Switch to real estate?

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Switch to real estate?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 18, 2017 11:23 am

Hello All,

Junior M&A associate here working in biglaw. I'm thinking of switching my practice area to real estate to help me transition to a career in real estate development. I would want to make a lateral move to a firm that does a significant amount of work with developers.

Hoping to get some feedback on whether this path makes sense. I'd also like to hear from anyone who made a similar move or knows someone who did.

Thanks!

1styearlateral

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Re: Switch to real estate?

Postby 1styearlateral » Mon Sep 18, 2017 2:09 pm

Depends on the market but yeah could make sense.

alphamalek

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Re: Switch to real estate?

Postby alphamalek » Sat Sep 23, 2017 4:16 am

This would be an interesting topic to explore further. The market will make a difference with some real estate related work. For example, getting entitlements for development projects require different environmental review in California than in Texas.

Real estate is a broad field and I would imagine there are many specialty fields. You could do entitlements, joint venture agreements, common development agreements, financings, PSA. I am curious what someone with experience here would suggest to an associate from an M&A group.

persia1921

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Re: Switch to real estate?

Postby persia1921 » Sat Sep 23, 2017 9:15 am

I don't know the answer, but I'm curious as to why you want to make the switch for M&A.

Anonymous User
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Re: Switch to real estate?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 23, 2017 2:41 pm

persia1921 wrote:I don't know the answer, but I'm curious as to why you want to make the switch for M&A.


OP here. The M&A transactions I work on don't have a significant real estate focus (i.e., the companies that are being bought or sold are not primarily in the business of a acquiring, developing and/or selling real estate). Given that I want to get involved in the development business, it seems that switching to a group that does a lot of work with developers could be a good move in terms of gaining relevant experience and building contacts.

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Re: Switch to real estate?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 23, 2017 3:17 pm

alphamalek wrote:This would be an interesting topic to explore further. The market will make a difference with some real estate related work. For example, getting entitlements for development projects require different environmental review in California than in Texas.

Real estate is a broad field and I would imagine there are many specialty fields. You could do entitlements, joint venture agreements, common development agreements, financings, PSA. I am curious what someone with experience here would suggest to an associate from an M&A group.


Sounds right. The firms that have strong real estate practices usually subdivide the group into acquisition and dispositions, secured lending (financing), and land development, among others. My interest is more on the land development side, though I wouldn't mind also doing some acquisition/disposition work.

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Re: Switch to real estate?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 23, 2017 5:32 pm

Why do you want to go into development work? I'm in real estate and would rather be in m&a.

alphamalek

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Re: Switch to real estate?

Postby alphamalek » Mon Sep 25, 2017 6:30 pm

I would that imagine getting into a real estate practice group would provide lucrative exit options. The world of real estate, especially in leftist states, are incredibly regulated. Understanding the law will certain help navigating the system.

To the OP's point, if you are trying to get into real estate development for yourself and some partners, I suggest you lateral to a middle market firm in the region you want to develop. A lot of the large law firms that do real estate related work like Gibson Dunn in SF are putting together massive projects Treasure Island or the new Warriors stadium and unlikely to be as useful for someone trying to open a RE dev outfit.

An attorney that wants to move into development should consider who his financial partners are and the scale of the project and the work with a firm that caters to that group. IMO, you get your training in biglaw M&A and then transfer to a middle market type of firm and do a real estate transactions so you see many issues from finance, acquisitions/dispositions, leasing and entitlements. If you go to a biglaw firm that does megaprojects, you may end up reviewing environmental impact reports for days on end which is impracticable for opening a development shop on your own. Your own development firm may be smaller scale where such an environmental impact report may not even be necessary.



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