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Real / Hard Asset Funds: Real Estate and Infrastructure

Speaker(s): David W. Mayo, Harris B. Freidus, Udi Grofman
Recorded on: Sep. 12, 2019
PLI Program #: 281867

Udi Grofman is a partner in the Corporate Department, the head of the firm’s Private Funds Practice Group and a member of the Investment Management Practice Group. Called a “leading light in the fund formation area” by Chambers, his practice focuses on fund formation, strategic advice and crisis management. Clients praise Udi as “one of the smartest and most accomplished” lawyers with a “very rare commercial sensibility.” According to market commentators, Udi “possesses nonpareil legal expertise that crushes that of his counterparts at other firms” and he is a “powerhouse of a funds lawyer [who] works tirelessly to make clients happy.”

Udi’s practice focuses on fund formation along the liquidity spectrum, including hedge funds, credit funds, hybrid funds, private equity funds, real estate funds, venture funds, long-dated funds, permanent capital vehicles and family offices; strategic advice, including seed capital transactions, minority and majority asset manager acquisitions and dispositions, and “upper tier” arrangements; and crisis management, including internal investigations, regulatory examinations, investigations and litigation (in the course of which Udi appears frequently in front of regulators), partner and employee disputes, and investor litigation. 

Some of Udi’s representative clients include Apollo Global ManagementThe Blackstone GroupGSO CapitalHPS Investment Partners, Centerbridge Partners, KKR Credit, 3G CapitalAngel Island Capital, AQR Capital Management, Autonomy Capital, Bridgewater, D1 Capital, Davidson Kempner, Declaration PartnersGlenview CapitalJ.P. Morgan Asset ManagementNew York Life Investments, Nokota Management, PointState CapitalTiger Global Management, Tilden ParkTwo SigmaWafra Inc., Omega Advisors, and some of the country’s largest family offices, among others.

Consistently recognized as a leading practitioner in the industry, Udi is ranked as a Band 1 investment funds lawyer in Chambers USA, a Leading Lawyer in The Legal 500, and one of only a handful of Thought Leaders in Who’s Who Legal and IFLR1000. Udi writes and speaks frequently on the challenges facing hedge funds in today’s market. He was selected among the finest law firm writers of 2016, along with litigation partner Richard A. Rosen, with a Burton Award for their article, “Political Intelligence and U.S. Insider Trading Regulations,” published in Bloomberg BNA's Securities Regulation & Law Report. Udi is often asked to speak at major industry conferences, including those hosted by the International Bar Association, Practising Law Institute and Maples Investment Funds Forum. Udi also hosts an Annual Hedge Fund General Counsel Forum, which brings together the most prominent legal practitioners in the market to discuss recent trends and developments.

Udi maintains an active pro bono practice, representing not-for-profit interests and individuals, including recently assisting a number of individuals to obtain asylum in the U.S. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the International Rescue Committee, a global humanitarian aid organization. Udi served as a lecturer for The Interdisciplinary Center-School of Law, School of Business Management, Herzliya, Israel and is a captain (ret.) in the Israel Defense Forces.

A partner in the Tax Department, David Mayo focuses his practice on corporate and partnership taxation, taxable and tax-free mergers and acquisitions, restructurings and cross-border transactions.


  • A consortium of private equity funds in the acquisition of U.S. and Canada homebuilding operations of Taylor Wimpey plc;
  • Kohlberg and Company in its acquisition and subsequent public offering of Bauer Performance Sports;
  • KPS Capital Partners in raising its $1.2 billion Fund III and $1.0 billion Fund III Supplemental;
  • The Bondholders of CIT Group Inc. in CIT Group's prepackaged bankruptcy;
  • Religáre Enterprises Limited in its acquisition of a majority stake in the management company of Northgate Capital and Landmark Partners; and
  • The Management Team of R3 Capital Partners in their spin out from Lehman Brothers and subsequent acquisition by BlackRock.

David is a member of the Executive Committee of the Tax Section of the New York State Bar Association, and is a past president of the New York City Tax Club. David has been recognized in Chambers USA as a Leading Individual since 2006 and in The Best Lawyers in Americasince the 2011 edition. Most recently, David was ranked by Chambers Global, in which sources say he is "thorough and business-minded, with the ability to translate tax code into English."

David served as editor in chief of the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy.

Co-chair of the Real Estate Department, Harris Freidus advises public and private companies, developers, entrepreneurial and institutional investors and lenders in all areas of commercial real estate, including developments, financings, joint ventures, sales and acquisitions, construction, leasing and restructurings. His expertise covers all real estate asset classes, with a special emphasis on gaming and hospitality.


Harris' recent experience includes:

  • representing Las Vegas Sands Corp., the owner of The Venetian and Palazzo gaming resorts in Las Vegas, The Sands Macau and Venetian Macau in Macau, and Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, with all of its financings, developments, sales, joint ventures and other material transactions in the United States, Macau and Singapore since 1995;
  • representing HCP, Inc., an S&P 500 healthcare REIT, in a variety of acquisitions, joint ventures and financings (as lender) covering hundreds of healthcare facilities throughout the United States;
  • representing CIM Group, a sponsor of real estate funds that specializes in urban investments, in a variety of New York City acquisitions, joint ventures, and developments including 432 Park Avenue, 303 East 51st Street, and 140 West Street;
  • representing NorthStar Realty Finance Corp., a New York-based diversified commercial real estate company, in various healthcare portfolio acquisitions, joint ventures and financings, including its $4.2 billion acquisition of the outstanding shares of NYSE-traded Griffin-American Healthcare REIT II;
  • acting as primary counsel to the joint venture that owns the iconic Fontainebleau Miami Beach Hotel, and representing it in the successful out-of-court restructuring of over $800 million in debt and other secured claims and in several subsequent refinancings with senior and mezzanine components;
  • assisting Douglaston Development in the development and financing of various multi-family and residential condominium developments in New York City, including The Edge, a mixed-use project consisting of 347 moderate-income rental apartments, 1,100 luxury condominium units, 60,000 square feet of retail space and parking garage space for over 600 cars on the Williamsburg waterfront; and
  • representing various developers and funds and other institutions in the acquisition, development and financing of various properties.

In both 2017 and 2015, Harris was recognized as a "Real Estate MVP" by Law360. He has been recognized by Chambers USAThe Legal 500The Best Lawyers in America and Expert Guides as one of the country's leading Real Estate lawyers, and is a member of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers. He is involved with numerous charitable organizations including serving as pro bono counsel for The Blue School, an innovative school for young children led by the founders of The Blue Man Group.