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  • Impressive individuals with deep knowledge. They invest heavily in building strong relationships with clients and we always feel as if they lavish us with attention. They are a good value for money and conscious of the importance of quality.”

    They are responsive and produce high-caliber legal work. They strike an appropriate balance between a commercial approach and a proper risk profile.”
    - Chambers USA

Real Estate

McCarter & English has a long and distinguished history of providing legal services to the commercial real estate industry. Expanding from its traditional 19th century practice, which focused on advising bank and insurance company lenders on their New Jersey loans, the Firm's Real Estate Practice Group has evolved into a 21st century powerhouse.

The broad-based group now has attorneys in Newark, New York, Hartford and Boston and represents all functional segments of the industry – lenders and borrowers, institutional investors and developers, landlords and tenants, partnerships and corporations, and contractors and design professionals – across the entire range of transactions encountered in real estate investment, development, leasing, and lending for commercial, industrial, retail, hotel, and residential projects throughout the United States.

Partners in the Real Estate Practice Group make every effort to stay abreast of current trends by participating in, speaking at, and writing for the industry's top professional associations. These include the Real Property Section of the American Bar Association, the American College of Real Estate Lawyers, the International Council of Shopping Centers, ALI-ABA, the Practicing Law Institute, and each of their respective state and local bar and mortgage banking associations in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts.

Real Estate Investment

The Real Estate Practice Group is experienced in advising on the formation of tax-efficient investment entities, negotiating on their behalf with partners and lenders, and concluding acquisition documents reflective of the unique qualities of the investment target – be it an office building, shopping center, warehouse or apartment complex – taking into account the investor's own tolerance for risk. Members of the Group have helped investors from the country's largest insurance companies and pension funds aggregate their national portfolios, counseled offshore entities and high net-worth individuals seeking to enter the U.S. market, and advised domestic and international corporations consolidating operations.

The range of investor services includes advice on environmental law concerns and present and future land use limitations and possibilities. The Group's lawyers have extensive experience counseling European, Latin American and Asian investors on federal and state reporting and disclosure requirements, and advising sovereign nations on the purchase of embassy and consulate properties.

Real Estate Finance

While the nature and variety of lenders has changed markedly in the last quarter-century, the fundamentals of security agreements have held relatively constant. These range from such basics as fee and leasehold mortgages, security agreements, subordination, non-disturbance and attornment agreements, to documentation of complex mezzanine lending and partnership preferred returns. The depth of the Group's experience in institutional lending has benefited both lenders and borrowers.

Members of the group have significant experience in resolving issues arising from distressed real estate. This experience includes loan modifications, workouts, restructurings, foreclosures, and distressed sales and auctions. Working in such circumstances, members of the group bring knowledge of both client needs and industry requirements. Because of the diverse skills of the group and McCarter's geographic and legal footprint, the group can bring a multi-dimensional approach to complex problem properties which often cannot be properly addressed without such a broad knowledge and experience base. When these investments require disposition, the Real Estate Practice Group is skilled in achieving an exit strategy by selling the asset or the title-holding entity. When necessary, the group's members work efficiently with McCarter's litigation, asset recovery, and bankruptcy lawyers to quickly and cost-effectively on the security.

Real Estate Development

The firm's real estate clients have long included developers and the firm has been involved in every phase of the development process: acquisition, assemblage, land use, amenity planning, application, design and construction documentation, financing via institutional lending, domestic or international partnerships/joint ventures, and operational issues. The diverse property types have included office and residential Manhattan, Newark, Hartford and Boston skyscrapers, regional shopping malls and lifestyle centers, mixed-use developments, "big box" retail outlets, warehouse/industrial sites, and the stadiums of major football and baseball franchises.

Some, including New York City's Trump Tower, have required the transfer of development rights, for which one Group partner developed standard documentation published by the Practicing Law Institute. For others, particularly shopping center and mixed-use developments, the group has formulated and critiqued complex reciprocal easement agreements, operating covenants, and declarations to balance rights and remedies among multiple uses and users. These projects have been documented for domestic developers, as well as for international joint ventures entering the American development process. Other practice groups provide advice on tax incentives and governmental financing packages for such projects when needed.


Our leasing work, a core area of our Real Estate Practice, covers ground, office, industrial and retail leasing. The group’s lawyers are experienced in representing both landlords and tenants in leasing of office buildings, shopping centers, mixed-use developments, retail space, and manufacturing and warehouse facilities across the country and beyond.

Prominent projects include Sony's net lease of the AT&T building in Manhattan, UBS' trading facility in Stamford, Connecticut (the world's largest electronic trading floor), leasing of television antenna towers at the World Trade Center and Empire State Building for the Tribune Company, Dun & Bradstreet's headquarters in Center Valley, Pennsylvania, and the space leasing of other skyscrapers such as: 461 Fifth, One Exchange Plaza and the Heron Tower in New York.

Our attorneys publish and speak regularly on commercial leasing topics and related issues. Our partners teach as adjunct professors at institutions such as New York University and Northeastern University, serve on CoreNet Global faculty, and present frequently before business and industry associations on best practices and new developments in commercial leasing.

Land Use

Group members are skilled in zoning and planning matters including project facilitation, environmental permitting, subdivision, amenity bonuses, and other approvals for commercial, residential and mixed-use projects. The Real Estate Practice Group represents contractors and developers in the procurement of permits at all governmental levels pertaining to wetlands, brownfield, and other environmentally sensitive sites, often in conjunction with the firm's environmental lawyers.

Real Property Tax Appeals

The Group is skilled in achieving reductions in property taxes, obtaining tax abatements and exemptions for qualified taxpayers, and negotiating state and local incentive packages for commercial clients and nonprofits entities. Because of the Group's substantial experience in these matters and our clients' need for consistent national coordination of such a program, this practice area has become national and international in scope. Recently the group concluded the successful appeal of the taxation of a nuclear power station in an action that may have been the largest tax appeal ever brought in the United States. The Group also employs its valuation and negotiation skills in the vigorous defense of condemnation actions by state and local authorities.