From the time-honored but quickly fading tradition of real estate "handshake deals" to the story of how one celebrity and her family fought for the residents of a New York City low income housing building in which they'd once lived, the first edition of the Best Lawyers: Real Estate and Infrastructure Publication is ready to guide anyone preparing to sign on the dotted line. We also explore how businesses in traditional brick and mortar buildings are crumbling under the pressures of online shopping, which has increased at an unprecedented rate since the pandemic upended life as we knew it. 

Our cover story is one of relevance to any new potential homeowner. The country is fast becoming a Monopoly board of boxes, new homes stacked one on top of the next down highways lined by suburbia. The decision to move into a development often comes with the choice of joining a Homeowners Association. But the once dreaded HOA is looking much more desirable when compared to its more sinister and rapidly spreading antagonist, the "special district." These districts are created by the developers with the goal of avoiding responsibility for defects in the construction. Heidi Storz of Kerrane Storz, P.C. takes us around the block to learn more about the what these special districts could mean for homeowners and exactly what homeowners should be getting out of them in her article "House Trap." 

Seasoned writer and frequent Best Lawyers contributor Justin Smulison goes on to explore the importance of correct and legally-binding documents in real estate dealings. The once-used way of shaking hands to make a deal is losing its credibility faster than you can whip out the hand sanitizer, and with input from lawyers in the industry, "Shake On It" provides advice for the best procedures in real estate dealings moving forward. From there, we close the doors on the stores we once knew, taking "window shopping" to "Windows Shopping" with a click of the mouse. Online shopping was already becoming one of the preferred ways to shop, with promises of fast shipping times and more options than anyone could ever really need. Lindsay Mesh Lotito, a Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch listed lawyer in Banking and Finance, offers insight on what lenders and borrowers must do to stay relevant in a world living behind screens in "From Brick to Click." 

Finally, we round out our thought leadership editorial with "East Side Story," the based-on-a-true-story tale of a 16-year long legal battle over a Manhattan building that served as low income housing for many individuals, including one A-lister and her family. Nationally renowned real estate attorney Adam Leitman Bailey spans the struggles and triumphs that he and his firm fought for these individuals who he knew had every right to retain the building they've long called home. With the help of past and current residents, the building is still home to the many who depend on it, and Adam and his firm, Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C., are proud of the work put in to help. 

The first installment of the Best Lawyers: Real Estate and Infrastructure Publication honors all of the lawyers across the U.S. who are listed in The Best Lawyers in America®, Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America and "Lawyer of the Year" recipients in several real estate and real estate adjacent specialties. These lawyers are here to guide us through the trials of buying, selling and renting our homes, our businesses and our land. These are the individuals who make it possible for us, and we celebrate their contributions to the legal industry and their excellence in the legal field. 


Read the full publication here:


Real Estate and Infrastructure Cover