Thea Parent, One of the Country’s Leading Hospitality Sector Real Estate Attorneys, Joins Cozen O’Connor’s Real Estate Practice Group

Monday, November 19, 2018

PHILADELPHIA – November 19, 2018 – Cozen O’Connor today announced Thea Parent — a leading Philadelphia-based real estate attorney who has documented and closed more than $1.5 billion in hospitality sector acquisitions and dispositions in the last three years alone — has joined its top-ranked Real Estate Practice Group.

An experienced, 15-year real estate industry veteran, Parent concentrates her practice on commercial real estate, hospitality law, and joint ventures. She handles a diverse array of matters related to the acquisition, disposition, development, and construction of real estate and resort projects; the structuring or refinancing of debt and credit facilities; business joint ventures and strategic alliances; and commercial leasing. She also represents hospitality companies, management companies, and nonprofit organizations in general business matters.

Most recently Parent was at Hersha Hospitality Trust and Hersha Hospitality Management — a prominent hospitality sector real estate investment trust (REIT) and hotel management company that owns and operates hotels throughout the United States. She joins Cozen O’Connor as counsel and will reside in its Philadelphia office.

“With her extensive background and experience in hospitality and other commercial transactions, Thea brings enormous value to our clients, particularly those in the hospitality industry,” says Bernard Lee, co-chair of Cozen O'Connor's Real Estate Practice Group. “She offers our clients a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the hospitality industry, including its many critical and interrelated business deals, from operator, management, franchise, licensing, concession, and vendor agreements, to restaurant leases and management contracts.”

Known for her deal-making skills and business acumen, Parent regularly shepherds major real estate and resort deals from the negotiation stage across the finish line to closing, both regionally and nationally. In New England, she led the $112.5 million acquisition with 1031 exchange proceeds, along with the negotiation of hotel franchise and management agreements, for the Envoy Hotel in Boston, recognized by USA Today as the “Best New Hotel in America” and named the “Best New Hotel in Boston” by Forbes. On the West Coast, after reviewing and resolving potential zoning issues, she negotiated the purchase agreement and related financing documents for a multimillion-dollar acquisition of a resort near Silicon Valley in California. She also negotiated the $100 million acquisition of a resort property in Key West, Fla., and later led the negotiation of amenities and restaurant agreements and construction contracts for the expansion and repositioning for each of these resorts. 

“Cozen O'Connor’s entrepreneurial approach is a great fit for my client base,” Parent says. “The hospitality business has so many interwoven ownership, management, operational, and franchise relationships that you have to maintain a big-picture view of the clients' goals when determining their legal needs. With my background, I have the experience and skills needed to work with clients to develop and integrate both business and legal strategies.”

Parent earned her J.D. at Georgetown University Law Center and her undergraduate degree in Biochemistry and Economics at University of Maryland.

About Cozen O’Connor Real Estate

While many large law firms focus on either the finance side or the development side of the real estate industry, Cozen O’Connor is building a full-service, national real estate practice. As such, its national Real Estate Practice Group, which ranks among the top in the country, has expanded rapidly in the past 12 months.

In July it welcomed transactional attorney Marnie R. Kudon to its New York City office. Kudon has spent more than a decade guiding investors and operators through New York’s rigorous administrative approval processes.

Previously the firm welcomed four zoning, land use, and development attorneys to its Washington, D.C., office, adding a deep knowledge of the Washington, D.C., market to its real estate bench. It also welcomed seasoned real estate attorney Jeffrey Mills to its Pittsburgh office and all of the lawyers from the Los Angeles real estate and commercial litigation boutique Gilchrist & Rutter.

With more than 60 attorneys in 10 offices who are regularly supported by members of its corporate, litigation, tax, and environmental groups, Cozen O’Connor provides comprehensive, integrated service to some of the largest real estate organizations in the country.

About Cozen O’Connor

Established in 1970, Cozen O’Connor has more than 750 attorneys who help clients manage risk and make better business decisions. The firm counsels clients on their most sophisticated legal matters in all areas of the law, including litigation, corporate, and regulatory law. Representing a broad array of leading global corporations and middle market companies, Cozen O’Connor services its clients’ needs through 30 offices across two continents.

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