Joseph Philip Forte is a favourite among market commentators in the North American and European markets. He is a real estate finance specialist, with a focus on origination, structuring and loan enforcement.
Joseph Philip Forte, who chairs the firm’s real estate finance practice, has substantial experience in commercial real estate finance and capital markets. He represents lenders, investors and servicers in originations (closing permanent, bridge and construction loans; mezzanine financing, pari passu and subordinate debt; and co-lending, participation and intercreditor agreements); secondary and capital markets (handling whole loan sales; B notes; co-lending; participations; and securitisations); workouts (conducting workouts; foreclosures; receiverships; restructurings and bankruptcies; and deeds in lieu of foreclosure); and advisory (counselling on mortgage banking; state doing business and licensing requirements; usury; federal pre-emption of state laws; investment authority; and environmental risk management).
He has been at the forefront of many major innovations and reforms in the real estate finance industry for over 45 years, including the development of the mortgage secondary and securitisation markets; the reform of Dodd–Frank Act’s Basel III high-volatility commercial real estate rule; and work with industry trade associations on the LIBOR transition.
Joe has counselled his clients through six real estate market cycles of downturns and recoveries, including the failure of the early mortgage REITs in the mid-1970s; the interest rate spike and disintermediation in the late 1970s and early 1980s; the partnership syndication crisis following adoption of the Tax Reform Act of 1986; the savings and loan failures and the RTC workouts in the early 1990s; the market disruption after the Russian rouble default in August 1998; and the recent global financial crisis. In 2013, he was one of only two attorneys recognised among 30 executives in Commercial Property Executives’ “most influential people in real estate” feature, celebrating those central to driving growth and innovation in the commercial real estate recovery after the financial crisis.
He has been widely recognised as a leader in the real estate finance industry, with accolades including a Distinguished Service Award from the Mortgage Bankers Association of America (1998) and a Founder’s Award from the Commercial Real Estate Finance Council (2001), which also gave him a Leadership Award for his service as president (1998–1999).
Joe has been recognised annually in WWL: Real Estate as one of the top 10 most highly regarded lawyers (2000–present) and as “Real Estate Lawyer of the Year” (2010–2013 and 2017–2018). He has been selected to appear in the real estate chapter of WWL: Thought Leaders since the inaugural edition in 2017, and received the WWL Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019.
Joe has been recognised as a leading real estate finance practitioner in Chambers; The Legal 500; Euromoney’s Expert Guide to the World’s Leading Real Estate Lawyers; Best of the Best: United States; Best of the Best: Global; and PLC: Corporate Real Estate. Joe is regularly selected for inclusion in New York Super Lawyers, and is listed in The Best Lawyers in America.
Joe frequently publishes and speaks on property finance, capital markets, regulatory, and related issues. He is the recipient of several “best article” awards from legal and industry publications on commercial real estate finance topics. He is the founder and publisher of CREFC’s CRE Finance World.
He is a fellow of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers, the American College of Mortgage Attorneys and the Anglo-American Real Property Institute.