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Real Estate M&A and REIT Transactions 2014

Author(s): Gil Menna, Robin Panovka
Practice Area: Banking, Corporate & Securities, Real Estate
Published: Jan 2014
PLI Item #: 49630
CHB Spine #: N616

Gil Menna is a partner in and serves as chair of Goodwin Procter’s Real Estate Capital Markets Group, as well as co-chair of its REITs Practice. Mr. Menna also participates in the firm’s M&A/Corporate Governance, Capital Markets, Private Investment Funds and Tax Practices. He is a former member of Goodwin Procter’s Management and Executive Committees.

Mr. Menna represents many of the nation’s leading publicly traded real estate operating companies in connection with their merger and acquisition, corporate finance and corporate governance matters. In addition to his extensive knowledge of the public REIT industry, he also has significant experience representing a variety of real estate investment managers in connection with their private equity capital, merger and acquisition and portfolio acquisition transactions.

Mr. Menna is widely recognized as one of the nation’s leading REIT attorneys. In 2010, he was honored with NAREIT’s Lifetime Achievement Award for his outstanding contributions to the REIT industry. He has also been selected for inclusion to the Lawdragon 500 and is annually recognized as a “Star Individual” by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business.

For the past eight years, Mr. Menna has captained Team Goodwin Procter in the Pan-Mass Challenge, a charity bike ride which raises money for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. In that time, Goodwin Procter has raised over $670,000 for cancer research and treatment.

Work for Clients

Since 2005, Mr. Menna has been involved on behalf of the firm’s clients in structuring and executing REIT transactions totaling in excess of $140 billion, with more than $120 billion in M&A transactions and $20 billion in equity and debt securities offerings.

Most recently, he has represented:

  • Paramount Group Inc. in connection with its $2.6 billion IPO, the largest IPO in the REIT industry ever
  • Essex Property Trust in its $15.4 billion merger with BRE Properties, creating the third-largest multifamily REIT in the country
  • MAA (Mid-America Apartment Communities, Inc.) in its $8.6 billion acquisition of Colonial Properties Trust, Inc.
  • Cole Credit Property Trust II in its $7.1 billion acquisition by Spirit Realty Capital, Inc.
  • AvalonBay Communities, Inc. in its $16 billion acquisition (in joint venture with Equity Residential) of Archstone Enterprise LP
  • CreXus Investment Corp in its $ 1 billion acquisition by Annaly Capital Management, Inc.

Professional Activities

Mr. Menna is a Board Associate member of NAREIT, and a member of the Real Estate Roundtable and the board of directors of New York University's Real Estate Institute's REIT Center.

He is an adjunct professor and lecturer in law at Columbia University, where he teaches a course on real estate M&A and restructurings.

Mr. Menna has written and lectured extensively on topics in real estate securities and mergers & acquisitions, as well as on tax law issues facing the real estate capital markets industry.


In connection with the 50th anniversary of the legislation that established the REIT, Mr. Menna was honored by NAREIT with its Lifetime Achievement Award. Mr. Menna is also listed in the Lawdragon 500, Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business and U.S. News-Best Lawyers. In addition, he has been cited frequently in the legal press and was previously selected for inclusion in The American Lawyer’s “Forty-five Under 45” – a list of young lawyers “who are making their mark today and will lead the profession tomorrow.”


  • M.L.T., Georgetown University, 1983
  • J.D., Georgetown University Law Center, 1982
  • B.A., Syracuse University, 1978 (magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa)

Bar and Court Admissions

Mr. Menna is admitted to practice in California, Massachusetts and New York.

Robin Panovka co-heads Wachtell Lipton’s Real Estate and REIT M&A Groups.  He focuses principally on M&A and strategic transactions across the real estate, REIT, hospitality, gaming and retail sectors, and also advises on general cross-border M&A and large-scale projects, including the redevelopment of the World Trade Center in Manhattan.  He was honored with NYU’s Urban Leadership Award in 2015.

Robin has been named one of the Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in the U.S., and is consistently ranked as one of the leading REIT and real estate M&A lawyers by Chambers, Legal 500, Who's Who Legal and similar publications.  He has been featured in a number of publications for his leadership in real estate and M&A, including as an American Lawyer “Dealmaker".

He is the co-author of "REITs: Mergers and Acquisitions," a leading treatise published by Law Journal Press, and has authored many articles and papers on related subjects. He is co-chair of the NYU REIT Center and has served as an adjunct professor at Columbia Business and Law Schools and in NYU’s Masters in Real Estate Program.  He is a founding director of the International Institute for the Study of Cross-Border M&A (XBMA), a joint venture among Peking University, Cambridge and NYU. He speaks frequently on topics in his fields, including chairing annual conferences for the NYU REIT Center, Practising Law Institute and XBMA.  He is also active on a number of educational and non-profit boards, including the boards of Duke Law School, Harlem Educational Activities Fund (HEAF), and NYU’s Real Estate Institute; is a fellow of the American Bar Foundation and the American College of Real Estate Lawyers; and serves on the Cornell University Council.

Robin was heavily involved in the redevelopment of the World Trade Center for more than a decade following its destruction on September 11, 2001, including negotiating the master plan for the redevelopment, and the related “footprint swap,” chronicled in the Cornell Real Estate Review, American Lawyer Magazine and other publications.