Real Estate 2016: Analysis

We are pleased to introduce our 13th edition of Who’s Who Legal: Real Estate, listing 800 individuals from 47 jurisdictions.

Most Highly Regarded Individuals
Jay Epstien DLA Piper, Washington, DC
Joseph Philip Forte Kelley Drye & Warren, New York
Ira Waldman Cox Castle & Nicholson, Los Angeles
Jay Neveloff Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel, New York
Mark Mehlman Dentons, Chicago
Joshua Stein Joshua Stein, New York
Stephen Cowan DLA Piper, San Francisco
Nancy Little McGuireWoods, Richmond
Kevin Shepherd Venable, Baltimore
Susan Talley Stone Pigman Walther Wittmann, New Orleans
Rest of the World
Johannes Conradi Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Hamburg
Corrado Rampini Bär & Karrer, Zurich
Chris de Pury Berwin Leighton Paisner, London
Thomas Müller Hengeler Mueller, Frankfurt
Dion Panambalana Hogan Lovells, London
Alexander Goepfert Noerr, Düsseldorf
Emmanuel Fatôme De Pardieu Brocas Maffei, Paris
Stuart Dixon-Smith King & Wood Mallesons, Sydney

 DLA Piper is the standout firm in our real estate research maintaining its dominant position in the global legal marketplace with 28 lawyers recognised across 16 offices. The practice is led by global leaders Jay Epstien and Olaf Schmidt. Washington, DC-based Epstien is singled out for his “unsurpassed experience” in the sector and for being a “standard bearer of excellence” for large office leases and shopping centre-related work. Schmidt in Milan assists national and international investors and developers and is recommended for “expertly bringing deals to a close”. Stephen Cowan in San Francisco specialises in real estate fund formations and bankruptcy/workouts and is “incredibly well connected” and “the person you want on your side of the deal”. Philip Weller in Dallas heads the Texas real estate practice and is heavily involved in structuring equity investments and forming REITs. He is “incredibly astute” and “always switched on”. The “superb” Martin Polevoy is an “esteemed practitioner” and “dean of the New York real estate bar”. Frederick Klein possesses “great flair” and is the “go-to” for advice in relation to debt and equity transactions, ground lease and air rights transactions and in complex workouts. Michael Hamilton is based in Los Angeles where he has been involved in more than $100 billion of transactions. He is a “key player” in the market and is known for his “no-nonsense approach”.

Clifford Chance demonstrates its commitment to a first-class real estate practice with 14 of its lawyers highly recommended in this year’s research. Head of real estate finance in London, Andrew Carnegie demonstrates “exceptional knowledge and commercial acumen” and his advice is “perfectly tailored to his clients’ needs”. Also in London, Jonathan Solomon heads the office’s real estate practice and recently advised Helical Bar joint venture on the sale and forward funding of One Bartholomew Close, London EC1 for £102.4 million. Clients describe him as “insightful and always on hand to assist”. A trio of names are recommended in Frankfurt including Klaus Minuth, who concentrates on real estate transactions and financings and is a “frontrunner” in the field. Christian Keilich stands out for his experience in cross-border investments and transactions and according to one peer is “at the top of the game”. The “high-flying” Cornelia Thaler is a “great strategist” when it comes to real estate portfolio transactions and development matters. François Bonteil in Paris has a broad real estate practice and “can turn his hand to anything” according to one client. Brussels-based Henri d’Ursel’s work covers all stages of the property life cycle and clients turn to him for his “invaluable sector experience” and “bespoke solutions” to their problems.

Canadian law firm Blake Cassels & Graydon achieves 13 listings across its offices in Calgary, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. The Toronto office is a “hub of activity” and home to six of the firm’s listings. Thomas von Hahn’s “impressive roster of clients” includes pension funds and institutional investors involved in the acquisition and disposition of real property and mortgage portfolios. Jim Hilton is a “longstanding figure” at the bar and has over 30 years’ experience in commercial real estate transactions. He is described as a “gifted lawyer” with a “sharp intellect”. John Hutmacher has a “quick grasp of complex issues” and is “incredibly versatile” advising on joint ventures, financing, leasing and acquisitions and dispositions. In Calgary, Richard Dawson QC specialises in major development projects and is also knowledgeable on the environmental law issues relating to real estate transactions.

Ten lawyers are recommended from Dentons. One of the most highly regarded individuals in research Mark Mehlman in Chicago is recommended for his “unrivalled reputation” in the real estate market. He has a broad practice encompassing transactions, financing and development work. At the same office, Patrick Moran has a special emphasis on leasing, development and finance matters and is “technically excellent” and “incredibly personable”. The “esteemed” Eric Schiller is commended for his “hands-on approach” and experience across a full range of real estate financing matters. New York-based Gary Goodman is “extremely able” and a “pleasure to work with” on financing transactions and workouts. Co-chairman of the global real estate group at Dentons Evan Lazar is also global vice chair of the firm and he enjoys a “prestigious reputation” in the legal market. He is recognised for his real estate investment and finance work and is lauded as a “leading light” in the field.

Baker & McKenzie earns nine inclusions in this year’s research, including the “fantastic” Marc Mariani in Paris, whose advice is always “solutions-oriented and delivered in a timely manner”. He has particular experience in designing and structuring real estate funds, especially for investors in the Middle East. Zurich-based Martin Furrer co-heads the firm’s real estate transaction group in the office and is a “sophisticated operator”. Rudy Dupont in Brussels concentrates on real estate development and finance matters and is also “well versed” in environmental matters, land use and planning. “He offers the full package,” according to his clients.

Gibson Dunn & Crutcher also sees nine of its lawyers selected for inclusion. Andrew Lance in New York is co-head of the real estate practice group’s hotel and hospitality practice. He represents real estate equity funds, sovereign wealth funds and corporate and individual developers and owners. He is a “quick thinker” and a “bona fide expert”. The “sensational” Dennis Arnold in Los Angeles is “very effective” and “a great tactician”. His broad practice spans all aspects of commercial and residential real estate and finance. At the same office Amy Forbes specialises in land use planning issues and is a “great asset to the firm’s real estate practice”. The “prominent” Andrew Dady is “first-rate” when it comes to debt and equity finance, sales, acquisitions and development.

Nine lawyers are recommended at Greenberg Traurig. Chair of the global real estate practice and co-chair of the REIT group Robert Ivanhoe is a “pre-eminent name” in the market whose “reputation precedes him”. He concentrates on real estate structures, financings, workouts, and transactions and clients “wouldn’t hesitate to recommend him”. Christian Schede in Berlin chairs the German real estate practice and focuses on transactions, financings and development work. He is “great with clients – personable and user-friendly” according to peers. Co-chairman of the Chicago real estate practice Michael Fishman provides “well prepared advice” and “bespoke solutions”.

Sidley Austin sees seven of its lawyers recommended in this edition. Richard Fries is the co-leader of the global real estate practice and he is a “great negotiator” who specialises in real estate financing and workout transactions. Alan Weil boasts more than 30 years’ experience in the field and heads the New York real estate practice; he combines “intrinsic knowledge of the sector” with “a deep commercial understanding”. Scott Cooper possesses “finely tuned skills” and is a “font of knowledge” on real estate transactions and finance. Paul Walker represented GE Capital with respect to a $343 million mezzanine loan and the refinancing and restructure of a $275 million first lien tranche; he is known for his work on “high-value, high-stakes deals”. Courtney Rangen represents investors in a range of real estate transactions and is noted for her “smooth handling of deals” and for “getting results”. Head of Sidley’s Chicago real estate group Anthony Aiello is a “stellar lawyer” with an “enviable client list”. In Los Angeles, Joel Rothstein is deemed “the first port of call for complex real estate transactions and financing in the Asian market” with one source praising his “diligent and thorough approach”.

At Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison three names are recommended. Steven Simkin maintains a “very active” practice advising on major development projects, acquisitions and financings. He is a “legend in the market” and is lauded for his “wealth of expertise”. Co-chair of the real estate department Meredith Kane is a “top-ranking” lawyer who “really knows her stuff”. Her work has included the long-term lease acquisition for New York’s World Trade Center complex. Fellow co-chair Harris Freidus is knowledgeable in all real estate asset classes but particularly recommended for his experience in the gaming and hospitality industries. Clients praise his “high-quality service” and consider him their “first port of call”.

At Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz two lawyers stand out. Co-head of the real estate and REIT M&A groups Robin Panovka is a “star” in the sector who has worked on landmark projects such as the redevelopment of the World Trade Center in Manhattan. Alongside him, Adam Emmerich is noted as a “masterful negotiator” who “always impresses” on transactions.

Several Swiss lawyers are prominent in this year’s edition. Two lawyers are recommended at Walder Wyss including Thomas Müller-Tschumi              , a “hugely talented” lawyer who “fits seamlessly into his clients’ team”. Francis Nordmann advises institutional and private investors and owners in real estate matters. He is “incredibly diligent” and “always available to his clients”. At Lenz & Staehelin, Andreas Rötheli is a “transactional guru” and “excellent negotiator”. Wolfgang Müller at Meyerlustenberger Lachenal in Zurich concentrates on real estate and rental law with clients praising his “first-rate handling of transactions” and “ability to foresee potential issues and respond accordingly before they materialise”.

At Nader Hayaux y Goebel in Mexico, Michell Nader S is a “pioneer in the sector” whose high-profile work relating to real estate financing and the structuring of transactions is “unsurpassed”. He is joined by Vanessa Franyutti Johnstone, a “hardworking and methodical lawyer” who stands out for her “commercial acumen”.

In Brazil, at Campos Mello Advogados Fabio Perrone Campos Mello is lauded by clients for his “creative approach” and has a “calm demeanour which always puts clients at ease”. In Panama, Anibal Galindo at Alemán Cordero Galindo & Lee is a “meticulous lawyer” who is commended for his “expert insights” and “user-friendly manner”.

AZB & Partners’ Hardeep Sachdeva is a “great asset to the firm” and a “go-to” lawyer in relation to real estate matters.

In Cyprus, Alexis Erotocritou at law firm AG Erotocritou provides “well-constructed advice” and is always “approachable and reliable”.

Several names stand out for their exceptional abilities, sitting among the most highly regarded names in our research.

Dion Panambalana at Hogan Lovells is a “standout name” in the London market for his “hands-on approach” and “calm demeanour”. He is joined by seven of his colleagues in this year’s research, representing the firm’s offices in Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Madrid, Milan and Washington, DC. Chris de Pury at Berwin Leighton Paisner receives “rave reviews” from peers and clients alike for his “pragmatic approach” to matters. He specialises in purchases and restructuring matters, as well as large developments in the UK and overseas. A further five colleagues in London as well as lawyers in Frankfurt and Moscow complete the firm’s listings in this year’s edition.

Johannes Conradi at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s Hamburg office heads the global real estate group and is “unparalleled” in his experience of real estate transactions, project developments and real estate finance. He is among five names recommended from the firm.

Corrado Rampini at Bär & Karrer in Zurich provides “sound advice” in relation to real estate transactions and has an “impressive record”.

Hengeler Mueller’s Thomas Müller brings “invaluable sector experience” to the deal table and is noted for his “business-oriented approach” and “ability to keep calm under pressure”.

Alexander Goepfert heads the international real estate investment group at Noerr and is based in the firm’s Düsseldorf office. A “distinguished player” in the market, he is praised for his “international mindset”. Christoph Brenzinger is also highly recommended at the firm.

Emmanuel Fatôme at De Pardieu Brocas Maffei in Paris is one of a trio of highly recommended names at the firm. He is a “guru” on real estate finance transactions and has a “strategic approach” to his work.

At King & Wood Mallesons, Stuart Dixon-Smith in Sydney possesses a “sharp mind” and enjoys a “stellar reputation” in the market for his real estate practice. He is head of real estate for the Australian firm and is “accessible and easy to work with”.

In the US, several names stand out in the market.

Joseph Philip Forte recently joined Kelley Drye & Warren in early 2016 and is based in the firm’s New York office, where he continues to advise on commercial real estate capital markets and finance. He is a “powerhouse of knowledge” in relation to mortgage loans and is a “great innovator”.

At Cox Castle & Nicholson in Los Angeles Ira Waldman is a “frontrunner” in the sector whose work is “always of the highest quality”. He advises on real estate finance and real estate development projects.

Jay Neveloff at Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel in New York represents clients in the development, operation and financing of real estate projects and is a “firm favourite” with clients.

At his own firm in New York, Joshua Stein is a “versatile practitioner” praised for his “expert handling” of real estate financing, leases, development, hotel transactions and acquisitions.

Nancy Little at McGuireWoods’ Richmond office is a “dedicated lawyer” who “always gives 110 per cent”. She specialises in real estate lending, PPPs, M&A, portfolio transactions and financings.

Kevin Shepherd at Venable in Baltimore has experience ranging from representing REITs in transactions to advising on multimillion-dollar urban town centre redevelopment projects. He is a “reassuring adviser” who “puts clients at ease”.

Susan Talley is co-chair of the Stone Pigman Walther Wittmann and based in New Orleans, where she advises on real estate development, financing, leasing, purchase and sales. She is a “pillar of the Louisiana legal community” and is a “first-rate practitioner”.

Javier Troncoso Valle at Bufete Troncoso provides a “client-oriented service” focusing on residential and commercial developments. He is “user-friendly” and “always abreast of developments in the market and law”.

At Pellerano & Herrera, Ricardo Pellerano is an “active player” in the real estate market with a particular reputation for being a “financing guru”.

Taco de Lange at AKD possesses an “impressive breadth of knowledge across real estate law” and forms “strong partnerships with clients” who appreciate his “astute mind and calm demeanour”.

Gowling WLG sees two inclusions: Anne Waltham and Sally Pinkerton. Waltham is praised for her “ability to foresee potential risks and plan accordingly” and clients praise her “strong litigation skills”. Pinkerton is head of international real estate at the firm and she is a “prominent player” in the market. She brings a “wealth of experience in development work” and is “highly responsive” according to her clients.

João Woiler at Woiler & Contin is a “dedicated professional” whose “calm demeanour” and “ability to get the job done” make him a “client favourite”.

At Lombardi Molinari Segni, the “first-class” Alessandro de Botton is known for delivering “shrewd counsel” to real estate investment funds and developers.

Back to top

Follow us on LinkedIn

News & Features

Community News



Pro Bono

Corporate Counsel

Women in Law

Future Leaders

Research Reports

Practice Areas


The Who's Who Legal 100


Special Reports



About Us

Research Schedule

It is not possible to buy entry into any Who's Who Legal publication

Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.

Copyright © 2019 Law Business Research Ltd. All rights reserved. |

87 Lancaster Road, London, W11 1QQ, UK | Tel: +44 20 7908 1180 / Fax: +44 207 229 6910 |

Law Business Research Ltd

87 Lancaster Road, London
W11 1QQ, UK