Schiff Hardin understands that an industry as broad and complex as real estate requires a multidisciplinary legal approach. That’s why we tap attorneys from practices across our firm to handle real estate matters, drawing on our deep experience in finance, construction, environmental law, taxes, public law, bankruptcy and workout, insurance, estate planning and litigation.
With offices in seven cities, our real estate work is national in scope. We represent developers, investors, publicly held companies, privately owned businesses, family offices, nonprofits and lenders, helping them with acquisitions, dispositions, financing, construction and related legal issues. Our services cover all types of commercial real estate projects, including industrial, retail, residential, hotel and mixed use.
We go beyond the traditional areas of real estate services, offering cutting-edge counsel in real estate-backed securities and other investment vehicles. We also have significant experience assisting both borrowers and lenders with a wide range of financing tools, such as sale and leaseback transactions, synthetic leases, and joint venture interests.
And when our clients encounter disputes, they rely on us for the abilities that have placed us on U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Law Firms” list for Real Estate Litigation.
Our services for real estate clients include:
- Real estate development: We have particular depth in assisting clients with real estate development projects, both commercial and residential, including pre-construction work such as site acquisition, financing, and sales disclosures and continuing through planning, design, construction and post-construction matters.
- Real estate finance: Our attorneys assist clients with complex types of financing as well as the restructuring of real estate financing in default, condominium conversions, and leasing and subleasing. We advise on deal structure, drafting and negotiating documentation, and we counsel clients in the formation and implementation of joint ventures and strategic alliances. We also work with governments to obtain necessary approvals and, where appropriate, various types of public funding.
- Distressed real estate: In addition, continuing problems in today’s economy, owners and developers of real estate have their own unique problems that may restrain transactions and reduce value. Our attorneys provide the kind of smart, innovative and multidisciplinary legal counsel required to solve problems related to lending, restructurings and workouts, bankruptcies, and construction and environmental issues.
- Leasing and subleasing: We represent a wide range of developers, landlords and tenants in office, retail and industrial leases. Our experience also includes negotiating sports stadium leases with major cities.
- Syndication: We represent sponsors of real estate projects in connection with soliciting qualified investors to participate in the ownership structure.
- Zoning and land use: Our team helps clients with all zoning and land use matters, including gaining approvals, drafting zoning relief ordinances, and negotiating agreements for improvements.
- Real estate investment trusts (REITs): We work with REITs on a variety of issues, from the formation of trusts to financing to the acquisition and disposition of properties.
- Affordable housing and community development: We work with nonprofits to find housing in areas of opportunity and construct homes for low- and moderate-income families.
- Contract enforcement disputes: Disputes are common in the real estate industry, and our lawyers help defend our clients’ interests in the most effective and efficient manner, always investigating possibilities of mediation, arbitration and alternative dispute resolution.
- Eminent domain and government takings: Our team represents developers and other private entities in seeking appropriate compensation when faced with eminent domain proceedings.