Cozen O’Connor: Real Estate Litigation

Real Estate Litigation

Cozen O’Connor’s real estate attorneys act as counsel to developers, owners, real estate investment trusts, investors, retail and office tenants, real estate brokers and managers, banks and other lending institutions, title insurance companies, architects, and building contractors. Our team handles all types of real estate litigation involving failed loan workouts, landlord-tenant disputes, commercial evictions, rent resets, valuations, mortgage foreclosures, partnership and joint venture disputes, real estate tax appeals, condemnations, land use and zoning, and ownership disputes. We have a lengthy track record of success at trial, as well as in alternative dispute resolution forums such as arbitration, mediation, and administrative proceedings.

Real estate litigation is a specialized legal practice that demands a comprehensive understanding of both business and litigation. As a well-known business litigation firm, Cozen O’Connor is ideally suited to operate effectively at this intersection of corporate interests and dispute resolution. Our real estate attorneys are involved in some of the most complex transactions in the nation, which means that we are fully versed in the most current deal structures. That familiarity is an enormous benefit on the litigation side because it enables us to identify substantive issues and assess the relative merit of various positions.

In addition to the requisite real estate background, our attorneys also have excellent trial skills. Members of the real estate litigation team have been handling major cases for decades, and can claim a successful track record before trial judges, juries, and appellate courts alike. This experience not only enables us to steer clients more quickly through the crucible of court, it also supports our ability to negotiate beneficial settlement agreements. Adversaries know that we settle to serve clients’ interests, not to avoid trial, which eliminates needless brinksmanship and strengthens our bargaining position.

 

SERVICE AREAS

  • Handle landlord-tenant disputes
  • Litigate commercial evictions, mortgage foreclosures, eminent domain claims, and condemnations
  • Lead rent reset proceedings and valuation proceedings
  • Resolve disputes among investor groups, joint venturers, and partners
  • Counsel clients on real estate tax reassessment appeals
  • Lead real estate finance and insolvency litigation
  • Handle ownership, easement, and boundary disputes
  • Review breach of lease options, right-of-first-refusal agreements, and buy-sell agreement claims
  • Conduct land use and zoning appeals

Experience

Publications

Escalations and Rents - the Defensive Side of the Voluntary Payment Doctrine [New York Law Journal]

April 18, 2013

The voluntary payment doctrine has been long applied to prevent tenants from recovering payments made to the landlord which were tendered “voluntarily”—to wit, without dispute or inquiry—over a lengthy period of time. For example: a tenant tenders payment of real estate taxes to the landlord for over 10 years pursuant to what the tenant later claims to be an erroneous method of calculation, resulting in an overbilling. With this newfound knowledge, the tenant brings suit against the landlord to recover the amounts overpaid. By virtue of the voluntary payment doctrine, under this scenario, the tenant is, in essence, out of luck.

Events & Seminars

Past Events

20th Annual Commercial Real Estate Institute

December 03, 2018 - New York, NY

18th Annual Commercial Real Estate Institute

December 05, 2016 - New York, NY

In The News

First Lutheran Church Reaches Settlement with City of Saint Paul in Religious Liberty Suit

February 06, 2019

In the settlement, the city acknowledged that RLUIPA is an important and central aspect of its land use decisions and is a primary consideration in processing and responding to land use applications made to the city.

Cozen O’Connor Announces Hiring of Gilchrist & Rutter Attorneys

September 27, 2017

Cozen O’Connor is thrilled to announce that effective October 1, 2017, all of the lawyers from the Los Angeles real estate and commercial litigation boutique, Gilchrist & Rutter, will join the firm.

Brooklyn Heights Tenants Fear Landlord's Excavation Could Take Out The Crumbling BQE

May 10, 2017

Ken Fisher, a member of the firm’s Business Law Department, discusses his client's plan for a parking garage near a historic apartment complex and a decaying section of the Brooklyn Queens Expressway in a Gothamist article,

Ken Fisher Represents Family-Run Construction Company

May 04, 2017

Ken Fisher, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Business Law Department, shares his client's hopes for a new office space.