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DLA Piper LLP (US)’s ‘knowledgeable, thorough and easy-to-work with attorneys’ are housed in offices all over the US, which reflects the fact that real estate is a core practice area for the firm. In Boston, well-regarded practice head John Sullivan represented Oxford Properties Group in its $1.29bn acquisition of two Class A office buildings from the Blackstone Group, while in Chicago Jesse Criz and David Sickle acted for Harrison Street Real Estate Capital in connection with its $1.9bn acquisition of Campus Crest Communities. The firm’s substantial overseas offering ensures the practice is involved in a high quantity of inbound international deals and, in one example, San Francisco-based Stephen Cowan and Lynn Cadwalader acted for Mirae Asset Global Investment in the $780m acquisition of the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Hotel in Hawaii. In Washington DC, key players include global co-chair Jay Epstien and Frederick Klein, while in New York, Jason Goldstein is thought by one client to be ‘among the best in the area of representing mortgage lenders and mezzanine lenders’. The New York offering was further enhanced by the hire of Eugene Pinover from Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP. Since publication, Scott Kapp has joined from Dentons and Scott Weinberg has moved to McDermott Will & Emery LLP.

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP’s ‘dominant’ New York offering is led by industry standout Jonathan Mechanic, who has a ‘powerful practice’ representing clients such as Citigroup and Coach. Mechanic, along with Tal Golomb, Melanie Meyers and Robert Sorin, continued to advise the Related Companies on many aspects of the development at Hudson Yards; the team also represented tenants in relation to the major redevelopment project and, in one example, counsel Stephen Lefkowitz acted for Time Warner in the $1.5bn development and purchase of a new headquarters at 30 Hudson Yards. Another name to note on the dirt side is Joshua Mermelstein, whose impressive caseload included acting for Brookfield Asset Management on the $1.03bn purchase of over 120 self-storage facilities in 16 states as well as Puerto Rico. The ‘incredibly strong’ debt finance group includes the ‘energetic and creativeMichael Barker, who handled a range of construction loan and mortgage loan financings for various investment fund lenders, including Children’s Investment Fund and Blackstone Group. In addition to the New York office, where all attorneys named thus far are based, the practice has a ‘small but strong’ office in Washington DC led by Franz Rassman. Rassman, along with Sorin and Golomb, assisted Tishman Speyer with the $270m redevelopment of Macy’s Downtown Brooklyn store.

Great all-rounderGibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP is noted for having ‘very strong groups’ in both New York and Los Angeles, under the respective leaderships of practice co-chairs Eric Feuerstein and Jesse Sharf. Feuerstein led a team that included Andrew Dady, Harry Silvera and Joanne Franzel in various significant transactions for the Related Companies regarding Hudson Yards, including closing the construction financing of the office tower at 30 Hudson Yards. In another standout matter, Feuerstein and Silvera represented RXR in its $1.65bn acquisition of the UBS Building at 1285 Avenue of the Americas from JPMorgan and AXA Insurance. Also in New York, Noam Habermanimpresses with his representation of mortgage lenders and mezzanine lenders’. In Los Angeles, Sharf was active in a range of debt and equity deals, and in one example advised Next Century Partners on the $1bn debt financing for the development of the Century Plaza mixed-use project in Los Angeles. 2016 saw the practice’s involvement in a number of high-profile sporting arena jobs, including Los Angeles-based Stuart Graiwer advising the Golden State Warriors on the $1bn acquisition of 12 acres of land in San Francisco’s Mission Bay district, and New York-based Steven Klein acting for the Rockefeller Group in the relocation of Major League Baseball’s headquarters to 1271 Avenue of the Americas in New York. San Francisco-based former practice co-head Fred Pillion has retired. Since publication, Kahlil Yearwood has joined the San Francisco office from Dechert LLP.

Greenberg Traurig, LLP’s network of 29 offices takes in a ‘first-tier New York City’ practice, led by Robert Ivanhoe, who is widely regarded as being ‘among the top real estate lawyers in the US’. In one highlight, Ivanhoe represented a joint venture between the Chetrit Group and Clipper Equity in its $1.4bn sale of 550 Madison Avenue to the Olayan Group. Another name to note in New York is Stephen Rabinowitz, whose varied caseload included representing Qatari Diar Investment Company in a $700m joint venture with Tishman Speyer to construct a 1.1m sq ft mixed-use development on Long Island City, New York. The practice also thrives in Chicago, where practice co-chair Corey Light is based, and Miami, where Matthew Gorson is representing Swire Properties in the $2bn Brickell City Center urban development project. Other work in Miami further illustrates the firm’s strength in dirt mandates; for example, Ryan Bailine and Nancy Lash advised a joint venture between Adler Group and 13th Floor Investments on the negotiation of a long-term ground lease and development agreement for a mixed-use development at Douglas Station.

Paul Hastings LLP’s ‘strategic and diligent’ practice draws on its strong international presence to advise clients such as China Communications Construction Company and Takenaka Corporation on a range of equity and debt mandates. An industry strength is the hospitality sector, where Los Angeles-based Rick Kirkbride - who shows an ‘incredible mix of judgment, knowledge and follow-through’ - and Derek Roth represented Carey Watermark Investors in the acquisition of 12 hotels and resorts with a purchase price in excess of $1.5bn. The team is now led from New York by Eric Landau, who has taken over as chair from Los Angeles-based Philip Feder. Landau was active on various significant dirt mandates for clients such as the Lightstone Group, which he advised on the redevelopment of an existing historic structure in the Garment District. On the debt finance side, Feder represented a major sovereign wealth fund on the $500m financing of four major office buildings in California, and Chicago-based Brad Ritter advised Citibank on over $100m-worth of construction and construction to permanent loans. Other names to note include Atlanta-based Ted Smith, who handled various leasing transactions for Tishman Speyer, and campus development specialist Stephen Berkman, who is based in San Francisco.

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Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP’s longstanding relationship with key client the Blackstone Group continued to bear fruit on a substantial number of multibillion-dollar equity deals; highlights included Erik Quarfordt advising on the $2bn acquisition of 32 multifamily properties from Greystar Real Estate Partners, and Sasan Mehrara and Krista Miniutti advising on the $1.5bn sale of substantially all of the life science and medical real estate assets of Wexford Science & Technology to Ventas. The practice also services clients such as KKR and Carlyle, and acted for the latter in its joint venture and acquisition of a condominium development project at 2255 Broadway, New York. On the debt finance side, Scott Kobak represented Dillard’s in the refinancing of a shopping center at Coconut Point in Florida. Practice head Gregory Ressa’s ‘experience, commercial nature and effectiveness’ make him, for one client, ‘arguably the best real estate lawyer globally’. Ressa acted for the Blackstone Group on the $6bn acquisition of Strategic Hotels & Resorts. All named attorneys are based in New York.

From its offices in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP advises on US and cross-border transactions involving the purchase, sale, financing, development, management and operation of all classes of real estate. Global practice head Harvey Uris is well known in the market for debt finance work and regularly acts on substantial borrower mandates for clients such as SL Green Realty. Uris also advises on equity deals and acted for key client Deutsche Bank on the real estate aspects of its sale of Deutsche Bank SA (Argentina) to Banco Comafi. Other important players in New York include Neil Rock, who is representing Empire State Development and Moynihan Station Development in connection with the $3bn Empire Station Complex, and Evan Levy, who acted for Amherst Holdings in the $652m sale of a portfolio of single-family rental properties to an operating partnership controlled by Altisource Residential. In Chicago, Nancy Olson, who along with Levy is ‘in the upper echelon’, advised Abercrombie & Kent Group on the real estate aspects of the acquisition of a majority stake by Zhonghong Holding; and in Los Angeles, Meryl Chae was active on behalf of QIC. Benjamin Needell is now of counsel.

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP’s practice delivers an ‘extremely high quality of service’ and the team continued to feature prominently in major corporate deals involving real estate entities. In one highlight, Joseph Shenker and ‘very effective negotiatorArthur Adler acted for Vornado Realty Trust in connection with the tax-free spin-off of its Washington DC business and the $8.4bn merger of that business with JBG Companies. In another key transaction, Robert Downes assisted NorthStar Asset Management Group in its merger with Colony Capital and NorthStar Realty Finance. The practice also handles a sizable volume of equity deals for clients such as Goldman Sachs; recent examples include Anthony Colletta acting for Broad Street Principal Investments in the acquisition of both the Santa Monica Proper Hotel and the Austin Proper Hotel, and Benjamin Weber advising Delaware Life Insurance Company on a proposed preferred equity investment in a high-rise residential development project in San Francisco. Practice head Robert Schlein advises across the full spectrum of real estate matters and acted for KKR in its leasing of office space at 30 Hudson Yards. All named attorneys are based in New York, although the practice also has presence in Los Angeles.

Spectacular lending shopCadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP was active across a range of sectors, including hospitality, healthcare, retail, multifamily and industrial. Practice head William McInerney and newly promoted partner Bonnie Neuman advised JPMorgan Chase Bank, Deutsche Bank Securities, Goldman Sachs Mortgage Company, Barclays Bank and Morgan Stanley Bank on a $1.27bn mortgage loan to Hilton Worldwide, in connection with the spin-off of Hilton’s property portfolio into a public REIT; and healthcare specialist Steven Herman represented Deutsche Bank Securities in a $710m mortgage loan and two mezzanine loans aggregating $340m for the refinancing of debt in Cammeby’s Equity Holdings skilled nursing facility portfolio. The team was also busy in the acquisition finance space, with Charlotte-based Holly Marcille Chamberlain handling the $1bn acquisition financing for Wells Fargo Bank relating to DRA Advisors’ acquisition of Inland Real Estate Corporation. Other names to note include Melissa Hinkle, ‘senior statesman’ Fredric Altschuler and Charlotte-based James Carroll, who advised a consortium of lenders on a major securitization. Named attorneys are based in New York unless otherwise stated.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP’s New York-based practice is ‘excellent on all counts’ and has ‘a real commitment to client service, with a good practical component’. Key players in the team include ‘excellent real estate finance lawyer’ Michael Weinberger, who once again enjoyed a busy year for lenders such as Goldman Sachs and Banco Inbursa; Weinberger represented Goldman Sachs in the origination of a $1bn mortgage loan to Lineage Logistics secured by 35 mortgages encumbering 43 cold storage warehouse and production facilities throughout the US. Another name to note is Kimberly Brown Blacklow, who acted for H2 Capital Partners in a $454m mortgage financing to Ty Warner Hotels & Resorts secured by a portfolio of luxury hotels. Aside from debt finance, the team was also active in the dirt space, with Steven Horowitz assisting Kindred Healthcare with the negotiation of amendments to its master lease agreements with Ventas. In another piece of work, Horowitz and Steven Wilner, who is noted for his ‘practical and thoughtful analysis’, acted for Genting group in the financing and development of various resort casinos in New York, Taunton and Las Vegas. Newly promoted partner Daniel Reynolds is ‘great on problem areas that help de-risk transactions.’

Dechert LLP’s prominence in the debt finance field is exemplified by its work for the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, for which New York-based Laura Swihart acted on a plethora of matters, including the securitization of $1.18bn of mortgage loans secured by multifamily properties. Other significant lender clients include Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Wells Fargo and Starwood Property Trust, and in another example of work, practice chair Richard Jones, who divides his time between New York and Philadelphia, advised Progress Residential on the origination and securitization of an $875m loan secured by over 8,000 single-family rental properties. Aside from residential, the team was active across a range of other product types and, in one highlight, Philadelphia-based David Forti and Justin Gdula acted for Citigroup Global Markets Realty regarding loans secured by a mix of life science campuses, offices and biomedical research and development facilities relating to Blackstone Group’s take private of BioMed Realty Trust. Forti also represented Rubin Schron in a multi-borrower, multi-property refinancing of three separate nursing home portfolios into a single $1.05bn mortgage/mezzanine financing. Other names to note among the ‘deep bench’ are Hartford-based Laura Ciabarra and Charlotte-based Stewart McQueen. Since publication, Kahlil Yearwood has joined Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP.

Goodwin’s strength in the public REIT space was once again in evidence, with Gilbert Menna representing Mid-America Apartment Communities in a $3.9bn merger with Post Properties. The team also handled a volume of acquisition mandates on behalf of institutional clients, private investment companies and building contractors; recent highlights include Siobhan Murphy advising GreenOak Real Estate Advisors on the $94m joint venture sale of Boston’s Old South Building to Goldman Sachs and leasing chair Alexander Randall assisting Skanska USA Commercial Development with the $452m sale of an office tower in the Seaport District of Boston. All attorneys named thus far are based in Boston, but the practice also has numbers in New York (where counsel David Bernstein represented Lennar Corporation in a business restructuring transaction involving property in Irvine, Los Angeles and San Francisco) and Los Angeles (where Dean Pappas is the name to note). Boston-based Minta Kay, who is praised as ‘very experienced and not afraid to provide frank opinions’, has replaced Menna as head of the practice. Also in Boston, Patrick Hurley and Blake Liggio were promoted to the partnership. Since publication, Marc Lazar has joined from Ropes & Gray LLP.

Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP is singled out for its ‘strong industry and business knowledge’ and the team is ‘particularly adept at not letting legal positions undermine commercial points’. The practice is deepest in Chicago, where key players include practice head David Bryant, ‘great strategistDavid Dlugie and Kenneth Jacobson, who is ‘very knowledgeable in complex real estate finance structures’. Bryant represented a joint venture of Callahan Capital Properties and Ivanhoé Cambridge in numerous matters, including its $895m purchase from Beacon Capital of its remaining interest in 1211 Avenue of the Americas. The New York office also wins praise for its ‘good attorneys’, which include Scott Vetri, who is ‘a strong and practical counsel for equity and debt transactions’, and Andrew Jagoda, who represented AIG in financing the purchase of 1285 Sixth Avenue in New York by RXR Realty. Elsewhere, Charlotte-based Daniel Huffenus has ‘experience, know-how and work ethic’, Los Angeles-based Christine Fitzgerald is ‘very smart and a good delegator’, and in Washington DC, Kenneth Lore is ‘timely and creative’. The practice enjoyed a number of major sports arena mandates in 2016, including Benzion Westreich representing the Golden State Warriors in connection with the construction of a new arena.

Kirkland & Ellis LLP’s ‘incredibly responsive and knowledgeable’ practice principally operates from the firm’s offices in New York and Chicago, where it has a strong relationship with private equity clients such as Starwood Capital. The team acted for the aforementioned client in a number of major corporate deals, including New York-based Scott Berger and Jonathan Schechter advising on the roll-up sale of a $3.2bn portfolio of US select-service hotels, and Schechter and Chicago-based Edward Schneidman assisting with the $1.9bn take-private acquisition of Landmark Apartment Trust. On the investment side, examples of the team’s work included Berger and Schechter assisting GID Investment Advisers with its three-parcel land acquisition of Riverside Center on New York’s Upper West Side, and New York-based Christopher Hartmann and Chicago-based Daniel Perlman representing Aeroterm US in its $900m acquisition of more than 120 airport logistics assets located in the US and Canada. Other key players in Chicago are Andrew Small, who acted for Tucson Hotels in a $730m mortgage and mezzanine financing secured by 30 hotels, and newly promoted partner James Augustyn.

Latham & Watkins LLP’s strategic focus on product types continued to pay dividends in 2016, with the team enjoying a number of sizable deals in sectors such as self-storage and hospitality, gaming and destination resorts. In Orange County, David Meckler advised LifeStorage on its $1.3bn sale to Sovran Self Storage and, in Chicago, Gary Axelrod acted for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide in the $1.5bn sale of Vistana Signature Experiences to Interval Leisure Group. In another hospitality deal, New York-based practice head James Hisiger represented Lago Resort & Casino in the development and financing of its Resort and Casino in Seneca County, New York. The practice is also noted for its foreign investment expertise and, in one example, New York-based Michelle Kelban advised Colony Capital on a joint venture with an institutional Korean investor to fund equity into a project joint venture formed for the purpose of acquiring and redeveloping the 208-unit Village Lake Apartments in Mountain View, California. On the debt finance side, Los Angeles-based Scott McPhee handled more than $1bn in debt origination for key client Acore Capital. The Chicago office was further developed by the promotion to the partnership of Rachel Bates.

For Proskauer Rose LLP, 2016 proved to be a strong year for corporate transactional mandates; examples included Jeffrey Horwitz and Steven Lichtenfeld advising Accor on its joint venture with the Qatar Investment Authority, Kingdom Holding Company of Saudi Arabia and Oxford Properties for the $2.9bn acquisition of FRHI Hotels & Resorts; and Chicago-based Michael Choate representing Inland Real Estate in its $2.3bn acquisition by real estate funds managed by DRA Advisors. The practice’s expertise in REITs was also in evidence, with Lichtenfeld advising New York REIT on its aborted acquisition of JBG Companies. On the dirt side, co-chair Ronald Sernau acts for a number of leading developers, including Hines and Extell Development Company; Sernau represented Vornado Realty Trust in signing PricewaterhouseCoopers to a 17-year lease for 240,000 sq ft at 90 Park Avenue. Other key figures in the practice are David Weinberger, who leads on finance work and advised Société Générale in connection with the $450m mortgage financing of the retail condominium unit of the St Regis Hotel in New York, and Perry Cacace, who co-chairs the practice with Sernau. Named attorneys are based in New York unless otherwise stated.

Shearman & Sterling LLP continued to be highly active in the dirt space, where practice head Chris Smith is noted for his premier leasing practice. For key client SL Green Realty, Smith advised on a joint venture with Jeff Sutton affiliates with respect to an expansion of the leasehold at 650 Fifth Avenue in New York and a simultaneous lease transaction with Nike; and for the same client, Lisa Brill advised on the $2bn sale of 388-390 Greenwich Street to Citigroup. The firm’s strong international presence ensures a number of significant inbound deals for clients such as Norges Bank and, in one highlight, Smith represented Olayan America in its $1.4bn acquisition of the former Sony Building at 550 Madison Avenue. On the debt finance side, Malcolm Montgomery is well known for his work on complex lender mandates; Montgomery advised US Bank National Association, as administrative agent and joint lead arranger, in connection with a $1.4bn loan to General Growth Properties secured by 15 shopping malls located in 14 states. Another name to note is John Opar, who specializes in foreign investments in US real estate, often with a shari’ah component. All named attorneys are based in New York.

Sidley Austin LLP’s reputation for ‘getting great deals on the lender’s side’ was again manifest, with Chicago co-chair Charles Schrank and Los Angeles-based Brian Flavell acting for Deutsche Bank in a number of significant financings, including the $1.2bn mortgage loan for an office property located at 10 Hudson Yards, New York. In the practice’s ‘terrific’ New York office, co-chair Alan Weil was busy on behalf of clients such as Starwood Property Trust and Wells Fargo, while the ‘very knowledgeableRichard Fries assisted M&T Bank with in excess of $2bn in loan originations. On the investment side, Los Angeles-based Joel Rothstein handled a number of significant deals for Chinese investors, including advising China Orient Asset Management Company on the $712m joint venture acquisition of the Aon Center in Chicago, and representing a consortium of Chinese institutional investors in the $572m acquisition of a portfolio of seven hotel properties located in New York. The practice developed its offering in areas such as hospitality, private equity and affordable housing through a number of hires, including Los Angeles co-chair Peter Benudiz, who joined from Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP, as well as Steven Koppel, Adam Verstandig and Aviva Yakren, who all joined the New York office from Jones Day.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP’s practice is led from New York by Michael Bond and Philip Rosen, whose expertise extends well beyond the firm’s well-known capability in dealing with distressed assets. Bond has particular strength in advising on REITs and, in one standout transaction, advised MGM Resorts International on the $1.17bn sale of the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City to MGM Growth Properties. Rosen acts for a range of private equity funds and institutional investors and assisted Brookfield Asset Management with its $2.8bn acquisition of the outstanding common shares of Rouse Properties. Rosen is also well known in the market for his experience in dealing with industrial property. Aside from New York, the team has boots on the ground in Miami, where Nellie Camerik and Beatriz Azcuy-Diaz handled the real estate aspects of a number of significant Chapter 11 bankruptcies, including advising Aéropostale on the $243m sale of its assets to a consortium of real estate and retail firms. In addition, Camerik represented Interval Leisure Group in its $1.5bn acquisition of Vistana Signature Experiences, following completion of the spin-off of Vistana from Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide.

Arent Fox LLP enjoyed a busy year in 2016 in specialist areas that range from hospitality to senior living to not for profit. In Washington DC, the recommended Richard Newman, Eleanor Zappone and Jeremy Fox acted on numerous financing and leasing deals for clients such as the American Psychiatric Association; and in San Francisco, Richard Brand continued to advise key client the Buccini/Pollin Group, including advising on a joint venture with Federal Realty Investment Trust for the development of a Canopy hotel in Washington DC. In a separate matter, Kenneth Jacob, who heads the practice from Washington DC, and Thomas Castiello (also in Washington DC), advised DLC Management on a joint venture with DRA Advisors for the acquisition and financing of a shopping center portfolio of 16 properties. The team was also active in the debt finance space for a variety of lenders, including Fannie Mae, for which New York-based David Dubrow advised on a $1bn financing of a portfolio of 120 manufactured housing properties located in 13 states across the country. Other key players in the Washington DC office are chairman Mark Katz and finance specialist David Martin. The team also has strength in Los Angeles.

Arnold & Porter’s real estate offering involves the joinder of two rather different practices, following the merger of the legacy Arnold & Porter LLP and Kaye Scholer firms. In Washington DC, the very highly rated Michael Goodwin leads a team with a strong developer focus; Goodwin is representing PN Hoffman in all aspects of its acquisition and development of a site near the Navy Yard in Washington DC. In another example of Washington DC work, Amy Rifkind acted for LDP Holding in the negotiation of a 99-year ground lease from Howard University relating to 260, 116th Street in Washington DC. In New York, the practice is weighted towards debt finance and acts for an array of major lenders, including Deutsche Bank, Barclays Capital Real Estate and Société Générale. Key players in New York include Stephen Gliatta, who advised the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board on a $526m construction loan for the development of a mixed-use development located in Bellevue, Washington; and Warren Bernstein, who assisted Credit Agricole Corporate & Investment Bank with a loan to finance the acquisition and re-tenanting of a Class A office tower in San Francisco’s financial district. The practice also has an outlet in San Francisco, where Kenneth Neale is the main contact.

The quality of legal services fromDebevoise & Plimpton LLP is ‘always top notch’ and the practice has a strong private equity and investment manager following that includes the likes of Beacon Capital partners and TPG Real Estate. The team was once again busy on behalf of key client JPMorgan Asset Management, with Peter Irwin advising on the joint venture acquisition and financing of Ink Block, a mixed-used project located in Boston, and Edward Rishty assisting with the acquisition and financing of 850 Lake Shore Drive, located in the Gold Coast neighborhood of Chicago. The team was also active on behalf of foreign investors, including sovereign wealth funds, and Nicole Levin Mesard continued to handle a number of transactions for Westfield Corporation; Levin represented Westfield in its $600m mortgage financing secured by Westfield San Francisco Centre and Westfield Emporium, both in San Francisco. In other work, Rishty represented Carmel Partners in connection with engaging Greystar Real Estate Partners as the property manager and leasing agent for substantially all of the properties in Carmel’s real estate portfolio. All named attorneys are based in New York.

Dentons’ ‘breadth and depth of talent across specialties’ makes it a favorite with clients such as Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance, Blackstone and Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. The team has particular expertise in debt finance and was once again active in this regard, with Atlanta-based co-chair William Timmons representing key client KeyBank National Association in a number of high-value loans, including a $1.2bn revolving credit and term loan facility to data center operator CyrusOne; and for foreign lender Helaba, New York-based Gary Goodman and St Louis-based Jennifer Marler and Danette Davis advised on a $169m loan to Caisse de Dépôt et Placement du Québec relating to two Seattle office properties. On the equity side, Chicago-based Linda White acted for HPI Group in the $150m sale of a ten-building global student accommodation portfolio. Other names to note are New York-based co-chair David Hall, Chicago-based vice chair Robert Fernandez, and ‘dealmaker’ John Snyder, who is based in Kansas. The practice also has outlets in Dallas, Los Angeles and Phoenix. Since publication, Scott Kapp has joined DLA Piper LLP (US).

Hogan Lovells US LLP’s varied client base takes in foreign investors, REITs, private equity houses, developers and institutional investors. The practice significantly developed its New York offering with the hire of new head of practice Mark Eagan, who joined from Paul Hastings LLP. Eagan’s clients include Ivanhoé Cambridge and GreenOak Real Estate. In Washington DC, key players include Bruce Parmley and Lee Berner, and in a standout matter, Berner continued to advise General Electric on the $23bn sale of its real estate portfolio. Also in Washington DC, David Bonser acted for Parkway Properties in its merger with Cousins Properties and spin-off of Houston assets into a separate public company. The practice also has outlets in Los Angeles and Colorado Springs, with Albert Stemp and David Isbell the respective contacts. Stemp handled a number of important matters in 2016, including representing Hudson Pacific Properties in its $180m joint venture with CPPIB to acquire and finance a newly constructed office project in Seattle, and advising Colony Capital in connection with a $107m equity investment in a luxury apartment developer.

Holland & Knight LLP’s substantial middle-market practice operates nationwide and is particularly acclaimed for its expertise in the hospitality sector, where specialties include timeshare arrangements and food and beverage matters arising from the transfer of hotel brands. The team assisted SIR Chelsea with a $250m joint venture to redevelop the Chelsea Hotel in New York, and also represented Capbridge USA in the development of a 388-unit timeshare project located in Hawaii. Another strength is the retail development and leasing sector and the team was active in this regard on behalf of clients such as Lewis Management and the Meridian Group. Although the practice has a focus on developer work, it also services lender clients such as Wells Fargo and SunTrust Bank, and represented the latter in closing a $750m revolving credit facility for a national timeshare developer. Recommended attorneys include Atlanta-based John Decker, who is ‘very diligent and creative in problem solving’, and Chicago-based Michael Kuppersmith, who provides ‘prudent, thoughtful legal advice’. Also of note are Joseph Guay, who leads the practice from New York; New York-based condominium specialist Stuart Saft, who is advising HFZ Capital Group on the mixed-use development of a freight yard at Eleventh Avenue, New York; and vice chair Vivian de las Cuevas-Diaz, who is based in Miami.

In April 2018, Hunton & Williams LLP merged with Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLP, forming Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP. The legacy Hunton & Williams LLP’s expertise in acting for REITs was once again in evidence, with the team handling a number of hospitality deals, including New York co-head Carl Schwartz representing Pebblebrook Hotel Trust in its dissolution of a partnership with Denihan Hospitality Group in the ownership of six Manhattan hotels; and Washington DC-based Rori Malech advising Hersha Hospitality Trust on the $571m sale of seven Manhattan limited-service hotels to a joint venture between Hersha and Cindat Capital Management. Other examples of work include Schwartz assisting DTH Capital with the $450m sale of 63 and 67 Wall Street to Rockpoint Group, and Dallas-based Mark Vowell acting for Baylor Scott & White Health in a joint venture with the Dallas Cowboys to develop a sports medicine, research and performance facility in Frisco. On the debt finance side, key players include Howard Schreiber, who co-heads the practice from Dallas, and Washington DC-based Marvin Ehrlich, who recently joined from Greenberg Traurig, LLP; the team has recently acted for lenders in the origination of various substantial mortgage loans. The practice also has boots on the ground in Atlanta, Los Angeles, Miami, Richmond and McLean. The legacy Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLP group, based in Texas, is ‘very good for complex matters’ and handles a broad range of product types, from sports stadia to corporate headquarters and international hotel chains. Retail and office leasing is a particular strength and the team is also experienced in handling lettings for major energy projects; for example, practice co-chair Jack Fields assisted Enterprise Products with a ground lease to a third party covering a 40-acre tract of land to be used for the construction of a new methanol plant. Other highlights in 2016 included practice co-chair Michael Boyd advising Pacific Life Insurance on a construction-to-permanent loan for a new multifamily project in Atlanta, and David Runnels acting for CBRE Global Investors in the acquisition of a mixed-use development in Dallas. In another significant acquisition, Chanse McLeod acted for ArcLight Capital Partners in the $217m purchase of 230 gasoline station/convenience store properties around the US. All attorneys named thus far are based in Houston, but the practice also has a presence in Dallas, where Adrian Doxey advised a major institutional investor on several substantial investments. The group experienced a number of partner departures in 2016, including Darrell Thomas to Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, and Chris Boehler to Concho Resources.

Jones Day’s practice underwent some reorganization at the top, with New York-based Michael Haas and Chicago-based Brian Sedlak (who is hailed as ‘a great client relationship partner’) taking over as co-heads from Robert Lee and David Lowery, who are based in Chicago and Dallas respectively. The team provides a ‘stellar level of service’ to private equity clients such as the Blackstone Group, for which Haas acted on the $1.3bn sale of 500 Boylston Street and 222 Berkeley Street in Boston’s Back Bay. In another private equity deal, Haas and Cleveland-based Andrew Bengtson advised Macquarie Capital on its joint venture to acquire, finance and manage mainly residential real estate in New York. The practice also acts for developer clients and, in one standout matter, Lowery and Susan Cox, who is also based in Dallas, acted for Greystar Real Estate Partners in the $2bn sale of a national portfolio of 32 multifamily apartment communities to Blackstone Real Estate. Other work streams included borrower-side debt finance and leasing work for corporates, and the team acted for Newell Brands in its headquarters relocation from Georgia to New Jersey. The practice also has boots on the ground in Atlanta, Boston, Columbus, Miami and San Francisco. Robert Grados joined the New York office from Allen & Overy LLP.

King & Spalding LLP’s ‘accessible’ team continued to handle a volume of investment mandates for REITs as well as funds and, in one example, New York-based Jennifer Morgan and Charlotte-based Mark Thigpen represented Douglas Emmett in the acquisition of four office buildings in West Los Angeles for $1.34bn. In Atlanta, names to note include Timothy Goodwin, who has the ‘business acumen to get through complex issues’, and Joshua Kamin; the latter was busy on a number of mandates for Jamestown, including advising on the acquisition and financing of 63 Madison Avenue and 200 Madison Avenue in New York. Kamin is also acting for Georgia State University Foundation in its efforts to acquire and redevelop Turner Field in Atlanta. The practice has seen a slight shift in geographical focus, with New York-based John Wilson taking over as head of practice from Sarah Borders, who remains in the firm’s Atlanta office. Wilson’s caseload included acting for key client Clarion Partners in a series of joint ventures with a Korean governmental pension agency, including the $470 acquisition of a Manhattan office building. New York-based Davis Powell, who is a ‘great transaction attorney’, and Charlotte-based Christopher McCoy made partner.

Mayer Brown’s strong institutional client base, which includes the likes of CBRE Global Investors and MetLife, ensured that the practice remained busy on a number of high-value investment deals. Examples included Chicago-based Paul Meyer and John Huff advising a foreign investment fund on its $452m acquisition of the office and garage unit of a mixed-use Boston office and retail condominium building; and David Malinger - also in Chicago - representing Prologis in its $5.9bn acquisition of the real estate assets and operating platform of KTR Capital Partners and its affiliates. While the practice is best known for its Chicago platform, which includes practice chair Jeffrey Usow, it also impresses in Washington DC through, among others, Nathan McMichael and Keith Willner, who assisted a major private equity player with a multibillion-dollar acquisition. Other avenues of work include borrower-side debt finance as well as EB-5 financing; Los Angeles-based Brian Aronson was particularly busy in the latter for the firm’s broad quota of inbound investors. The practice also has outlets in Houston, Palo Alto, New York and Charlotte. Houston-based Andres Romay made partner.

Customer service’ is Morrison & Foerster LLP’s ‘calling card’ and the practice is said by one client to be the ‘foremost expert in lender representation for large-scale construction loans’. In one example, the team represented HSBC as administrative agent in the closing and syndication of a $95m condominium construction loan for the Metropolis Project in Downtown Los Angeles. Besides construction loans, the team was also highly active in a range of other financing mandates, including EB-5, mortgage and acquisition financing. In Los Angeles, Tom Fileti advised Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation on a $1.87bn loan secured by a portfolio of hotels and resorts in Hawaii and California; and in New York, Mark Edelstein and Tom McGovern acted for Forest City Ratner in connection with obtaining approximately $100m in EB-5 financing for the renovation of the Nassau Coliseum. Although the practice is best known for its debt work, it has started to increase its share of mandates on the equity side and secured Rouse Properties and Tishman Speyer as new clients; further, New York-based Jeffrey Temple continued to handle a notable volume of office property acquisitions for Unizo. Edelstein and Marc Young co-chair the practice from New York and Los Angeles respectively.

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP is recommended for ‘large, complex transactions’ and is regularly engaged by REITs and investment funds such as SL Green Realty and Oaktree Capital. Co-chair Harris Freidus as well as Peter Fisch, Mitchell Berg and Salvatore Gogliormella were all active on behalf of NorthStar Realty Finance, including advising said client on its joint venture with Griffin-American Healthcare REIT III and the ensuing $1.12bn acquisition of Trilogy Investors. In another significant piece of work, Freidus represented CIM Group in the equity and debt financing of Jack London Square, an office/retail development in Oakland. Other names to note in the team are newly appointed chair emeritus Steven Simkin, who is for one client, ‘the best real estate lawyer in New York’, and Meredith Kane, who co-chairs the practice with Freidus. Kane’s caseload extends to acting for health system operators, including Northwell Health, as well as public corporations such as the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which she is representing in a number of major New York projects, including One Vanderbilt and Hudson Yards. All named attorneys are based in New York.

Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP is doing an increasing amount of debt finance work following the move of its strong investment fund client base into traditional areas of bank lending. Bruce Cybul advised Column Financial on its funding of $370m in mortgage and mezzanine loans with respect to two hotels in Santa Monica owned by the Edward Thomas Companies; Julian Wise, who is ‘incredibly sharp and commercial for loan negotiations’, was also active in the debt space for clients such as Blackstone Real Estate Advisors and Fortress Investment Group. On the equity side, practice head Jeffrey Lenobel represented a joint venture that includes the Georgetown Company and Pershing Square Capital Management in its $255m purchase of a former Ford Motor dealership at 787 11th Avenue in New York. Lenobel also continued to represent Oxford Properties Group in relation to Hudson Yards and most recently advised on the financing of the office tower at 30 Hudson Yards. Other names to note in the group are leasing specialist Robert Nash, and Seth Henslovitz, who was promoted to the partnership in January 2017. All named attorneys are based in New York.

Seyfarth Shaw LLP is probably best known for its ‘sophisticated’ work in the loan origination and CMBS space, where it acts for a range of insurers and banks, including New York Life Insurance Company. Los Angeles-based Stacy Paek acted for said client in a number of financings, including a $223m loan to CBRE Global Investors for the purchase of Galleria Office Towers in Dallas. The substantial team also handles equity mandates and, in one example, New York-based John Napoli represented Workspace Property Trust in its acquisition of a $969m real estate portfolio from Liberty Property Trust. In 2016, the group further expanded its services by creating two new real estate-related practice groups in the areas of healthcare and distressed situations. Of the firm’s many recommended lawyers, names to note include Atlanta-based department chair Paul Mattingly; Washington DC-based Robert Bodansky, who is a ‘calm negotiator’; and Los Angeles-based Gregg Bernhard, who joined from Greenberg Traurig, LLP. In Boston, Catherine Burns is, according to one client, ‘in a class by herself’, Andrew Pearlstein has ‘excellent commercial sense’, and Allison Driscoll is a ‘first-class, real estate lending attorney’. In New York, healthcare specialist Cynthia Mitchell is ‘excellent in client service’ and Lester Bliwise is a ‘sound and practical adviser’.

Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP’s widely praised team is led by Brian Diamond and Jeffrey Keitelman, who co-head the practice from New York and Washington DC respectively. The team was particularly active in dirt mandates, with Diamond handling a number of matters for key client JP Morgan Asset Management, including the $413m auction and sale of two office buildings located in Playa Vista, California, as well as the acquisition and creation of a newly developed industrial park in Miami-Dade County. Also in New York, Karen Scanna continued to advise Delancey Street Associates in relation to the $1.1bn Essex Crossing development project on the Lower East Side. In Washington DC, Keitelman’s work included representing Verizon Communications in the $344m sale of its headquarters office buildings to Mesirow Realty Sale-Leaseback; and on the debt finance side, Keitelman and New York-based Steven Moskowitz acted for Carr Properties in the $525m syndicated construction loan for the redevelopment of the former Washington Post site in the center of Washington DC. The practice also has presences in Miami and Los Angeles, where key contacts are Ira Teicher and Loryn Arkow respectively.

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP’s active REIT client base ensured that the practice was busy on a number of a major transactions. Practice chair Thomas Henry represented Colony Capital in the $17bn three-way merger of Colony Capital, NorthStar Asset Management Group and NorthStar Realty Finance, and also acted for key client Paramount Group in its $521m acquisition of One Front Street in San Francisco. David Drewes advised Washington Prime Group on the sale of seven of its open air properties to a joint venture with O’Connor Mall Partners. On the debt finance side, the team’s work encompassed a mix of loan acquisition work - such as advising Colony Capital on the acquisition of a $133m mortgage loan secured by an office campus in Purchase, New York - and borrower mandates. In an example of the latter, Drewes acted for the Generation Companies in its $215m recapitalization, which included a $146m mortgage loan from Blackstone. Other recommended attorneys in the practice’s ‘deep bench’ are newly appointed partner Carly Glover Saviano and counsel Daniel Backer. All named attorneys are based in New York. Eugene Pinover left for DLA Piper LLP (US).

Akerman LLP wins plaudits for its ‘business acumen and prompt attention to matters’ and the practice has expertise in a range of product types, including affordable and workforce housing, senior living and hotels and resorts. Orlando-based James McNeil leads on residential development projects and remained active on behalf of the firm’s strong housebuilder client base that includes the likes of Taylor Morrison. Another name to note is Miami-based Carol Schoffel Faber, who has a ‘very good depth of knowledge in the restructuring of commercial real estate loans’; Faber represented Colony Capital in numerous transactions involving distressed commercial real estate around the US. In Fort Lauderdale, Eric Rapkin’s strong caseload included acting for All Aboard Florida in public-private right-of-way agreements for the development of an intercity passenger rail project, and assisting Parmenter Realty Partners with various Class A office building joint ventures. The practice has particular depth in Florida, but also operates in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. In Los Angles, Susanne Zabloudil and Herman Enayati represented Northstar Commercial Partners in its $224m purchase of a 24-property industrial, office and retail portfolio from a California-based real estate development and management company. Miami-based Richard Bezold leads the team.

Baker Botts L.L.P. continued to represent key client Hines in a range of finance and dirt mandates across all commercial real estate product types. Paul Landen and Kimberly Epstein Schlanger in Houston and Dallas-based Stephen Marcus advised Hines on the financing and air rights grounds leases for the Parcel B West hotel and retail development at CityCenterDC in Washington DC; and the same team also acted on Hines’ joint venture with the Zimmerman family for a 285-unit luxury high-rise multifamily project adjoining the La Colombe d’Or in Houston. On the equity side, Houston-based Consuella Simmons Taylor acted for Hines REIT in the $210m sale of eight shopping centers; and for the same client, Simmons Taylor and Dallas-based Jonathan Dunlay advised on the $1.16bn sale of seven West Coast office assets to Blackstone Real Estate Partners VIII. Other clients of the practice include Chevron, Clarion and Rida Development. Alongside its established offices in Houston and Dallas, the practice also has a presence in the firm’s newly opened San Francisco office, where head of practice Patricia Stanton is based.

Ballard Spahr LLP’s ‘outstanding’ practice fields ‘consistently strong practitioners’ in 11 offices across the US. In Philadelphia, key players include Alan Ritterband, who is advising Comcast on the $1.2bn development of the Comcast Innovation and Technology Center in Philadelphia, practice chair Bart Mellits, transactional specialist Tina Makoulian, and David Pollack, who has ‘a particular focus on retail bankruptcies’. The team also wins praise for its Baltimore offering, where noteworthy individuals include Raymond Truitt, Jon Laria and Mark Pollak; Pollak represented Sagamore in the 260-acre Port Covington redevelopment. On the debt finance side, the team regularly acts for Keybank Real Estate Capital, and Washington DC-based Kelly Wrenn is acting for said client in the $182m permanent Freddie Mac financing for the Enlivant assisted living portfolio. Also in Washington DC is Roger Winston, who wins praise as being ‘the king of the condominium/mixed-use world’. Another name to note in the highly recommended team is New Jersey-based Jeffrey Beenstock, who has ‘exceptional knowledge and experience’. The practice was augmented by the hire of Washington DC-based Christopher Bell from Fannie Mae and the promotion of three to the partnership.

In 2016, Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP continued to feature in major dirt mandates in New York, with examples being Douglas Heitner representing Benider in the negotiation of a $1bn ground lease to Crown Acquisitions relating to a property in Queens, and practice head Wallace Schwartz advising ERY Developer on the lease of a shopping center at Hudson Yards. In another example of New York work, Heitner acted for JDS Development Group on a $400m construction loan to finance the development of 626 First Avenue. On the equity side, Schwartz acted for Sidney Fetner Associates in the joint venture with Rockpoint Group to buy out the Durst Organization’s interest in the ownership of the 400-unit luxury residential property located at 125 West 31st Street. The team is also experienced in handling nationwide remits and Schwartz is acting for key client New Valley in the acquisition, $260m construction financing and development of a mixed-use project located on West Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood. Leasing specialist Adam Endick is another key New York partner. The practice developed its offering in Miami with the hire of Manuel Fernandez and Albert Delgado from Akerman LLP.

From its New York base, Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP’s ‘exceptionally creative and resourceful team’ has an impressive developer following that includes the likes of Tishman Speyer and The Peebles Corporation. The practice is particularly noted for its residential expertise and in a standout year for condominium work, Jonathan Canter represented the Related Companies and Oxford Properties in condominium matters relating to Hudson Yards, and also assisted Extell Development Company with condominium advice relating to One Manhattan Square. On the debt finance side, the team was active in a range of borrower mandates, including practice head Jay Neveloff and Tzvi Rokeach assisting Gamma Real Estate with a $147m bridge financing package covering an Upper East Side assemblage located near Sutton Place; and James Godman acting for The Peebles Corporation in a senior and mezzanine construction financing totaling more than $400m for 108 Leonard Street in Manhattan. Neveloff was also active in the acquisition space, where together with Neil Tucker, he advised Westbrook Partners on its joint venture to purchase the ten-story Hall Street complex in Brooklyn for the sum of $161m.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP has a broad footprint across 12 US offices and the practice has expertise in a range of product types, including multifamily, self-storage and higher education. The team regularly acts for investors, in relation to both transactional work and development matters, and clients include REITs such as American Campus Communities and investment managers such as the JBG Companies and Berkshire Group. Key contacts include practice chairs Eric Stern and Richard Toelke, who are based in Philadelphia and Boston respectively, New York-based JJ Broderick and Silicon Valley-based Carol Dillon. Other names to note are New York-based Goodwin Bland, who specializes in affordable housing, and Los Angeles-based Marc Liverant, who has experience in handling developments relating to energy generation and transmission. On the educational side, the team handles a range of leasing and acquisition mandates for the likes of Stanford University, Butler University, and the University of Southern California.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP continued to be busy in investment mandates for the firm’s strong private equity and asset management client base. The practice is particularly recommended for its West Coast offering, where the team shows ‘great attention to detail’ under the leadership of Los Angeles-based practice head Michael McAndrews. In San Francisco, Michael Liever assisted USAA with its $1.1bn acquisition of five regional malls from Westfield Group, and also advised GLL Real Estate Partners on the $387m acquisition of Safeco Plaza, a 50-story skyscraper in Seattle from CommonWealth Partners; and in Los Angeles, Gerard Walsh represented an international opportunity fund in connection with the $34m acquisition of the Jessie Square garage from the Successor Agency. Walsh was also busy on a range of borrowing mandates for Westbrook Partners. The practice’s East Coast presence was bolstered by a number of significant hires in New York, including Marshall Brozost, who joined from Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP; Andrew Berman, who joined from Akerman LLP; and Michael Haworth, who relocated from the firm’s Tokyo office. Brozost represented a joint venture formed by Pacific Retail Capital Partners and its investment partner in its acquisition of a portfolio of three regional malls from Simon Properties. San Francisco-based Dustin Calkins and Los Angeles-based Nicole Walsh made partner.

At Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP, San Francisco-based Robert Herr handled a number of matters for key client Spear Street Capital, including the $147m sale of an office campus in Santa Clara. In another significant campus deal, Los Angeles-based William Waller represented Higuera Office in its $108m acquisition of a tech campus in Culver City. Waller was also busy in the office space, where he and New York-based Caroline Harcourt acted for a subsidiary of Commonwealth Partners in the $2bn purchase of a Midtown Manhattan skyscraper from Axa Financial, together with a concurrent financing package of approximately $1bn. While the practice has a strong investment aspect, with related borrower financing, it is also active in the lender space; San Diego-based Steven Hamilton and Houston-based Laura Hannusch are names to note in this respect. Hannusch’s caseload extends to dirt work and she assisted the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District negotiate an option to lease and the related ground lease for a transit-oriented development project adjacent to the Coliseum Station in Oakland. San Francisco-based Rachel Horsch heads the practice and North Virginia-based David Miller is strongly recommended.

Polsinelli PC’s ‘white-shoe service at a lower price point makes it attractive to a range of lenders’, including Barclay Bank and Prime Finance Partners IV. For key client KeyBank National Association, New York-based practice chair Dan Flanigan - who has an ‘extremely smart legal mind’ - advised on various multimillion-dollar mortgage loans; and in Kansas City, Casandra Carpenter and Marla Bell represented Acore Capital in relation to a $53m construction loan to DLC Residential. The broad practice also takes in investment work for REITs and, in New York, Brooks Clark was busy on a number of matters for Colony Capital, including the $40m sale of a distribution warehouse located in Massachusetts to Gramercy Realty Trust. On the dirt side, the practice regularly acts for developers such as NorthPoint Development, and also handles development work for corporates and public institutions; in an example of the latter, Denver-based Joy Hays acted for Catholic Health Initiatives in the $740m sale and leaseback of a large portfolio of buildings and land in nine states. The practice was augmented by a number of hires in Chicago, Denver, Atlanta and Washington DC. Other recommended attorneys are finance practice chair John Duncan, who is based in Dallas, Washington DC-based Diane Shapiro Richer, and Kansas City-based Maribeth McMahon.

Ropes & Gray LLP’s practice is noted for its ‘strong team, with diversity of applicable expertise and good ability to centralize points of contact’. In New York, the team handles real estate-related loan financing for the likes of Blackstone Mortgage Trust and TPG Real Estate Trust, and also serves a range of foreign investors. In an example of the latter, David Djaha and Daniel Stanco represented Duwaliya Real Estate in the acquisition of an office property at 1575 Eye Street, Washington DC. Stanco was also busy in the acquisition space for private equity clients and advised First Atlantic Capital on the joint venture acquisition, financing and development of a $140m condominium development in the Nolita neighborhood of New York. In Boston, the practice was active in a range of investment and finance mandates for funds and investment managers, such as the Baupost Group and Pacific Investment Management Company, and in one highlight, Jack Creedon advised a co-lender on a $500m syndicated loan to Sears Holdings, secured by mortgages on over 20 Sears stores across the US. Other key players in Boston include the highly rated Richard Gordet, who has ‘tremendous experience across a wide variety of transactions, and a practical approach to problem solving’, and Walter McCabe. Since publication, Marc Lazar has joined Goodwin.

Venable LLP is best known in the public REIT M&A space, where it regularly acts as Maryland counsel on substantial deals. Examples in 2016 included advising Annaly Capital Management on its $6bn acquisition of Hatteras Financial Corp and acting for Strategic Hotels & Resorts in its $6bn acquisition by the Blackstone Group. Key players for this work include Baltimore-based Christopher Pate and Patricia McGowan. The practice also thrives in Washington DC, where Philip Horowitz represented Marriott International in all aspects of the company’s planned development of a new global corporate headquarters in Bethesda, Maryland. Another Washington DC name to note is Stefan Tucker, who focuses on the tax aspects of real estate transactions. Elsewhere, New York-based Peter Koffler and Susan Golden represented EmblemHealth in the $330m sale of its eight-story office building at 441 Ninth Avenue to Cove Property Group and Baupost Group; and in Tysons Corner, finance specialist Douglas McDonald was part of a team that assisted Ashford Hospitality Trust with a $415m mortgage loan refinancing secured by 18 hotels across seven states. Practice chair Thomas Millspaugh divides his time between Baltimore and Washington DC.

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz stands outs for its expertise in REIT and real estate mergers and acquisitions, and the team was once again active in various multibillion-dollar deals. Practice co-head Adam Emmerich advised Regency Centers on its $15.6bn merger with Equity One and also acted for the special committee of Starwood Waypoint Residential Trust in its merger with Colony American Homes. In another significant transaction, Emmerich and Ronald Chen represented Javelin Mortgage Investment in its acquisition by Armour Residential REIT. The team’s sector expertise in hospitality and gaming was also in evidence, with practice co-head Robin Panovka advising Gaming and Leisure Properties on its acquisition of Pinnacle Entertainment’s real estate assets. All named attorneys are named in New York.

Baker McKenzie LLP’s global network of offices ensures that the firm is regularly engaged on real estate-related mandates for a wide variety of foreign investors. Recent examples of work include practice head Michael Smith assisting Nord Anglia Education with the $167m sale and leaseback of a three-school portfolio located in Florida and Texas, and hotel specialist Richard Cremieux representing Binjiang Tower in the restructuring of a joint venture to develop a 41-story mixed-use project in Downtown Seattle. In another highlight, Matthew Alshouse acted for Mirae Asset Global Investment in its joint venture with Transwestern Investment Group to purchase State Farm’s Southwest headquarters in the Cityline development in Dallas. The practice’s caseload extends to work for domestic corporates, such as Walgreens and Sears, and Michael Rechtin, who has particular expertise in data centers, continued to advise Comcast on its data center portfolio. All attorneys named thus far are based in Chicago, but the practice also has boots on the ground in New York, where Gerard Hannon was busy on a multibillion-dollar development joint venture for a foreign investor. Chicago-based Kathryn Johnstone was promoted to the partnership.

Clifford Chance’s New York-based practice is now led by Ness Cohen, following Douglas Wisner’s move into the firm’s financial restructuring group. Cohen was busy on a range of debt finance matters, including advising Madison International Realty on the $1.28bn recapitalization of the company’s joint venture interest in a 15-property portfolio of retail assets in the New York City metropolitan area; and on the lender side, Cohen acted for Almanac Realty Investors in the origination of a $150m loan to CA Student Investors. Another name to note is counsel Victoria Manthas, who represented Waterfall Asset Management in connection with its acquisition from Barclays of a senior securitized mezzanine loan secured by equity interests in the owners of approximately 90 Red Roof Inns nationwide. The practice also regularly handles inbound investment and divestment work for the firm’s impressive international client base; in 2016, the team represented AVWL in connection with the $457m acquisition of an indirect interest in an office building complex in Washington DC, and also acted for JHSF Participacoes in the $128m sale of 16-18 West 57th Street, New York. Other active clients include Safra National Bank of New York and National Storage Affiliates Trust.

Real estate boutique Cox, Castle & Nicholson acts for a full spectrum of clients, including developers, lenders, investors, landlords and tenants. On the dirt side, the firm powers off its strong land use and zoning team to advise on a number of significant development projects, which include David Waite acting for Philena Properties and Martin Cadillac Property in relation to the mixed-use Martin Expo Town Center at Olympic and Bundy in Los Angeles, and Andrew Fogg advising Republic Urban Properties on the redevelopment of the existing Millbrae BART Station parking lots. Key players on the finance side include David Lari, whose busy caseload included assisting Griffin-American Healthcare REIT III with a $500m loan from Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith. All attorneys named thus far are based in Los Angeles, but the firm also has a presence in San Francisco, where Gregory Caligari advised Broadcom on the $207m acquisition of an office complex in San Jose, California from Boston Properties. Another name to note in San Francisco is Mathew Wyman, who was highly active in the homebuilder space for key client Taylor Morrison. The firm also has a presence in Orange County.

According to one client, Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP is ‘clearly a step above others due to the breadth of experience and quality of lawyers’, and the team continued to lead the way in sectors such as data centers, timber and public-private partnerships. In particular, Robinson Plowden is singled out for ‘any work related to data center leases specifically in the wholesale or colocation arena’. On the investment side, Clayton Howell advised Hines on a $70m joint venture for the acquisition, development and financing of an office tower over a retail podium in Atlanta; and Howell is also advising Pollack Shores on the development of the multifamily residential component of a mixed-use development in connection with the Atlanta Braves’ new stadium. Mezzanine finance is another area of strength, with John Benson handling a billion-dollar financing for a major institutional investor; Benson, along with Washington DC-based Lisa Rosen, was also active for lenders in the CMBS space. Other key figures are practice head Victor Haley and the ‘exceptional’ James Jordan. The firm’s recent tie-up with UK-headquartered Eversheds is expected to herald an increase in inbound institutional investment work. All named attorneys are based in Atlanta except where otherwise stated.

Herrick, Feinstein LLP’s New York-based practice remained busy on behalf of its strong developer client base, which includes XIN Development Group and Kushner Real Estate Group. For Extell Development Company, Sheldon Chanales advised on the purchase and financing of multiple properties owned by the Duell Family valued at $360m; and for Property Markets Group, Mitchell Korbey and Neil Shapiro are assisting with the development of various land parcels in Brooklyn’s Gowanus neighborhood. In another example of the practice’s strong dirt capability, Chanales acted for Cammeby’s International in the $161m sale of 9-47 Hall Street in Brooklyn, and the $195m sale of 24-02 49th Avenue in Long Island City. The team also regularly acts for commercial banks and investment banks, in relation to both mortgage and construction financings as well as acquisitions; Centennial Bank is an example client in this regard. Other names to note are practice chair Belinda Schwartz, leasing specialist Jonathan Adelsberg, and Andrew Gold, who focuses on investment work and represented Amity Education Group in the purchase of the St John’s University waterfront campus in Oakdale, Long Island. Michael Smith was promoted to the partnership, but Paul Shapses left for Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP.

Loeb & Loeb LLP is singled out for its ‘extremely high legal acumen and depth of market knowledge’ in relation to commercial leasing. Practice head Raymond Sanseverino and Kenneth Sold - who, for one client, are ‘two of the best real estate attorneys that service the New York market’ - handled a number of substantial leases for clients such as Brookfield Property Partners and Mitsui. Sanseverino represented BNY Mellon, as tenant, in connection with a 15-year lease of approximately 250,000 sq ft of office and retail space in the building located at One Boston Place in Boston; and Sold assisted Bank Leumi USA with the $110m sale of its fee interest in 564 Fifth Avenue and its ground leasehold interest in 562 Fifth Avenue in New York. The team also has a strong debt finance capability and, in one standout transaction, Kenneth Freeman acted for Deutsche Bank as administrative agent and lender in connection with a $1.5bn construction financing for the retail component of the Hudson Yards project in New York. All attorneys named thus far are based in New York, but the practice is also present in Los Angeles, where key players include Thomas Hanley, who stands out for his ‘knowledge and practical advice in leasing matters’; and Allen Hubsch, who joined from Hogan Lovells US LLP.

With attorneys working out of San Francisco, Palo Alto, Los Angeles and Costa Mesa, Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP has one of the largest real estate groups across California. The team remained highly active on behalf of key client the Macerich Company, for which Los Angeles-based co-chair Tom Muller advised on the joint venture purchase of the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City, Missouri for $660m. Another important client is Jay Paul Company and San Francisco-based Clayton Gantz acted for said client in various borrower mandates, including the $907m financing of the development of a campus at Moffett Place in Silicon Valley. On the dirt side, the team is advising the Los Angeles County Museum of Art on the $600m development of its museum campus. Other key players in Los Angeles are Anita Sabine, who was busy on the real estate aspects of a number of PPP projects for clients such as Westfield; Keith Allen-Niesen, who has ‘exceptional knowledge of real estate and negotiating strategies’; and Jubin Meraj, who is able to ‘master the detail of a wide range of documents’. Palo Alto-based Michael Polentz co-chairs the practice. Bryan LeRoy left for Nixon Peabody LLP.

Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP has a strong focus on real estate and the practice covers every aspect of real estate and development, including acquisitions, financing, construction, leasing and dispositions. The ‘very knowledgeable and experienced’ team includes Washington DC-based Carol Weld King, who co-chairs the practice following Wendelin White’s departure for Goulston & Storrs. King was active in a number of significant matters for key client Thayer Lodging Group, including advising on the $270m acquisition of the Hilton Portland and Executive Tower in Portland, and closing the $84m sale of Hotel 1000 in Downtown Seattle to Loews. Another key player in Washington DC is Elizabeth Karmin, who wins praise for her ‘terrific people skills’; Karmin handled a $150m property sale for McDonald’s in the Hudson Yards area of New York. The team’s expertise in the hospitality and leisure sector was also in evidence in Atlanta, where Thomas Gryboski represented the Noble Investment Group in the $142m acquisition of a five-hotel portfolio from Ashford Hospitality Trust. Other Atlanta names to note include Robert Reardon, who co-chairs the practice, and Matthew Sours, who was active in the multifamily space for clients such as Wood Partners.

From its Chicago base, Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP fields a ‘highly sophisticated real estate group, with excellent business acumen and industry knowledge’. Practice head Douglas Lubelchek, who is highly recommended for his ‘outstanding knowledge of real estate and transactional issues’ finalized Equity Residential’s sale of 72 properties to Starwood Capital Group for $5.36bn, and Douglas Ellis acted for M & J Wilkow in a joint venture acquisition of East Gate Square Shopping Center in New Jersey for $190m. The third key player in the team is Darrin Forbes, who ‘gets deals done’, and together with Lubelchek, represented Equity Residential in sale and acquisition transactions involving multifamily properties throughout the US. Other important clients are O’Connor Mall Partners and DW Partners. Although the practice is best known for its investment work on behalf of REITs and investment management companies, it also handles dirt mandates for homebuilders, corporates and state entities, and in one example, Lubelchek is acting for a developer in the purchase of land parcels for the development of hotel and multifamily mixed-use towers in the South West.

Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP has expertise across a range of product types, including shopping centers, medical office buildings and hospital facilities, corporate headquarters, industrial, multifamily and mixed-use properties. Although the practice continues to be led from Texas, with practice head Jane Snoddy Smith based in Austin, it has seen increasing deal flow in locations such as New York and Los Angeles; for example, in New York, Mitchell Lubart was busy on a number of multimillion-dollar transactions for a major real estate investment company. Another feature of the practice is its foreign investment work and the team regularly handles inbound acquisitions for the likes of the Export-Import Bank of China and PSP Public Pension Fund. In Los Angeles, senior counsel Robert Barnes specializes in handling the real estate aspects of transactions involving energy production and storage facilities. Other active clients include Argent Ventures, BlackRock Realty Advisors and Balbec Capital.

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP’s ‘extremely good’ team has seen some reorganization at the top, with Nancy Scull taking over from Domenic Drago in San Diego as co-chair of the practice. Scull focuses on dirt work for major developers and, as well as assisting Trammell Crow with its $59m acquisition of Adobe Systems’ 8.5 acres of land in Downtown San Jose, she is representing the developer of a major mixed-use hotel, office and retail project in Tempe Arizona. In San Francisco, key players include co-chair Keith Garner and Doug Van Gessel, who is advising Moffett Gateway on the $300m leasing of a corporate campus in Silicon Valley to Google. On the finance side, the team was boosted by the hire of Los Angeles-based Thomas Masenga, who joined from Seyfarth Shaw LLP. Masenga was active in a number of substantial lender mandates, including advising the New York State Teachers’ Retirement System on a $507m mortgage loan to a joint venture secured by 11 Times Square in New York. The practice also has strength in Orange County, where Scott Morehouse handled a number of acquisitions for KBS Strategic Opportunity REIT and KBS Strategic Opportunity REIT II, including the $170m acquisition of an office building in the central business district of San Francisco. San Francisco-based Katharine Allen made partner.

Sullivan & Worcester LLP is well known in the REIT space, where it acts for the likes of Senior Housing Properties Trust and Government Properties Income Trust. In 2016, John Steiner completed Hospitality Properties Trust’s $400m sale-leaseback of 20 travel centers to TravelCenters of America. Private equity is another strength, with co-chair John Balboni and Eric Lemont handling a series of real estate private equity joint venture transactions for Hartford Life Insurance Company. On the dirt side, Adam Weisenberg represented the Cronin Group in developing a proposed 125-unit waterfront condominium project in Boston; and Weisenberg also assisted Divco West with its $150m development of an office building and lab in Kendall Square in Cambridge. All attorneys named thus far are based in Boston, but the practice also has an outlet in New York, where counsel Oded Har-Even represented Ackerman Management and Development in acquisitions totaling $1bn, including the $700m purchase of the Dime Savings Bank Building and adjoining parcels at 340 Flatbush Avenue and 9 DeKalb Avenue in Brooklyn. Additional contacts are Boston-based co-chair Ashley Brooks and Hugh Finnegan, who leads on real estate matters in New York.

Thompson & Knight LLP’s substantial Texas offering comprises offices in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth and Houston. The team remained busy on a broad range of mandates, including lending, leasing, disposition and development. In the debt finance space, the firm’s impressive lender client base includes the likes of Wells Fargo Bank and Midland Loan Services, and in a highlight matter, Mark Sloan represented Regions Bank as agent for seven different lenders in relation to a $199m construction loan to USAA for development of Amazon’s new corporate offices in Seattle. The team also acts for borrowers, and practice head Andrew Ingrum advised Billingsley Company on a $72m construction loan provided by Bank of America and PNC. On the investment side, Bryan Garner assisted Capref Paseo with its acquisition of the retail portion of a mixed-use development in downtown Pasadena, California. The practice is also present in New York, where William O’Connor handled a number of distressed deals, including representing Olympic 1401 Elm Associates, as Chapter 11 debtor, in the sale of the First National Bank tower in Dallas to Drever Capital. In other developments, Ashley Anderson joined from Gardere Wynne Sewell and Dan Hopper and New York-based Vivian Arias were promoted to partner. Named attorneys are based in Dallas except where otherwise stated.

Thompson Hine LLP’s attorneys are lauded as being ‘courteous, professional and deep in their expertise’, and the team continued to be engaged on a number of substantial transactions. In a standout deal, James Aronoff acted for Brookfield Asset Management in its $2bn purchase of NorthStar Realty Finance’s manufactured housing communities portfolio. Aronoff was also busy in the REIT space, where his work included assisting Forest City Enterprises with the company’s conversion to a REIT, and advising DDR on various leasing transactions. Another key player in the team is Robyn Minter Smyers, who handled over $330m worth of acquisitions and dispositions throughout the US for DDR. The practice has a strong corporate following and regularly advises clients such AkzoNobel and United Technologies on leasing and dispositions. On the debt finance side, Linda Striefsky advised BMW FS on mortgage loans to BMW car dealers across the US; and the finance practice was expanded in New York by the hire of Jonathan Olick, who joined from Duane Morris LLP. Thomas Coyne heads the practice. Named attorneys are based in Cleveland except where otherwise stated.

Troutman Sanders has particular expertise in the financing of real estate projects and has a nationwide practice representing lenders in the multifamily space. In one major transaction, a Richmond-based team of practice co-head Mark Shiembob, Bernice Cilley, Ashanté Latanya Smith and newly promoted partner Nora Garcia Nickel acted for a consortium of lenders, including Wells Fargo and Berkeley Point Capital, in the $4.1bn financing of a portfolio of multifamily apartment units across six states being acquired by Starwood Capital Group from Equity Residential. The practice was also active in the senior living sector, with Shiembob and Jeremy McLean (also in Richmond) advising Walker & Dunlop on a $1.27bn refinancing for Holiday Retirement secured by a 78-property portfolio. On the equity side, highlights included Charlotte-based David Jones representing Crescent Communities in the sale of the Crescent Central Station luxury multifamily community in Orlando and the Crescent SouthPark and Crescent Dilworth luxury multifamily communities in Charlotte; and in Atlanta, Jefferson Greenway acted for Portman Holdings in connection with an equity investment in an InterContinental Hotel to be constructed in San Diego. Atlanta-based Mark Elliott co-heads the team. The practice also has boots on the ground in New York, Washington DC, San Diego, Virginia Beach and Raleigh.

Vinson & Elkins LLP’s team of ‘thoughtful and hardworking dealmakers’ is led by Paul Martin, whose investment work included advising CBRE Global Investors on the purchase of a Class A office complex in Dallas and acting for Spear Street Capital in its sale of a multi-building office complex in Austin. Martin is also experienced in advising corporates on real estate issues and represented 7-Eleven in the relocation of its corporate headquarters to the new Cypress Waters Development in Irving. In other highlights, the team was busy in the REIT space, where Michael Boulden represented Milestone Apartments in the $1.9bn acquisition of Landmark Apartment Trust, including the acquisition of 15 multifamily apartment projects in Texas, North Carolina, Georgia and Florida; and the team also continued to handle the real estate aspects of major energy projects, with Houston-based counsel Scot Dixon advising Riverstone Investment Group on its partnership with Kinder Morgan in relation to the $500m Utopia Pipeline Project. Other recommended attorneys are Randy Jurgensmeyer and Russell Oshman. Named attorneys are based in Dallas except where stated otherwise. The practice is also present in New York.

The Boston-based practice at WilmerHale remained busy on a number of major development projects, including Keith Barnett advising Carpenter and Company on the development of a Four Seasons Hotel and approximately 170 residential condominium units in Boston’s Back Bay; and for the same client, Douglas Burton is assisting with the acquisition, development and operation of a five-star hotel in Iceland. The practice is particularly known for its expertise in sectors such as senior living, retail and life sciences, where important clients include Benchmark Senior Living and Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research. Other recent examples of work include Burton and Sean Boulger advising AEW Capital Management on a joint venture to develop a portfolio of senior living communities throughout the US, and William O’Reilly representing Alexandria Real Estate Equities in the $725m acquisition of the seven-building office, lab and retail One Kendall Square complex from DivcoWest, together with its assumption of a $203m securitized loan. Practice head Paul Jakubowski specializes in headquarters lease transactions for tenants and, in one highlight, advised Kronos on its purchase of a lease for 435,000 sq ft at a three-tower campus in Lowell.

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