Donovan LLP
152 Madison Ave, 14th Floor
New York, NY 10016

Real Estate Group

The firm's Real Estate Group maintains a full-service real estate practice with a reputation for sophistication and excellence in the areas of acquisitions and dispositions, development, financing, joint ventures and leasing. Our clients include buyers, sellers, institutional investors, developers, hospitals, churches, synagogues and other not-for-profit companies, general and limited partners, and preferred and subordinated equity investors. Donovan LLP's Real Estate Group is recognized by its peers as being among New York City's leading advisors in the field of real estate law.

Our experience enables us to anticipate issues and assist our clients in reaching their business objectives. Drawing on the breadth of that experience, we are able to manage complex and multidisciplinary transactions involving numerous players and bring them to a successful and timely close.

Purchase and Sale Transactions

Our Purchase and Sale Transactions Practice covers real estate transactions of every class, from purchases in the hundreds of millions of dollars to more modest sales of several million dollars or less. We work with individual investors, private equity funds, developers, not-for-profit entities, retail operators, and institutional investors. Our work spans local and regional markets in the United States and includes the following types of transactions: sale and purchase of office buildings, apartment complexes, apartment buildings, retail and commercial condominiums, retail and commercial cooperative units, shopping centers, hospitals, churches, synagogues, industrial buildings, hotels and development sites.

Our attorneys have worked on the sale and purchase of some of New York City’s most renowned landmarks, including the purchase and subsequent redevelopment/conversion of The Apthorp Building for a price of $426,000,000.00. The firm also acted as the lead borrower's counsel in the ongoing Apthorp workout until management was replaced in mid-2009.

Our firm is also very active in the representation of purchasers and sellers in connection with residential real estate transactions in New York City and the surrounding Counties of New York State. The firm has a strong reputation for representing its clients effectively and efficiently in such transactions.


Our Development Practice handles a full range of development projects locally and nationally, from office and residential buildings to hotels and shopping centers, bringing foresight and leadership to the planning and execution of each transaction. We are able to draw on the depth and breadth of our experience to formulate the relevant issues and coordinate the working group’s overall strategy.

We advise on the negotiation of joint ventures and other investment structures, the implementation of development and redevelopment schemes, financing and refinancing, the procurement of entitlements, architectural and construction documentation, and property leasing, operation and management.

Our group draws on broad expertise, provides local resourcefulness, and ensures smooth project execution, as we help our clients make a lasting mark on the landscape with successful, sustainable and profitable business projects.

Foreclosure and Workouts

The firm's attorneys have a strong background in handling foreclosures and workouts for a large number of institutional and private lenders. Accordingly, the firm has developed a substantial practice representing banks, lenders and borrowers in real estate workouts, restructurings, foreclosures, deeds-in-lieu of foreclosure, and other similar matters, as well as the sale of notes, foreclosure judgments, bank-owned real estate and the like. Our experience in this field makes us a key advisor to clients navigating through turbulent times. We also routinely advise investors, including commercial banks, equity funds, and developers, in their purchases and sales of distressed debt instruments and distressed real estate. In these difficult times, Donovan LLP maintains a strategic foreclosure and workout practice, representing banks and private lenders in a myriad of foreclosure actions and related workout transactions.

In many respects our financing and workout practices are complementary. Lessons learned in the context of workouts and restructurings generally result in the development and implementation of approaches which help clients avoid their prior difficulties in new financings.

Our cross-disciplinary approach to these matters and our extensive experience dealing with past distressed situations enable us to identify effective strategies to achieve our clients' goals proactively and efficiently. The results are solutions allowing our clients to reduce their risks and costs, capture available value and emerge from distressed situations in an effective and timely manner.


Donovan LLP maintains an extensive leasing practice. We represent landlords and tenants in every type of leasing transaction, including ground leases, retail leases, office leases or space leases ranging from health clubs, restaurants, hotels, and corporate headquarters to relatively small leases. The firm also regularly handles sale-leasebacks and other structured transactions involving leases. Our attorneys have represented clients on their regional and nationwide leasing programs, providing standard form documentation as well as complete coordination of the legal side of the leasing process.

Because our practice also involves a large number of financings, sales, and acquisitions, we constantly update our information regarding the sensitivities of both lenders and purchasers to particular lease terms, and are able to use this knowledge to the benefit of our leasing clients.

Real Estate Finance

The firm's Real Estate Finance Practice includes the representation of real estate lenders, borrowers, mezzanine lenders, and investors in ordinary-course, complex, and highly structured transactions in New York and throughout the US. The firm represents a large number of banks and financial institutions in connection with commercial mortgage loan origination, foreclosure and workouts, trade finance and general banking matters with respect to commercial loans, multifamily loans, hotel loans, building and construction loans, mezzanine loans, and underlying cooperative loans. The core of the firm, since its inception, has always been representing commercial real estate lenders in connection with the origination of commercial real estate mortgage loans, as well as the workout and/or foreclosure of troubled loans.

Our group is acknowledged as a provider of first-class legal services on every aspect of real estate financings, from inception to close. We have the resources to lead you to the achievement of your business goals in real estate finance.

Corporate Practice Group

Our Corporate Group provides innovative advice on corporate law issues to a wide range of privately held corporations, limited liability companies and partnerships. Our clients include consumer products and manufacturing companies, construction, and other service industries, and start-up companies involved in new technology and a variety of other fast growth fields. We represent private companies in many of the same types of transactions engaged in by our public company clients. In addition, we have extensive experience in areas such as mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance, stockholder relations and financing transactions.

We take a full-service approach to providing legal services to our clients, using the experience in a number of various disciplines that must be marshaled in complex transactions, including corporate, commercial lending, intellectual property, and real estate. The vast number of transactions in which our attorneys have been involved and our emphasis on teamwork allows us to synthesize all of these areas of concentration for the benefit of our clients, giving us the ability to handle all types of transactions.

Mergers and Acquisitions

Our Mergers and Acquisitions Practice encompasses all aspects of this rapidly changing field. In addition to structuring and negotiating purchases and sales of privately held businesses, the firm has extensive experience with the most complex and technical business combination transactions, including techniques applicable to publicly held companies.

Financing Transactions

Our firm regularly counsels corporate borrowers in loan transactions with banks, insurance companies and other types of lenders. Our experience includes the structuring, negotiation, and documentation of term and revolving credit facilities, working capital loans, acquisition loans, senior and subordinated debt instruments and real estate financing transactions. Our attorneys have also has been involved in a large number of project finance transactions, including leveraged leases.

Hospitality and Fitness Group

In the modern economy, the stakes for owners and operators in the hospitality and fitness space have never been higher. Due to increasing competition, managing a successful hotel, spa or fitness center requires unparalleled knowledge and expertise.

Our Hospitality & Fitness Group provides comprehensive and extensive legal and business experience in the hospitality and fitness industry that is as varied as the issues facing the businesses themselves. Our clients include some of the most dynamic and exciting participants in the Hospitality and Fitness industries, including the largest health club operator in the Northeast United States, and one of the fastest growing hospitality and restaurant groups in the Unites States.

We advise developers, owners, operators and managers of restaurants, nightclubs, hotels and health clubs on the many aspects of their involvement in the hospitality and fitness industry. We have experience working with major hotel and restaurant companies in all major metropolitan areas in the United States, including New York City, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Miami, as well as international locations, such as London and the Turk & Caicos Islands.

Working closely with our clients, we have been successful in helping to develop customized hospitality and fitness brands, and enhancing existing brands, by providing industry experience and expert advice through the various aspects of the planning, development and execution of our clients’ goals.

We provide advice concerning all aspects of developing Hospitality and Fitness businesses, including the negotiation of management agreements, food & beverage service agreements, license agreements and technical service agreements, the sale and purchase of property assets, structuring of complex transactions involving joint ventures, the creation of subsidiary entities for the ownership or development, and the eventual sale of the company.

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