Real Estate

  • January 22, 2021

    FTC Wins $120M Judgment In Sanctuary Belize Scam Suit

    The Federal Trade Commission has won a Maryland district court's approval of a final $120.2 million judgment against the operators of the purported luxury Sanctuary Belize development, which the FTC says swindled American consumers in the largest offshore real estate scam ever targeted by the commission.

  • January 22, 2021

    Renovate Gets $5M Interim Loan Hike As Sale Fight Looms

    Bankrupt home improvement lender Renovate America Inc. pushed off a looming fight with unsecured creditors over its Chapter 11 sale terms Friday after its bankruptcy lender and stalking horse bidder agreed to add one week and $5 million to its original $18 million interim loan deadline.

  • January 22, 2021

    Fla. Justices Close Extra Damages Avenue For Policyholders

    Florida's highest court has shut down a route for policyholders embroiled in property insurance disputes to recover amounts exceeding their policy limits, ruling Thursday in a case involving state-backed Citizens Insurance Corp. that such "consequential damages" can only be sought in actions alleging bad faith and not mere breach of contract suits.

  • January 22, 2021

    AT&T Sues Honolulu Landlord For Terminating Antenna Lease

    AT&T filed a lawsuit against a Honolulu church on Thursday, claiming the church's pastor wrongly terminated a lease that allows it to maintain communications infrastructure on the church's roof to provide wireless service to the city.

  • January 22, 2021

    Brokers Owe $4.2M In Fees Earned In Woodbridge Ponzi Ploy

    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission received approval in California federal court Friday for the disgorgement of millions of dollars from a group of unregistered brokers arising from the yearslong real estate Ponzi scheme operated by the Woodbridge Cos.

  • January 22, 2021

    Simpson-Led Blackstone Nabs Stake In $1.6B Portfolio

    Blackstone REIT, led by Simpson Thacher, picked up a majority stake in a $1.6 billion, 71-property group of assets from LBA Logistics, according to a Friday statement.

  • January 22, 2021

    Simpson Thacher-Led Mortgage Co. Launches $250M IPO

    Private-equity backed mortgage producer Home Point Capital on Friday set a price range on an estimated $250 million initial public offering guided by Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP and underwriter counsel Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, marking the latest mortgage-related company to seek public markets amid surging demand for home ownership.

  • January 22, 2021

    Texas Supreme Court Clarifies Standing In Partnership Fights

    The Texas Supreme Court held Friday that lower courts wrongly blocked a nonlawyer's claims that he was improperly pushed out of a title services partnership by three law firms, saying individuals can have standing to pursue claims of harm to a partnership.

  • January 22, 2021

    Real Estate Rumors: Starwood, Hackman, Ari Pearl

    Starwood has reportedly sold a Florida apartment complex for $73.5 million, Hackman is said to be buying a stake in a 309,000-square-foot Hollywood studio campus and an entity affiliated with Florida investor Ari Pearl has reportedly picked up a Wyndham hotel for $30 million.

  • January 22, 2021

    Billionaire Hits Back At Ex-Counsel In Fight Over $6M Fee

    Attorney Hugh H. Mo billed $6 million to a Chinese billionaire, vowing a soup-to-nuts defense against bribery charges. But he barely worked on the yearslong case, as Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Ben Brafman and others did the heavy lifting, a Manhattan federal judge heard Friday.

  • January 22, 2021

    McCarter & English Guides $91M New Jersey Loan

    Ironstate Development has landed $90.5 million in financing from a McCarter & English-counseled lender for a pair of New Jersey multifamily properties, a deal Ironstate's broker Jones Lang LaSalle announced Friday.

  • January 21, 2021

    Eagle Hospitality REIT OK'd In Del. For $100M Ch. 11 Loan

    A bankrupt fleet of U.S. hotels tied to a Singapore-based real estate investment trust secured a $100 million Chapter 11 loan in Delaware on Thursday, amid top creditor objections that the debtor had charted an "unnecessarily contentious and expensive path to an inevitable sale."

  • January 21, 2021

    Realogy Escapes Class Claims Of Misleading Investors

    A New Jersey federal judge on Thursday torpedoed a proposed securities class action against Realogy Holdings Corp. after concluding investors failed to back up their claims the brokerage firm made false or misleading statements about home sale commissions, technology investments and other matters.

  • January 21, 2021

    Luxury Fashion Retailer Leads $532M Pair Of IPOs

    Two companies raised a total of $532 million as they began trading Thursday, with the backer of online luxury fashion retailer Mytheresa leading the way with an upsized $407 million capital raise in a pair of initial public offerings.

  • January 21, 2021

    Fla. Justices Nix Apartment Building Owners' Lost Rent Claim

    Florida's high court held Thursday that a trio of apartment building owners can't seek coverage from a state-backed insurance company for rental income lost due to hurricane damage, finding that their claim for "consequential damages" amounts to a bad faith action from which the insurer is immune.

  • January 21, 2021

    Ryan Homes Hit With ADA Suit Over Sales Office Accessibility

    Home builder Ryan Homes' sales offices aren't accessible to individuals with mobility disabilities, which is in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, a Pennsylvania man claimed Thursday, hitting the company with a proposed class action in federal court.

  • January 21, 2021

    Real Estate Rumors: Caron, Dollar Jackpot, Protective Life

    Caron has reportedly dropped $12 million on a Florida multifamily building, Dollar Jackpot is said to be leasing 10,000 square feet in downtown Brooklyn, and Protective Life Insurance has reportedly loaned $4.5 million for a Florida gas station and food store property.

  • January 21, 2021

    Fla. Apartments Owner Hits Architect With $2M Defect Suit

    A group of Ohio companies that own a new Gainesville student apartment complex connected to the University of Florida filed suit in Florida federal court Wednesday accusing an architectural firm of botching the project's design and forcing them to incur $2 million in cost overruns.

  • January 21, 2021

    Offit Kurman Fights Ex-Client's Sanctions Bid Over Escrow

    Offit Kurman PA has called on a New Jersey federal court to toss a former client's bid to sanction it for pursuing a suit to decide the fate of roughly $2.4 million held by the firm, saying competing claims to those escrow funds justified taking the dispute to court.

  • January 21, 2021

    Clifford Chance Reps PE Firm's £253M Industrial Property Bet

    Swiss private equity firm Partners Group, led by Clifford Chance, said Thursday it bought a portfolio of 27 light industrial real estate properties in the United Kingdom for £253 million (about $347 million) from Paloma Capital.

  • January 21, 2021

    Ga. Developer Sues Law Firm, Ex-Partner To Release $1.3M

    A Georgia property developer sued an Atlanta-based commercial real estate law firm and his former business partner Wednesday in state court, claiming the firm refuses to hand over his $1.3 million share from a property sale because of his ex-business partner's baseless objections.

  • January 20, 2021

    Biden DOJ May Ax Ban On 3rd-Party Donation Settlements

    The Biden administration is considering reversing a rule finalized last month that codified a Trump administration ban on settlements in federal cases that require defendants to make donations to unrelated third parties, the White House signaled Wednesday in an executive order.

  • January 20, 2021

    Ukraine Bank Asks Chancery To Delay Ohio Building Sale

    Attorneys for a Ukrainian bank allegedly plundered by two oligarchs urged a Delaware vice chancellor on Wednesday to slow the $17 million sale of a Cleveland office tower purportedly bought with some of the bank's cash, citing price, fairness and conflict concerns.

  • January 20, 2021

    7th Circ. Says Law Firms Not Part Of Alleged Fraud Scheme

    A Seventh Circuit panel on Wednesday said a lower court was right to toss claims that Wolin & Rosen Ltd. and SmithAmundsen LLC conspired with bankers and real estate appraisers to inflate the value of three Michigan hotels that went bust soon after being purchased by new owners.

  • January 20, 2021

    Real Estate Rumors: Yoya, Northeast Capital, Liberty Bank

    Voya Financial has reportedly loaned $31.3 million for a Charlotte apartment complex, Northeast Capital Group is said to have paid $14.5 million for a Miami office building and Liberty Bank has reportedly loaned $22 million for a Connecticut life sciences project.

Expert Analysis

  • Time For Cos. To Walk The Walk On Environmental Justice

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    With the Biden administration pledging to consider environmental justice across all agencies and in all federal decisions, companies must candidly assess their operations in order to make sure their statements on environmental justice are backed by measurable results, say attorneys at King & Spalding.

  • CFPB Order Offers Insight Into Pandemic Mortgage Servicing

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    The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's recent consent order over Seterus' mishandling of loss mitigation applications during the pandemic highlights issues mortgage servicers should keep in mind as they work through the backlog of loans awaiting foreclosure once federal and state moratoria end, say Jeffrey Naimon and Joshua Kotin at Buckley.

  • Unresolved Issues In Calexico Inverse Condemnation Ruling

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    A California federal court's recent decision in Calexico Auto Dismantlers v. City of Calexico, dismissing a business's inverse condemnation suit as untimely, does not properly address questions surrounding eminent domain notice and the statute of limitations, say Debra Garfinkle and Brad Kuhn at Nossaman.

  • As Superfund Turns 40, Courts Are Still Puzzling Over It

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    The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act just turned 40, but a review of several Superfund cases from 2020 demonstrates that courts are still regularly confronted with novel questions and issues related to the law, says Peter Keays at Hangley Aronchick.

  • Law Firms Should Note GCs' Growing Focus On Biz Strategies

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    Amid the challenges of the pandemic, a shifting digital landscape, and increasing calls for diversity and inclusion, general counsel responsibilities are expanding into six new areas, highlighting the need for both in-house and outside counsel to serve as strategic and empathetic business leaders, say Wendy King at FTI Consulting and David Horrigan at Relativity.

  • Economic Loss Is Key To Pandemic Insurance Suits

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    Decades of case law distinguishing between economic loss and property damage may support commercial property insurance policyholders in litigation with insurers who argue that COVID-19-related losses do not constitute physical damage, says Micah Skidmore at Haynes and Boone.

  • How To Reliably Value Income-Producing Real Estate

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    Amid the pandemic-fueled surge in tax appeals and loan workouts, using the income approach to calculate the present worth of a property's future income provides the most reliable indication of value and does not rely on subjective adjustments, say Mark Dunec at FTI Consulting and Anthony DellaPelle at McKirdy Riskin.

  • 6 Changes The Legal Industry Should Prepare For

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    As clients increasingly demand better efficiency, predictability and cost-effectiveness from their legal partners, especially during the pandemic, law firms and other legal service providers may need to explore new ways to bundle and deliver services — and move away from billing by time, says Joey Seeber at Level Legal.

  • Arizona May Have Nudged US Law Firms Toward Future IPOs

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    No U.S. law firm has its shares listed on a public stock exchange unlike some lucrative overseas counterparts, but by allowing nonattorneys to become stakeholders in law firms, Arizona may have paved the way for this to change should other U.S. states — particularly New York — follow suit, says Marc Lieberman at Kutak Rock.

  • CFPB's Busy 2020 May Foretell Regulatory Uptick Ahead

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    The last year stood out for its marked resurgence in Consumer Financial Protection Bureau activity, suggesting 2021 will usher in even more vigorous enforcement, enhanced fair lending regulation, and renewed assaults on consumer arbitration and payday lending, says Richard Gottlieb at Manatt.

  • 4 Legal Industry Trends Litigation Financiers Are Watching

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    Some recent litigation developments demonstrate efforts by law firms and their clients to search for opportunities in the COVID-19 economic fallout, while others — such as the rise of contingency fee arrangements — reflect acceleration of tendencies that were already underway, says William Weisman at Therium Capital.

  • Tips For Forming A Real Estate Fund

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    Multi-asset real estate funds may provide investors with opportunities to deploy capital during the pandemic-induced market downturn, but several structural questions should be considered before raising a fund, say Matt Ertman and Max Brunner at Allen Matkins.

  • 2 Cases Highlight Superpriority Lien Risks For Lenders

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    Two recent decisions from a New York state court and a Nevada federal court reaffirm the importance of lenders paying off superpriority liens, which may extinguish their mortgages or deeds of trust if not swiftly addressed, say Michael O'Donnell and Michael Crowley at Riker Danzig.

  • Lenders' Role Will Be Key In NYC Green Building Loans

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    New York City's Climate Mobilization Act, which will soon restrict large buildings' carbon emissions, provides for a loan program to help owners finance energy-efficient improvements — but the program's success will depend on mortgage lenders' participation, says Jason Rozes at Dechert.

  • A Lawyer's Guide To Setting Well-Being Goals In 2021

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    In the face of rising client demands due to the pandemic and the changing regulatory environment, and with remote work continuing for the foreseeable future, lawyers should invest in their well-being by establishing inspiring yet realistic goals for 2021 — one month at a time, says Krista Larson at Morgan Lewis.

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