Prominent real estate finance lawyer joins Real Estate team
New York — Jan. 24, 2022 — McCarter & English, LLP, is pleased to announce that Joseph Philip Forte has joined the firm as a partner in its Real Estate Finance practice in New York. Forte, a recognized leader in the real estate finance industry, helped develop the secondary and securitization markets for residential, multifamily, and commercial mortgages. He most recently served as general counsel for a national title company and formerly was chair of the real estate finance practice at a global law firm.
One of the original founders of the CRE Finance Council (CREFC), Forte has been at the forefront of many major innovations in the real estate finance industry for more than four decades. He served as co-chair of the Real Estate Roundtable High Volatility Commercial Real Estate (HVCRE) Working Group, which developed the legislative clarification of the HVCRE Rule as it affects construction lending, and serves as chair of its LIBOR Working Group, which made the initial recommendations for safe harbor modifications to the IRS sales/exchange rules, resulting in the IRS issuing a final regulation confirming that replacement of LIBOR would not be treated as a taxable exchange of property under the Tax Code. He served on the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) committee that developed the original environmental risk assessment standards and is currently serving on the Task Force for Property Resilience Assessment in Commercial Real Estate Due Diligence, Disclosure and Reporting of ASTM’s Climate and Community Subcommittee.
“Joe will be instrumental in expanding our commercial real estate services nationally and further strengthens our capabilities in real estate finance and securitization. He is a terrific addition to our team,” said Simone Wilson-Brito, co-chair of the firm’s Real Estate practice.
“I have known Joe through CREFC for years,” said Joe Lubertazzi, McCarter’s Chairman. “His reputation and wide-ranging experience will greatly benefit clients in their complex real estate transactions. His background further diversifies the capabilities of our expanding real estate team.”
Forte has substantial experience in real estate and capital market-related financing, particularly in the origination, structuring, workout, and enforcement of commercial mortgage loans, including permanent, bridge, and construction mortgage lending; mezzanine financing; and loan sales and purchase transactions. He advises lenders and investors on market and regulatory issues affecting the mortgage and secondary mortgage markets and capital market-related financings. He represents traditional portfolio lenders and special servicers in commercial mortgage-backed securities transactions.
“I was drawn to McCarter for the strength and depth of its real estate team,” said Forte. “I have long known and admired lawyers at the firm, so when I decided to return to private practice, McCarter was my clear first choice.”
An acknowledged thought leader, Forte served for several years as the co-chair of the annual “CMBS & The Real Estate Lawyer” program for the Practising Law Institute. He was the founder and publisher of CRE Finance World, continues to serve as publisher of CREFC’s CRE and Multifamily Finance in the Spotlight, and, from 2013 to 2019, was a contributing editor for Lexology’s Getting the Deal Through.
Forte earned his J.D., cum laude, from St. John’s University School of Law, including serving as the managing editor of its law review, and his B.A., magna cum laude, from St. Francis College.
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