responsive’. Recent highlights include advising KDC Real Estate Development and Investments on a $330m deal regarding an office development for State Farm Insurance, advising Macfarlan Capital Partners on the $230m acquisition of a Class A office campus occupied by AT&T in Atlanta, Georgia, and assisting ACE Theatrical Group with securing the funding for renovations to the Loew's Kings Theatre in Brooklyn, New York. It is also advising Range Developments on the management and branding documentation for a Park Hyatt resort and residential development in St Kitts, and assisting Centergy Retail with the acquisition of more than 30 acres west of the Trinity River in Fort Worth, Texas, with plans to build a hotel, apartments, shops and offices. Department head Kevin Kelley in Dallas is ‘smart, pragmatic, thoughtful and responsive’. James Sullivan joined the firm from Haynes and Boone, L.L.P., James Howard joined from Locke Lord LLP and Ashley Anderson was promoted the partnership in April 2013. George Dunlap, Cynthia Nelson, and Clifford Risman are also singled out.

Recent work for Herrick, Feinstein LLP’s New York-based practice includes advising a prominent real estate and investment management client on two senior mortgage loan financings for $57.5m, secured by hotels in East Rutherford and Edison, New Jersey. It also advised RXR Realty on its acquisition of an office building at 237 Park Avenue, Grand Central District and acted for a privately held real estate holding and property management company on the $27m sale of a ground lease of a high-rise residential rental building in Manhattan. The Schron family called upon the firm for the acquisition of The Monterey, a multi-family property at 175 East 96th Street, for $252m. The ‘fantastic’ Belinda Schwartz was announced as the new department head in January 2014 after the departure of Dennis Russo. Schwartz led work on behalf of Orbach Group's Lighthouse Opportunity Fund on a $100m financing deal as part of the fund's $214m acquisition of an apartment portfolio on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Jonathan Adelsberg is also recommended.

Hogan Lovells’ ‘strong’ real estate offering has ‘excellent’ REITs expertise and a ‘wealth of experience’ in the hotel, gaming and leisure industry. It has previously been instructed by clients such as Gaylord Entertainment Company, Bright Start Holdings and the Schwan Foundation. Washington DC-based Bruce Parmley and Carol Weld King are recommended.

Holland & Hart LLP’s 50-partner team is led by Bradley Boodt in Las Vegas. Highlights included advising Peak Properties & Development Corporation on the $24m sale of a 220-unit apartment complex, and acting for General Growth Properties on the refinancing of 16 properties across four states: Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and Idaho. It has also acted for The Howard Hughes Corporation. Thomas DeVine recently joined the team in Denver and Christopher Heaphey in Aspen was promoted to partner.

Currently enjoying a period of expansion, the 23-partner practice at Hunton & Williams LLP is co-headed by the ‘extremely responsive’ Howard Schreiber in Dallas and the ‘very diligent’ Carl Schwartz in New York. Collectively, the team is ‘reliable, exceedingly knowledgeable’ and ‘very driven’. Among recent highlights, it advised Cencor Realty Services on the $75m acquisition and development of a 500,000 square foot mixed-use project, acted for Savanna Fund II REIT in the $104m sale of 5 Hanover Square to the CIM Group, and advised Worldwide Group on its $110m financing of a real estate project at 41-42 24th Street in New York. Other names to note are the ‘very experienced’ William Walsh, the ‘extremely knowledgeable’ Lawrence Adams, the ‘exemplary’ and ‘execution-orientated’ Jeffrey Giese and Mark Vowell, who ‘inspires confidence with his deep knowledge’. Rori Malech recently joined from Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP.

Recent matters for K&L Gates’ ‘outstanding’ and ‘vast’ real estate team included advising Chambers Street Properties on a $495m acquisition transaction; the matter was led by Michael Tomlinson and Jeffrey Weitzman). David Jones advised CreXus Investment Corp (now Annaly Capital Management) on the acquisition of a subordinated mezzanine loan for the acquisition of the nationwide portfolio of Extended Stay Hotels. It also advised Wells Fargo on the management, leasing, and disposition of a number of residential, multi-family, retail, office, hotel, and industrial properties in more than 30 states. Recent instructions also came from clients such as the City of Bothell and Healthcare Trust of America. Department head Walter Fisher is said to be ‘in a class of his own’ and William Bernfeld is also ‘excellent’. David Ehrenwerth recently re-joined the Pittsburgh office.

Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman LLP’s ‘deep and multi-faceted team’ is ‘fantastic to work with’ and provides ‘immediate responses’ and ‘very creative solutions’ for clients. Adam Endick led advice to Boston Properties on the $238m deal for the leasing of office space at 250 West 55th Street to Kaye Scholer LLP, and Douglas Heitner led advice to The Witkoff Group and New Valley LLC on their joint venture regarding the acquisition and financing of the Times Square Gateway Center at 701 Seventh Avenue to develop a mixed-use retail, signage and hotel project. It also acted for JDS Development Group on the proposed acquisition, financing and development of 105-111 West 57th Street in New York. Endick and Heitner, who was recently made partner, co-head the team alongside the ‘superb’ Wallace Schwartz.

Loeb & Loeb LLP’s 16-partner practice in New York and Los Angeles handles acquisitions, sales, joint ventures and financings as well as representing both landlords and tenants in leasing matters. A recent highlight was advising BNY Mellon on a 262,000 square-foot recast and extension of its lease at 200 Park Avenue in New York. Kenneth Sold led advice to Trinity Real Estate on its portfolio-wide leasing program in Hudson Square in New York. The ‘highly skilledSteven Kornblau, along with David Kostman, advised National Consumer Cooperative Bank and its affiliate NCB, FSB, on various matters including the sale of mortgage loans for more than $300m to Fannie Mae. The New York office includes department head Raymond Sanseverino who is ‘completely accessible, aware of the issues that impact value and very efficient with his time’ and Michael Kinney who is also recommended. Thomas Hanley III recently joined the Los Angeles office.

The ‘outstanding’ group at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP is co-led by Tom Muller who is ‘extraordinary at finding creative legal solutions and focuses on the real issues’ and Michael Polentz, who has ‘great expertise’; the pair are based in Los Angeles and Palo Alto respectively. The California-based group demonstrated the national scope of its work when advising The Macerich Company on the acquisition of the Kings Plaza Shopping Center in Brooklyn, New York, and the Green Acres Mall in Valley Stream, New York; it also advised the client on the sale of a portfolio of more than ten shopping centers across the US. Other highlights included acting for Kennedy Wilson on the purchase of the Ritz-Carlton at Lake Tahoe and advising Lowe Enterprises on the refinancing of the Terranea Resort in California through a new $220m loan from Mass Mutual. Marv Pearlstein is ‘very thorough’, and Steven Edwards and Timi Hallem are also recommended.

McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP’s 31-partner department provides a ‘top-quality service’ and is ‘very knowledgeable about local issues’. The ‘superbWilliam Timmons in Atlanta leads the team, which recently welcomed Michael Durkee in San Francisco and saw Andrea Chang promoted to partner in Los Angeles. Key mandates include advising KeyBank National Association as agent for a syndicate of 21 lenders on the amendment and restatement of a $500m secured term loan agreement to DDR Corp; this was led by Jess Pinkerton, who is ‘excellent for real estate finance’. Other clients include Northside Hospital, Tenaska, D.R. Horton, Shea Homes and AEG. Timothy Tosta and Jennifer Renk are ‘extremely knowledgeable, diligent and well connected’. The firm lost four partners to Liner LLP and also saw two other partner departures.

The 34-partner practice at Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP has ‘exceptional knowledge’ and provides ‘an excellent level of service’. Headline work includes advising Cole Real Estate Investments on several matters, including its $11.2bn merger with American Realty Capital Properties. It also acted for Regent Partners in its joint venture transaction with GEM Realty Capital Inc for the $311m acquisition of four buildings in the Concourse Corporate Center in Atlanta. It has also advised on recent mandates for Sealy & Company, Wood Partners and Cortland Partners. Thomas Gryboski heads the ‘exceptional’ department, where recommended individuals include Duncan Miller, who has ‘excellent overall knowledge of commercial real estate and development transactions as well as commercial lending transactions’, the ‘exceptional’ Frank Bazzel, the ‘dedicated’ John Morris and the ‘highly regarded’ Carl Westmoreland. Homer Walker and Andrew Williams are also recommended. Anthony Boggs recently joined from Bryan Cave LLP and Gerald Thomas joined from Ernst & Young. The firm also promoted five members of the real estate team to the partnership. Charles Beaudrot recently retired from the firm.

Denise Pursley heads Nixon Peabody LLP’s ‘fantastic’ and ‘broad’ 18-partner practice is spread across five of its offices. In addition to having strong transactional expertise, it has niche expertise in affordable housing, tax credit finance and syndication. Matthew Lynch and Lawrence DiCara led advice to Converse on several leasing transactions, including a lease of approximately 186,000 square feet at 160 North Washington Street, Boston, Massachusetts, for its North America headquarters. A team led by Monica Sussman advised Wells Fargo on a $621m loan to refinance a previous mortgage at Co-op City, a large housing community in the Bronx, New York. Christopher Froeb, Irene Kuei, Tatiana Gutierrez Abendschein and Colette Dafoe were recently promoted to the partnership and Justine Wilcox is also recommended.

Polsinelli PC’s ‘outstanding’ 63-partner department is based across 17 offices and delivers a ‘practical business approach combined with astute legal acumen’. It has recently been advising KeyBank National Association on a range of matters, including commercial real estate loans across the US, CMBS securitizations and advice to it and its affiliates in its acquisition of the CMBS master and special servicing portfolio of Bank of America, and the CMBS special servicing portfolio of Berkadia Commercial Mortgage. It continues to advise longstanding client Extell Development Company on a $700m construction loan financing regarding the One57 building in New York. The team also received instructions from Colony American Homes, Campus Acquisitions, Google, MC-Five Mile and Prudential Life Insurance Company. Department head Dan Flanigan ‘has superior business sense’ and ‘legal genius in working through highly complex situations’. Kraig Kohring’s ‘advice is always accurate, timely and well-thought out’, and Brett Anders’ ‘work is flawless, timely and provides optimum results’. Maribeth McMahon, who heads the real estate finance practice, is ‘highly efficient in delivering value-add flawless transactional processing’. John Duncan joined in Texas from Bryan Cave LLP, Patrick Elder joined the Chicago office from Reed Smith LLP and the Kansas office welcomed the arrival of Roxsen Koch. Mary Jane Judy and Christopher Pierce were promoted to the partnership.

Rated ‘fantastic for client service’, Reed Smith LLP’s ‘knowledgeable’ real estate department is led by the ‘outstanding’ Dusty Elias Kirk in Pittsburgh, who led on a number of matters for Pittsburgh Arena project. The team also acted for Volvo Construction Equipment North America on the $150m expansion of its manufacturing facility and corporate offices in Pennsylvania. The ‘first-rate’ Olivia Shay-Byrne led work for United Negro College Fund regarding the $150m acquisition and build out of its headquarters, known as Progression Place, located above the Shaw Metro Center in Washington DC. It also acted for Gateway Holding I LLC on the redevelopment of a former industrial site in the City of Alexandria into a mixed-use project, a matter that was led by Karen Fagelson. Other notable clients include The Peterson Companies, Akridge, Boone Homes, SPI Holdings, GMH Capital Partners and Kimco Realty. In New York; Joseph Marger is ‘highly recommended’ alongside recent arrival Jeffrey Page and Ziad Hammodi who was promoted to the partnership. Juan Reyes moved to Seyfarth Shaw LLP.

The eight-partner team at Ropes & Gray LLP is led by David Djaha in New York and advises a ‘range of clients’ in the real estate arena. The team has seen a recent flow of transactions relating to real estate investments and distressed real estate as well as distressed loans. Leasing, fund formation and real estate finance are also key components of the practice. Peter Alpert and Marc Lazar advised Kohlberg & Company on its $438m planned acquisition of Steinway Musical Instruments. It also advised State Street on lease negotiations with Vornado Realty Trust for the entire 6th floor and concourse storage space at 1290 Avenue of the Americas, New York. Additional clients include The Blackstone Group, Hariri Interests, The TJX Companies, Bain Capital and APG Asset Management US. Richard Gordet, Jason Dunn and Walter McCabe III are also recommended along with John Creedon, who recently made partner.

The ‘incredibly responsive and efficient’ department at Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP is ‘great for transactional matters’. Led by Domenic Drago, it spans the firm’s Del Mar, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington DC and Chicago offices. Pamela Westhoff heads the commercial leasing team that advised on the acquisition of a former corporate headquarters building by joint venture partners Legacy Partners and AllianceBernstein. Tony Toranto led the team that advised DM Development on the landmark Octavia Gateway mixed-use project in San Francisco, and Michele Williams advised AG Net Lease Acquisition Corporation on its acquisition of office facilities occupied by Molina Healthcare in Long Beach, California and Columbus, Ohio. Other names to note include the ‘brilliant’ Terrence Budny (special counsel) who is managing partner of the Chicago office and the ‘first-class’ Lawrence Eppley, who recently joined from K&L Gates, as well as Gregory Grigorian and newly made-up partners Michael Gibson and Michael Leake.

The 11-partner team at Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLPdemonstrates highly refined business acumen and deep industry knowledge’. Department head James Jordan, based in Atlanta, advised Carter on the $100m development of student housing projects in five locations across the US. Also in Atlanta, William Rothschild, who has ‘extensive knowledge of real estate law’, led work for C-III Asset Management in its role as special servicer of a securitized loan portfolio, in the workout and foreclosure of a $66.7m loan secured by a Class A office building in Atlanta. Other clients include The Worthing Companies, Fuqua Development, CenterSquare Investment Management Holdings and Holder Properties. Atlanta-based deputy group leader Michael Kerman is ‘brilliant – incisive, accessible, reasonable, level-headed, persuasive and effective’ and Lisa Rosen in Washington DC has a ‘very bright legal mind’ and ‘vast industry experience’.

Thompson Hine LLP’s ‘focused and extremely responsive’ 15-partner team has an ‘incredibly strong’ acquisition and development practice. It advised on a range of matters for DDR Corp, including its efforts to acquire a $200m shopping center in New York; this was led by James Aronoff. The ‘outstanding’ Robyn Minter Smyers) and practice head Thomas Coyne led work for OMNOVA Solutions on the relocation of its headquarters from Fairlawn, Ohio to Chagrin Highlands in Beachwood, Ohio. It also advised longstanding client AkzoNobel on a range of matters, including advising on the real estate aspects of the $1.05bn sale of its North American decorative paints business to PPG Industries. Other instructions came from The Richard E Jacobs Group and RG Properties. Jared Oakes and Susan Cornett were recently made partner. Named attorneys are based in Cleveland except where stated.

Press releases

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to

Legal Developments worldwide

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to

Press Releases worldwide

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to