Morrison & Foerster Continues Real Estate Expansion with Five California Additions

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Real estate veteran Irv Hepner joins firm as counsel, along with senior associate Amanda Myers, and three associates

In a move that bolsters the firm’s real estate team in Los Angeles, Morrison & Foerster LLP welcomes Irv Hepner as counsel and Amanda Myers as a senior associate, both arriving from Kaye Scholer. Meagan Froemming also joined the Los Angeles real estate team and there is another soon-to-be named associate slated to join in October. Jenny Tseng also joined the Palo Alto real estate group as an associate.

“Irv Hepner’s vast experience on a wide range of real estate transactions – from representing lenders in financing arrangements to advising equity-side participants – is a good fit for our global real estate practice. He bolsters our already robust west coast real estate team and brings a deep understanding of how to get complex transactions done,” said Mark Edelstein, chair of Morrison & Foerster’s Real Estate Finance and Distressed Real Estate practices.

Mr. Hepner’s practice focuses on real estate financing matters, portfolio real estate leasing and development programs. During a legal career that has spanned more than 35 years, he has been involved in numerous high profile transactions for clients in a wide range of industries. These include representing an institutional owner in all of its leasing matters for a portfolio of shopping centers and office buildings, a major defense contractor on tenant leasing issues, a developer of a wind energy project in Southern California – which resulted in the largest wind energy contract ever signed by a U.S. utility, an airport authority of a major U.S. city in connection with the structuring and implementation of a new leasing policy for passenger terminal leases, a multinational corporation in the sale/leaseback of its U.S. corporate headquarters, and numerous financial institutions, investment funds, and REITs in a variety of real estate transactions.

Prior to 2001, Mr. Hepner was the chief U.S. legal officer for Westfield Holdings Limited, an Australian public company that was the exclusive manager, developer, and advisor for Westfield America, Inc., a real estate investment trust and the second-largest owner of regional and super-regional shopping centers in the United States.

Ms. Myers represents investment banks and other institutional lenders providing construction and permanent loans for residential and commercial properties, including hotels, office buildings, shopping centers, and mixed-use developments throughout the United States. In addition, she works with lenders in the origination and securitization of first mortgage financing for acquisitions and refinancing.

“We welcome both Irv and Amanda to the firm. Irv’s expertise in real estate transactions as well as with the real estate components of complex corporate and project finance transactions complements the work of our global finance department, and we look forward to tapping into his experience and counsel,” said Nicholas Spiliotes, Co-Chair of the firm’s Finance Department.

“Morrison & Foerster has a sterling reputation as legal advisor to participants in all aspects of real estate transactions. My experience, particularly with the financing of large-scale projects, is a good fit, and I look forward to contributing to the continued success of the firm in deals throughout the U.S.,” said Hepner.

Morrison & Foerster lawyers have expertise across a broad spectrum of real estate activities that includes development deals, acquisitions and dispositions, leases, market standard and complex financings, and restructurings. The firm’s clients include lenders, developers, equity investors, and REITs, and cross the full range of property types, including office, commercial, industrial, multi-family, condominium, and hospitality, as well as specialized uses such as energy.

Mr. Hepner and Ms. Myers follow the recent enhancement of the firm’s real estate capabilities in Washington, D.C. where it recently added leading real estate / corporate lawyer Lauren Bellerjeau as a partner. Morrison & Foerster’s real estate team has been extremely active across the U.S., as well as abroad. Among some recent notable transactions are the $4.55 billion acquisition for Global Logistic Properties Ltd. (GLP) of a portfolio of U.S. warehouse properties from Industrial Income Trust – which will make GLP the second largest owner of U.S. logistics properties; the $860 million financing for the Goldman Sachs and Hines Interests of MOMA Tower in New York City; the $965 million financing for the lenders of the new Time Warner Building in the Hudson Yards development in New York; the $830 million acquisition and pre-development loan for JPMorgan for the HFZ Highline building on Manhattan’s West side; advising on the formation of a joint venture for development of a 41-story residential tower in downtown San Francisco; and the representation of the lender in a $190 million construction loan for a mixed-use hotel, residential, and retail project in West Hollywood, among others.

Mr. Hepner received his JD from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and his BA from Yale College.

Ms. Myers received her JD from Pepperdine University School of Law and BA in Anthropology and Intercultural Studies from Biola University.

Ms. Froemming received her JD from NYU Law School, MA in Middle Eastern Studies from Harvard, and a BA in History and Jewish Studies from Wellesley College.

Ms. Tseng received her JD from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law and a BA in Psychology and Social Behavior from the University of California, Irvine.

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Jocelyn De Carvalho
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