William F. Davis

Vice Chair, Real Estate

Bill is a real estate attorney with more than two decades of experience. He serves as vice chair of Cozen O’Connor’s Real Estate Practice and co-chair of the Real Estate Finance group, and has established himself as a leader in New York’s real estate bar.

Bill focuses on real estate financings and loan transactions on behalf of sophisticated lenders, including institutional investors, nationally recognized banks, real estate investment trusts, and real estate funds. He structures and negotiates workouts, bridge loans, construction loans, securitized conduit lending programs, and sale leaseback portfolio transactions.

Over his career, Bill has helped lenders successfully navigate multiple down cycles, from the 2008 financial crisis to the COVID-19 pandemic, and has accrued deep experience with distressed real estate. Bill leads foreclosures, real estate bankruptcies, loan modifications, debt restructuring, forbearance agreements, and rescue capital strategies.  

On the equity side, Bill serves real estate owners, developers, and high-net-worth individuals in large-scale development deals and joint venture equity investments, and he has broad leasing and property management capabilities.

As the head of the firm’s New York real estate group, Bill has played a pivotal role in growing the Cozen O’Connor team from a few to a group of more than 20 top attorneys. He prioritizes cooperation and collegiality, and is most proud of the team’s high retention and longstanding relationships with clients.  

Bill is an active lecturer, frequently speaking at conferences and CLE events on topics ranging from valuation methodologies to LIBOR. He is also a committed mentor to more junior real estate attorneys and a singer with Cozen O’Connor's house band The Dirty Scriveners.

Bill earned his undergraduate degree, cum laude, from The George Washington University. He earned his law degree, cum laude, from Tulane Law School, where he served as the associate executive editor of the Tulane Journal of International & Comparative Law



Second Annual Cozen O’Connor Real Estate Survey Reveals Large Drop in Optimism About New York Market

November 14, 2023

New York City real estate professionals’ confidence in the city’s short-term future dropped by a quarter since last year, while pessimism tripled, according to a survey conducted by the law firm of Cozen O’Connor.

Best Lawyers Honors More Than 200 Cozen O'Connor Attorneys to its Best Lawyers in America 2024 Edition

August 17, 2023

Best Lawyers selected 232 Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 24 of the firm’s U.S. offices for inclusion in the 2024 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.

Cozen O’Connor Releases Film Short on New York Real Estate’s Future

December 19, 2022

New York, December 19, 2022 – Cozen O’Connor and its affiliate, Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies, announce the release of an innovative short documentary, “New York City: What’s Ahead? A Real Estate Perspective,” with keen observations about this current unprecedented and transformative period.

Survey of Real Estate Professionals Finds Strong Optimism About New York City’s Future

October 06, 2022

New York City real estate professionals are feeling optimistic about the city, with anti-real estate sentiment among politicians topping their list of concerns, narrowly edging out the high cost of construction.

William Davis Judged The Real Estate Board of NY Awards

April 18, 2022

William Davis served as a judge for the Real Estate Board of New York's Sales Brokers Most Ingenious Deal of the Year Awards.


Fierce Competition Awaits Distressed Real Estate Funds as Deals Ramp Up [Fund Fire]

July 07, 2020

Bill Davis discusses the deal competition confronting real estate funds in the months ahead as private real estate fund strategies turn to distressed assets in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic and economic downturn.

Navigating Improved Rules for HVCRE Loans – What You Need to Know [Alert]

October 19, 2018

Zach Samton and William Davis discuss the enactment of the Economic Growth Act and how it impacts both borrowers and lenders.

New Accounting Rules to Require Tenants to Reflect Operating Leases on Balance Sheet [Real Estate Alert!]

July 05, 2011

New Accounting Rules to Require Tenants to Reflect Operating Leases on Balance Sheet - Real Estate Alert! - consider the possible impact of new accounting rules to be issued shortly by the Financial Accounting Standards Board and the International Accounting Standards Board. These rules likely will eliminate the accounting distinctions between an operating lease and a capital lease, thus eliminating a tenant's ability to keep "liabilities" under an operating lease off its balance sheet.

The General Growth Court Refuses to Grant Motions to Dismiss 21 "Bankruptcy Remote" Subsidiaries from Bankruptcy [Real Estate Alert]

August 13, 2009

The General Growth Court Refuses to Grant Motions to Dismiss 21 "Bankruptcy Remote" Subsidiaries from Bankruptcy - Real Estate Alert - On August 11, 2009, the Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York denied five motions to dismiss a total of 21 property-level subsidiaries of General Growth Properties, Inc. (“GGP”) from what has become the largest real estate
bankruptcy in U.S. history. The much-anticipated ruling reinforces the concern of many that single purpose, “bankruptcy remote” borrowers are far from “bankruptcy proof”.


  • Tulane University Law School, J.D., 2002
  • The George Washington University, B.A.

Awards & Honors

Best Lawyers in America, 2024

New York Metro Super Lawyers "Rising Star" 2013 

  • New York