Practicing real estate law means a lot more than helping a family buy a house. My real estate practice is centered on the use of real property, which tends to be from more of a commercial or business perspective. My clients include real estate developers and investors as well as businesses, rather than individuals. Even landlords with more than a few properties should be running their investments as a business.
I work closely with other professionals, such as inspectors, surveyors and contractors, to conduct due diligence for purchasers of real estate and with tax professionals in establishing the right kind of entity. Sample projects include oceanfront and riverfront condominiums, commercial and industrial space in Volusia County and Pinellas County, assembly and entitlement of large parcels for mixed-use towers in Downtown Tampa, commercial land leases and entitlements throughout the I-4 Corridor.
Businesses come to me at various stages of their lives. Creating a legal entity with the State is just the beginning of the process. Whether it is buying, selling, starting or winding down a business, or just operating day-to-day, there are legal requirements to meet. I help my clients make sure they are in compliance with those requirements and protect their business interests. What this usually means is a lot of research, document review and writing. It’s important for me to really understand each business so I can tailor my advice to the needs of the industry.
My approach to the practice of law is based on over 25 years of experience in the field. The role of an attorney in a law firm is very different from the role of in-house counsel. A law firm attorney must balance the needs of the firm with the needs of the client. An attorney who serves as in-house counsel does not have the administrative demands of a law firm, but must learn to understand what business risks its client is willing to take.
I try to treat my law firm clients as if I am their in-house attorney. I need a good understanding of how the business works so that I can draft and analyze documents that protect the business and meet its goals. My clients appreciate the customized attention they receive. For them, it is not sufficient to just check a box by plugging their business information into a template and calling it a day.
One of the advantages of customized corporate documents for businesses with multiple owners is that the documents spell out the roles and expectations of the owners.