Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. Starting with the United States, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for six consecutive years. Fewer than 500 partners across the entire United States have made it into the inaugural list. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.

Name Firm Chapter Section Work Area Firm ID Lawyer ID Office URL Lawyer URL

United States > Real estate and construction > Overview > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


‘Innovation’ is the word that best defined the US construction market in 2015. Long-term, multi-phase projects continue to drive the need for transactional advice across the country. Despite the drop in crude oil prices, the Gulf Coast energy market is standing strong, partly due to an increase in fracking activity. Taking the place of coal-fired power plants are wind farms and solar energy plants, generating business for firms with expertise in environmental law. Retrofitting and renovation projects are also on the rise, following the trend towards increased efficiency and sustainability.

The energy sector is undergoing a true revival, with numerous new initiatives such as liquefied natural gas facilities, clean technologies, electrical transmission reliability and renewable energy solutions. In addition, there is a growing market for sustainable building certification, with an increasing number of attorneys gaining proficiency in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) accreditation procedure. Increased migration to cities has advanced a rise in commercial, residential and mixed-use investments, from New York to San Francisco.

Foreign investment in retail, hospitality and condominium projects also continues to grow. Large developments, such as the Hudson Yards project in New York, reflect the trend towards the reimagining of city landscapes, creating a stable source of revenue for engaged law firms. The healthcare sector generated a flow of work from major renovations to several university hospitals, and continues to generate work in dispute resolution. The quest for efficiency has increased the popularity of collaborative contracting and alternative project delivery methods, ranging from public-private partnerships (PPP) to design-build, and the need for procurement advice.

Market trends were further strengthened by Congress, which in December 2015 not only extended tax incentives for the renewable energy sector, but also granted a $305bn transportation package to support public infrastructure projects. Determined to cut costs, companies increasingly choose to invest in risk management at the early stages of a project to avoid future litigation. Litigation avoidance has also been driving an upswing in arbitration.

Land use and zoning activity is closely linked to the real estate transactional market, with cities such as New York, Chicago, Boston, Miami, Los Angeles and San Francisco extremely active. Seattle, Atlanta, Houston and Denver are also buoyant. The US market is home to a range of firms, from small boutiques, to several national specialist land use and zoning practices, to well-known full service heavyweights, and often expertise in this area goes hand-in-hand with a strong environmental law practice. Notable hires included Holland & Knight LLP welcoming Debbie Orshefsky and Douglas Praw from Greenberg Traurig, LLP and Goodwin Procter LLP respectively. The demise of McKenna Long & Aldridge also created some movement, with Michael Wallenstein and Thomas Winfield joining the Los Angeles office of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP and Timothy Tosta joining the San Francisco office of Arent Fox LLP.

The real estate industry enjoyed a busy year, with investment coming from a variety of sources, including foreign investors capitalizing on the comparative stability of US markets, institutional investors bulking up their real estate holdings and investment funds attracted by higher returns than those on offer in core acquisitions. The gateway cities in particular fared well, with San Francisco and New York reported as being exceptionally hot; in New York, China’s Anbang Insurance Group paid $1.95bn for the Waldorf Astoria, a record price for a US hotel, while RXR Realty sold roughly half of its stake in six buildings to Blackstone Group in a deal that valued the buildings at $4bn, more than twice what RXR originally paid for them. Beyond the gateway cities, foreign money found its way to states such as Illinois and Arizona, which had historically proved less attractive to investors.

Implicit in any boom is an anticipated downturn and many observers expect the forecasted rise in interest rates to curtail activity. The bearish approach taken by stock investors perceiving imminent decline in the market has already led to a number of public to private leveraged buyouts, with Blackstone Group - the largest private equity investor in property worldwide - stepping in to take control of Strategic Hotels & Resorts and BioMed Realty Trust.

The majority of legal practices enjoyed a high volume of development transactions across all commercial real estate product types, with standout sectors including hospitality and multifamily and senior living. This was partly enabled by the loosening by banks of lending standards and the increase in new issues of commercial mortgage-backed securities. The total amount of outstanding commercial and multifamily mortgage debt continues to grow at a strong pace, particularly on the multifamily side.

The real estate ranking takes in an assessment of firms’ scope and national capability across a range of areas, including development work (or ‘dirt’), finance for both lenders and borrowers, and securitization and real estate-related corporate transactions. Other relevant factors include bench strength and the profile and market power of key clients.

The REIT market continues to be very active, with lots of new trust formations, spin-offs and non-REIT companies converting into REITs, as well of course as real estate and capital markets transactions involving REITs. In December 2015, President Obama signed new federal tax legislation that includes significant changes to the taxation of spin-off transactions involving REITs. According to firms, the new legislation will not adversely affect the REIT market, but it is shifting the type of advice that the firms are giving. Clients want to know how the changes will impact their businesses, and lawyers must continue to be creative and look for ways to unlock the constraints the legislation will impose.

International comparative guides

Giving the in-house community greater insight to the law and regulations in different jurisdictions.

Select Practice Area

Client Intelligence Report

The Legal 500 United States - Events

GC Magazine

GC Powerlist -
United States

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
  • Bulgaria: Opening the gas market for foreign traders!

    Most recently, the Bulgarian Energy Regulator has taken significant steps towards the full liberalisation of the natural gas market: In December 2016, the Bulgarian Energy Regulator adopted legislative amendments to the Rules for Trading of Natural Gas ( Правила за търговия с природен газ , " Trading Rules ") and the Rules for Access to the Gas Transmission and/or Gas Distribution Networks and the Natural Gas Storage Facilities ( Правила за предоставяне на достъп до газопреносните и/или газоразпределителните мрежи и за достъп до съоръженията за съхранение на природен газ , " Access Rules "). Moreover, it adopted new Rules for Balancing of the Natural Gas Market ( Правила за балансиране на пазара за природен газ , " Balancing Rules "). read more...
  • When Arbitration Meets Insolvency in Montenegro - Can They Coexist?

    Even at first blush, it is apparent that arbitration and insolvency make strange bedfellows.
  • Hungary: Registration Fees for Company Establishment Abolished

    In an aim to simplify state administration and support economic growth, the Hungarian Parliament adopted a new law abolishing the registration fee and the publication cost for incorporating limited liability companies (" LLC ") ( korlátolt felelősségű társaság ), limited partnerships ( betéti társaság ), general partnerships ( közkereseti társaság ), and sole entrepreneurships ( egyéni cég ). The new law becomes effective on 16 March 2017. read more...
  • SyCipLaw TMT Bulletin: Philippine Central Bank Issues New FinTech Rules

    The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) (the Philippine Central Bank) has issued two new circulars that will be of interest to companies engaged in remittance services, e-money, digital currency, and other fintech businesses. Both circulars amend portions of the BSP Manual of Regulations for Non-Bank Financial Institutions.
  • IFLR: “Philippines: Foreign equity ownership decision”

    The March issue of the International Financial Law Review ( IFLR ) includes an international briefing article by SyCipLaw partner  Jose Florante M. Pamfilo  entitled “Philippines: Foreign equity ownership decision”. The article discusses the Philippine Supreme Court decision on the case of Roy v. Herbosa (GR no. 207246) to invalidate the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Memorandum Circular no. 8-2013 (MC 8-2013) on the guidelines on compliance with the Filipino-foreign ownership requirements prescribed in the Philippine Constitution and/or existing laws by corporations engaged in nationalized and partly nationalized activities.
  • New regulation on unit-linked life insurance in Hungary

    Policyholders of unit-linked life insurance products pay an agreed sum for the unit-linked insurance to the insurance company, as a regular premium, or in one lump sum. These payments cover the life insurance component as well as the investment, administrative costs, contracting fee and the commissions. The "total cost charged" ("TCC") is an indicator – calculated in line with the rules of Hungarian insurance regulations – showing all costs charged on life insurance policies having a savings element, reflected as a percentage value. The regulation of the TCC in Hungary has been amended effective 1 January 2017. read more...
  • Hungary: Increase of Minimum Sale Price May Affect Retail NPL Transactions?

    On 7 March 2017, the Hungarian parliament adopted a law that increases the minimum sale price of a residential property in the enforcement procedure from the current 70% of its market value to 100% (market value to be understood as the price set by the appraisal of the bailiff), provided that (i) the claim to be enforced stems from a consumer contract; (ii) the real property is the debtor's only real property; and (iii) the debtor resided in that real property for at least six months prior to the initiation of the enforcement procedure.   read more...
  • European Court of Justice rules for the first time on discrimination based on belief

    The Court of Justice confirms a policy of neutrality can justify discrimination based on belief.

    Korean appeals court orders Google to disclose to Korean users what personal information Google passed to U.S. government.

    Case C-28/26 - Examines the right of a holding company to deduct input VAT on services acquired in the interest of its subsidiaries where those services are offered to its subsidiaries with no consideration.

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