Practice/Industry Group Overview
In the aftermath of the burst real estate bubble, the pendulum is beginning its backward swing. Speculation is rampant and the stakes have never been higher. While this new market paradigm represents tremendous opportunity, the risk is equally pronounced and the need to mitigate exposure is critically important.
As a large law firm with substantial real estate, land use and zoning capabilities, Wilson Elser has the experience and deep bench required to represent real estate professionals, from simple residential closings to the most complex transactions.
Wilson Elser’s real estate practice stays abreast of this transforming landscape, mirrors the increased complexity and sophistication of real estate law and pursues sensible, yet innovative approaches to resolving complex legal matters. We pride ourselves on a tradition of establishing close, long-term relationships with a growing base of clients. Steeped in their businesses, we serve as active partners – not just attorneys – in advancing their ambitious objectives. In light of the real estate industry’s continued integration with the capital markets and its increased vulnerability to litigation, we frequently work cross-practice with other Wilson Elser attorneys. For example, we collaborate with counterparts in our Bankruptcy, Litigation, Corporate, Local Government Relations and Environmental practices when it helps to realize our clients’ desired outcomes.
Our experience encompasses virtually every aspect of real estate transactions, including:
- Sales and acquisitions for commercial, office, industrial and development properties
- Commercial and Residential mortgage loans
- Construction loans
- Office leases
- Shopping center leases
- Ground leases
- Foreclosure proceedings and sales
- Land use, zoning and planning
- Environmental review and remediation issues
- Loan workouts and restructuring
- Landlord-tenant issues
- Corporate governance
We are able to serve several of our clients as a single, integrated source for handling all matters of real estate law. Moreover, we ensure the hands-on involvement of senior partners, whose services are efficiently delivered in keeping with the realities of our clients’ closely scrutinized budgets and the quality standards of our firm.
Our attorneys represent clients on either side of sales/acquisition transactions. In these times of especially tight money, with interest rates kept artificially low by the Fed, it is critical that counsel on mortgage and construction loans be insightful, timely and precise. We provide capable assistance in guiding lending institutions and borrowers throughout this process up to and through closing.
Dealing with municipalities on real estate matters can be particularly daunting. Wilson Elser knows and is known by city managers, city counsels and other legislative officials throughout municipal corridors. We are equally familiar with the people, processes and procedures that comprise the regulatory labyrinth. Our attorneys work on all phases of site plan, subdivision and zoning variance processes for clients seeking municipal approvals. We carefully guide clients through the permit application procedures and accompanying, often elaborate, environmental reviews.
Wilson Elser attorneys also represent municipalities on planning and zoning boards, in reviewing and opining on land use proposals. We bring to bear our substantial litigation experience in representing clients before state and federal courts in matters principally related to zoning and land use.
The practice is rounded out with the financial service acumen and experience required to successfully complete complicated real estate transactions. We routinely provide counsel on out-of-court workouts and restructures involving office buildings, condominium and townhouse projects, warehouses, retail and apartment complexes. We also handle state and federal court litigation, including replevin actions, receiverships, mortgage foreclosures and defense of lender liability claims as well as judgment enforcement. The practice is characterized by a proactive approach that emphasizes consensual loan workout arrangements where possible and strong and aggressive litigation where necessary.