Robert Sorin is a real estate partner resident in Fried Frank's New York office. He joined the Firm as a partner in 1997.
Mr. Sorin's practice covers a broad range of commercial real estate transactions, including the sale and acquisition of office, hotel and retail properties, joint ventures, commercial mortgage and mezzanine financing, construction financing, leasing, the development of office, residential, hotel and mixed-use projects, loan sales, and debt restructurings.
Having begun the practice of law in 1983, Mr. Sorin has experienced several up and down market cycles over his more than 30-year legal career. During the positive periods, he has been lead counsel on some of the most high-profile real estate transactions of their respective times. In 2010, he represented Google in its US$1.8 billion acquisition of 111 Eighth Avenue, the location of Google’s New York headquarters. The sale is the largest commercial real estate purchase by a tenant in US history and the largest transaction in 2010 for a single building in the US. He also represented Macklowe Properties in the US$6.4 billion acquisition of the Manhattan portfolio of Equity Office Properties from The Blackstone Group, the largest single-transaction price ever paid for a private acquisition of real estate. He represented the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in the sale of the New York Coliseum to a joint venture between the Related Companies and Time Warner, successfully completing the sale after several previous efforts to do so had failed. In addition, he represented Macklowe Properties in the sale of the General Motors Building in New York City to Boston Properties for US$2.8 billion, the largest price ever paid for the purchase of a single building in US history.
During the down periods, he represented the Chase Manhattan Bank in the multi-billion dollar divestment of the bank’s entire loan and REO real estate portfolio in several bulk sale transactions, and Macklowe Properties in the restructuring of the US$5.8 billion of loans originated by Deutsche Bank, and US$1.2 billion loan originated by Fortress Investment Group, in the EOP acquisition. He has also represented landlords and tenants in millions of square feet of leasing transactions, including his recent representation of The Related Companies in leases with L’Oreal and SAP at Hudson Yards.
Mr. Sorin is a guest lecturer at Harvard Law School and Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, and Planning and Preservation.
Mr. Sorin is consistently recognized by Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business as a leading individual in Real Estate and is consistently recognized by Legal 500 in Real Estate. He was named by Law360 as a 2011 "MVP Lawyer of the Year," and was recognized by Real Estate Weekly in its 2008 and 2009 All Stars edition honoring real estate industry leaders.
He is a member of the Real Estate Board of New York and the International Council of Shopping Centers.
Mr. Sorin received his JD, cum laude, from Georgetown University Law Center in 1982 and his BA, magna cum laude, from Washington University in 1979. He is admitted to the bar in New York.
Bonnie J. Host works as a Conflicts Attorney at SNR Denton US LLP. In that capacity, she reviews, analyzes and summarizes conflicts of interest reports with respect to preliminary checks, client development proposals, new clients, new matters and lateral attorneys. Ms. Host reviews and interprets corporate and information reports relating to the conflicts clearance process, including Capital IQ, Hoover's, Dun & Bradstreet and Accuity reports. She identifies anti-money laundering concerns and issues relating to sanctioned and/or restricted governments, corporations and individuals. She identifies reputational risk issues. Ms. Host serves as the primary SNR Denton US LLP Conflicts Attorney for matters on which SNR Denton US LLP's attorneys work with attorneys located in the European, Middle Eastern and African member firms, associate firms and associate offices of the SNR Denton Verein structure and addresses multi-jurisdictional conflicts of interest and ethical rules in the context of a global law firm. She facilitates the resolution of potential and actual conflicts of interest, commercial concerns and strategic issues for attorneys firm wide by working closely with the partners involved in the particular matter, partners designated to provide additional clearance for matters involving certain practice areas and/or industries and the General Counsel's Office. She drafts necessary waivers, ethical screens and engagement letters and advises attorneys regarding same. Ms. Host provides training and develops training materials for new members of the Conflicts Clearance Group, new partners, foreign offices and support staff. She provides ongoing review and feedback regarding the performance of the New Business Intake staff and conflicts searches conducted. She provides rigorous and ongoing input into best practices for handling conflicts of interest, compliance policies and conflicts database management for the firm. Ms. Host keeps abreast of professional and ethical standards relating to law firm risk. She proactively builds strong working relationships at every level within the firm in order to promote a strong compliance culture.
Ms. Host is admitted to practice in New York State Courts and the United States District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York. She is a member of the New York Bar Association, where she serves on the Committee on Standards of Attorney Conduct. She is a member of The Association of the Bar of the City of New York, where she served for a three year term on the Committee on Professional Responsibility from June, 2009 through June 2012. She is also a member of the Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers.
Ms. Host graduated cum laude from Columbia College in 1989 with a degree in economics. She graduated from The University of Chicago Law School in 1992. Prior to joining SNR Denton US LLP, Ms. Host worked as a commercial litigator at Kirkland & Ellis LLP and Bingham McCutchen LLP for more than twelve years. In addition, Ms. Host worked for a period of time as an Associate General Counsel of Sotheby's, Inc. where she represented Sotheby's in a portfolio of claims and had responsibility for all legal issues arising from the Human Resources department.
Jamie Levitt is head of the Litigation Department in Morrison & Foerster LLP’S New York office. Her practice involves all aspects of complex commercial litigation and arbitration, with an emphasis on securities litigation. She has represented public companies and their officers and directors in securities fraud actions, shareholder derivative suits and SEC and other regulatory investigations. She also has experience conducting and defending corporate internal investigations and advising board committees and individuals with respect to investigations.
Ms. Levitt is a trial lawyer with an active practice representing and counseling companies in commercial disputes, including real estate financing disputes, bankruptcy contested proceedings and intellectual property cases involving trademark, trade secret and unfair competition claims. Her clients include companies, officers and directors in a broad range of industries, including financial services, life sciences, technology and real estate.
Ms. Levitt serves on numerous boards and committees of public interest groups, including serving on the Board of the Federal Bar Council and as past chair of its Public Service Committee; former president and member of the Board of Advocates for Children of New York, Inc.; secretary of the Board of New York Lawyers for the Public Interest; member of the Board of the Center for Reproductive Rights; and member of the Advisory Board of Inwood House. In addition, Ms. Levitt serves on the Board of Directors of Morrison & Foerster LLP and as President of The Morrison & Foerster Foundation, and was formerly chair of Morrison & Foerster’s Pro Bono Committee.
Ms. Levitt received her BA, magna cum laude, in 1988 from the University of Pennsylvania, and her JD in 1992 from Columbia University School of Law, where she was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar and an Articles Editor of the Columbia Journal of Law and Social Problems. From 1993 to 1994, she served as a law clerk to the Hon. Nathaniel M. Gorton, U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts.
Louis J. Hait is a Partner in Kaye Scholer’s New York office. He joined Kaye Scholer’s Real Estate Department in 1984 and has been a partner since 1993.
Louis’ practice covers a broad range of commercial real estate, with an emphasis on the representation of capital providers at all levels of the capital stack, including representing banks and other lending institutions in originating structured mortgage and mezzanine debt, negotiating intercreditor and co-lender agreements, and acquiring portfolios of performing and non-performing loans; representing hedge funds, opportunity funds and pension plans providing mezzanine, preferred equity and common equity joint venture investments; and construction lending and leasing. Louis has counseled both institutional lenders and borrowers in complex real estate loan workouts and restructurings during multiple down cycles in the real estate market. Louis has a particular expertise in fashioning “one-off” solutions for hard-to-structure, would-be loan assets.
Louis regularly writes and lectures on commercial real estate law. Most recently, he was a faculty member for the Practicing Law Institute’s conference entitled “Negotiating Real Estate Deals 2015,” at which he spoke on “Recent Trends in Real Estate Lending.” Louis’ most recent publications were “Does a New York Foreclosure Create an Opportunity for a Tenant to Walk Away from Its Lease Obligations” which appeared in the Winter 2015 edition of NY Real Property Law Journal and “Does the Use of Equity Pledges in Mortgage Loans create a ‘Clogging’ Issue?” which appeared in Law360 in March 2013.
Louis is recognized as a leading practitioner in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business.
Louis received his J.D. from New York University School of Law and his B.A., magna cum laude, from Yeshiva University.
Ronald D. Sernau, co-chair of the Real Estate Department, has more than 25 years of experience in real estate law, representing sophisticated parties in particularly visible transactions involving trophy properties. The community has consistently recognized Ron as a member of the inner circle in New York's real estate industry.
Ron offers clients the insight he has gained by representing opposing interests in similar transactions. He has represented landlords and tenants, lenders and borrowers, purchasers and sellers, equity investors and developers, managers and owners, and brokers and principals. He draws on his experience to address legitimate interests that the opposing party must protect, and to minimize the negotiation of issues that the opposing party can compromise. Ron's clients, some of which have relied on his advice for decades, routinely involve Ron in their strategic decision making.
Ron's clients include a variety of enterprises that are involved with real estate. He represents some of the most prominent real estate developers in New York City in their investments in, and their development of, premier properties. Various businesses, from large publicly traded companies to boutique investment firms, engage Ron to address their real estate concerns. He also has substantial experience in providing general legal advice for luxury retailers, with a particular focus on real estate issues.
Ron created the Proskauer Commercial Leasing System, which automates the commercial leasing process, reducing the processing time for a commercial lease from several weeks to several days. Realcomm, a real estate technology trade organization, awarded Ron with its prize for the best use of technology in real estate law in 2004.
An avid speaker on real estate topics, Ron has appeared before groups sponsored by the Association of the Bar of The City of New York, the New York Hospitality Council, Inc., the New York State Bar Association, the Georgetown Commercial Leasing Institute, CB Richard Ellis, Inc., the Association of Attorneys and Executives in Corporate Real Estate, Practising Law Institute, The Real Estate Board of New York, Inc and the American College of Real Estate Lawyers. He lectures at New York University and his articles have appeared in The New York Law Journal and The National Law Journal.
Real Estate Finance
Private Equity Real Estate
Health Care Industry
Cornell Law School, J.D., 1986
magna cum laude
Order of the Coif
Editor, Cornell Law Review, 1985-1986
Ithaca College, B.S., 1981
summa cum laude
Steven G. Horowitz is a partner based in the New York office.
Mr. Horowitz's practice concentrates on U.S. and international real estate finance and investment transactions, including joint ventures, mortgage finance, securitization and capital markets, restructuring and real estate-related merger and acquisitions. He frequently represents commercial and investment banks, foreign and domestic institutional investors, property owners and a wide variety of corporations in their real estate matters.
Mr. Horowitz has extensive experience in financing, acquisition and disposition of significant properties throughout the United States, Asia, Latin America and Europe. Transaction types encompass all forms of joint ventures, mortgage securitization, loan syndication, mortgage loan trading and subordinate debt, such as mezzanine loan and preferred equity funding.
In addition, Mr. Horowitz focuses on credit tenant and portfolio leasing, workout and bankruptcy matters, investment entity formation and tax-oriented finance transactions, and investments in non-traditional property types such as resorts and hotels, Indian gaming casinos, mines, timber, utilities, sports fitness clubs, hospitals and nursing homes.
Mr. Horowitz is internationally distinguished as one of the best real estate lawyers by Chambers USA, Expert Guides' The Best of the Best USA and Guide to the World's Leading Real Estate Lawyers, PLC Which Lawyer? Yearbook, PLC Cross-border Corporate Real Estate Handbook, The Legal 500, The Best Lawyers in America, The International Who's Who of Business Lawyers, The International Who's Who of Real Estate Lawyers and New York Super Lawyers magazine. Mr. Horowitz is Lecturer in Law at Columbia Law School on real estate finance, and frequently presents at seminars on real estate-related topics, including those sponsored by the American College of Real Estate Lawyers, American Bar Association-American Law Institute, Practising Law Institute, Anglo-American Real Property Institute and the New York City Bar Association. He also regularly publishes articles, including most recently "Roommates" in The Deal Magazine (March 5, 2010) and "The Joint Venture as an Alternative Source of Capital" in the New York Law Journal (January 12, 2009).
Mr. Horowitz joined the firm in 1987 and became a partner in 1989. Previously he was a partner at Hill & Barlow in Boston, Massachusetts, specializing in real estate development and finance, land use and environmental law. He joined Hill & Barlow in 1981, became a partner in 1985 and Chairman of the Real Estate Department in 1986. Mr. Horowitz has also served as United States District Court Monitor, and as a law clerk, to the Honorable Joseph L. Tauro, both for the United States District Court, Boston, Massachusetts.
Steven Klein is a partner in the New York office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and is a member of the Firm's Real Estate Practice Group. Mr. Klein's practice covers a broad range of real estate transactions, including acquisitions and dispositions, joint ventures, financings, leasing, construction and development, restructurings and recapitalizations. He also has substantial experience in REIT offerings, REIT mergers and formation of investment funds. He has advised clients on securitized funding agreements, permanent and mezzanine loan agreements, loan restructuring agreements, partnership and limited liability company agreements, private placement memoranda, property management agreements, retail and office leases and regional shopping centre agreements. His clients include Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, DiamondRock Hospitality Company, AECOM Capital and Lehman Brothers.
Chambers USA (2013) ranks Mr. Klein among the leading individuals practicing Real Estate Law in New York. He has also been included in Legal Media Group’s Expert Guide to the World’s Leading Real Estate Lawyers, The Best Lawyers in America, The Legal 500 and New York magazine’s "Best Lawyers.”
Mr. Klein is an adjunct professor at the New York University Schack Institute of Real Estate, where he has taught courses on commercial leasing, commercial real estate transactions and real estate development and investment. He is a member of the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), and of the Advisory Board of Chicago Title Insurance Company.
Prior to joining the Firm, Mr. Klein was Chair of the Real Estate department of Willkie Farr & Gallagher. Mr. Klein received his Juris Doctor from Rutgers University School of Law in 1986.
Select Representative Transactions*
*Representations occurred prior to Mr. Klein joining Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher.
RICHARD FRIES is well-known throughout the New York and national legal, real estate and finance communities. According to Chambers USA, “true master negotiator” Richard Fries is a “superstar” who is regarded as “one of the premier real estate litigators in the City.” Chambers notes that he is “extremely well respected for his collaborative approach and expertise in complex workout and restructuring matters.” This year, Who's Who Legal acknowledged Richard as one of the ten "Most Highly Regarded" real estate lawyers in the Americas.
As a member of the Real Estate team, Richard focuses his practice on a wide array of complex real estate financing transactions, in which he represents national and global institutional lenders, investment banks and private equity firms.
Richard has been involved in the financing, foreclosure and restructuring of permanent, construction, acquisition and mezzanine loans of all types, including agented and syndicated facilities, secured by office buildings, land development projects, healthcare complexes, hotels, mixed-use projects, apartment buildings, shopping centers, franchise operations and automobile dealerships, among other real estate and business assets.
Richard is particularly distinguished for his work in high-profile distressed commercial loan workouts and restructurings, mortgage foreclosure, distressed portfolio and asset sales, creditors’ rights and insolvency. He has developed a unique market-leading practice using litigation tools to restructure real estate loans, projects and businesses. His experience and reputation in loan workouts has been acknowledged by Chambers as “legendary.”
He also has extensive experience representing private equity investors, property owners and developers in real estate joint ventures, commercial real estate litigation, construction, hospitality and partnership disputes, asset disposition, loan portfolio sales and project development.
Richard also represents national lending institutions in the purchase and sale of performing and underperforming loan portfolios, real estate assets and participation interests in loans, and the implementation of national standard loan and workout programs and documentation for real estate, commercial and private banking loan products.
Richard has been highly recognized by Chambers USA as one of the country’s leading real estate lawyers. He has been ranked by Chambers in “Band 1” in Real Estate Nationwide for 2013 (the year such rankings began) and 2014 and in “Band 1” for Real Estate Finance in New York each year from 2009 through 2014. He has also been recognized as a Leading Lawyer in Legal 500 for Real Estate and was named by Best Lawyers as its Real Estate Litigation Lawyer of the Year in New York City in 2013.
Awards & Honors
Roy Simon was the Howard Lichtenstein Distinguished Professor of Legal Ethics at Hofstra Law School from 2003 – 2011, and is now a Distinguished Professor of Legal Ethics Emeritus. He graduated from Williams College and from New York University School of Law, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the N.Y.U. Law Review. He clerked for a federal judge in Richmond, Virginia, then became a litigator at Jenner & Block in Chicago. He began his teaching career at Washington University School of Law in St. Louis in 1983 and joined the Hofstra faculty in 1992.
Professor Simon writes Simon's New York Rules of Professional Conduct Annotated (now in its 16th edition), annually co-authors Regulation of Lawyers: Statutes and Standards (now in its 26th edition), and is the principal co-author of Lawyers and the Legal Profession (4th ed. 2009), a textbook for law students. He has also written more than 200 newsletter columns, as well as half a dozen law review articles, including his tenure piece, Fee Sharing Between Lawyers and Public Interest Groups, 98 Yale L.J. 1069 (1989).
Professor Simon is the Chair and Chief Reporter of the New York State Bar’s Committee on Standards of Professional Conduct (COSAC), which drafted proposals on which the courts based the New York Rules of Professional Conduct. He serves on the New York State Bar Association’s Committee on Professional Ethics and on the New York City Bar’s Committee on Professional and Judicial Ethics. He also is a practicing lawyer, concentrating on advising lawyers regarding professional conduct, and he serves as an expert witness in cases raising issues about the conduct of lawyers.
Courtney Capute is a partner at Venable LLP and is a member of Venable's management board. Ms. Capute maintains both a CMBS special servicing practice as a longtime member of Venable's Special Servicing Group, anchoring the real estate side of that practice, as well as a more traditional real estate transactional practice with a focus on hospitality work. Her special servicing work focuses on the restructuring of troubled CMBS loans as well as note sales, discounted payoff agreements, deed in lieu of oreclosure agreements and the disposition of REO property. Representative clients include CWCapital Asset Management LLC and LNR Partners, LLC.
Greg Cross is a partner at Venable LLP and the chair of its Bankruptcy and
Creditors' Rights Practice Group. Mr. Cross also leads Venable's Commercial
Real Estate Servicing practice and is a member of Venable's management
During the past twenty years, Mr. Cross has established himself as a nationally recognized leader in his practice areas. Mr. Cross was the coordinating counsel for all secured lenders in the General Growth Properties case, counsel for the secured creditors in the Extended Stay Hotels case and senior lenders' counsel in the Stuyvesant Town litigation and restructuring. Other notable representations include: confirming one of the only successful bankruptcy restructurings of a financial services firm; representing the Governor and State of Maryland in a bankruptcy that threatened the Preakness Stakes; and restructuring the finances of Michael Jackson prior to his death. Mr. Cross was recognized by The American Lawyer in 2010 as a "Dealmaker of the Year" for his work in the GGP bankruptcy case, and under his leadership, the Bankruptcy Practice Group was recognized by Law360 in 2009 as one of the nation's top five bankruptcy practices.
Long before the recent economic downturn, Mr. Cross assembled a team of more than 30 lawyers who focus the majority of their time on commercial real estate workouts. For more than a decade now, Mr. Cross has advised some of the nation's largest special servicers of CMBS assets on all aspects of commercial real estate loan workouts and routinely develops training programs for these clients. He speaks frequently on workouts and bankruptcies involving commercial real estate and develops cutting edge approaches to structuring workouts.
William McInerney is Co-Chair of Cadwalader’s Corporate Finance Practice. His expertise
is in real estate finance, mortgage banking, and debt restructurings. His clients include
financial institutions and other investors in real estate and related transactions. His
practice involves advising lenders and investors in all aspects of secured financings and
he has a particular expertise in the sale of performing and non-performing commercial
mortgage and mezzanine loans in the secondary market. Bill often counsels clients in
restructuring problem loans and on servicing issues that arise in securitized debt. Recent
transactions on which Bill has represented clients include the following:
Crowned the “Queen of the Skyscrapers” by the Wall Street Journal in 1997, Darcy Stacom has sold both the largest residential and office transaction in history. Ms. Stacom’s prolific resume is as diverse as to deal type as size, ranging from $2 million trust and estates dispositions to the $5.4 billion sale of Peter Cooper Stuyvesant Town for Metropolitan Life. In her career, she has completed over $50 billion in sales, financing, joint venture, leasehold and development transactions.
Ms. Stacom is a Vice Chairman and head of the Investment Properties group for CBRE’s New York Office. As the gateway to the global marketplace capital flows, the role is dynamic and ever-changing. In the last four years, Ms. Stacom has twice been the #1 Professional at CBRE globally, and twice the #1 Investment Professional globally. Last year, she won the Robert T. Lawrence Memorial Award from REBNY.
With over 29 years of real estate experience, Ms. Stacom’s expertise is often sought evidenced by her speaking engagements for numerous industry and educational organizations including Urban Land Institute, Harvard, New York University, Columbia, Wharton, AFIRE, Practising Law Institute and many others.