Practice Overview
Practices

Real Estate Litigation

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Olshan’s litigation attorneys represent clients in a wide range of complex, commercial real estate litigation matters. Our  NYC real estate litigation attorneys routinely partner with the firm’s highly regarded Real Estate Group to deliver results-oriented litigation services backed by broad-based industry knowledge. Our real estate litigation attorneys in NYC are thoroughly familiar with the real estate business, its participants and all types of real estate contracts and their accompanying provisions and clauses.  Clients receive the benefit of this depth of knowledge on every case. 

As to our clients, we represent the full spectrum of real estate players, including real estate owners, developers, lessees, real estate investors (foreign, domestic and institutional), REITS, banks, purchasers, sellers, ground lessors and lessees, guarantors, major commercial and retail tenants, and borrowers of construction, mezzanine and permanent loans.

Contractual, Common Law and Statutory Disputes

We can successfully enforce, construe or challenge any transaction.  Our real estate litigation practice spans the breadth of contractual issues, from sophisticated financing matters to leasing disputes. We represent clients in litigation involving the interpretation of lease clauses, applications for injunctive relief (including Yellowstone injunctions), the pursuit of damages and other monetary claims, commercial foreclosures, investment contracts, partnerships and LLCs, guaranties and breach of contract. Additionally, we have been successful prosecuting and defending business tort theories, breach of fiduciary duty, and lender liability. 

At Olshan, we make every effort to avoid contentious and costly litigation. However, when disputes cannot be negotiated or mediated, our real estate litigators are skilled and tenacious in advocating for our clients’ interests. 

  • Represented an affiliate of Forest City Ratner in the recovery of a $700,000 advance made to an electrical contractor, who later withdrew when the parties could not come to terms on a final contract. Persuaded the Judge that the work could not be substantiated, and the Court awarded a judgment for virtually all of the amount advanced. The award provides protection for developers when wayward subcontractors do not return funds that are advanced.
  • Represented Bonjour Capital as it took title to 333 Greene Avenue, Brooklyn, New York from two bitterly fighting debtors. Originally, Olshan represented Banco Popular in a mortgage foreclosure action against the debtors. After achieving summary judgment, Banco sold the mortgage to a third party. Olshan represented Bonjour in the purchase of the mortgage from that third party, then moved to lift the stay. After negotiating with the debtors, Bonjour took title through a plan of reorganization. The deal will allow the new owner to proceed with the 57-unit rental project, which was on hold for six years.
  • Won a temporary restraining order in New York state court to block the imminent termination of a $50 million hotel franchise and prevent default on a $35 million mortgage.
  • Won a highly contested summary judgment motion for Banco Popular in New York State Supreme Court, where the Commercial Division directed the foreclosure and sale of property and all other relief sought by Olshan’s client.  The motion for foreclosure involved a claim for more than $17 million.
  • Won a dispute for Applebee’s franchisee, Apple-Metro, arising out of a lease at a theater in Harlem.  After Apple-Metro signed the lease with the managing member of the landlord LLC, other members of the LLC claimed that its operating agreement prohibited the managing member from entering into the lease, and denied Apple-Metro access to the building. The First Department reversed the original decision voiding the lease, and found that Apple-Metro had reasonably relied on the managing member’s authority when entering into the lease. The appellate court also granted Apple-Metro’s motion for summary judgment on its claims for breach of the lease and contractual indemnification due to the LLC’s failure to grant Apple-Metro access to the building.  Apple-Metro ultimately settled on favorable and fair terms in mediation overseen by Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer that permitted the theater to remain open.
  • Secured favorable resolution for minority partner in buy/sell dispute in multimillion-dollar real estate development partnership.
  • Defended and successfully resolved a series of seven related state and federal lawsuits involving guaranties arising from a $1 billion multi-family residential real estate development portfolio.
  • Won decision in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York defeating mezzanine lender's motion for summary judgment on guaranty against investor in real estate development.
  • Represented ground lessor in New York County Supreme Court with respect to a dispute with ground lessee involving property's use as a first class hotel.  Our litigation efforts successfully resulted in bringing the lessee to the table to renegotiate the terms of the lease.
  • Representing prominent New York real estate developer in dispute with its partners involving a high-rise hotel located in Charlotte, NC. Our client's partners created a third-party entity, and claimed that a sale agreement with the entity was a legitimate third-party transaction. Olshan obtained a TRO to enjoin the sale, and after aggressive discovery learned that the sale was a sham, as our client had suspected. The case is ongoing, and we are actively pursuing claims against our client's former partners for fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, and conversion.