Real Estate

  • January 23, 2015

    Ocwen Shells Out $2.5M To Keep Calif. Mortgage License

    An Ocwen Financial Corp. unit on Friday agreed to pay $2.5 million to a California regulator for failing to provide documentation showing it was complying with state laws protecting mortgage holders.

  • January 23, 2015

    11th Circ. Upholds Release For FFS Owner In Ch. 11 Plan

    The Eleventh Circuit on Friday upheld a lower court’s decision that IberiaBank Corp.’s claim against the owner of foreclosure listing company FFS Data Inc. over a $10.6 million loan was released by its Chapter 11 plan, ruling the bankruptcy court correctly denied the bank’s bid to negate the release.

  • January 23, 2015

    KeyBank Loan Tampering Intent Is Key To Coverage: NY Court

    A New York appeals court said Thursday that it wasn’t clear whether KeyBank NA could seek coverage under a fidelity bond issued by National Union Fire Insurance Co. of Pittsburgh, Pa., for losses after a KeyBank employee mishandled a $20 million loan to a developer, because questions remained as to the employee’s intent.

  • January 23, 2015

    NJ Enviro, Planning Groups Seek Veto Of Meadowlands Bill

    Smart growth, environmental and conservation groups on Friday urged New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to veto plans to consolidate an agency that has overseen development and environmental improvements in the Meadowlands and overhaul a regional tax sharing system, contending that the changes would undermine decades of balanced planning.

  • January 23, 2015

    Developer Claims NJ Mayor Sabotaged $3M Project

    Brian Stack, a New Jersey state senator and the mayor of Union City, was accused in a lawsuit Thursday of conspiring with a city building official to sabotage a local developer's $3 million project, allegedly in retaliation for a stunt in which someone flew a banner disparaging the mayor for "sex exploits" and "cheating the public."

  • January 23, 2015

    Real Estate Group Of The Year: King & Spalding

    King & Spalding LLP's real estate attorneys guided Edens Investments Trust through a $762 million transaction with AmREIT Inc. and represented Morgan Stanley in $2 billion worth of transactions, landing the group on Law360's list of Real Estate Groups of the Year.

  • January 23, 2015

    2 IPOs Raise $375M As Slew Of Others Prepare Debuts

    Cloud storage provider Box Inc. splashed on to the market Friday, one of only two initial public offerings in a week swamped with companies setting terms — including 10 life sciences firms, a private equity-backed burger chain and a real estate investment trust — which has laid the groundwork for a busy few weeks in IPO activity.

  • January 23, 2015

    Holland & Knight Snags LA Real Estate Partner From Goodwin

    Holland & Knight LLP announced it has brought on board a lateral real estate partner from Goodwin Procter LLP to help grow its Los Angeles general real estate group as well as its project finance and land use practices.

  • January 23, 2015

    Chinese Co. Pays Deutsche $490M For London's Tower Place

    Chinese insurance and financial services firm Ping An Insurance Co. of China Ltd. has dropped £327 million ($490 million) to buy London’s Tower Place office and retail complex from a fund of Deutsche Bank AG’s asset and wealth management division, the bank announced Thursday.

  • January 23, 2015

    Head Of NJ Development Agency Steps Down For Nonprofit Gig

    The chief executive officer of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, which oversees tax incentive programs for job creation and development, is leaving the post to take the reins of a privately funded organization that similarly works to encourage economic growth in the state.

  • January 23, 2015

    Vulcan Pockets $128.5M In Sale Of Seattle Office To Talon

    Talon Private Capital has struck a $128.5 million deal to pick up a prized, fully-leased Seattle office complex from Vulcan Inc.'s real estate arm, the seller announced Thursday.

  • January 23, 2015

    McMillin's Construction Defect Coverage Suit Revived

    A California appeals court on Thursday revived McMillin Companies LLC's suit against American Safety Indemnity Co. over coverage for construction defect litigation by reversing a lower court ruling that left McMillin without evidence of damages, while finding that ASIC should be allowed to present evidence disputing its alleged duty to defend.

  • January 23, 2015

    Nomura Says Jury Should Decide Facts Of FHFA Suit

    Nomura Holding America Inc. on Thursday said in a New York court that a jury should determine whether it performed sufficient due diligence on mortgage-backed securities sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that are the subject of a lawsuit from the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

  • January 23, 2015

    Brookfield Drops $200M To Expand Facilities Management Biz

    Brookfield Asset Management Inc. said Friday it will buy the other half of its Canadian and Australian facilities management businesses from Johnson Controls Inc. for about $200 million, laying groundwork for global expansion.

  • January 23, 2015

    Real Estate Rumor Mill: UniCredit SpA, Lerner, Kaisa

    Several bidders, including a Blackstone Group LP affiliate, vying to buy the former headquarters of UniCredit SpA are said to have gotten a binding offer deadline extended, while developer Michael Lerner is rumored to be planning an apartment tower near Google Inc.'s future Chicago office and troubled Kaisa Group Holdings Ltd. is reportedly in talks to sell assets to rival developers.

  • January 23, 2015

    SEC Accuses Ex-Lehman Vet Of Illegal Trading

    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday brought charges against a former Lehman Brothers Inc. managing director and the brokerage firm he formed after the Wall Street giant’s collapse, accusing them of breaking a number of rules including trading in violation of registration requirements.

  • January 23, 2015

    Wis. Gov. Rejects Menominee Tribe, Hard Rock's $808M Casino

    Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker rejected on Friday a controversial $808 million casino resort proposed by the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin and Hard Rock, marking the latest twist in a series of interconnecting issues between the state and its Indian communities.

  • January 23, 2015

    Asian Conglomerate Keppel Offers $2.6B For Property Unit

    Singapore conglomerate Keppel Corp. Ltd. offered up to S$3.2 billion (US$2.6 billion) to buy the remaining stake of its property subsidiary, Keppel Land, promising shareholders Friday a hefty premium in a take-private deal that broadens company revenue amid fluctuating markets. 

  • January 22, 2015

    NJ High Court Boosts Towns In Enviro Zoning Fights

    A New Jersey Supreme Court decision on Thursday that backed a municipality's ability to designate property as environmentally sensitive to restrict higher-density development could empower more towns to make such zoning changes and make it tougher for landowners to fight them, attorneys said.

  • January 22, 2015

    Silver Arrest May Herald New Crackdown On Lawyer Pols

    Thursday's federal indictment of New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver for allegedly receiving more than $6 million in illegitimate income is expected to spawn a crackdown on law firms paying referral fees to politicians, as well as further investigations — and prosecutions — of politicians who tread into treacherous conflict-of-interest territory, legal experts say.

Expert Analysis

  • More Coverage Issues May Go To Appraisal Panels In Minn.

    Scott G. Johnson

    After the Minnesota Supreme Court's recent ruling in Cedar Bluff Townhouse Condominium Association v. American Family Mutual Insurance Co., to avoid having an appraisal panel decide issues of coverage, which are still subject to later judicial review, parties need to resolve coverage issues before submitting disputes to appraisal, says Scott Johnson of Robins Kaplan Miller & Ciresi LLP.

  • 11 Ways To Reform NY's Brownfield Cleanup Program

    Lawrence P. Schnapf

    All stakeholders agree the Brownfield Cleanup Program has significantly driven the cleanup and redevelopment of contaminated properties in New York state. There is also broad consensus that the program should be extended, but with changes to better target tax credits to sites that need them most. A number of recommendations are now on the table, say co-chairmen of the New York State Bar Association's Brownfield Task Force.

  • Understanding Valuation Of LIHTC Projects: Part 2

    Mark V. Bossi

    Courts have raised concerns about the valuation process for distressed low-income housing tax credit projects, and have illustrated the complications involved in valuing “midstream” noninvestment-grade tax credits. Where the value of the credits will be contested, an in-depth market survey is highly recommended, says Mark Bossi, co-chairman of Thompson Coburn LLP's financial restructuring practice.

  • Calif. Land Grant Case May Change Railroad Rights Of Way

    Michael F. Kerr

    A California appellate court's recent ruling in Union Pacific Railroad Co. v. Santa Fe Pacific Pipelines Inc. is likely to significantly affect the relationships between railroads and their subsurface tenants on rights of way that were originally granted by the government, particularly in the western part of the country, say Neil Soltman and Michael Kerr of Mayer Brown LLP.

  • China's Draft Foreign Investment Guidance Is Encouraging

    Woon-Wah Siu

    The draft of China's new Foreign Investment Guidance Catalogue lifts restrictions on foreign investment in dozens of service and general manufacture industries and would relax Chinese ownership requirements. Although foreign investors still would have to operate in some of these industries through Sino-foreign joint ventures, control by the Chinese partners would no longer be required, say Woon-Wah Siu and Liang Tao of Pillsbury Wi... (continued)

  • A Data Security Checklist For Companies Hiring Law Firms

    Jenn Topper

    We trust our law firms with huge amounts of data, whether in or out of discovery, investigations or litigation. All too often, we have relied on privilege, confidentiality and attorney ethics as a proxy for data protection and information security. But in fact, law firms ought to be held to a much more stringent standard — and in-house counsel would be wise to begin with a number of specific inquiries, says legal industry consultan... (continued)

  • Understanding Valuation Of LIHTC Projects: Part 1

    Mark V. Bossi

    It is important to understand the value of a lender’s collateral, particularly in a workout or bankruptcy involving a low-income housing tax credit project, where the lender’s only recourse will be to the project itself. There are four unique aspects of an LIHTC project that impact valuation, says Mark Bossi, co-chairman of Thompson Coburn LLP's financial restructuring practice.

  • What Legal Departments Can Expect If Buying Into E-Billing

    David Houlihan

    Recent interviews with law departments in eight companies — ranging from $600 million to $70 billion in annual revenue, and spanning the financial services, telecommunications, hospitality, software and discrete manufacturing industries — reveals that e-billing and "spend management solutions" offer some of the clearer business cases for technology investment by an organization’s legal department, says David Houlihan of Blue Hill Research Inc.

  • Section 351, REIT Election And A Surprise IRS Ruling

    Jack Cummings

    Recent chief counsel advice treated a real estate investment trust election for a disregarded limited liability company as causing a potential Section 351 exchange before the current owner bought the LLC, but Section 351 did not apply because the prior shareholder lost control over whether the LLC might make an REIT election. While not exactly a trap for the unwary, this is a very surprising result, says Jack Cummings, counsel with... (continued)

  • 3 In-House Management Strategies For 2015

    James A. Merklinger

    Bank of America Corp.'s new litigation model boasts 80 percent fixed fees. At United Technologies Corp., 70 percent of legal fees were “alternative” as of 2013. And Caterpillar created a sophisticated “legal lane” strategy to save time and money. Companies looking to work smarter in 2015 should keep in mind that key to these achievements was appointment of a legal department chief operating officer, says James Merklinger of the Ass... (continued)