William R. Sylvester - Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC

William R. Sylvester

Listed in Best Lawyers since 1995

Bill's prompt service and attention to detail have been the standards of his more than 30 years of work in the federal tax and real property areas of the practice. He is a fellow of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers (ACREL) and is active in local, state and national bar associations.

Bill has extensive experience in a wide variety of real estate-related transactions. Some of the diverse matters he has recently handled:

  • Sale, development, financing and disposition of multifamily properties;
  • Choice of entity considerations in the acquisition of real estate; 
  • Negotiation and drafting of deal specific partnership, limited liability company and joint venture agreements, which may include detailed provisions concerning the rights, authorities and limitations of the participants with respect to distributions, preferences, priorities, management, transfer and other aspects of the entity's business and financial circumstances;
  • Advice about the tax and real estate considerations in distressed property transactions;
  • The negotiation of various property management agreements;
  • The effect of the Real Estate Mortgage Investment Conduit (REMIC) provisions;
  • Representation of donors in charitable conservation gifts of real property; and
  • Counseling about the potential appraiser penalties under Section 6695B and 6701 of the federal tax code.

University of AlabamaBS 1975Georgia Institute of TechnologyUniversity of Virginia School of LawJ.D. 1978
Alabama State Bar - Real Estate Section Land Trust Alliance International Council of Shopping Centers American Bar Association American College of Real Estate Lawyers

Case History

Representative Experience
  • Represented a client and worked with in-house attorney and CPAs to structure a qualified conservation easement, whereby over $30 million in deductions were taken on 2002 returns (the matter was tried before the Tax Court in 2009, and opinion was rendered on June 22, 2009 sustaining deductions in excess of $28.6 million). 
  • Represent a client group involved in a variety of retail and office projects, as well as a mountaintop traditional neighborhood, planned around a golf course community.
  • Represent a company in all aspects of its business operations with a primary focus on the ownership and management of golf courses. The client operates 11 golf courses which include designs by Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Jerry Pate and Fred Couples. Represented this client in transactions related to the purchase, marketing and sale of residential communities adjacent to three of these golf courses.
  • Represented an apartment holder, developer, builder and owner which owns 4,000 residential units in the southeast. Provided counsel regarding the sale of 2,500 apartment units, representing an aggregate value in excess of $160 million.
  • Represented affiliated companies which presently own and manage 2,200 apartment units. Provided strategic advice and worked with the client to reduce the client's investment in CMBS-units. In late 2007 and 2008, two properties were sold for $67 million, with $47 million of CMBS debt assumed by the buyers.

Client Comments

"William Sylvester understands the complexity of conservation partnerships and is an innovative thinker. He is a pleasure to work with."

"William Sylvester develops a good working relationship with clients and adversial parties. "

Office Location

Wells Fargo Tower, Suite 1400
420 Twentieth Street North
Birmingham, AL 35203
United States

Practice Areas

Business Organizations (including LLCs and Partnerships)
Real Estate Law
Tax Law