Real Estate Services Adding Value

Real Estate Services

“Market-leading practice for complex financing, leasing and development projects. Acts for a broad client base including lenders, buyers, sellers, tenants and conservation organizations. Recognized for its strength in representing public sector and governmental clients. Also assists secured creditors and developers in restructurings and workouts for troubled real estate portfolios.” Chambers USA

We Understand the Issues

More competition means more challenges, and our Real Estate Services team commands a deep understanding of the issues facing developers, real estate funds, tenants, landlords, brokers, lenders and construction companies in every aspect of acquiring, selling, developing, financing, leasing, managing and restructuring real estate assets.

Clients benefit from Richard Layton’s winning combination of technical property expertise, local market knowledge and industry insight. Our experience includes work on deals and advice to clients in every major sector, including industrial, office, retail, hospitality, health care, education and residential real estate. We represent sources of capital, which include lenders and equity investors, and the users of capital, including developers and long-term owners of real estate assets, on projects across the country.

Adding Value

Having worked for decades on real estate purchase, sale and development projects throughout Delaware and the Mid-Atlantic region, our lawyers have the experience to help clients structure and negotiate the best business deals, then quickly document and close the transaction. Whether the project involves single commercial properties or multiple property portfolios valued in the hundreds of millions of dollars, we bring value to the table through our track record of completing more, and more sophisticated, transactions than most other Delaware real estate lawyers.

We staff each deal with one or two working lawyers who maximize speed and efficiency through the kind of thorough market knowledge that requires little learning curve; however, the depth of our bench allows us to add additional lawyers when the size, complexity or timing warrants a larger team. Our lawyers give clients all the help they need to get deals done, from land acquisition and land use approvals, through the financing and construction phase, to the sale, purchase or lease of the project.

Because we are project-driven rather than process-driven, we structure every transaction to our client’s best advantage. The number of real estate transactions in the Richards Layton legal portfolio ensures that we bring sound business judgment to each deal, offering an efficient and thorough due diligence review of title, property conditions, environmental considerations and legal obligations as well as an assessment of future opportunities. As the largest Delaware law firm, our Real Estate Services team has the vast resources of the firm available to us, including litigation, bankruptcy, restructuring and alternative entities expertise, among others.

Government and Market Insight

The importance of our familiarity with local government officials and market assessment cannot be overstated. We are able to handle unique development and regulatory issues (even in environmentally sensitive coastal areas), forge relationships with public officials that are essential for efficient deal closing, and resolve even difficult zoning or property tax problems. Our lawyers are skilled at settling crucial issues to secure the timely approval of permits and zoning applications, and make sure all due diligence, from determining environmental liability to insuring the title, is completed. While we are effective at appealing land use decisions, our real strength is in resolving the concerns of regulating bodies short of litigation.

Typical of Richards Layton’s broad and deep Delaware market sophistication, we have represented the City of Wilmington itself on development, land use and litigation involving a variety of real estate projects.

Finance and Investment Connections

Because Richards Layton has experience with some of the largest financial institutions and institutional investors in Delaware and the Mid-Atlantic region, we can facilitate the financing of any development project. Turbulent times often require creative financing alternatives or combinations—we consider the most advantageous structure using conventional lending and available equity sources, such as syndications and real estate investment trusts (REITs).

Our lawyers advise owners, syndicators, underwriters and investors (including entrepreneurial individuals and funds looking for substantial investment returns) on financing strategies, and excel at evaluating real estate and facility portfolios to maximize asset value. We evaluate and structure financing alternatives, develop and analyze lease versus ownership advantages, and identify tax and economic incentives.

Leasing Capabilities

We work with landlords and tenants in all aspects of leasing, from traditional space leases for retail, office and industrial transactions to ground leases, master leases, leaseback to NNN and the considerations necessary for successful transactions structured on the basis of a credit tenant. We are experts in understanding the greater impact of a lease on a project, and we are skilled at what it takes to get a lease signed, financed and sold.

Environmental Capabilities

Our expertise and experience allows the Real Estate Services team to provide environmental support in all aspects of real estate transactions. Our attorneys advise clients on environmental risks and help clients to ensure compliance. We have strong relationships throughout the state and assist clients when interfacing with state and regulatory agencies. We address issues involved in environmental land use and permitting matters, and manage and advise on the effect of these issues on transactions, including financing and sale.

Land Use Capabilities

We represent clients in all aspects of land development to obtain approvals, including interfacing with state and local officials. We help clients navigate the complexities of the processes required to obtain variances and special use permits. We represent clients in planning commissions, historic review, zoning board of adjustment, design review and other bodies to obtain land development approvals.

LLC and Corporate Capabilities

Our premier Delaware alternative entities and corporate practices allow us to bring to bear the expertise of our firm in the application and use of special purpose entities in structured finance and commercial real estate financing. We advise and assist clients with the formation of joint ventures and private equity transactions.

Restructuring Capabilities

Richards Layton represents secured creditors and developers in restructuring troubled real estate projects and real estate portfolios. Our wide-ranging knowledge of and contacts in the industry have given us special skills in lender liability, foreclosures and other workout-related transactions. Our lawyers can resolve defaults on commercial property loans by restructuring the loan agreement or handling portfolio transactions for both buyers and sellers.

Because we have the ability to represent all parties (lenders, buyers, sellers, developers), we are skilled at staying abreast of the market. For example, in our role as seller’s counsel, our extensive transactional experience enables us to anticipate and address buyer concerns and bring all parties to a successful closing. And we can handle such complexities as debtor-in-possession financing and deed-in-lieu-of-foreclosure transactions.

    • "The firm has been incredible to work with in all facets, including pushing deals forward, protecting our interests, and understanding and implementing complex organizational structures."

      Chambers USA, 2023

    • “It’s a very strong real estate team with great depth—a pleasure to work with.”

      Chambers USA, 2022

    • “The whole team is fantastic and works to understand our issues and recommend the best course of action.”

      Chambers USA, 2021

    • “Top tier and the best in the state.”

      Chambers USA, 2020

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    Our office is conveniently located in the heart of downtown Wilmington, Delaware.

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