Real Estate Law
The practice of real estate law involves a varied and often highly complex set of activities centering on sales and acquisitions, title, land use, environmental, development, leasing, finance, joint ventures, restructuring and workouts, and litigation. In today’s environment, a full service real estate law firm should be able to offer expertise in the following areas:
- Sales and Acquisitions. The representation of buyers and sellers in the acquisition and disposition of the various kinds of real estate including commercial real estate, shopping centers, hotels, industrial properties, residential properties, and planned unit development communities.
- The examination of title to real estate for liens, judgment and encumbrances of all kind and communicating with title insurance policies.
- Land Use and Environmental. Land use entitlements, due diligence investigations, Brownfield developments, and compliance with Federal, State and Local Environmental Laws and Regulations.
- The negotiation and preparation of development and construction agreements and the other documents required to develop and construct office buildings, shopping centers, mixed-use projects, free-standing units, and industrial sites.
- The negotiation and preparation of office, retail, and industrial leases and long-term ground leases.
- The representation of lenders and borrowers in real estate secured loan originations, loan sales, and purchases and other debt arrangements, including permanent financings, construction loans, bridge loans, mezzanine financing, REO properties for institutional and private lenders, and work-out of portfolios of non-performing loans.
- Joint Ventures. A very large proportion of real estate transactions involve joint ventures between financial sources and developers. Therefore, a real estate attorney must be able to structure and negotiate agreements of all types with clients: agreements among individuals, limited liability company operating agreements, shareholder agreements, and other forms of joint venture arrangements and advise on the tax aspects of the transactions.
- Restructuring and Workouts. Real estate transactions are never always successful and, therefore, lawyers must be able to advise lenders, borrowers, partners, landlords, tenants, and developers when a transaction goes bad. A good real estate attorney will always have an exit strategy for their client. This will involve transactional, bankruptcy, tax, and litigation work. It will include loan modifications, foreclosures, deeds in lieu of foreclosure, discounted loan payoffs, loan forbearances, REO sales, joint venture modifications, buy/sells, forced sales, lease and development modifications, bankruptcies, receivership actions, and guarantee actions.
- Litigation in the real estate area involves the representations of real estate owners, buyers, sellers, lessors, brokers, lenders, and developers in, among other things, contract disputes, mechanics lien and construction disputes, eminent domain proceedings, title disputes, loan service and foreclosure issues, and bankruptcy.