Real Estate

  • February 26, 2015

    3rd Circ. Keeps Carlyle Investor Battle In Delaware Court

    An investment fund controlled by a Dutch investor must pursue its breach of contract claims against Carlyle Investment Management LLC in Delaware state court even though the fund never signed the contract requiring the dispute to take place there, the Third Circuit ruled Wednesday.

  • February 26, 2015

    Mexican REIT Terrafina Inks $101M Land Sale Deals

    Mexican real estate investment trust Terrafina LLC said on Thursday that it has agreed to sell a portfolio of land reserves and industrial space located mainly in Northeastern Mexico for roughly $101 million, in a move that is meant to cut costs.

  • February 26, 2015

    RBS Bid To Escape MBS Suit Is Improper, NCUA Says

    The National Credit Union Administration board on Thursday urged a California federal judge to keep alive its claims against RBS Securities Inc. over hundreds of millions in mortgage-backed securities that helped lead to the failure of a major credit union, saying RBS' dismissal motion improperly attacked specific allegations.

  • February 26, 2015

    Boeing Tells Texas High Court Lease Terms Aren't Public

    Boeing Co. on Thursday told the Texas Supreme Court state public information law exempts the public release of its lease for a former Air Force Base because its competitors could use the rental information to undercut its bids for government contracts.

  • February 26, 2015

    Neal Gerber, Wachtell Guide JV For $1.6B Mall Portfolio

    Neal Gerber & Eisenberg LLP represented O’Connor Mall Partners LP in the formation of a joint venture with Washington Prime Group Inc., a real estate investment trust represented by Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz, helping O’Connor take a stake in five malls valued at roughly $1.625 billion.

  • February 26, 2015

    Reed Smith Wants Legal Mal Row Over Mansion Fire Arbitrated

    Reed Smith LLP said in a Pennsylvania court filing Wednesday that a malpractice suit accusing the firm of botching a $20.5 million insurance settlement tied to a fire at a historic suburban Philadelphia mansion belongs in arbitration.

  • February 26, 2015

    Activist Investors Seeking REIT Spinoffs After IRS Change

    As shareholder activists increasingly set their sights on real estate investment trusts, they are also targeting companies that may have REIT-eligible assets and pressuring boards to use the IRS' broadening definition of real property to unlock additional value through spinoffs.

  • February 26, 2015

    Ex-Milbank Atty Gets 15 Months For Investment Fraud

    A disbarred lawyer who once worked as an associate at Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy LLP was sentenced in New York federal court Thursday to 15 months in prison for defrauding investors in a Philadelphia real estate venture.

  • February 26, 2015

    CIM Affiliate Settles With NY AG Over Alleged 421-A Abuses

    As controversy continues to build around New York City's 421-a tax abatement program, the state's attorney general announced Thursday that a CIM Group affiliate has agreed to pay about $4.5 million to settle allegations that it abused the program by operating an illegal hotel in a condominium tower.

  • February 26, 2015

    MetLife To Pay $123.5M In Justice Dept. Mortgage Settlement

    MetLife Inc. on Wednesday agreed to a $123.5 million settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice over allegations that its banking unit knowingly issued mortgages that did not meet the underwriting standards necessary for the government backing they received.

  • February 26, 2015

    Fontainebleau Reaches $115M Deal With Resort Investors

    The failed $2.9 billion Fontainebleau Resort and Casino in Las Vegas has reached a $115 million settlement with investors who say the company kept two sets of books to doctor construction costs, according to lawyers for the plaintiffs.

  • February 25, 2015

    BofA Pays $300M To End Fontainebleau Lender Suit

    Bank of America NA has paid $300 million to settle a Nevada federal suit brought by more than 40 lenders and investors claiming they were fraudulently induced to lend more than $1 billion to the failed Fontainebleau Las Vegas project, the bank said in a Wednesday securities filing.

  • February 25, 2015

    Developer Urges Tax Court To OK $7M Facade Donation Claim

    The owner of a former Pittsburgh cork factory-turned-luxury apartment building has asked the U.S. Tax Court to rule in its favor in a dispute over a disallowed $7.14 million tax deduction tied to a conservation easement, arguing the charitable donation had been properly documented.

  • February 25, 2015

    Real Estate Rumor Mill: Blackstone, Bloomberg, WeWork

    A venture that includes Blackstone is said to be paying roughly $180 million for a Chicago-area shopping mall, while Bloomberg has reportedly leased 150,000 square feet in New York and WeWork is said to be taking 240,000 square feet in New York.

  • February 25, 2015

    Insurer Can't Dodge $23M Dispute Over Condo Repairs

    A Florida federal judge on Wednesday ruled Ace American Insurance Co. can't dodge a $23 million suit concerning repairs to a Miami high-rise condominium, finding that issues of material fact on the repairs remain in dispute.

  • February 25, 2015

    Morgan Stanley To Shell Out $2.6B To End MBS Probe

    Morgan Stanley will pay $2.6 billion to end a U.S. Department of Justice investigation into its mortgage-backed securities deals, the company said in a regulatory filing on Wednesday.

  • February 25, 2015

    Calif. Council OKs $2B Stadium From Rams Owner Kroenke

    The Inglewood City Council in California on Tuesday night voted unanimously to approve a $2 billion, 80,000-seat football stadium that would be developed by St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke’s real estate firm and potentially lure the National Football League back to the Los Angeles area after a two-decade hiatus.

  • February 25, 2015

    Dentons Grabs Ex-Locke Lord REIT Group In Dallas

    Dentons this week bolstered its corporate practice group by grabbing the bulk of Locke Lord LLP’s real estate investment trust team, adding the three new partners to its Dallas office focusing on public securities and transactions, the firm confirmed on Wednesday.

  • February 25, 2015

    Interstate JV Scores $110M Loan For Hotel Portfolio

    A joint venture of Interstate Hotels & Resorts Inc., Varde Partners Inc. and Waramaug Hospitality Management have secured a $110 million refinancing package for a portfolio of hotel properties spread across five states including Florida and California, the group's broker disclosed Tuesday.

  • February 25, 2015

    Scarinci Hollenbeck Lures Ex-Wolff & Samson Enviro Atty

    Scarinci Hollenbeck LLC bolstered its environmental law practice with the addition of a former Wolff & Samson PC attorney who has more than two decades of experience in the environmental field to its office in Lyndhurst, New Jersey, the firm said Wednesday.

Expert Analysis

  • Lenity And Deference On A Collision Course

    Michael Y. Kieval

    It is clear that at least two U.S. Supreme Court justices are willing to address the issue of deference to the agency interpretation of criminal or hybrid statutes. It is less clear whether the court is interested in curbing the use of administrative adjudication to make law. Both of these trends carry particular importance for the financial services industry, say attorneys with Weiner Brodsky Kider PC.

  • Defining Atty Fee Enforceability In Illegal Contracts

    Sylvia S. Arostegui

    California courts have previously enforced attorneys' fees provisions in a real estate purchase contract even though the underlying contract was illegal. However, in Mountain Air Enterprises v. Sundowner Towers, a state appeals court distinguished prior decisions and clarified when a party can recover attorneys' fees under a real estate purchase contract that is ruled to be illegal, say Sylvia Arostegui and Brendan Macaulay of Nossaman LLP.

  • Sheldon Silver May Be Able To Beat This

    Edward J. Loya Jr.

    As difficult as the corruption case against former New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver might seem, a closer review suggests that Silver and his lawyers may have a shot at a successful defense — particularly in light of the fact that the government at this stage cannot present the testimony of a single witness who has pled guilty to participating in the alleged unlawful “schemes,” says Edward J. Loya Jr., counsel at Venab... (continued)

  • Setting The Wayback Machine For Housing Finance Reform

    Brad Miller

    Many proposals for housing finance reform set the wayback machine to 2005, but those days were not so glorious for homeowners and investors. Perhaps we should aim for policies that create a stable, liquid and affordable mortgage market, and the private-label securitization market could still compete, says former U.S. Rep. Brad Miller, who was principal House sponsor of legislation to regulate subprime mortgages and to create the Co... (continued)

  • This Week In Congress: Avoiding A DHS Funding Showdown

    Richard A. Hertling

    One major change in the debate over U.S. Department of Homeland Security funding — which expires this Friday — is that a Texas federal district judge has issued an injunction against the Obama administration’s immigration policy, essentially putting it on hold. This may be an opportunity for the Senate to avoid the policy riders and pass a clean funding bill, says Richard Hertling and Kaitlyn McClure of Covington & Burling LLP.

  • In-House Counsel's Dirty 'Little' Secret: Data Leakage

    Jennifer Topper

    Not every data breach is a massive headline-grabbing theft of consumer credit card information. As significant as these events may seem, the more dangerous and prevalent threats are the least visible — occurring through "data leakage." Put simply, this is raw meat awaiting a strike by the plaintiff’s bar, says legal industry adviser Jennifer Topper.

  • Calif. Case Could Shape Enviro Permit Challenge Rights

    Paul J. Beard

    California courts have long struggled with whether project proponents may challenge the conditions in a state environmental or land use permit and simultaneously proceed with the project. What the California Supreme Court ultimately decides in Lynch v. California Coastal Commission is anyone’s guess, but the stakes are high for both project proponents and state agencies, say Paul Beard and Damien Schiff of Alston & Bird LLP.

  • Recasting Claims Under CGL Policies Is Rough In 5th Circ.

    Jon T. Neumann

    The Fifth Circuit’s rejection of the Gum Tree defendants’ argument in Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company v. Gum Tree Property Management LLC that misappropriation of a business’ proprietary information is akin to violation of a “person’s” privacy rights under a general commercial liability policy has immediate significance for policyholders who may face claims for misappropriation of trade secrets from business competitors, say Jo... (continued)

  • FIRPTA Reform Will Up Foreign Investment In US Real Estate

    Victor Hollender

    The Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act functions as a substantial deterrent to foreign investment in the U.S. real estate industry, driving foreign capital to instead invest in other U.S. industries or in real estate opportunities in other countries. The FIRPTA reform provisions unanimously approved last week by the Senate Finance Committee address this problem by reducing some sizeable barriers, say attorneys with Skadden... (continued)

  • This Week In Congress: DHS Funding Looms In Recess

    Richard A. Hertling

    With the House and Senate in recess until Feb. 23, a number of issues compete for priority upon their return — including a possible vote to overturn President Obama’s anticipated Keystone Pipeline veto, nominations for U.S. Attorney General and head of the USPTO, the FCC's net neutrality rules, and an imminent deadline for Department of Homeland Security funding, say Richard Hertling and Kaitlyn McClure of Covington & Burling LLP.