At Meissner Tierney, our real estate attorneys have recently handled some of the region’s largest and most complex real estate transactions. In addition to these large transactions, our firm routinely represents both purchasers and sellers of real estate, assisting in negotiation of the agreements and also ensuring that other aspects of such transactions (such as title insurance and recording) are appropriately addressed. Our real estate attorneys have experience advising clients on the complex legal issues that can arise in real estate law real property purchases, such as fraudulent transfer risks in a depressed sale and mitigating title risks in purchases out of foreclosure. In fact, title companies will turn to our real estate practice group to analyze claims and, where necessary, litigate on their behalf.
Our firm also regularly represents commercial and residential landlords and commercial tenants in drafting and negotiating lease agreements. Our real estate attorneys can help clients not only negotiate standard lease provisions, but also provide advice regarding the more complex areas of real estate law such as bankruptcy law considerations and risk allocation, and insurance provisions.
For some of our clients, real estate is their business. In addition to the services described above, our attorneys have experience working with both commercial and government lenders to secure financing for our clients to help complete their real estate projects. We also are well positioned to advise our real estate clients on broader matters relating to their organization, structure and business operations.
For many closely held businesses and individuals, real estate transactions are some of the most significant transactions they undertake. Our attorneys can draw on their experience with a wide array of real estate matters to assist clients in getting their desired results while minimizing their expenses and liability risks.
Our firm has experience representing both buyers and sellers with respect to many types of real estate, from single family homes to large downtown mixed-use developments. For many of our closely held business clients, our attorneys’ in-depth understanding of the client’s business can help identify tax, liability or other considerations that impact proposed real property transactions. We also advise clients whose primary business is real estate development or ownership, and our attorneys are experienced with the acquisition, development, construction, leasing and sale of almost any type of real property, including office buildings, shopping centers, single-use commercial properties, residential and multifamily properties and mixed-use projects. If requested, our attorneys can assist clients with any aspect of a real estate acquisition or sale, such as drafting or reviewing purchase agreements and/or tax allocation provisions, addressing title issues, advising on cancellation of indebtedness and other tax considerations, easements and property encumbrances and securing financing.
Our firm has extensive experience dealing with the unique aspects of condominium law.
Our firm has represented condominium developers and helped to secure financing, organize and legally create the condominium form of ownership, organize and draft bylaws for the association and otherwise assist in completing the condominium project. Our firm pioneered the use of the “dockuminium” in Wisconsin, and continues to develop creative applications of condominium law where it helps our clients. Our firm also assists developers and owners manage condominium developments on an ongoing basis, by addressing issues such as unit foreclosures and the non-payment of dues. We also have represented both condominium associations and condominium unit owners in disputes, and our attorneys have experience resolving these disputes in a manner that ensures the full protection of the legal rights of our client and, where appropriate, allows the parties to continue to co-exist after the dispute is resolved.
Our attorneys are experienced representing commercial and residential landlords and commercial tenants on leasing transactions. Our firm’s experience in this area allows us to quickly draft or review leases and related documents, while still ensuring that the client’s legal and business risks are appropriately addressed. For residential landlords, our firm can help clients comply with the various statutory and regulatory requirements designed to protect residential tenants, and represent the landlord in the eviction process if necessary. For commercial landlords and tenants, our attorney’s experience in this area can help identify potential risks, such as improper insurance and subrogation provisions, that are often overlooked in lease agreements.
Our firm also has experience representing self-storage facilities and is familiar with the unique statutory provisions and other considerations that impact these businesses.
Permitting and Zoning
Our attorneys are experienced with obtaining necessary planning and zoning approvals, changes and permits, including representing clients in appeals before municipal zoning hearing boards. In addition to land use and zoning approvals, we assist clients in obtaining environmental permits from federal and state authorities. Our firm often advises and represents Wisconsin clients with respect to their “riparian rights,” or their development and other rights with respect to property bordering a body of water.
Real Estate Financing
Our attorneys have represented both lenders and borrowers with respect to real estate transactions and have experience securing financing in complex and non-traditional situations.
For borrowers, we can help clients evaluate the tax considerations and risks associated with different funding sources and transaction structures. Our experience representing private lenders helps us advise borrowers with respect to bank and other private financing. Our firm can also provide clients with information regarding the various federal and state programs and agencies that may be available as a source of financing. If a client utilizes one of these government financing options, our firm has experience navigating the various provisions and requirements of many of these programs. Our firm also provides, both as lead and local counsel, opinion letters when requested by commercial and government lenders. Finally, our firm’s real estate and tax expertise can help clients restructure and refinance their obligations in both distressed and non-distressed situations.
For lenders, we can help ensure that under Bankruptcy and other applicable law the lender is entitled to the security that the lender anticipants when making the loan. In the event of a default, our firm has experience representing lenders in enforcing their rights with respect to real property, including obtaining temporary restraining orders, the appointment of receivers and the sale of the property through foreclosure.
Our attorneys have experience arranging, negotiating and documenting tax-deferred 1031 and “reverse” 1031 exchanges. These transactions provide clients the ability to defer some or all of the gain with respect to the sale of property. Our firm can advise clients of when a tax-deferred exchange is possible and the requirements to have the transaction respected for tax purposes.
Although it often appears simple, establishing ownership, easement and other rights with respect to real property can be one of the most complicated areas of the law. Our firm has represented clients, including title companies, with respect to title defects in negotiations as well as in state, federal and appellate court. From the interpretation of grants to railroad companies given over 170 years ago to understanding the exclusions of a title policy issued last year, our firm has considerable experience representing clients with respect to their real property rights. This experience is also valuable in identifying potential issues with title when we advise clients on a potential purchase of real property.