The Real Estate Practice

L&K has a well-developed expertise in all aspects of real estate transactions. Our attorneys and paralegals have backgrounds in real estate development, ownership, management, escrow and title insurance matters, and we provide a breadth of knowledge beyond merely the legal aspects of a real estate transaction. L&K also represents domestic and foreign investors and corporations in connection with real estate-related transactions.

Complex real estate purchase and sale transactions are a significant part of L&K’s real estate practice. We represent buyers and sellers of both existing property and new development projects. Given our extensive backgrounds and familiarity with a large variety of projects, we are able to assist our clients in avoiding pitfalls and negotiating favorable business terms. We draft and negotiate purchase and sale agreements and perform due diligence associated with the transactions, including title and environmental issues, and guiding our clients through the finance and escrow process. L&K also assists clients that are interested in 1031 exchanges to defer taxes on immediate gains from the sale of a property. We have also developed sound relationships with escrow and title companies, appraisers, and other professions and, therefore, we are able to obtain high quality and cost-effective services for our clients.

L&K represents a number of lenders, including national banks, financial institutions and pension funds, in all aspects of lending secured by real property. We draw upon our real estate, banking, insurance coverage, tax, corporate, and bankruptcy knowledge and experience to represent lenders and borrowers in real estate financing transactions. We have been involved in structuring complex transactions, bringing together developers, lenders, pension funds, corporate investors and private investors, both in connection with single assets and on a portfolio-wide basis.

L&K has substantial leasing experience and represents owners and tenants in sophisticated leasing of office buildings, shopping and industrial centers, and ground leases. We have developed leasing structures that attract top­ quality tenants while limiting the exposure to owners and lenders of the increased costs associated with such leases. The focus of this activity ranges from downtown urban office buildings and suburban office campuses to industrial parks.

Our real estate lawyers work closely with our environmental lawyers on brownfield and urban in-fill developments. L&K advises our clients with respect to a wide range of environmental issues, including site assessments prior to purchasing, selling, and leasing or lending secured by real property. We also negotiate and document remediation activities, both with private parties and with governmental authorities. Our multi-disciplined backgrounds are especially useful in these types of projects. Through our environmental practice, we routinely represent clients in negotiating clean-ups, remediation levels and options at former industrial sites so that the developer has a well­ defined path for obtaining an agency “No Further Action” commitment. Through our construction practice, we negotiate and draft the project remediation agreements. Through our real estate and financial institution practice, we negotiate and draft the loan and development agreements along with environmental insurance agreements that lenders or private equity investors often seek as a hedge against the risk of a substantial and unknown environmental issue that may be encountered during the course of development.

L&K has represented pension funds, institutions, and individual investors in connection with detailed portfolio analysis for either the purpose of enhancing or disposing of their portfolio, including contract review and analysis, retention of valuation and planning professionals, alternative use analysis and recommendations, and implementation of final business plans.

An often uncertain economy requires that we are able to counsel our clients on the challenges of distressed real estate, and we have extensive experience with all types of loan workouts and modifications. L&K has extensive experience in both transactional and insolvency/restructuring matters, including negotiation and pre-litigation counseling, as well as debtors’ and creditors’ rights and remedies. We provide the best strategies for our clients while maintaining flexibility should litigation or insolvency prove necessary. We have substantial experience in advising lenders and buyers on the purchase and disposition of REO properties. This includes undertaking the due diligence associated with real property and advising lenders, developers, and owners of real property of actions that may be required to preserve the value of the asset including, for example, preserving and extending development rights and entitlements. We have experience mastering the intricacies of the Bankruptcy Code and understanding of the subtleties of both a creditor and debtor practice.

… .a breadth of knowledge beyond merely the legal aspects of real estate transactions …