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Lifetime Achievement Award 2019

Joseph Philip Forte

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We are delighted to present the 2019 Who’s Who Legal Lifetime Achievement Award to Joseph Philip Forte of Sullivan & Worcester. During the course of a career spanning 45 years, Mr Forte has been a standout figure in the New York City real estate market.

Having graduated from St John’s University School of Law in 1973, Forte joined Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft as an associate and was admitted to the New York State Bar in 1974. He moved to Trubin, Sillcocks, Edelman & Knapp in 1975, making partner before another move to Thacher, Proffitt & Wood. He quickly developed an interest in commercial real estate financing and gained experience in workouts following the failure of early mortgage REITs during the 1970s and subsequent crises through the 1980s and 1990s.

During the course of his career, Forte has been a pioneering figure in real estate financing, including the development of secondary and securitisation markets, as well as commercial mortgage loan conduits.


He continues to work at the forefront of commercial real estate reform, most recently in 2018 playing a prominent role in securing reforms to the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act relating to the Basel III High Volatility Commercial Real Estate Rule.

Forte has been a constant presence on numerous prominent boards and committees, such as the American College of Real Estate Lawyers, as well as a published author and thought leader in the field, including founding CRE Finance World magazine in 1999.

WWL has listed Mr Forte in our Real Estate guide ever since the first edition in 2000. He has been called “a superstar” lawyer who is “very dedicated and relied on by many for his expertise” in real estate finance. He has won our Real Estate Lawyer of the Year Award seven times, most recently in 2018, and we now recognise his many achievements with our highest accolade, the Lifetime Achievement Award.

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