Real Estate

Despite its foundation in the ancient rules of land ownership, real estate law today incorporates a variety of sophisticated, contemporary issues including planning and zoning, development, environmental regulation, construction, financing, and dispute resolution in both commercial and residential contexts.

HSE’s Real Estate Practice Area advises clients on all legal aspects of real estate law, including residential and commercial development. Several of our attorneys are title specialists, well equipped to handle all title issues that may arise in the course of our representation of purchasers, sellers, and lenders. Additionally, our title attorneys are agents for nationally and locally recognized title insurance companies.

Our attorneys have taken leading roles in bar association activities on the local and state levels, positioning the firm to stay on the leading edge of developments in the field and to maintain a network of contacts within the legal, lending, and governmental communities.

Commercial Services
Our attorneys represent a wide range of developers in the acquisition, divestiture, financing, zoning, and municipal approval of land-use ventures. We provide supportive legal services to clients who have developed shopping centers, office parks, hotels and motels, residential subdivisions, condominium office projects and residential condominiums, homeowner associations, and a host of other commercial and industrial development projects, including multi-state transactions.

Typically, we are responsible for the preparation and negotiation of complex real estate acquisition agreements and we are experienced in dealing with issues frequently encountered in such agreements, including environmental representations and warranties, indemnities and zoning matters.

In addition to working with developers, we also advise lenders and individuals about rights and obligations in financing such developments.

Commercial Leasing
Our attorneys provide general counsel, advice and transactional representation to Fortune 100 and other clients in commercial leasing matters. Such representation includes representing landlords, tenants and other interested parties in:

  • Negotiating and documenting commercial lease transactions (including ground leases, retail leases, office leases, light and heavy industrial leases, agricultural leases);
  • Negotiating and documenting other agreements related to, or implicated by, commercial leases (including development agreements, subleases, license agreements, option agreements, utility agreements, assignment and assumption agreements, financing agreements, collateral assignment of lease agreements, subordination and non-disturbance agreements, and lease termination agreements);
  • Obtaining necessary approvals for leasehold activities;
  • Performing due diligence activities related to leasehold matters;
  • Managing and administering commercial lease portfolios;
  • Pursuing or defending disputes and litigation involving leasing matters.

Additionally, since a commercial lease is typically only one component of a larger transaction or project and often implicates broader legal issues, our attorneys routinely work alongside specialists from the Firm’s other practice groups including Environmental, Land Use and Zoning, Building and Construction, Energy, Financial Reorganization, Restructuring and Insolvency, Litigation, Tax, Mergers and Acquisition and Corporate.

Lender Representation
Through the years, our attorneys have provided counseling and service for many institutional lenders, including banks, insurance companies, and other institutions throughout the country.

We have been able to offer the “lender’s viewpoint” in structuring financing transactions for clients, and have frequently been able to open the door for clients seeking project financing.

Our Clients

  • Commercial and residential developers, as individuals or as a business entity
  • Individuals
  • Lenders (financial institutions, banks, mortgage brokers, insurance companies)
  • Title insurance companies
  • Private companies
  • Public companies
  • Municipalities
  • Not-for-Profit organizations

Key Contacts


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View All Resources


This website presents only general information not intended as legal advice. Although we encourage calls, letters and emails from prospective clients, please keep in mind that merely contacting Harter Secrest & Emery LLP (HSE) does not establish an attorney-client relationship between us. Confidential information should not be sent to HSE until you have been notified in writing by HSE that a formal attorney-client relationship has been established. Information sent to us before then may not be treated as confidential by HSE or the court.

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