Overview

While many law firms focus primarily on the finance side of commercial real estate and others focus on the equity investment side, Katten's Real Estate group is known for its strengths in both. Our attorneys are trained to understand how the needs of both types of clients relate to each other — we regularly represent lenders, operators and investors. This balance in practice and experience enables Katten attorneys to identify opportunities and develop creative solutions to legal and business issues to achieve our clients’ objectives. We make sure our clients understand the most critical concerns of counterparties in their transactions and come up with solutions that achieve our clients’ goals and resolve the opposing parties’ concerns. Our real estate attorneys have the experience and knowledge needed to cost-effectively represent our clients and find workable solutions to the often seemingly unbending positions of other parties.

Transactions on a national scale

Our Real Estate team has a national platform that allows us to understand and accommodate the many complex aspects of multi-jurisdictional opportunities. Our 120 attorneys nationwide practice in most major US property markets and work seamlessly with colleagues throughout the country and abroad, sharing the experience, contacts and resources of each of our different offices and providing a broad, collective perspective on market trends, pitfalls and opportunities. At the same time, our "boots on the ground" approach in individual markets means we are attuned to the local business culture and alert to its opportunities and issues. We put the right people in the right places to execute timely, market-savvy transactions in even the most competitive environments. Our deep bench of real estate attorneys across the country allows us to handle not only sophisticated trophy properties but also large portfolio transactions on a time sensitive basis.

Our attorneys structure transactions to help our clients achieve their business objectives in real estate, corporate and other areas. In addition to our real estate experience, Katten’s sophisticated and innovative Transactional Tax Planning group is a critical part of the work we provide on real estate transactions and for real estate companies generally and differentiates us from our competition. We also anticipate and resolve critical issues related to all real estate transactions, including workouts, insolvencies and bankruptcies (hand-in-hand with our nationally recognized Insolvency and Restructuring practice), commercial and real estate financings, and joint ventures.

Thinking long-term

We are fully involved in solving the problems and achieving the goals of our clients, including long-term goals that set up various programs for our clients and achieve their business objectives and immediate goals, such as closing the deal. We work to create long-term partnerships with our clients. To that end, our clients count on us to protect their interests as the deal is negotiated and help them preserve and extend their relationships with other parties to ensure long-term relationships are strengthened for future transactions.

We regularly help clients in all types of real estate transactions and matters, including:

  • Acquisitions and dispositions
  • Affordable housing development and finance
  • Bond financings
  • Construction and bridge lending
  • Development and construction contracts
  • Environmental issues
  • Fund formation and administration
  • Ground leases
  • Leasing, including sale/leaseback and credit tenant transactions
  • Loan and loan portfolio acquisitions and dispositions
  • Mezzanine lending and preferred equity investments
  • Private equity and joint ventures
  • Real estate litigation, insolvency and bankruptcy matters
  • Recapitalizations
  • Repurchase agreements, warehouse lines and “loan-on-loan” financings
  • Syndicated and CMBS lending
  • Structured lending and securitizations
  • Subscription lines and participations
  • Tax credit financings and other tax matters
  • Workouts and restructurings
Recognized for innovative financing

Our real estate attorneys are trusted advisors to start-ups, large and middle-market borrowers and lenders, and internationally renowned institutions. We counsel local, regional, national and international banks, investment banks, insurance companies, pension funds, mortgage REITS, debt funds, private equity funds, developers, owner/operators, managers, family enterprises and non-profit organizations. Our clients rely on us for the financing of office, residential retail, hospitality, mixed-use, industrial, stadiums, for sale condominiums projects and working capital needs.

We have extensive experience providing innovative financing for multi-family housing projects, including affordable housing, workforce housing, mixed-income housing, luxury housing and community development projects. Our work involves engaging in public-private partnerships and obtaining federal and state assistance of all kinds, including federal and state tax credits, taxable bonds, tax-exempt bonds and private equity. Our Affordable Housing and Community Development group works with federal, state and local entities to guide project owners and developers, equity investors, public and private lenders and government agencies through the complex regulatory and financing requirements needed to close a new deal or restructure a troubled asset.

Experienced in current leasing transactions

Katten understands the current trends and issues facing landlords and tenants during complex lease negotiations under various market conditions. Our real estate attorneys advise landlords and tenants on leasing transactions related to all types of properties and lease structures, including space and complex ground leases, sale-leaseback transactions, build-to-suit leases and credit tenant and bondable lease financing structures. Working with our Litigation and Insolvency and Restructuring practices, we provide advice on the latest issues related to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations, cannabis use, operating expense litigation, interpretation of force majeure and continuous operating clauses, general administrative amendments and enforcement and workout coordination.

Making smart investments

Real estate owners, developers and investors of every kind value Katten’s deep insight into geographically diverse real estate markets and our practical approach to transactions. We understand the complexities of investing in commercial real estate and bring a deep knowledge of financing to every transaction, providing particular value when our clients seek to recapitalize or restructure investments during difficult economic times. We have a keen understanding of different investor business models and structures, allowing us to structure complex investments that minimize risk and maximize returns for both developers and sponsors when it comes to joint ventures and equity investment vehicles.

Our collaboration across offices and the national scope of our Real Estate practice allows us to provide our clients with knowledge and resources obtained from different geographic markets across the country. Practical and business-oriented, our clients value our ability to protect their interests and achieve their investment goals.

"Katten . . . has become my 'go-to' firm for commercial real estate financing and real estate equity transactions. Their depth of knowledge . . . is spectacular."

U.S. News – Best Lawyers® 2019 "Best Law Firms"
(Real Estate Law) survey response