Six Prominent New York Real Estate Finance and Restructuring Lawyers Welcomed to Expanding Haynes and Boone Office

02/01/2010

NEW YORK – In a major expansion of its East Coast real estate, finance and real estate restructuring practices, Haynes and Boone, LLP announces the addition of six partners who bring a wealth of experience, particularly representing top-tier New York financial institutions, real estate funds and private equity groups.

All six partners are making the move to the Haynes and Boone Finance Practice from the Paul Hastings New York-based real estate finance and restructuring practices. Four of the six are focused on real estate finance. They are Kenneth J. Friedman, Robert J. Grados, Steven Koch and Walter F. Schleimer. The other two – Lawrence Mittman and Carolyn E. Sullivan – concentrate on real estate restructurings. The group’s collective experience will be invaluable to Haynes and Boone clients for real estate finance, and as restructurings, workouts and bankruptcies continue to create opportunities.

“This is an impressive group of highly respected lawyers who have long been go-to counselors for some of the largest institutions in New York,” said Haynes and Boone Managing Partner Terry Conner. “Their arrival gives us an even stronger national presence on the East Coast. They bring with them practices that have been consistently robust, even in economic downturns.”

In recent months through internal transfers and lateral hiring, the firm has bolstered its New York-based bankruptcy, securities regulation, white collar crime and finance capabilities. Additions have brought the Haynes and Boone bankruptcy/restructuring/workout group to more than 50 lawyers, 15 of which are now resident in the New York office. The firm has set an overall goal of expanding to at least 100 lawyers in New York in the next several years.

“This group is clearly recognized as a premier practice in real estate finance and restructurings,” said Kenneth Bezozo, New York administrative partner. “Also, just as important, their capabilities and practices overlap with and nicely complement our strategic focus and client base. It’s a great fit – both culturally and strategically – of like-thinking individuals who have common goals and aspirations.”

Members of the incoming Haynes and Boone group said they were attracted to the firm for many reasons. “We’re intrigued by the firm’s goals for expansion,” said Mr. Grados. “But we are equally compelled by the fact that Haynes and Boone isn’t driven solely by metrics or numbers. It is apparent to us that the firm’s unique culture is a true partnership of great people. We wanted to be part of a vibrant firm with a bright future, and we believe that we’ve found it.”

Brief biographies of the new lateral hires:

Kenneth J. Friedman brings a practice that focuses on real estate law and finance. He has broad experience in all aspects of real estate finance matters, having represented institutional lenders in single property and multi-state financing transactions, securitized loans, construction loans, mezzanine financing transactions and joint venture investments; property owners in acquisitions, sales and development transactions; landlords and tenants in commercial leases; and secured creditors in debt restructurings and the exercise of remedies, including UCC foreclosures and prearranged bankruptcy proceedings. Representative transactions include high-rise condominium projects, office developments, multi-family projects, regional mall transactions and land development deals throughout the country.

Robert J. Grados represents a variety of national and regional financial institutions, insurance companies, venture capital firms and institutional investors in structured finance transactions, including syndicated, securitized and single lender real estate-based transactions, construction and permanent loans, corporate credit facilities, and mezzanine, equity and subordinate credit facilities. In connection with each of the foregoing, Mr. Grados has been actively involved in all aspects of problem loan workouts, bankruptcies, restructurings and mortgage foreclosures. He also represents real estate investment funds, insurance companies and credit providers in complex real estate-secured and capital markets credit facilities, subscription credit facilities, warehousing and repurchase credit facilities and mezzanine credit facilities. Additionally, Mr. Grados’ capital markets practice encompasses representing clients in the structuring and placement of collateralized debt obligations.

Steven Koch focuses his practice in real estate law. He has closed many large, complex transactions for a variety of clients, including financial institutions, venture funds and private developers. He has been involved in joint ventures, multi-state lending, loan workouts, development work, sale-leaseback transactions, the purchase and sale of real property and loans, and construction contracting. For the past several years, Mr. Koch’s primary focus has been in closing or buying subordinate debt positions such as mezzanine loans, B Notes, junior participations and preferred equity investments, on behalf of a variety of institutions.

Walter Schleimer practices commercial real estate law, with an emphasis in real estate finance. He represents investment banks and other institutional lenders and investors in complex commercial transactions. Mr. Schleimer regularly assists large investment banks in their large loan, conduit loan, and other securitized lending programs, and represents clients in mezzanine loan and other structured transactions. He represents large insurance companies and banks in their traditional permanent and construction loan programs and lenders in loan workouts and restructurings. In addition, he represents developers in acquisition, joint venture, redevelopment and sales of properties and real estate property owners in other traditional real estate transactions.

Lawrence Mittman is a reorganization and restructuring lawyer with more than 35 years experience representing banks, financial institutions, funds and other entities in all aspects of their business functions. Mr. Mittman regularly advises clients on general corporate and commercial matters with a particular focus in the areas of real estate and finance, including DIP facilities, mezzanine debt and distressed debt transactions. His practice includes the representation of debtors, creditors and creditor committees with respect to all aspects of reorganization and business restructurings, including development and construction projects. Mr. Mittman also advises clients in connection with all aspects of the sale or other disposition of businesses, assets and debt.

Carolyn Sullivan practices in all areas of commercial real estate and finance with a particular concentration on restructurings and workouts. Ms. Sullivan has represented institutional lenders, banks, funds and other investors in connection with the structuring, origination, acquisition and sale of mortgage loans, B-notes, mezzanine loans, and other debt and equity positions. She also represents clients in connection with the acquisition and sale of real estate. Ms. Sullivan's practice is currently focused on representing lenders and borrowers in connection with loan workouts, restructurings and mortgage and mezzanine foreclosures.

Haynes and Boone, LLP is an international corporate law firm with offices in Texas, New York, California, Washington, D.C., Mexico City and Moscow, providing a full spectrum of legal services. With almost 550 attorneys, Haynes and Boone is ranked among the largest law firms in the nation by The National Law Journal. The firm has been recognized as one of the "Best Corporate Law Firms in America" (Corporate Board Member Magazine, 2001-2009), as one of "The Best 20 Law Firms to Work For" (Vault.com, 2009), and as a Top 100 law firm for both diversity (MultiCultural Law Magazine, 2009) and women (Women 3.0, 2008).

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