Name: Belinda Schwartz
Title: Partner and Chair of Real Estate
Company Name: Herrick, Feinstein LLP
What was your greatest professional accomplishment in 2020?
The year brought challenges in keeping our large 50+ person department connected while everyone was working from home. The real estate team is very collaborative and we miss not seeing each other in the office, so in May we began having weekly department meetings, first as a way to stay connected as a group and then, as the weeks went on, to learn more about the impact of the pandemic on commercial real estate from a legal and business perspective. We started with subject matter experts from within Herrick to discuss tax, litigation, leasing, employment etc., and then moved to clients and contacts from outside the firm. It has been a way to keep everyone’s attention on the daily developments of CRE in New York and beyond, and to hear more about of a number of different industries, while also learning more about our clients and friends.
What was your most notable project, deal, or transaction in 2020?
Herrick represented both Migdal Insurance Co. Ltd. and Menora Mivtachim Insurance Ltd., two of the largest Israeli insurance companies, in the negotiation of a joint venture with Silverstein Properties to acquire the U.S. Bank Tower in downtown Los Angeles, California, for a purchase price of $430 million. This large and complex deal involved tax structuring, negotiation of partnership agreements, as well as oversight of the acquisition and loan documents, and closed in September of 2020.