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Real Estate

Our lawyers know how to get deals done while protecting our clients’ interests.

The lawyers in our Real Estate Group know how to get deals done.   We focus on our clients’ goals, often balancing complex and competing interests.  We apply our deep experience to identifying, managing, and mitigating risk for our clients in their real estate transactions.

Our Real Estate Group acts on behalf of landlords and tenants, buyers and sellers, developers, property managers, owners, contractors, and brokers. We bring an integrated approach in order to comprehensively address real estate issues embedded in corporate transactions, arising from commercial litigation, or in the bankruptcy context. Because of our litigation experience, we understand the critical need for proper drafting to minimize litigation risk.

We have particular expertise in negotiating commercial lease transactions for both landlords and tenants in transactions ranging from relatively small office and restaurant leases to those involving hundreds of thousands of square feet of space. We have negotiated ground leases, subleases, shopping center, restaurant, retail, industrial, and garage leases..

We regularly represent domestic and international corporations, investors, and high-net-worth individuals in the purchase and sale of office buildings, apartment and loft buildings, shopping centers, and residential units. We guide our clients to maximize their returns and secure the most valuable and flexible financing. We represent both borrowers and lenders in commercial real estate transactions, and have closed loans from as little as one million to hundreds of millions of dollars, requiring sophisticated knowledge of financial markets.

Real Estate Litigation

We bring our considerable experience in the real estate industry to advocate for the rights of property owners, landlords, and tenants, including in disputes involving leases, construction deficiencies, purchase agreements, and New York “good guy guaranties.”  We are often called upon to act swiftly and aggressively to protect our client’s interests, such as securing Yellowstone injunctions to prevent the termination of a lease, obtaining attachments on real property to secure an eventual judgment, and prosecuting and defending other emergency applications relating to the preservation of interests in real property.  We also maintain an in-depth understanding of the continually changing regulatory landscape, including during the pandemic, which allows us to advise our clients on how applicable regulations may affect their rights in a dispute so that informed financial decisions can be effectively made.  Many of our cases, including intercompany partnership disputes, arise in the context of entities that own or operate real estate, and we are experienced in the complex litigation issues that arise under partnership and operating agreements, as well as the practical aspects of business resolutions that result in the transfer of property interests. 

Case Study

Non-Compete & Trade Secrets

Non-Compete Claims

As part of its strategy to enter a new geographical market, our client, one of the world’s largest insurance brokers, hired a group of employees in that market from another of the world’s largest insurance brokers.

The Situation

As part of its strategy to enter a new geographical market, our client, one of the world’s largest insurance brokers, hired a group of employees in that market from another of the world’s largest insurance brokers.  One of the new hires became the President of our client’s affiliate in that market.  Shortly thereafter, the former employer initiated an action in Michigan state court against our brokerage client and its affiliate’s President, whom we also represented.  Plaintiff alleged that the new President misappropriated confidential information and was soliciting plaintiff’s clients and employees in breach of her employment agreement’s restrictive covenants, allegedly with her new employer’s encouragement and assistance.

Months later, during the course of discovery, two of plaintiff’s corporate clients transferred their health and benefits insurance business from plaintiff to our brokerage client.  Plaintiff filed an emergency motion for a Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction.  In its motion, plaintiff sought to enjoin our clients not only from soliciting, accepting, and servicing business from plaintiff’s current or prospective clients, but also from servicing the two clients that had already moved their business.

The Solution

In the span of a little more than a week, the GEABP team drafted a 20-page opposition brief and secured three supporting affidavits, two of which were provided by the non-parties who had transferred their business from plaintiff to our brokerage client.  When plaintiff submitted an untimely and improper reply brief less than 48 hours before the hearing, we – less than 24 hours later – submitted opposition in response to that brief as well.

The Result

The preliminary injunction hearing was held remotely via Zoom.  After hearing oral argument, the judge gave his ruling from the bench, adopting all of our key arguments and denying plaintiff’s motion for injunctive relief in its entirety.  The case settled shortly thereafter.