Real estate finance in United States

Dechert LLP

The real estate practice at Dechert LLP is exclusively focused on the finance space where it is frequently engaged in a broad range of multibillion-dollar transactions. Among its core fields of expertise are mortgage and mezzanine loan originations, sales and acquisitions of loan interests, distressed debt and restructuring, preferred equity transactions and CMBS issuances. David Forti is active across New York and Philadelphia, and caters to a client roster of leading issuers, master and special servicers, funds and b-piece buyers; he co-chairs the department and is supported by New York-based mortgage-backed securitization specialist, Laura Swihart, as well as Pennsylvania lawyer Jason Rozes, who is well versed in permanent and bridge loan originations, construction loans, syndications and workouts. Over in North Carolina, Stewart McQueen is particularly focused on CMBS and CRE CLO securitization transactions while in Philadelphia, Ken Hackman is an up-and-coming partner who is engaged by both lenders and borrowers on repurchase facilities, warehouse facilities and single-family rental financings.

Practice head(s):

David Forti; Richard Jones

Other key lawyers:

Ken Hackman; Stewart McQueen; Jason Rozes; Laura Swihart; Justin Gdula; Tim Stafford

Key clients

Bank of America/Merrill Lynch

Citigroup Global Markets Realty Corp.

Credit Suisse

Deutsche Bank

Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (“Freddie Mac”)

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts

MF1 Capital

Starwood Property Trust, Inc.

TPG RE Finance Trust, Inc.

Wells Fargo

Work highlights

  • Advised five banks (Deutsche Bank, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, a London based bank and J.P. Morgan), as origination lender, on the origination, securitization, and syndication of $1.8bn in new debt, which refinanced Brookfield’s existing debt related to the One Manhattan West office tower.
  • Advised Cerberus SFR Holdings Partners, L.P. and its affiliates, as issuer, in connection with the issuance of $2.49bn principal amount of notes secured by a senior whole mortgage loan secured by single family residential properties, making it the largest single family rental securitization ever closed.
  • Advised Rothesay Life PLC, as loan purchaser, in connection with $500m worth of A and B notes in a $3bn loan secured by the Bellagio resort and casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP

At Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, the real estate department is a market leader for an enormous variety of lender and borrower-side finance matters, catering to a client roster of construction, CMBS, portfolio and mezzanine lenders, in addition to property operators and investment firms. Century City-based Jesse Sharf and Erin Rothfuss in San Francisco are co-chairs of the practice and specialize in whole-loan sales, syndications and participations, CMBS lending and structured finance transactions; they also have experience in workouts and foreclosures. Elsewhere in New York, Aaron Beim supports investors with syndicated, securitized, single-lender mortgage and mezzanine loans, while Victoria Shusterman is an expert in construction loans, bridge financing, loan syndications and multi-tranche mezzanine finance. At the more junior end of the partnership, Noam Haberman, also based in New York, focuses on higher risk balance sheet loans, as does Kahlil Yearwood who is in the San Francisco office.

Practice head(s):

Eric Feuerstein; Erin Rothfuss; Jesse Sharf

Other key lawyers:

Victoria Shusterman; Noam Haberman; Kahlil Yearwood; Aaron Beim; Harry Silvera; Danielle Katzir

Work highlights

  • Represented real estate investment and finance firm, Cale Street Investments, in connection with a $775m loan to Millennium Partners for the construction of the Winthrop Center, a new 690-foot 52 storey mixed-use skyscraper in downtown Boston.
  • Advised Kennedy Wilson, Inc. on establishing its new debt platform and originating multiple loans secured by newly-constructed multi-family and mixed use properties in Boulder, Colorado and Sacramento, California.
  • Advised Hudson Pacific on the $1.65bn  recapitalization of its Hollywood Media Portfolio, pursuant to which Blackstone was brought in as a 49% partner in such portfolio. The portfolio comprises three Hollywood studios and five on-lot or adjacent Class A office properties, totaling 2.2 million square feet.

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP is primarily geared toward lender-side representation, supporting clients in myriad lending transactions, including syndicated, construction, mortgage, mezzanine, participating, and convertible. The team is also well versed in balance sheet loans, as well as those purposed for securitization. Moreover, the team is knowledgeable of all forms of collateral including healthcare, multi-family, hotel, shopping centers and regional malls. Of recent note, Bonnie Neuman took leadership of the practice group following the retirement of William McInerney. Neuman's key strengths include loan restructuring, loan servicing and non-performing loan securitizations, in addition to secondary market dispositions of mezzanine and mortgage loans. Neuman heads the practice from the New York office, which also includes special counsel Nicholas Brandfon, a name to note for the financing of office and condominium assets. Holly Chamberlain in Charlotte has experience in preferred equity investments, unsecured loans, workouts and single-family rental bridge facilities.

Practice head(s):

Bonnie Neuman

Other key lawyers:

Holly Chamberlain; Nicholas Brandfon; Christopher Dickson

Key clients

Arbor Commercial Mortgage LLC

Bank of America, N.A.

Citigroup Global Markets Inc.

Credit Suisse AG

Deutsche Bank Securities Inc.


JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.

Morgan Stanley Bank, N.A.

Regions Financial Corporation

U.S. Bank, N.A.

Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.

Work highlights

  • Represented JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. and Morgan Stanley Bank, N.A. as co-lenders in a $741.5m securitized mortgage loan to refinance a portfolio of 80 industrial properties, three data center properties, one office property and two vacant land parcels owned by subsidiaries of Link Industrial Properties, LLC, the US warehouse platform of Blackstone Real Estate Advisors L.P.
  • Counsel to Citibank, N.A. as administrative agent and lender in a $120m mortgage loan to finance the acquisition of 26 self-storage facilities by a partnership between Centerbridge Partners, L.P. and Merit Hill Capital.
  • Counsel to JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. as lender in an approximately $1.1bn securitized refinancing for a portfolio of triple-net-leased properties for Stonemont Financial Group of Atlanta, Georgia.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

Based in New York, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton is active across the spectrum of commercial real estate finance, from loan restructuring and syndication, acquisition and repurchase facilities, mezzanine financing and commercial mortgage-backed securities through to construction and development loans and property foreclosures. Michael Weinberger is highly regarded by issuers, lenders and borrowers alike for cross-state mortgage and mezzanine loan transactions pertaining to office, hotel, industrial, retail, casino and multi-family assets; he jointly chairs the practice with Kimberly Blacklow who has core expertise in intercreditor agreements, credit tenant lease financing and asset-based warehouse lending. The duo are supported by Daniel Reynolds, who has recently advised Brookfield Asset Management in relation to hospitality and retail loans impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, as well the recently promoted Aron Zuckerman, who regularly acts for Goldman Sachs in multibillion-dollar financings.

Practice head(s):

Kimberly Blacklow; Michael Weinberger

Other key lawyers:

Aron Zuckerman; Daniel Reynolds; Joseph Lanzkron

Key clients

Brookfield Asset Management

Goldman Sachs

J.P. Morgan

ESL Investments


KSL Capital Partners

The Carlyle Group


Terra Capital

Banco Inbursa

Work highlights

  • Represented Goldman in the origination of a $900m mortgage loan to affiliates of Blackstone in connection with the financing of a portfolio of office and movie studio properties located in Los Angeles, California.
  • Represented BREF V Series B LLC, a Brookfield fund focused on real estate lending, as mezzanine lender in the origination of a $103.5m mezzanine loan and a $200m mortgage loan to real estate investment manager Savanna, which Savanna used to acquire 1375 Broadway, a 27-story office building in midtown Manhattan.
  • Represented The Carlyle Group in the origination of a $375m mortgage loan to a joint venture of the Related Companies and Oxford Properties Group in the financing of the Hudson Yards Observation Deck.

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP

A ‘practice at the bleeding edge of complex real estate transactions’, Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP acts for ‘well-heeled borrowers and the largest institutional lenders’ in mortgage, preferred equity, construction and mezzanine financings, portfolio loans, workouts, CMBS and restructurings. Michael Barker (‘a super experienced, terrific lawyer’) serves as practice chair, a position he has held since the team's establishment in 2010. Barker is supported by the ‘extremely sharpMichael Vines, who focuses on commercial loan origination on behalf of syndicate, balance sheet and capital market lenders. Suzanne deVries Decker is another ‘standout’ name with extensive experience in mortgage, mezzanine and preferred equity financings relating to office, hotel, and multi-family assets. Below the partner level, associate Matthew Bettinger is carving out a strong reputation for handling multi-tiered intercreditor agreements. Named lawyers are based in the New York office.

Practice head(s):

Michael Barker

Other key lawyers:

Michael Vines; Suzanne deVries Decker; Matthew Bettinger; Nathaniel Lifschitz; Kabaye Liku


‘Great business lawyers with a wealth of knowledge. They are thoughtful, available 24/7, technically competent and know how to get the deals done.’

‘Michael Barker is super experienced and a terrific lawyer; detail oriented and impressive in his overall judgment.’

‘Fried Frank has broadest bench in real estate of any firm. They represent well-heeled borrowers and the largest institutional lenders, so they know where the give-and-take is and what the end result should be. They are super smart and always great advocates for your positions.’

‘Michael Barker is a stand-out as well as Suzanne Decker.  Of course, the head of the firm, Jon Mechanic, is without dispute the most well-known real estate law in New York and he knows absolutely everyone.’

‘They are top tier practice at the bleeding edge of market developments in complex real estate transactions.’

‘Michael Vines is extremely sharp and is on top of the latest market developments; when he is on your deal you know you nothing is going to slip through the cracks and when it comes to a complex transaction he is always one step ahead in identifying problems and coming to you with solutions.’

‘Michael Barker is a fantastic negotiator. He always manages to get the point across in a way that is collaborative and turns the temperatures down while getting you to the right place.’

Work highlights

  • Counsel to JPMorgan on various complex, high-profile transactions, including the $550m construction financing relating to Vista Tower, Chicago’s third-tallest skyscraper with 406 luxury condominium residences above a 191-room 5-star hotel.
  • Counsel to Blackstone in numerous complex real estate transactions, including the $1.8bn financing for Tishman Speyer’s construction of The Spiral, a 2.8 million-square foot trophy office building located in the Hudson Yards district of New York City.
  • Counsel to Brookfield in numerous complex real estate finance transactions, including the $1.8bn refinancing of the office condominium unit at One Manhattan West, comprising 2.1 million square feet of office space across 65 floors within Brookfield’s new 70-story, Class A office tower in New York City.

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Morrison & Foerster LLP is recognized for its leading reputation for advice on large-scale syndicated term and construction loans that involve multiple forms of debt. Its services also include development, conduit and mezzanine loans, interest rate swaps, net lease financing, and co-lender and intercreditor agreements. Mark Edelstein leads the global real estate department and also serves as co-chair of the distressed real estate group, frequently supporting his clients in bankruptcy, workout and restructuring matters; he operates from New York alongside Christopher Delson, a key contact for securitized, mezzanine subscription and REIT credit facility transactions, as well as debt and equity investments. Over on the West Coast, Los Angeles-based Thomas Fileti (‘one of the smartest and most thoughtful attorneys in the market') is a specialist in the financing of hotels and resorts in addition to credit and master lease transactions pertaining to corporate property. At the more junior end, up-and-coming partner Keith Print, who divides time between Miami and New York, is a star name for multi-family apartment and office building project financing.

Practice head(s):

Mark Edelstein

Other key lawyers:

Thomas Fileti; Jeffrey Temple; Lawrence Ceriello; Philip Levine; Christopher Delson; Keith Print


‘Morrison & Foerster is a leader in real estate finance, and has been such for a number of years.’

‘Tom Fileti is one of the smartest and most thoughtful attorneys in the market today.’

Key clients


Capital One

CIBC World Markets





Wells Fargo

GLP Pte. Ltd.

Goldman Sachs



Tishman Speyer

Work highlights

  • Represented Wells Fargo Bank as the lead in the $973m construction loan to Oxford Property Group and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board for the construction of Google’s new campus in Hudson Square in New York City.
  • Represented Wells Fargo in its role as the administrative agent and lead arranger of a $1.8bn construction loan for an office and retail tower located at 50 Hudson Yards.
  • Acted for JPMorgan in relation to a $550m construction loan for the Salesforce Tower Chicago.

Eversheds Sutherland

Eversheds Sutherland handles both lender- and borrower-side mandates, but is recognized in particular for its advice to institutional lenders and investors. Its varied workload includes construction and permanent mortgage loans, mezzanine and subordinate lending matters, among others. In Washington DC, Lisa Rosen handles both loan origination and restructuring matters and has been particularly active for clients involved in loan securitizations and debt financing. Rosen chairs the practice jointly with New York-based John Benson, a REMIC regulation specialist who is also well versed in affiliated debt products, structured finance and the resolution of non-performing or sub-performing assets. At the more junior end, Atlanta-based counsel Ellen Smith is noted as an ‘absolute expert in hospitality-related loans’.

Practice head(s):

Lisa Rosen; John Benson

Other key lawyers:

Ellen Smith; William Rothschild; David Reid; John Busillo; Virginia Worthy


The team is very easy to work with, collegial, and professional.’

‘This firm does well with diversity, and they seem to be on or ahead of the curve in term of exploring new technology or AI.  The firms global capabilities are also valuable.’

‘We work a lot with David Reid and have found him to be a valuable partner.  We have also enjoyed working with Virginia Worthy and Ellen Smith.’

‘The Real Estate Finance team at Eversheds Sutherland provides top-notch legal services at competitive rates. The team has the experience and knowledge that my internal business teams demand and a level of responsiveness that I truly appreciate. Client communication sets the team at Eversheds apart from the other firms we work with. In a fast paced transaction environment, I know I can count on the attorneys I work with at Eversheds to raise issues in a timely and efficient manner so that all parties can achieve timing objectives.’

‘My company prioritizes diversity in the outside counsel that we work with and we are called to increase pressure on our outside attorneys to build diverse teams to work on our matters. I know I can count on the team at ES to do this without my asking or pushing. Eversheds Sutherland has regularly brought a team of attorneys to visit our campus headquarters – they have presented to our teams on hot topics and have worked to build relationships with the people in our law department and our business partners.’

‘David Reid is a trusted advisor to my organization. David has assisted on numerous transactions but he has also been willing to be a resource to our teams for market feedback and input on unrelated issues. David is a clear and organized communicator, he is very responsive and diligent, and he makes my team feel valued by scheduling regular in-person visits and training sessions. David is also skilled in putting teams together (associates and partners) to staff transactions appropriately in a way that minimizes legal fees for my clients while still providing top-notch legal advice. Ellen Smith and Jenny Worthy have also been valuable resources for my team. Ellen’s knowledge of the hotel space has been particularly valuable given the dynamics in that industry caused by the global pandemic. I feel very fortunate to get to work with such a talented group of attorneys at Eversheds Sutherland.’

‘I have worked with John Busillo at his previous firms for over 20 years and have always found him to put clients first.  His attention to detail is unmatched.’

‘The firm does an excellent job pairing up counsel that matches the personality of their client , which allows the client to have a more seamless working partner with our counsel. This has worked seamlessly as I have worked with the Real Estate Finance team and worked well with Fund Formation team as well. I also think they staff appropriately, keeping lean teams which results in faster decision making and less duplication of work.’

‘John Busillo is a sophisticated experienced real estate transactional attorney and has a unique ability to assemble a team of the right people across multiple offices to provide the right level of expertise efficiently and cost effectively.  This was critical in the several engagements he performed for our company where the projects were large, complicated and moved quickly.’ 

‘Every good firm knows the law, this team has an incredible knowledge base combined with strong common/business sense. Always responsive and thinking about the impact on the business all the while insuring that the legal is perfect.’

‘Strong intellectual counsel that are able to balance the difference between legal and business thought processes.’

‘William Rothschild is the primary attorney we work with. He is phenomenal. I know I will never be outlawyered with him in our corner. He has the best interest of the bank in mind and his pushback is always handled with logic and intellect, taking away most of the counterarguments and diffusing tense situations with his demeanor and delivery.’

‘They have a real depth of talent; I have not worked with any individual in the firm that I do not rate in the top of their field.’

‘Collaboration has been key to my desire to make Evershed my top go-to counsel in new/existing relationships.’

‘The attorneys I work with at Eversheds know your business. It allows them to become part of the decision making team as opposed to reacting to request from the client. Helping to solve problems upfront leads to a much smoother closing process and is greatly appreciate by my business partner.’

Greenberg Traurig, LLP

Greenberg Traurig, LLP complements its market-leading dirt real estate practice with an experienced finance team, which is proficient in all manner of highly structured loan types, namely construction, development, bridge, mezzanine and securitized. The group also has experience advising on all major asset classes. A key differentiator for the team is its prowess in the sale, purchase and restructuring of mortgage and mezzanine loans secured against single assets and multiple property collateral pools. Chicago-based duo Corey Light and Michael Baum jointly chair the practice alongside Richard Giusto in Miami and Stephen Rabinowitz, a preferred equity specialist, who operates from New York. Farah Ahmed is also integral to the team, particularly in the negotiation of co-lender, intercreditor and participation relationships.

Practice head(s):

Corey Light; Michael Baum; Richard Giusto; Stephen Rabinowitz

Other key lawyers:

Farah Ahmed; Adam Goldstein

Key clients

Adler Group

American Finance Trust, Inc.

Canada Life

Cindat USA LLC

Core Spaces

Davidson Kemper

Denihan Hospitality Group

Footprint Power LLC

GFI Capital

Hope Street Capital

Podium Developer LLC


SL Green Realty Corp.

Square Mile Capital Management LLC

Work highlights

  • Representation of Square Mile Capital Management LLC in connection with its joint venture with Innovo Property Group in the construction financing totaling $305m for the development of a 1 million-square foot, two-story, Class A logistics and distribution facility at 2505 Bruckner Boulevard, Bronx, NY.
  • Advised long-time client GFI Capital on the acquisition of an additional 61% stake in the James Hotel from a partner, a private real estate investment fund, in a $110.5m deal.
  • Representation of developer in connection with the $180.3m construction financing of a mixed-use project located on two adjacent ground leased parcels in Brooklyn.

Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP

An ‘extraordinarily talented’ real estate finance group, the team at Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP handles a caseload consisting of workouts and restructurings, the sale and purchase of real estate debt instruments, secured financings and preferred equity investments, among other matters. The department is proficient in all mainstream asset classes and has recently been increasingly active in the financing of affordable housing, and life sciences and healthcare properties. In New York, Brett Gross focuses on construction, hospitality, securitized and portfolio mortgage lending; he jointly heads the department with Laurie Grasso, also based in New York, and Howard Schreiber who works from the Dallas office.

Practice head(s):

Brett Gross; Laurie Grasso; Howard Schreiber

Other key lawyers:

Kathleen Wu; Matt Halal; Peter Mignone


‘The real estate finance team is top notch in every aspect including responsiveness, client knowledge, market knowledge and business practicality.’

‘The commercial real estate finance team goes above and beyond in every respect. Peter Mignone, Brett Gross and Matt Halal have always been willing to get on the phone whenever they are needed.  Matt Halal step up tremendously when opposing counsel had a stroke the night before closing to make sure the loan was prepared to close the next day. Their legal advice is always business practical and comprehensive.’

‘Brett Gross and his team are extraordinarily talented.  The thing that stands out for me the most is how they relate to the client. They explain issues clearly so everyone in the audience can understand. Clients like working with me because I work with Brett and his team.  They are a real compliment to my business, which is something I can’t say about any other firm I work with.’

‘Brett Gross is the best partner in any firm I have worked with. We are in a business where most individuals on the counsel side are smart. Brett gets it from the business side and has the unique ability to relate to my clients.  It is a breath of fresh air in that peer set.’

‘High level of market knowledge as they represent many institutional lenders; very committed to their clients; always willing to work within our budget while still maintaining the high level of representation.’

‘Brett Gross is always very responsive; he stays involved in deals even though he’s a partner; very helpful in bringing potential issues to light and offering solutions; very patient with clients.’

‘Client relationship is very strong. Excellent communications skills. Extremely experienced in all types of real estate transactions. Very responsive and efficient in representing our interests.’

‘Very efficient and clear in their billing. Have not missed a beat despite mostly working from home as a result of the pandemic.’

‘Howard Schreiber, who has represented us for over 20 years, is tremendously responsive and effective as our advocate in all types of real estate transactions. Over the years, Howard has done a terrific job representing our position as seller, purchaser, lender, landlord or tenant. He has been very effective in managing teams of associates who work on our real estate transactions.’

‘Howard Schreiber is genuinely concerned about our business dealings and shares the common goals to get our deals closed.’

‘The firm definitely keeps up with technological innovations and they discuss documents and drafts with me and others prior to finalizing. Their billing is fair and has never been inaccurate as it is my responsibility to verify same.’

‘Howard Schreiber is extremely knowledgeable in the real estate arena, He is an excellent communicator, He is usually always available within a very reasonable time frame if I have an urgent need; he hires intelligent people and trains them well.’

Key clients

ABANCA Corporación Bancaria, S.A.

Banco de Sabadell, S.A.

Beal Bank

Chatham Lodging Trust

Work highlights

  • Represented Beal Bank USA in connection with the acquisition of permanent financing in the amount of $350m for the Circus Circus Casino and Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada.
  • Represented two institutional lenders in the origination of a $421.5m mortgage loan with future advance features, encumbering the fee and leasehold estates in an office building in Boston, Massachusetts.
  • Represented a REIT in a joint venture with a $755m mortgage loan and mezzanine loans totalling $95m to refinance a portfolio of 46 hotels across the US.

Jones Day

Jones Day runs a lender-focused finance practice with an expansive geographical footprint, fielding key lawyers throughout the US, who often find themselves working with parallel teams in the firm’s offices in Europe and Latin America. The group is well placed to handle matters across the spectrum of real estate and mortgage finance, from construction, CMBS, syndication and convertible loans through to interest rate swaps and revolving terms. In San Francisco, David Paulson is particularly busy in the areas of hotel, golf resort and shopping mall-related financings; he co-chairs the practice together with Atlanta-based Richard Rosenblatt, who has a track record of handling countless high-value financings in the healthcare, homebuilder, industrial, multi-family, office and student housing sectors.

Practice head(s):

David Paulson; Richard Rosenblatt

Other key lawyers:

John Rafkin; Gregory Carpenter; Mark Appelbaum; David Woods

Key clients

Bank of America Corp.

Fifth Third Bank

Goldman Sachs Bank USA


Mill Creek Residential Trust LLC

Trammell Crow Residential

U.S. Bank, National Association

Webster Bank

Wells Fargo Bank

Work highlights

  • Represented Wells Fargo Bank, National Association, as administrative agent, in connection with the refinancing and upsizing of a $1.5bn credit facility secured by four Gaylord-branded destination resort and conference centers.
  • Advised Mill Creek Residential Trust LLC in a number of deals comprising more than $2.35bn in aggregate value, including 12 construction and term loans in excess of $860m.
  • Represented Wells Fargo Bank, National Association, as administrative agent, in connection with a $865.7m revolving and term loan facility secured by 120 industrial properties spread across seven states.

Shearman & Sterling LLP

Under the leadership of New York-based Malcolm Montgomery, Shearman & Sterling LLP is geared to handle an array of structured finance, corporate credit facility and lending mandates. The team represents borrowers and financial institutions in mezzanine, mortgage and asset-based loans and is also well equipped to advise on investment structuring, loan modifications, workouts, restructurings, securitized loans and syndicated financings. The firm is a destination of choice for major domestic, Canadian, Mexican and German banks, REITs, servicers and virtually all forms of investors; a key differentiator is its expert knowledge of Mexico’s real estate market, owing to Montgomery’s experience in structuring and closing local transactions.

Practice head(s):

Malcolm Montgomery

Other key lawyers:

Lisa Brill; Kris Ferranti

Key clients

Citibank, N.A.

Deutsche Bank

Landesbank Baden-Württemberg

Shorenstein Properties

GTIS Partners

Metropolitan Life Insurance Company

SL Green Realty Corp.

Credit Suisse

Strategic Capital

Wafra Partners LLC

RBC Capital Markets

U.S. Bank National Association

Work highlights

  • Advised Citibank, N.A. as administrative agent and left lead arranger in connection with a $3bn senior unsecured revolving facility for Alexandria Real Estate Equities.
  • Represented RBC Capital Markets in providing a bridge financing commitment to finance the $2.4bn acquisition and privatization of Front Yard Residential Corporation by a venture formed by Pretium Partners and Ares Management Corporation.
  • Represented Deutsche Bank AG New York Branch as administrative agent in the restructuring of $1.02bn in syndicated senior revolving credit and term loan facilities for Summit Hotel Properties.

Arent Fox LLP

Arent Fox LLP has recognized expertise in bond financing, new market tax credits, local tax subsidies and the real estate components of municipal bankruptcies. Washington DC-based Kenneth Jacob is a key contact and is a specialist in mortgage and mezzanine vehicles. The other standout name is Richard Brand, who divides time between DC and San Francisco, and has expertise in both borrower and lender-side representation for debt and equity transactions, real estate workouts, reorganizations and restructurings.

Practice head(s):

Thomas Castiello

Other key lawyers:

Kenneth Jacob; Richard Brand

Key clients

Blackstone and Longview Senior Housing Advisors

Fannie Mae

South Bay Partners, LLC

DSC Partners LLC

Trinitas Partners

Opportunity Finance Network

Cherner Development

Federal Capital Partners

Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute

State Farm Insurance

Work highlights

  • Acting on the structuring the first-ever Fannie Mae-HDC risk shared loan, including with respect to the servicing, loss allocation, and intercreditor arrangements, with a matter value of approximately $265m.
  • Advised DSC Partners, a District of Columbia-based investment group, on the acquisition and financing of 28 office and flex buildings for $149m.
  • Served as counsel to Opportunity Finance Network, a non-profit community development financial institution, on a $100m financing under US Treasury Department Community Development Financial Institution’s Bond Guarantee Program

Arnold & Porter

The real estate finance department at Arnold & Porter caters to a client roster of investment banks, financial institutions, developers and institutional investors, advising on a broad variety of conventional financing, workout, restructuring, bankruptcy and capital market transactions. The group is based in New York, where key contacts include co-chairs Jeffrey Kapner and Steve Gliatta, a lawyer thoroughly experience in mortgage loans, mezzanine financings and preferred equity investments. Another standout name is Louis Hait, who in addition to supporting lenders on inter-creditor and co-lender agreements, frequently acts for hedge and opportunity funds, and pension plans in preferred equity and common equity joint venture agreements.

Practice head(s):

Jeffrey Kapner; Steve Gliatta; Amy Rifkind

Other key lawyers:

Louis Hait

Key clients

LoanCore Capital

Square Mile Capital Management

Argentic Real Estate Finance LLC

Prime Finance Partners

ACORE Capital

MUFG Union Bank

Société Générale

Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board

Credit Agricole

Deutsche Bank

USAA Real Estate Company

Work highlights

  • Advised Square Mile Capital Management on its $225m construction loan for the ground-up construction of a multi-family project in Astoria, Queens, New York.
  • Advised LoanCore Capital on two concurrent mortgage loans totaling $110m to a joint venture of affiliates of MLP Ventures and Lubert-Adler Real Estate Funds for the phased development of a mixed-use development (including residential, retail and office uses) located in Malvern, Pennsylvania.
  • Advised Credit Agricole on a $430m mortgage loan facility to affiliates of Brookfield Property REIT secured by six shopping centers located in three different states.

Ballard Spahr LLP

Lawyers at Ballard Spahr LLP are experienced in the negotiation, structuring, documentation, closing and servicing of mortgage, development and construction loans in addition to mezzanine, syndicated and securitized lending. The department is home to dedicated CMBS loan origination, private equity and insurance sub-practices, in addition to a distressed real estate team which lends support on restructuring, enforcement, rescue capital and loan sale transactions. Los Angeles-based Siobhan O’Donnell is an expert in both borrower- and lender-side work, catering to a client roster of institutional and investment banks and insurance companies, developers and real estate investment companies. Elsewhere, Thomas Hauser in Baltimore has built a prominent reputation for multi-family, senior living, student housing, biotech and retail-related financings.

Practice head(s):

Dominic De Simone; Emilie Ninan; Bart Mellits; Thomas Hauser; Siobhan O’Donnell

Other key lawyers:

Kelly Wrenn; Christopher Payne

Key clients

Wexford Science &Technology, LLC

Denver Housing Authority

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)

Weller Development Company

CGA Capital, LLC

Pantzer – Panco Strategic Real Estate Fund IV

Equus Capital Partners, Ltd.

New York City Housing Authority

East West Partners

Work highlights

  • Counsel for lender as syndicate agent and lender of a $320m syndicated loan for a portfolio of industrial properties across the US.
  • Represented CGA Capital, LLC in the sale leaseback of Duke Energy’s new corporate headquarters located in Charlotte, North Carolina.
  • Represented the FDIC as sponsor in connection with (a) amendments of trust documents for two large residential mortgage securitization trusts, in order to permit the liquidation of mortgage loan assets to the market, (b) the auction process, and (c) the sale of all of the performing and non-performing mortgage loans to the winning bidder, including the rendering of all required REMIC tax opinions.


Dentons is a go-to choice for a varied list of lender clients, such as domestic and international banks, debt funds and life insurance companies. In New York, Gary Goodman is the main contact for finance work. He has experience advising on mezzanine lending, fee and leasehold construction and term financings, refinancings and workouts. The firm is home to a dedicated real estate tax credits practice, primed to support with tax-advantaged investments.

Practice head(s):

John Snyder

Other key lawyers:

Gary Goodman; Jonathan Jacobs

Key clients

The Blackstone Group

Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen Girozentrale (Helaba)

Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance


Greenland US Holding, Inc.

PNC Bank

Clarion Partners

United Overseas Bank

VanTrust Real Estate

LNR Partners

Riverside Investment and Development

Landmark Properties, Inc.

Work highlights

  • Acting on a $155m loan for the acquisition of a residential building with ground floor retail space in Seattle.
  • Acting on a $122m construction loan for the conversion of the historic Del Monte Warehouse in Alameda, California, into a 380-unit multifamily development.
  • Representing KeyBank as agent and lead lender with Summit Hotel Properties’ restructuring of two term loans and a separate senior credit facility.

Mayer Brown

At Mayer Brown, Charlotte-based David Saye is among the key contacts for real estate finance, owing to his record of acting for both lenders and borrowers in permanent loan and construction financing. The team has particular expertise in bilateral and syndicated facilities and also has experience in innovative transaction structures.

Practice head(s):

Brian Aronson

Other key lawyers:

David Saye

Key clients

Allianz Real Estate of America LLC

Capstone Asset Management

CBIC, Inc.

CBRE Global Investors

Cornerstone Real Estate Advisors

Deka Immobilien Investment GmbH


Hangang Asset Management


Wells Fargo Capital Financial

Work highlights

  • Represented CIBC Inc., as loan seller and sponsor, in the issuance by BBCMS Mortgage Trust 2019-C4 of the BBCMS 2019-C4, Commercial Mortgage Pass-Through Certificates, Series 2019-C4, with an aggregate balance of approximately $900m.
  • Acting on the structuring, origination and immediate securitization, on behalf of the borrower, of a loan encumbering more than 2,700 single family real estate properties in 14 states.
  • Represented Capstone Asset Management and Western Asset Management Company, as lenders, in jointly making a $300m junior mezzanine loan to Triple Five Group, the developer of American Dream Meadowlands, a retail and entertainment complex under construction in East Rutherford, New Jersey.


Milbank is a prominent player in the transactional space where it handles an array of deal-types, from debt, equity and preferred equity structures through to debt-to-equity, structured finance and joint venture models. The team has specialist knowledge of UCC foreclosures and distressed debt workouts which involve CMBS and capital stacks; it is also recognized for its work in the hospitality and gaming space where it supports on debt, equity and joint venture transactions. New York-based Kevin O’Shea leads the department and is an expert in mortgage loans, securitizations, complicated equity investments and mezzanine financings.

Practice head(s):

Kevin O’Shea

Other key lawyers:

Erwin Dweck; Yaakov Sheinfeld

Key clients

Annaly Commercial Real Estate Group, Inc.

Apollo Global Management

Artemis Real Estate Partners


Eldorado Resorts, Inc.

Fortress Investment Group

Garrison Investment Group

HPS Investment Partners

JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.

Mapletree Investments

MGM Resorts International

ONYX Equities LLC

Otéra Capital

Pacific Investment Management Company, LLC (a/k/a PIMCO)

Pontiac Land Group

Prospect Ridge Advisors (A/K/A AllianceBernstein Real Estate)

DWS (f/k/a RREEF and Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management)

Sahara Group

SL Green Realty Corp.

State General Reserve Fund of the Sultanate of Oman

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

Taconic Capital Partners

TPG Real Estate

Triangle Real Estate

Work highlights

  • Represented SL Green Realty Corp. and Bank of China, New York Branch in connection with the origination of a mortgage and mezzanine construction loan to affiliates of David Bistricer’s Clipper Equity to finance the ground-up development of three new multi-story mixed-use buildings.
  • Represented PIMCO as investment adviser for Allianz in connection with the acquisition of 100% of the 144A bonds secured, indirectly, by the fee mortgage on 325 Ninth Avenue N, in Seattle Washington, an Amazon anchored office building.
  • Represented the New York and Tokyo Branches of Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation as administrative agent and a lender in connection with a Yen-denominated Syndicated Revolving Facility to a Japan-based affiliate of Prologis L.P. which provides additional capital to Prologis’ Japan operations.

Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP

Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP represents lenders and borrowers in their commercial and mezzanine lending pursuits, directing a high degree of emphasis toward capital markets and structured finance techniques aimed at maximizing investments. Department chair Julian Wise has expertise across senior and multi-tranche mezzanine financings, restructurings and loan acquisitions, in addition to a wealth of experience in co-lender, participation, intercreditor and preferred equity agreements. Seth Henslovitz operates from New York alongside Wise, and is recommended for mortgage financing, workouts and joint venture negotiations. The team is particularly accomplished in matters relating to hotel, residential, retail and industrial assets and enjoys a formidable reputation among alternative investment clients and private equity funds.

Practice head(s):

Julian Wise

Other key lawyers:

Seth Henslovitz; Ari Aranda

Key clients

Albertsons Companies

Blackstone Real Estate

Festival Companies

Fortress Investment Group

Mack Real Estate

Menlo Equities

Meritz Securities

Monday Properties

Work highlights

  • Advised Mack in relation to BentallGreenOak and Slate Property Group’s refinancing of the Oriana at River Tower, a luxury rental building in the Midtown East neighborhood of Manhattan.
  • Represented Blackstone in respect of a mezzanine loan to affiliates of Tishman Speyer, a major real estate developer, with the loan secured by interests in three properties in the upscale Beverly Hills neighborhood.
  • Advised on the refinancing and development of the Turnberry Ocean Club in Sunny Isles, Florida; located just to the north of Miami, this is a luxury residential condominium tower standing 649 feet tall with 54 stories and featuring 154 three to six bedroom residences.

Seyfarth Shaw LLP

The team at Seyfarth Shaw LLP has an ‘exemplary depth of knowledge in real estate finance matters’; its core fields of expertise are permanent, bridge, capital market, portfolio, mezzanine and construction financing, preferred equity sales and loan dispositions and purchases. The team is chaired by New York-based Daniel Evans, primarily focused on the structuring and closing of mezzanine and mortgage loans, as well as Jay Wardlaw, who operates from Atlanta and has a track record in hotel financings. San Francisco-based Robin Freeman frequently acts for healthcare lenders in respect of financings at nursing and assisted living facilities; and Arren Goldman in Charlotte serves as co-chair of the distressed situations department, which lends support on workout and restructuring matters.

Practice head(s):

Daniel Evans; Jay Wardlaw

Other key lawyers:

Robin Freeman; Arren Goldman; Andrew Pearlstein; Amadeo Cantu; Tamaron Houston; Elizabeth Dahill


‘The Seyfarth team is uniquely equipped to figure out complex real estate finance transactions having served clients through numerous real estate cycles. Seyfarth brings to bear knowledge that is hard to come by if individuals have not lived and worked thru the peaks and troughs of real estate.’

‘Andrew Pearlstein is very knowledgeable and a solution-oriented attorney. He has the ability to take complex issues and distill them down to a discrete list of what is most important. This comes from having worked extensively over the years on new, underperforming, and non-performing real estate investments.  He’s constantly seeking to improve his knowledge base on legal matters and incorporate them into the latest financial documents.’

‘Partners are very business-minded and client-focused. They work efficiently with counterparties in an amicable manner to keep the deal moving forward.’

‘Depth of knowledge on finance has been exemplary.’

‘Have been very helpful with compliance with lenders.’

‘Amadeo Cantu is our point person and keeps us up to date on compliance issues with our banks and has been invaluable in increasing our own knowledge and understanding of our relationship and responsibility to our lenders.’

‘Seyfarth has a super strong team top to bottom, and they are great at leveraging technology to improve efficiency without losing the personal touch. They also go the extra mile with ancillary client services like trainings, sharing industry knowledge, providing ad hoc unbilled legal advice, etc.  They are our go-to firm.’

‘Innovation is an area where Seyfarth excels as compared to other firms.  Seyfarth has developed technology and processes that ensure that due diligence and similar work is done in an efficient and cost effective manner by matching the work with associates and paralegals at the appropriate level who have immediate availability. This helps deals move quickly without driving up costs. They have also developed applications that help deals flow smoothly and keep clients informed.’

‘Jay Wardlaw, Tamaron Houston and Dan Evans all combine superb technical skills with great soft skills. They are responsive, articulate and just pleasant to work with.’

‘Elizabeth Dahill is an associate with great technical skills and a focus on client service.’

‘Responsive and accurate work product.’

Key clients

New York Life Insurance Company (NYL)

Ocotillo LA Pico, an affiliate of Goldstein Planting, Inc. (GPI)

Truist Bank (formally known as SunTrust Bank)

Work highlights

  • Represented New York Life Insurance Company, as lender, in a $98.2m loan secured by three industrial properties in California (Norco, Carson, and Los Alamitos).
  • Represented Truist Bank in a construction loan for a 250-unit apartment complex.
  • Represented Ocotillo LA Pico, an affiliate of Goldstein Planting, Inc. (GPI), in a $115m loan for the construction and re-development of the Macy’s Parcel at the Westside Pavilion in Los Angeles, California.

Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP

Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP's real estate department has core strengths in dirt law, real estate fund structuring and capital formation. Department co-chair Brian Diamond in New York has a solid track record in mortgage and mezzanine lending and is also recognized for his experience in workout and restructuring matters. He is supported on-site by Michael McCarthy, a specialist in loan sales and purchases and capital market transactions, as well as Elsa Ben Shimon, whose strengths lie in the financing of office, retail, industrial, multi-family and condominium assets. Public and private REITs, institutional and private investors, funds and fund sponsors are among the team's clients.

Practice head(s):

Jeff Keitelman; Brian Diamond

Other key lawyers:

Michael McCarthy; Evan Hudson; Elsa Ben Shimon

Key clients

UBS Asset Management

J.P. Morgan Investment Management Inc.

Brookfield Real Estate Financial Partners

Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB)

Bank of America, N.A.


Mesa West Capital

Oaktree Capital Management, L.P.

Pfizer, Inc.

AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company

Work highlights

  • Represented JPM’s Income & Growth Fund in connection with a $400m refinancing of 498 Seventh Avenue, New York, New York, with MetLife.
  • Advised a joint venture composed of a qualified opportunity zone (QOZ) fund sponsored by JPMorgan Asset Management and The Bozzuto Group closed on the acquisition of property and construction financing from Bank of America in the maximum principal amount of $103.8m, for the development of a multi-use project composed of residential and retail uses in College Park, Maryland.
  • Represented J.P. Morgan Asset Management, the borrower in the refinance of a $1.2bn loan secured by the mortgage of its Century Plaza Towers office building located in Los Angeles.