What is your primary area of practice, and what drew you to it?
I spend half of my time practicing real estate law, with a particular focus on commercial acquisitions, sales, financing and leasing, including tax-advantaged affordable housing development and tax-deferred real property exchanges.
The rest of my work day is dedicated to serving as the managing partner of Phillips Nizer and supporting our business development initiatives, including as a vice president of Ally Law.
Tell us about a recent memorable project, matter or case that you’ve worked on. What was fun? What was challenging?
Last year, my client entered into an agreement to purchase a not-yet-completed multifamily project located in a Qualified Opportunity Zone in an economically depressed small city. We pulled together a team from across the firm — corporate and private placement, tax, labor joined with real estate to get it done.
Two weeks later, the pandemic hit. The institutional lender walked away from the transaction, and the mortgage broker couldn’t line up a replacement. Prospective investors were nervous about economic conditions. Our client negotiated for additional time, but time was about to run out for good, and the client wasn’t ready to close.
Enter the litigators! It may seem counterintuitive, but before the seller could cancel the contract, we sued demanding the right to close. This bought our client enough time that we successfully closed with a new lender and new investors.
Since the pandemic, what is one thing that has improved in your life?
My wife and I really appreciate the extra time that I have been able to spend with our family. Our daughter has now returned to her college campus, and our son is attending high school 50% in person, but we’ve had a lot of fun along the way.
I am grateful for the strength, resiliency and adaptability shown by my Phillips Nizer colleagues throughout the pandemic. We have continued to develop new ways to communicate with and provide “resourceful representation” to our clients!
And now, a wild-card question: What’s your favorite place to visit and why?
My usual answer is our “beach house” at the New Jersey shore, which is where we lived for several months of the pandemic.
However, we’re looking forward to traveling internationally again, both for vacations and to see some of our Ally Law colleagues!