Practice/Industry Group Overview
Sutherland attorneys navigate complex real estate finance and capital market transactions, successfully and efficiently achieving our client’s goals.
It takes a multidisciplinary approach to successfully handle complex real estate structured finance and capital markets transactions. Sutherland works with clients and other transaction participants to appropriately address legal issues and achieve business objectives. Our broad and diverse real estate finance, capital markets and commercial loan servicing practice is among the most sophisticated in the country, representing major banks, insurance companies, pension funds, commercial mortgage servicers and special servicers, domestic and foreign investors and other market leaders in all types of real estate financings. We understand financing issues and underlying collateral matters. We represent nationally recognized lenders in construction and permanent loans, multistate financings, leasehold financings, sale/leaseback transactions, variable rate financings, participating mortgages, subordinate lending, mezzanine lending and preferred equity structures.
Each member of Sutherland’s real estate structured finance transactions team has a thorough understanding of real estate fundamentals, including construction, development, leasing, title issues and ownership structures, all critical to adequately addressing our clients’ real estate finance issues. Sutherland’s deep bench of partners with decades of experience in real estate practice gives us the ability to call on seasoned veterans with knowledge in the real estate acquisition and development, leasing, retail, multifamily, hospitality, timber and agribusiness, pension fund and investment advisory fund investment sectors.
Sutherland also advises on relevant tax issues, such as the REMIC, REIT and ERISA rules, securities law issues applicable to the placement of the financing and the structure of the lender, insurance regulatory issues, perfection issues, bankruptcy issues and litigation risk involved in real estate structured finance transactions. Our team has developed substantial experience with the rating agencies’ requirements and the regulatory framework governing complex real estate transactions. We regularly draw upon other practices at Sutherland for their deep experience and broad perspective, but maintain a single point of contact for the client.
Fast and efficient. We know the intense time pressures often involved in real estate finance deals and the large number of parties in complex real estate finance transactions. We take pride in our dealmaking attitude and ability to work with all parties, including opposing counsel, in a non-adversarial, cooperative manner.
Smart staffing. We staff matters in order to provide clients with both the expertise of our senior attorneys in structuring and negotiating a transaction and junior level team members to ensure a smooth and efficient execution. By staffing matters leanly with the same attorneys handling transactions from beginning to end, we are known for providing a stellar level of continuity and responsiveness.
Perspective. Our clients include major bank and non-bank lenders, servicers, insurance companies, pension funds, REITs, developers and investors/owners. Several of our partners and counsel have spent a significant portion of their careers within real estate companies, banks and financial services firms; and this perspective is key to a thorough understanding of the issues and pressures faced by our clients.
Geographic diversity. Attorneys in our Atlanta, Houston, New York and Washington offices are actively engaged in our finance practice. We are a top AmLaw 100 firm without the cost structure inherent in a New York-based practice.
Thought leaders. Our attorneys are members of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers, the American College of Mortgage Attorneys, the CRE Finance Council and the Mortgage Bankers Association of America.
Multidisciplinary teams. We can draw upon other groups in the firm for tax, ERISA, securities, construction management, insurance regulatory and litigation issues, negating the need for additional special counsel.
Extensive real estate experience. Real estate structured finance transactions require significant depth in real estate fundamentals. Our real estate groups have decades of experience in complex real estate transactions.
Nuts and Bolts
Our comprehensive real estate finance services include:
- Commercial mortgage lending
- Assisting both lenders and borrowers
- Single-lender loans
- Syndicated and participated financings
- Construction loans
- Conduit loans or loans originated with a view toward securitization
- Mezzanine loans and preferred equity transactions
- Participation agreements
- Intercreditor agreements
- Co-lender agreements
- A/B Note structures
- Equity investments
- Significant equity investments and formation transactions through joint venture arrangements
- Syndicated partnerships, private placements and stock offerings for finance and investment clients
- Commercial mortgage loan servicing
- Representing master, primary and special servicers in a broad range of servicing matters for loans in real estate mortgage investment conduit (REMIC) trusts pools and collateralized debt obligation (CDO) transactions
- Defeasance of securitized loans, transfers of interest in mortgage borrowers, substitutions of collateral, tenant in common (TIC) borrower structures and assumptions of performing CMBS loans
- Handling nonperforming loans and the unique characteristics of special servicers in connection with specially serviced CMBS loans
- Portfolio loan servicing
- Representing life insurance companies on a wide array of corporate real estate finance, regulatory and tax matters
- Loan origination and loan servicing matters, including assumptions, releases, collateral substitution and defeasances
- Foreclosure, bankruptcy and workouts
- Representing major creditors, developers, investors and owners in real estate foreclosures, bankruptcies and workout transactions
- All important aspects of bankruptcy reorganizations, including issues related to the use and sale of collateral, the protection of rental income, stay relief and cram-down plans, workouts and the use of equity re-syndications and participating mortgage techniques to restructure financing transactions
When clients need attorneys who listen before they talk, and who understand business objectives along with legal issues, they turn to the team at Sutherland.
Sutherland handles $1.2 billion securitized mortgage loan workout.
Sutherland represented the special servicer of a $1.2 billion securitized mortgage loan that had matured without repayment in connection with a forbearance agreement. The loan was secured by a large portfolio of luxury hotels. We also negotiated intercreditor arrangements on behalf of the mortgage lender with a large group of mezzanine lenders who held an additional debt of $600 million, much of which was converted to preferred equity.
Global bank selling $2.8 billion loan portfolio turns to Sutherland for representation.
Sutherland represented a global bank in the sale of its $2.8 billion Fannie Mae multifamily commercial loan portfolio of 6,400 commercial multifamily loans to another financial institution.
Sutherland helps close $30 million senior mortgage loan.
Sutherland represented a bank in the closing of a secured senior mortgage loan.