Our Real Estate Group represents clients in a variety of real estate transactions and litigation and provides a strong complement to the basic business orientation of our firm. The expertise, diversity and staffing of our Real Estate Group allow us to effectively, efficiently and timely deliver the highest quality legal services for all aspects of our clients' real estate needs. In fact, our team was named one of the largest Real Estate Law Firms in the Houston Business Journal in 2015.
Our attorneys and their experienced staff are engaged in a full range of real estate matters, from complex multi-jurisdictional commercial transactions involving the sale, purchase, exchange, leasing, financing and/or development of commercial properties such as office buildings, apartment complexes, shopping centers, industrial and warehouse properties, condominiums, recreational and resort properties (hotels, restaurants, etc.), medical buildings and related facilities (hospitals, assisted-living facilities, etc.), energy and utility facilities, and sports venues, to more consumer-oriented matters such as purchases, sales and leasing of private homes, farms and ranches, and owner-occupied small business locations.
Our transactional lawyers' expertise includes advising clients as to the appropriate structure and financing vehicles for their specific transactions, assisting them in environmental and land use regulatory matters, and counseling our clients in taxation matters (federal, state, local and foreign) impacting their real estate investments. Additionally, our litigation lawyers have extensive experience in prosecuting, defending and resolving real estate-related disputes, including assisting our clients before courts, governmental boards and commissions and in mediation, arbitration and similar alternative dispute resolution proceedings. Below are summaries of sample areas of our expertise:
Acquisition, Development, Leasing and Disposition of Real Estate
We represent commercial real estate developers, pension fund advisors, financial institutions, corporations, governmental entities and others in the acquisition, development, leasing and disposition of commercial and residential real estate across the country and in many places throughout the world. Our work involves not only providing basic legal services but helping our clients evaluate and structure their real estate transactions to minimize legal and tax liabilities and maximize legal protections and profits. Whether a transaction involves a single asset or multi-asset portfolio, we have developed a strong network of local real estate advisors and co-counsel to enable our team to seamlessly complete real estate transactions throughout the United States and in many other countries.
Financing Real Estate Transactions
A crucial aspect of any real estate transaction involves financing. Our lawyers provide expert guidance in negotiating and structuring financing for all types of real estate transactions, including, acquisitions, development, repairs and renovations. We also assist our numerous financial institution clients, including banks, savings and loan companies, mortgage companies, insurance companies, and others in connection with the negotiation and documentation of loan transactions and in enforcement matters such as loan workouts and restructuring, foreclosures, bankruptcies, evictions, etc.
Structuring Real Estate Transactions
We are actively engaged in advising our clients in the proper structure of their real estate transactions so as to provide maximum protection from liabilities and to minimize the administrative, tax and other obligations arising out of the ownership, development and operation of real estate. Our lawyers have extensive experience in the formation of various entities used in connection with investment in and ownership, development and operation of real estate, including corporations, limited liability companies, partnerships and trusts.
Closely linked with our structuring practice is our tax planning advice provided to our clients in connection with real estate transactions. Our attorneys maintain a high level of expertise in federal, state and local tax laws, rules and regulations. We represent our clients in matters involving property tax valuations and protests, income, franchise and margin tax issues, internal tax structuring, allocations of gains and losses, ERISA matters, incentive compensation programs, mergers, acquisitions, dispositions and divestitures involving real estate-related entities and their properties, and various other matters involving tax planning.
Project Development and Construction
The scope of the development projects in which we have served as legal counsel includes large land assemblages, single-family tract developments (including master-planned communities), condominium/townhome regimes, apartment projects, regional shopping centers, urban and suburban office buildings, industrial and other commercial buildings, sports stadiums and other recreational properties (including golf course developments and fitness facilities), medical buildings (including medical office buildings, hospitals, nursing homes and related facilities and continuing care retirement communities). We assist our clients throughout the entire development process, from land acquisition to zoning, permitting and construction, advising our clients in conjunction with development agreements with governmental authorities, construction agreements with contractors and subcontractors, environmental matters, and land use regulations and restrictions.
Our firm has a strong foundation in commercial litigation and, within that area, our Real Estate Litigation Group provides a wealth of experience in the resolution of disputes involving real estate. Sample matters in which our attorneys have been involved include purchase and sale contract disputes, partnership disputes, claims involving breach of fiduciary duty, commercial lease disputes, eviction proceedings, property insurance litigation, property tax assessments and protests, design and construction defects, title and boundary disputes. Our attorneys appear daily before courts, governmental agencies, boards and commissions and alternative dispute resolution proceedings such as mediations and arbitrations, advocating for our real estate clients and their interests. Our litigation team is capable of staffing each matter appropriately with the proper level of expertise so as to provide our clients with the best value to achieve their desired results.