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20th Annual Commercial Real Estate Institute

Speaker(s): Alexander Ferrini III, Carson M. Leonard, Diana M. Brummer, Elliot L. Hurwitz, Jill Hayman, John L. Mallinson, Jonathan L. Mechanic, Ken McCarthy, Kevin M. Kelly, Menachem J. Kastner, Mitchell D. Haddad, Pery D. Krinsky, Philip E. Karmel, Ronald D. Sernau, Stephen Millman, Steven L. Wilner
Recorded on: Dec. 3, 2018
PLI Program #: 219522

Mitchell D. Haddad is a Member of Sills Cummis & Gross, P.C. and Co-Chair of the Firm’s New York Real Estate Litigation Department. His practice focuses on complex real estate and commercial litigation, creditors’ rights, workouts and corporate litigation. He is a seasoned and experienced trial lawyer, and has argued appeals and participated in arbitrations and mediations on a wide variety of matters. He works with clients and the Firm’s Real Estate Department on transactions to provide advice and to resolve issues and disputes prior to and as a means to resolve potential litigation. In more than thirty years of practice, he has won judgments, recovered assets, and  obtained favorable settlements and financial relief on behalf of his clients in excess of $750,000,000.

Some of his notable representations include defending an action seeking specific performance of a long-term lease for the development and operation of a midtown Manhattan hotel or, alternatively, $100 million in damages. He obtained and collected upon a $25 million deficiency judgment following a 12-day hearing. He obtained a $95 million judgment and a $45 million judgment in favor of two separate lenders, and defended a developer in an action to foreclose upon a $17 million second mortgage encumbering an entire city block in Brooklyn, New York. Mr. Haddad obtained summary judgment dismissing claims seeking $25 million in damages for breach of contract and fraud arising out of an oral joint venture agreement to develop real property.

Prior to joining Sills Cummis & Gross, Mr. Haddad spent thirteen years at Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP, where, among other major matters, he successfully led teams of attorneys foreclosing upon a portfolio of commercial mortgages on behalf of a leading international lender, and repossessing a jumbo jet in Miami, Florida leased by an international airline. He coordinated and supervised outside counsel in successfully liquidating more than twenty recycling facilities in nine states pursuant to an assignment for the benefit of creditors on behalf of a secured creditor. He represented a major international corporation in arbitration to determine the fair annual market rental value for the last five years of a multi-floor lease term, in which the arbitrator determined that the value was $20 million less than the landlord had sought. Mr. Haddad succeeded at both the trial and appellate levels in a case in which the plaintiff sought – and was denied – various easements to a private park and a private street in lower Manhattan.

He successfully represented a consortium of institutional lenders in prosecuting the foreclosure of membership interests in a limited liability company that owned and operated a power generating facility in Connecticut.

Mr. Haddad has been selected for inclusion in the 2012-2017 editions of New York Metro Super Lawyers published by Thompson Reuters under Real Estate and Business Litigation.

Carson Leonard, a partner in the Real Estate Finance & Investment Group, concentrates his practice in real estate finance and represents banks and institutional investors in the origination, servicing, sale and restructuring of all manner of commercial real estate debt. He has served as lender's lead counsel in several of the largest stand-alone real estate financings in recent years, and routinely works with clients on portfolio, syndicated and securitization transactions across all asset classes. His expertise covers mezzanine financing and other subordinate debt structures, as well as preferred equity.

Mr. Leonard received his J.D. in 1992 from Columbia University, his M.B.A. in 1989 from Cornell University and his B.A. in 1985 from Duke University.


Represented a syndicate of institutional lenders in the $500+ million expansion and repositioning of a major destination shopping center in southern Los Angeles County.

Represented a bulge bracket investment bank in the sale of subordinate notes in connection with a multistate hotel portfolio acquisition financing.

Represented a national bank in the bridge financing of 40-story residential tower in Seattle.

Ongoing representation of multiple banks and institutional investors in CMBS financings across all asset classes.

Ongoing representation of a national rating agency with respect to intercreditor agreements on subordinate debt structures.


Commercial Property Executive and Multi-Housing News Name Alston & Bird Leading Real Estate Law Firm

Alston & Bird is ranked No. 14 among “2015 Leading Real Estate Law Firms” by Commercial Property Executive (CPE) and Multi-Housing News (MHN).
November 17, 2015     Press Release


Real Estate Finance & Investment Advisory: The Impact of Cherryland and Chesterfield on New CMBS Loan Originations
May 11, 2012    Advisories

Memberships and Affiliations

Commercial Real Estate Finance Counsel

Mortgage Bankers Association of America

Related Services

Corporate & Finance

Bankruptcy & Financial Restructuring

Commercial Real Estate Lending 

Related Industries

Real Estate & REITs


Columbia University (J.D., 1992)

Cornell University (M.B.A., 1989)

Duke University (B.A., 1985)

Admitted To Practice

New York

Alexander Ferrini is dedicated to assisting participants in the construction process to understand and resolve the particular legal and business issues that are a part of any construction project. His practice is focused on assisting owners (from public institutions and institutional developers to private developers and individuals) in meeting and solving the challenges of construction.

Alex has wide experience in the preparation, review, analysis and negotiation of construction and design contracts. He has been the lead construction contract writer and negotiator for owners of private, corporate and institutional projects, ranging from school district facilities upgrades to new multi-use developments of up to $500M.

He also works with Olshan's litigation attorneys in construction dispute resolution and litigation, including delay, construction defect, change order and lien foreclosure claims, as well as issues regarding mistake, concealed conditions, bid challenges and design professional malpractice. He has successfully appeared in numerous trial and appellate courts.

Alex is an adjunct professor at New York Law School, teaching Construction Law in the LLM program. He has also authored numerous articles on construction and design industry topics.

Diana Brummer is a partner in the firm’s Real Estate Industry group. Ms. Brummer’s experience spans the spectrum of commercial real estate transactions with a particular emphasis on complex joint ventures, senior, construction and mezzanine financings (for both lenders and borrowers), acquisitions and dispositions, loan workouts, real estate recapitalizations and development.  She also has considerable experience acting for institutional investors, pension funds, private real estate funds and public and private REITs, as well as their investment advisers.

Ms. Brummer also regularly counsels her clients on all aspects of managing distressed real estate assets. She represents a wide variety of client types, including institutional investors, pension funds, private real estate funds and public and private REITs, as well as their investment advisers.

Prior to joining Goodwin in 2018, Ms. Brummer was a partner at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP. She previously practiced at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, spending more than two years in their Tokyo, Japan office. Ms. Brummer lived and worked in Japan for a total of five years and is proficient in Japanese.

Professional Activities

Ms. Brummer is a member of the Leadership Advisory Committee of the National Women’s Law Institute and is also active in pro bono matters. She is a member of CREW New York and the Association of the Bar of the City of New York.


Ms. Brummer was recognized in New York Real Estate Journal’s 2017 Women in Real Estate Spotlight for exceptional work in the New York City metro area. Real Estate New York Magazine named Ms. Brummer as one of its “Rising Stars” in the commercial real estate industry. She has also been nationally recommended by The Legal 500 United States.


  • J.D., Cornell Law School, 1998 (magna cum laude) Order of the Coif; Articles Editor, Cornell Law Review; Kerr Prize for Academic Excellence
  • B.A., University of Illinois, 1994 (with distinction) Tyler Award for Excellence in East Asian Studies


•           U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, Honorable Richard J. Cardamone

Jill Hayman is a Special Counsel for Hunton Andrews Kurth’s real estate development and finance practice and head of the New York leasing platform. She brings more than 35 years of experience in executing sophisticated real estate transactions.

Ms. Hayman represents real estate owners, developers and tenants in connection with office and retail leases, data center leases and colocation agreements, corporate relocations, construction contracts and real estate acquisitions and dispositions and related government incentive programs.

Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP is a global law firm of over 1,000 lawyers serving clients in the United States, Europe, Latin America and Asia. The firm handles transactional, litigation and regulatory matters for a diverse client base, with significant experience in retail and consumer products, energy, financial services, real estate, and privacy and cybersecurity.

For the majority of her career, Ms. Hayman was a Managing Director in the Legal and Compliance Division of Morgan Stanley heading a 12-person global real estate team. In this capacity, she was responsible for all legal matters relating to the corporation's real estate portfolio, including acquisitions and sales, leasing, design and construction, property management matters, and real estate matters related to mergers and acquisitions. During her tenure at Morgan Stanley, Ms. Hayman represented the firm in the development and leasing of large HQ premises and data centers in the United States, Hungary, Japan, Hong Kong, London and Glasgow. Prior to joining Hunton Andrews Kurth, Ms. Hayman was special counsel at Fried Frank where she represented corporate clients on both sides of leasing transactions and not for profit clients on the acquisition of leasehold condominium units

Ms. Hayman was awarded the 2015 Chambers Women in Law Outstanding Achievement Award (In-House). Ms. Hayman is also an adjunct professor at Fordham Law School where she teaches a course on Real Estate Drafting.

Bar Admissions/Licensed Jurisdictions

 New York

Jonathan L. Mechanic is chairman of Fried Frank's Real Estate Department. Prior to joining Fried Frank as a partner, he was general counsel and a managing director of HRO International, a real estate development organization.

Mr. Mechanic routinely counsels developers, owners, investors, REITs, and lenders in all aspects of commercial real estate transactions. Notably, he represented JP Morgan in connection with its redevelopment of 270 Park Avenue into a new 2.5-million-square-foot headquarters building, Maefield Development in its approximately US$1.6 billion acquisition of 20 Times Square, and CWCapital Asset Management in its sale of Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village to Blackstone Group and Ivanhoé Cambridge. He also represents landlords and tenants in commercial leasing and ground lease transactions, including his representations of 21st Century Fox and News Corp. on their headquarters leases at 1211 Avenue of Americas; Citigroup in its long-term lease of its headquarters at 388-390 Greenwich Street and the exercise of its option to purchase the building; Coach in the sale-leaseback of its headquarters at 10 Hudson Yards; Ernst & Young in its more than 600,000-square-foot lease for its new headquarters at One Manhattan West; Shiseido in its 225,000-square foot lease for its US headquarters and JP Morgan in its 437,000-square-foot-lease, both at 390 Madison Avenue.

Mr. Mechanic was awarded the 2016 Distinguished Alumnus Award from NYU and the 2016 Chambers USA Outstanding Contribution to the Legal Profession Award. For a decade, Mr. Mechanic has been recognized by Chambers USA as a “Star Individual” in real estate. He is consistently included on Commercial Observer’s “Power 100” list of the most powerful people in NY real estate and was the only practicing attorney to make the list in 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 and is now, together with his land use partner Melanie Meyers, one of the only two practicing attorneys on the list. Fried Frank’s Real Estate Department is consistently recognized as Law360’s Real Estate Group of the Year and was awarded the Chambers USA 2018 Real Estate Client Service Award.

Mr. Mechanic has taught the real estate transactions course at Harvard Law School for more than ten years. He also lectures regularly for NYU Law School, REBNY and PLI, and is a co-author of The Commercial Office Lease Handbook published by the ABA.

He is on the Executive Committee of the Board of Governors for REBNY and the Board of Trustees of NYU Law School. He is also Chairman of the Advisory Board of NYU Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy, a member of the Advisory Board of NYU Schack Institute of Real Estate, a member of the Industrial Advisory Board for Columbia University Center for Urban Real Estate, and a member of ACREL.

Mr. Mechanic received his JD from New York University School of Law in 1977, where he served as an editor of the Law Review and was elected to the Order of the Coif, and his BA, magna cum laude, from Brandeis University in 1974.

Ken McCarthy has been with Cushman & Wakefield since August 2006. As Principal Economist, he works with the Chief Economist on C&W’s U.S. economic position and presents it to the public. As the Applied Research Lead, Ken is responsible for preparing cutting edge research about the outlook for commercial real estate in the Americas.

Before becoming Principal Economist with Cushman & Wakefield, Ken served as Chief Economist of The Center for Innovative Entrepreneurship. Prior to this role he was the Chief Economist for vFinance, Inc. where he oversaw all of the company’s economic analysis and research. He’s headed the Economic Intelligence Company (EIC) that provided economic analysis and advice to Fortune 500 firms and also served as Vice President of Rinfret Associates, Inc. for 14 years.

Before becoming a Principal Economist with Cushman & Wakefield, Ken served as Chief Economist of The Center for Innovative Entrepreneurship. Prior to this role he was the Chief Economist for vFinance, Inc. where he oversaw all of the company’s economic analysis and research. He’s headed the Economic Intelligence Company (EIC) that provided economic analysis and advice to Fortune 500 firms and also served as Vice President of Rinfret Associates, Inc. for 14 years.

Professional Recognition

Ken’s market information and studies have been published in several business publications and annual almanacs including: The New York Times, Crain’s New York, New York Real Estate Journal, Real Estate New York and Real Estate Weekly.

Professional Affiliations

·Member of the Research Roundtable of the Steven L. Newman Real Estate Institute of Baruch College.

·Member of the advisory panel of the New York City Office of Management and Budget.


·Master of Arts degree from Fordham University

·Bachelors of Arts degree in Economics from St. Anselm College in New Hampshire

Kevin M. Kelly is Senior Finance Counsel for Simon Property Group where he is responsible for legal aspects of finance matters.  Kevin has had extensive experience in all aspects of commercial real estate related financing, with a particular emphasis on commercial mortgage loan originations and securitization/syndication of the related loans.  Simon Property Group is an S&P 100 company and a global leader in premier shopping, dining, entertainment, and mixed-use destinations.  Prior to joining Simon, Kevin practiced law at Sidley Austin in Chicago, and before that, at Citigroup, Fried Frank and Sidley Austin, each in New York.

Menachem Kastner's practice involves all aspects of real estate litigation and is particularly centered in the area of commercial and residential leasing and ownership and valuation disputes. He has litigated through all of the courts, the interpretation of escalation clauses, assignment and sublet provisions, alteration provisions, use clauses, renewal or purchase options, termination rights, buy-out disputes, and other significant lease interpretation issues.

Menachem is a frequent contributor to legal publications, specifically the New York Law Journal and New York State Bar Association Journal. Many of his articles have been cited to and relied on by the New York courts. See London Terrace Towers, Inc. v. Davis, 6 Misc. 3d 600, 790 N.Y.S. 2d 813 (Civ. Ct. N.Y. Co. 2004); 13315 Owners Corp. v. Kennedy, 4 Misc.3d 931, 782 N.Y.S. 2d 554 (Civ. Ct. N.Y. Co. 2004); Concourse Village Inc. v. Bilotti, 133 Misc. 2d 973, 509 N.Y.S. 2d 274 (Civ. Ct. Bronx Co. 1986). 

Menachem has lectured widely on real estate issues, including landlord/tenant and co-op litigation, the law of co-ops/condominiums, equitable distribution, and matrimonial tax. Most recently, Menachem lectured on "Real Estate Transactions - Spotting Litigation Issues" at the PLI Annual Real Estate Institute in 2016 and 2017.

In addition, Menachem is an official court arbitrator for the Civil Court of the City of New York, presiding over trials and inquests, issuing final non-appealable judgments, mediating the settlement of claims, and drafting and ordering stipulations of settlement.

Menachem earned his Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, from Brooklyn College of the City University of New York in 1973 and his law degree, summa cum laude, from New York Law School in 1976, where he was the recipient of the Trustees' Award for Highest Scholastic Achievement. He was named a New York Super Lawyer (real estate) in 2006, 2010 and 2013-2016 by Law & Politics. He was also named one of "New York Area's Top Rated Lawyers of 2013" in Real Estate & Landlord/Tenant by Legal Leaders™. Menachem is admitted to practice in the state of New York.

MR. KRINSKY’S ethics-based defense litigation practice focuses on:

•           Federal & State Attorney/Judicial Ethics Matters, including:  representing attorneys and law firms under investigation by disciplinary authorities and other government agencies; providing guidance to lawyers concerning the day-to-day practice of law; representing disbarred and suspended attorneys seeking reinstatement; advising and representing members of the New York State Judiciary in matters before the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct; and assisting law school graduates in the admissions process.

•           Federal & State Criminal Defense Matters, including:  defending clients against law-enforcement actions such as claims of securities fraud, antitrust, investment advisory fraud, health care fraud, tax issues, money laundering, RICO, and narcotics trafficking, among others; helping conduct internal investigations; addressing compliance issues; and responding to regulatory inquiries.

MR. KRINSKY is a frequent lecturer on topics involving ethics in litigation, personal and professional responsibility and academic integrity, including at:  the N.Y. State Judicial Institute; the Appellate Divisions, First and Second Judicial Departments; the N.Y. State Bar Association; the N.Y. City Bar; the N.Y. County Lawyers’ Association; the N.Y. State Academy of Trial Lawyers; the N.Y. State Trial Lawyers Association; the Practicing Law Institute; the Bay Ridge Lawyers Association; the Queens County Bar Association; Sotheby’s Institute of Art; and law schools such as Brooklyn Law School, Columbia Law School and Fordham Law School.

MR. KRINSKY is the Vice Chair of the Ethics Committee of the Brooklyn Bar Association; the former Chair of the Ethics Committee of the Entertainment, Arts & Sports Law Section of the N.Y. State Bar Association; and the former Chair of the Committee on Professional Discipline of the N.Y. County Lawyers’ Association.  Mr. Krinsky serves on the Board of Advisors of the N.Y. County Lawyers’ Association Institute of Legal Ethics; and is also a Member of:  the Brooklyn Bar Association; the N.Y. State Bar Association’s Committee on Attorney Professionalism; the N.Y. City Bar Association’s Professional Responsibility Committee; and the N.Y. County Lawyers’ Committee on Professional Ethics.

Philip E. Karmel is a partner at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP, a law firm with 39 offices in 10 countries.  His litigation practice includes environmental and real estate litigation, land use matters arising under environmental review statutes and zoning laws, and the defense of toxic tort actions.  He has tried a number of cases in federal and state courts and before administrative law judges and arbitrators and has briefed or argued motions or appeals in California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maryland, Montana, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Washington, D.C., West Virginia and Wisconsin.  He also counsels clients on environmental matters, including environmental impact statements, environmental permitting, environmental compliance, investigations by governmental agencies, the redevelopment of brownfield properties, environmental aspects of corporate and real estate transactions, and issues arising under the Clean Air Act and federal and state superfund and oil spill statutes.  He has served as counsel for major energy, transportation and real estate development projects.

He has published many articles and several book chapters on environmental law, environmental litigation and toxic torts.  He is a member of the American Bar Association and serves as a long-time columnist of the newsletter published by the Air Quality Committee of the ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources.  He is also a member of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, where he has served as a member of its Committee on Environmental Law.

Upon graduation from law school, Mr. Karmel clerked for the Hon. Edward R. Becker, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and thereafter served for five years as a Trial Attorney in the Environmental Enforcement Section of the U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, D.C., where he received the Department’s Special Achievement Award for sustained superior performance of duty.  He received his J.D., cum laude, from the University of Chicago Law School, where he was an editor of the University of Chicago Law Review, and holds an M.Phil. in Economics from the University of Cambridge and a B.A. with Honors in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania.

He is listed in BEST LAWYERS IN AMERICA; CHAMBERS USA; and SUPER LAWYERS.  In 2005, he received the Scale of Justice Award from MFY Legal Services, Inc. for pro bono work.  In 2013, he received the New York County Lawyers Association’s Boris Kostelanetz President’s Medal in recognition of “distinguished service to the legal profession.”

Ron Sernau is part of New York’s real estate industry inner circle and has more than 30 years of experience in real estate law. His clients, some of which have relied on his advice for decades, routinely involve him in their strategic decision making. Ron offers clients the insight he has gained by representing opposing interests in similar transactions. He has advised landlords and tenants, lenders and borrowers, purchasers and sellers, equity investors and developers, managers and owners, and brokers and principals.
Ron represents prominent New York City real estate developers in their investments in, and development of, premier properties. Various businesses, from large publicly traded companies to boutique investment firms, engage him to address their real estate concerns. He also provides general legal advice to luxury retailers, with a focus on real estate issues.
At Proskauer, Ron serves as the co-head of the Real Estate Department and co-chair of the Private Equity Real Estate practice.
An avid speaker on real estate topics, Ron has appeared before groups sponsored by the Association of the Bar of The City of New York, the New York Hospitality Council, Inc., the New York State Bar Association, the Georgetown Commercial Leasing Institute, CB Richard Ellis, Inc., the Association of Attorneys and Executives in Corporate Real Estate, Practising Law Institute, The Real Estate Board of New York, Inc. and the American College of Real Estate Lawyers.


Stephen Millman has extensive experience in taxation of partnerships, private equity vehicles and real estate. Stephen has been the chair of various committees of the Tax Section of the New York State Bar Association including the Committees on Partnerships, Pass Through Entities, Real Estate, and Financial Intermediaries. He has also chaired the Association of the Bar of the City of New York Committee on Taxation of Partnership and Other Pass Through Entities and has been a member of the American Law Institute Advisory Committee on Taxation as well. He has written extensively on partnership and real estate tax matters, including articles in the Tax Lawyer, the Journal of Partnership Taxation and the NYU Tax Institute.

Steven L. Wilner is a partner in Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton’s New York office. Steven’s practice focuses on financial, corporate and real estate matters, ranging from global real estate acquisitions, dispositions, development and finance to international mergers and acquisitions and restructurings, including private equity investments and joint ventures.

Steven has been recognized by numerous guides and publications as a leading practitioner in global Real Estate law, including Chambers Global, Chambers USA, The Legal 500 and The Best Lawyers in America. Steven was named a “Most Valuable Practitioner” in Real Estate by Law360, and was recently inducted into the American College of Real Estate Lawyers.

Steven is a frequent speaker on all aspects of Real Estate transactions and law, and participates in PLI’s ongoing “Bridge-the-Gap” series, which aims to teach young attorneys the essential skills for success in the business and practice of law.

Steven joined the firm in 1988 and became a partner in 1997. He spent 2001­2005 as the managing partner of the firm’s former Tokyo office.

Elliot L. Hurwitz is Chief Commercial Counsel for Chicago Title Insurance Company, New York, NY, where he has primary responsibility for complex commercial transactions in New York City, including structuring, underwriting and coordination. Prior to joining Chicago Title, Mr. Hurwitz was a partner at Weil, Gotshal & Manges, LLP, New York, NY. Mr. Hurwitz has had extensive experience in all aspects of commercial real estate, with a particular emphasis on mortgage loan originations, portfolio acquisitions, debt restructurings, sale-leasebacks, lease-backed financings, loan syndications and securitizations. Mr. Hurwitz is a frequent lecturer and author on real estate-related matters, including “Real Estate for the Corporate Counsellor”, published in the fourth edition of The Corporate Counsellor’s Desk Book (Prentice Hall Law & Business 1992). Contributor to the New York Law Journal, Commercial Leasing Law & Strategy, Shopping Center Legal Update and the Metropolitan Corporate Counsel. Chairman of PLI’s annual 2-day seminar for real estate attorneys, titled “The Commercial Real Estate Institute”. Mr. Hurwitz is a Fellow of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers. Member of the New York State Bar Association, Association of the Bar of the City of New York and Title Insurance Rate Service Association (TIRSA) – Law and Forms Committee. Mr. Hurwitz may be contacted at 212-880-1205 or

John Mallinson is a Managing Director and the General Counsel of AIG Global Real Estate (“AIGGRE”), where he also serves as a Member of AIGGRE’s Senior Leadership Team and a Member of its Real Estate Investment Committee.   At AIGGRE, John has a particular focus on joint ventures and has worked on joint venture transactions in numerous jurisdictions throughout the world.   John is a regular speaker on real estate investment and joint ventures and has published several articles on real estate joint ventures, construction and development.  John is a Fellow in the American College of Real Estate Lawyers, where he is Vice-Chair of the Equity Investment Structures Committee and Chair of the In-House Counsel Committee.  He is also a member of the Anglo-American Real Property Institute.  Prior to AIGGRE, John was an associate in the Real Estate Group at Shearman & Sterling LLP.   He received his B.A. from Binghamton University and a J.D. from New York University School of Law.