- Commercial Real Estate Transactions
- Litigation, Workouts, Restructuring and Dispute Resolution
- Development and Joint Ventures
- Mortgage and Mezzanine Lending
- Commercial Real Estate Brokerage
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PRACTICE AREAS:
Workouts and Distressed Real Estate Solutions: Our attorneys are increasingly being sought after to address distressed real estate issues. Tenants seeking lease concessions, Landlords seeking lease enforcement and lenders and borrowers seeking loan modification, workouts and foreclosures are becoming more common once again. This is familiar territory. During the downturn of the economy almost two decades ago, our lawyers not only represented clients in working out troubled leases, loans and assets of all sizes and property types, but some of our lawyers were on the business side of these assets. For example, one of our lawyers managed the Special Assets Department for what was then the largest bank in Connecticut, responsible for all bank workouts and real estate owned. Another of our lawyers directed for over a decade all loan workouts for a bank, and then went on to become the in-house legal counsel for the court-appointed workout consultant for a very large syndicator. This experience adds a significant dimension to our services.
Development: We pride ourselves in being “deal makers.” Our attorneys have vast experience in serving our entrepreneurial and institutional clients in all aspects of real estate development, acquisition and disposition of the full range of property types in a wide range of locations, including due diligence, land use approvals and appeals, construction, environmental, contracts, management and licensing agreements, leasing, financing, ownership structuring, sale, and tax-deferred exchanges. Several of our attorneys have hands-on business experience in these areas adding a practical, business-oriented dimension to our representation.
Retail, Office, and Industrial Leasing: Our attorneys have negotiated hundreds of commercial leases on behalf of landlords, tenants and lenders in transactions ranging from multi-million dollar single tenant warehouse/distribution facilities to regional and neighborhood shopping centers, industrial sites, communications facilities, hotels and office buildings. We have a great deal of experience representing and opposing many of the major retail chains, and through our developer and institutional clients, we are responsible for lease preparation and negotiation at various office towers, hotels, roof top communications facilities, as well as industrial and business parks. Our representation of lenders gives us the added advantage of appreciating key provisions which lenders from Main Street to Wall Street expect to see. Our extensive leasing practice has allowed us to develop leasing forms, alternative clauses, and related forms and streamlined documenting systems which enable us to keep lease preparation and negotiation costs competitive while allowing for quick document turnaround.
Commercial Purchase and Sale: The firm has also represented buyers, sellers, lenders, investors, joint venture partners and real estate brokers in connection with the purchase and sale of a wide array of commercial properties. We are fortunate to have as regular clients of the firm a number of developers from Connecticut, Massachusetts, Florida and New York who develop, own, buy and sell commercial properties across the country on a regular basis ranging from multi-million dollar office towers and shopping centers to industrial complexes and residential communities. As the recipient of many referrals from the commercial real estate brokerage community, we are regularly involved in virtually every type of conveyancing transaction that occurs within our markets. Our representation of REO, facilities and real estate lending groups of some of Connecticut’s large banks provides us with a regular stream of commercial property sales and financings. Our services associated with the purchase and sales process go far beyond the conveyancing process, and extend into the associated disciplines of due diligence, broker relations, environmental, land use, leasing and financing.
Commercial Acquisition and Related Due Diligence: We offer an array of site due diligence services and through our contacts with the real estate community, usually coordinate the services of related professionals such as surveyors, environmental engineers, corporate services, private investigators, UCC searchers and title examiners. We regularly travel to local towns and communities to interview town officials, review local land use records and prepare site due diligence materials for our clients including review and commentary on our collected information as well as that of the associated real estate professionals. Our familiarity with many of the issues associated with Connecticut’s real estate transfer taxes, “establishment” transfer act, lead paint and underground storage tank laws, to name a few, permit us to assist our clients in working through the maze of important planning opportunities.
Commercial Real Estate Lending: We have an extensive practice representing commercial real estate lenders in connection with their real estate lending programs and workouts. Our well developed documents, checklists and relations with local borrower’s counsel enable us to deliver quality documentation in a timely fashion while remaining sensitive to transaction costs. Our attorneys are familiar with the full array of credit facilities including conventional, conduit, CMBS, HUD, Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, CHFA, DECD and Defeasance.
Land Use Permitting/Tax Appeals: Our attorneys are experienced in the land use permitting process and regularly appear before Connecticut’s various boards and commissions. Our emphasis on consensus building within the constituent community impacted by the development has proven to be a useful approach and one which we regularly implement on behalf of our clients. Our attorneys also represent owners in connection with tax appeals at the local and higher levels of appeals. Our familiarity with prominent Connecticut appraisers gives us the ability to assist our clients in locating bright and helpful professionals to facilitate the process.
Commercial Brokerage: Our firm has an extensive real estate brokerage law practice which has enabled us to maintain good relations with the brokerage community. Those relationships and friendships with the brokerage community come into play regularly during the transactional process where we are often able to make a call to the various players in the transaction and resolve obstacles. We also represent the brokerage community in connection with the assertion of their rights in the real estate conveyancing field such as collections, inter-broker disputes and broker liens.
Litigation Services: We represent our clients’ interests in all Connecticut state and federal courts, administrative proceedings, public and private mediation and arbitration, and other dispute resolution forums. Our firm has an extensive construction and surety litigation practice and represents some of Connecticut’s largest insurers in surety bond claim and coverage dispute matters. We represent contractors in connection with the prosecution and defense of claims involving public and private owners, architects, school boards, sureties and related private parties. We routinely handle lease disputes, evictions, foreclosures and receivership actions. In connection with our lease enforcement practice, we frequently negotiate structured settlements linked to court ordered remedies for failure to comply. We also represent clients in resolving disputes among partners, employment matters, and in contractual issues with other businesses.
Other Related Representation: Our commercial real estate law practice is as diverse as its subject matter. Our clients call upon us to structure acquisitions and sales, handle Section 1031 tax deferred exchanges, defeasances, HUD, CHFA and securitized financing, form their acquisition LLC’s, limited partnerships and corporations, represent their condominium associations, draft and negotiate easements and draft their hotel operations agreements, establish their roof top communications documentation, resolve title disputes, evaluate the effects of bankruptcy on some aspect of the transaction, negotiate their construction contracts and work with them through the wide array of legal issues that make up “real estate” as we know it today. We work with most of the local title companies in connection with the analysis of title matters and issuance of title policies with specialized endorsements.