Morrison & Foerster Wednesday said it has created a dedicated group to represent real estate companies, anticipating a wave of business related to the industry’s growing need for liquidity and deleveraging.

The law firm said its newly formed real estate companies solutions group will bring together experts with real estate-specific industry expertise from the firm’s real estate, corporate, capital markets, tax, fund formation, bankruptcy, restructuring and litigation groups. It will provide targeted advice to real estate companies, investors and other capital sources in deals resulting from the financial sector dislocation. Options it will advise on include M&A, tender offers, spin-offs, joint ventures, or bankruptcy, including prepacks.

“The current ‘perfect storm’ affecting the real estate industry is creating both risks and opportunities for our clients,” said Michael Cohen, a Los Angeles partner in the corporate finance practice group. “Most real estate companies are considering a wide range of alternatives to respond to these historic conditions. Conversely, other companies and capital sources, some of them new to the U.S. market, sense an opportunity to buy into or acquire troubled or undervalued real estate companies.”

Andrew Weiner, a New York partner in the group, said creating the group will allow MoFo to respond quickly to client needs. “Speed and coordination of industry-savvy expertise in responding to client needs will be critical in this environment, particularly since we anticipate a dramatic increase in the number and size of these transactions,” he said.

Commercial real estate is thought by many market participants to be poised for a sharp downturn, led in part by the turmoil in the retail sector and lower rents.


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