Real Estate Litigation
Friedman Kaplan knows the real estate and hospitality industries well. We represent and advise entities across all segments of these industries - developers, construction companies, hotels and hotel management firms, securitization trustees, special servicers, public companies, hedge funds, private equity funds, families, and condominium boards - as both plaintiffs and defendants in complex commercial, financial, and employment litigation matters. We work on matters involving claims such as lender liability, construction and design defect, breach of contract, breach of representations and warranties, repurchase claims, bankruptcy, insurance coverage, and mortgage-backed securities litigation.
As is the case in so many areas of the firm’s practice, many of the matters we handle for real estate industry clients deal with exceptionally complex and novel issues. From our successful resolution of a series of highly complex contract, tort, and insurance disputes pertaining to the collapse of the 7 World Trade Center building on September 11, 2001, to our representation of the trustee in one of the earliest cases arising out of failed mortgage origination practices, the insight and tenacity of Friedman Kaplan’s attorneys give our clients an edge in the most significant, unique, and challenging real estate-related disputes.
In addition, we frequently combine the understanding of these industries that we gain through our litigation work with other areas of our practice to advise real estate and hospitality clients in a variety of other arenas. This work includes providing advice in connection with compliance and white collar issues, including in relation to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, as well as representing high-level executives in connection with employment and severance negotiations.
- We represented Silverstein Properties and 7 World Trade Company in a series of insurance, contract, and tort disputes arising out of the collapse of the 7 World Trade Center building on September 11, 2001.
- We represented a New York-based real estate company in defeating a motion for a preliminary injunction brought by the former manager of a major hotel in Manhattan which wanted to keep its position following our client’s purchase of the property out of foreclosure.
- CWCapital Asset Management LLC, in its capacity as special servicer for a CMBS trust, engaged Friedman Kaplan in defense of $200 million in claims by the owner of a Manhattan office building that had defaulted on its mortgage and then sued our clients for what it alleged were "predatory lending" practices. Plaintiffs’ claims were dismissed from the bench following oral argument and the dismissal affirmed on appeal.
- In one of the first cases to pursue claims against mortgage originators for breaches of representations and warranties, representation of a trust holding numerous commercial mortgages in an action against the financial institution that had sold defective loans into the trust.
- We represented a major hospitality group and its directors and officers in litigation in trial and appellate courts in New York and Florida related to the operation of hotels in Miami Beach and corporate transactions, and also concerning a proxy fight and associated lawsuits. The matters settled successfully for our clients.
- We represented Pillar Multifamily Finance LLC and Guggenheim Commercial Real Estate Finance, LLC, in defense of allegations that they breached a commitment letter to provide loan financing to a New Jersey residential real estate developer.
- We represented a well-known department store chain in the prosecution of fraudulent conveyance claims arising out of a leveraged buyout by a consortium of private equity firms that stripped our client of its favorable real estate assets.
- We represented a major hospitality company in connection with litigation related to a proxy contest involving a termination fee, as well as board observation rights.
- We represented the Chapter 11 Trustee for Kingston Square, a real estate developer, in a consolidated proceeding involving multiple properties, in which we litigated and settled a series of claims asserted by and against the debtors' estates.
- We provided FCPA advice to a major real estate developer in connection with its international expansion. We also provided on-site FCPA training to the company’s employees, created the company’s FCPA policies, and provided advice on other compliance matters.
- We represented the CEO of a publicly-traded real estate investment company in negotiations to become non-executive chairman of a second public company, including negotiation of the executive’s promote interests in real estate development projects and his participation in other long-term incentive plans of the new employer.