Sterling Scott Willis - Fishman Haygood, L.L.P.

Sterling Scott Willis

Listed in Best Lawyers since 2005

Scott Willis is a partner and a member of our Business Section. He practices primarily in the areas of commercial transactions, negotiated acquisitions, oil, gas and natural resources, banking and commercial real estate acquisitions, development, and financing.

Scott is a member of the LSU Law School Alumni Board of Trustees. He is the past chair of the ABA’s Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section Committee on Legal Opinions, and is currently Chairman of the ACREL Legal Opinions Committee and an inaugural member of the Law Firm Advisory Board of the Working Group on Legal Opinions. He is a fellow of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers and a past Chair of the Louisiana Bankers Association’s Bank Counsel Committee. He is also past Chairman of the New Orleans Bureau of Governmental Research. He has frequently lectured on commercial transactions and legal opinion issues and as a guest lecturer at LSU Law School. Scott is also the Vice Chair for eCLE for the ABA Real Property Section standing CLE Committee.


  • J.D. from Louisiana State University, 1983
    • Associate Editor of the Louisiana Law Review
    • Order of the Coif
  • B.A. from Louisiana State University, 1980

Publications / Presentations

  • Member of the drafting group for the ABA/ACREL Real Estate Opinion Letter Guidelines 38 REAL. PROP. PROB. & TR. J. 241 (2003)
  • Author of Article 9 Remedies in West’s Louisiana Statutes Annotated Code of Civil Procedure

Representative Matters

  • $60 million acquisition of the Pan American Life Building in New Orleans by Stirling Properties, which transaction was referenced in The Wall Street Journal on December 8, 2010, as its “Deal of the Week”
  • Rouses Supermarkets’ acquisition of the southern division of A & P Supermarkets and subsequent expansion to 40 plus stores, including the leasing, construction and remodeling of numerous facilities
  • Acquisition, financing and transfer of over a dozen hotel developments
  • Fauji Fertilizer’s acquisition, dismantlement, shipping, and redevelopment of a large chemical facility from Louisiana to Pakistan
  • Acquisition and financing of The Canal Place mixed-use development in Louisiana
  • Development and financing of several above ground and below ground natural gas storage facilities
  • Stirling Properties’ development of the River Chase and Fremaux mixed-use communities in St. Tammany Parish, the Ambassador Town Center in Lafayette, the Mid-City Market in New Orleans, and Target-anchored shopping centers in Bossier City and Lafayette
  • Acquisition and later sale of a leading fuel and lubricants supplier
  • Numerous helicopter and marine vessel financings
  • Regularly represent borrowers in syndicated commercial real estate financings
  • President of the firm’s affiliated title company, Commercial Title Agency, Inc., agent for Fidelity National Title Insurance Company and First American Title Insurance Company

Client Comments

"In addition to knowing the relevant law, Mr. Willis is frequently skilled in the negotiation and structure of the deals on which he advises us."

"Sterling is calm, direct and very competent. He is an asset to any transaction."

-George Dupuy
Senior Vice President

"Sterling Scott Willis is the best of the best for general business and public finance."

"Sterling Willis is our go-to attorney for complex real estate matters."

-Murray Calhoun

"Scott is an outstanding lawyer who always has the best interest of the client in perspective. He is honest and open, which is extremely important for our relationship."

-Richard Abbrecht
Capital One Southcoast

"Sterling Willis is incredibly knowledgeable."

Office Location

201 Saint Charles Avenue, Suite 4600
New Orleans, LA 70170-4600
United States

Lawyer of the Year Awards

2017 Lawyer of the Year in Equipment Finance Law of the New Orleans Metro Area2016 Lawyer of the Year in Banking and Finance Law of the New Orleans Metro Area2012 Lawyer of the Year in Equipment Finance Law of the New Orleans Metro Area
Sterling Scott Willis has earned a Lawyer of the Year award for 2017!Sterling Scott Willis has earned a Lawyer of the Year award for 2016!Sterling Scott Willis has earned a Lawyer of the Year award for 2012!

Practice Areas

Banking and Finance Law (Commercial Finance, Finance, Loan Documentation, Maritime Lending, Mergers & Acquisitions, Mortgage, Oil & Gas Lending, Real Estate, Transactions, Uniform Commercial Code)
Equipment Finance Law
Real Estate Law