Cozen O’Connor announced it has made another addition to its growing real estate practice with the hire of commercial real estate attorney Nicholas Richard. Richard has joined the New York Office located at 3 World Trade Center as a member. Richard is a well-regarded commercial real estate attorney who has represented institutional investors, developers, operators, property owners, and financial institutions throughout a variety of sophisticated and large-scale real estate transactions. He brings extensive joint venture experience, including a wide range of transactions involving atypical aspects, such as distressed partnership assets, ownership restructurings, uniquely tailored ownership structures, and the exercise of liquidity rights.
“There has been one consistency throughout the pandemic; the real estate market continues to remain front and center in terms of activity and it’s showing zero signs of abating. In order to put the interests of Cozen O’Connor’s clients first, we want to ensure that we continue to have colleagues who are well versed in the often nuanced and complicated world of real estate transactional law,” said James R. Williams, co-chair of the Cozen O’Connor Real Estate Practice. “Nick is a seasoned professional with a tremendous reputation for relationship building, which is often at the center of real estate transactions. I am excited to have him on board.”
Over the past decade, Richard has been a trusted resource for numerous high-profile real estate projects in New York City. As associate counsel of Silverstein Properties, he was instrumental in negotiating and drafting the architectural services and the construction, consulting, and vendor agreements in connection with the World Trade Center redevelopment. He also advised and assisted the Silverstein organization in navigating a complex network of legal rights and obligations of the various stakeholders involved in the World Trade Center redevelopment effort and served as a critical liaison between Silverstein’s engineering and construction executives. Richard will be reunited with former Silverstein Properties executive vice president and general counsel, Jonathan W. Knipe, who joined Cozen O’Connor’s Real Estate Practice last March.
“Nick is a trusted adviser who can roll up his sleeves and get to the heart of complex financial transactions in the corporate real estate space. Having someone who brings the depth of experience on both sides of the transaction — whether representing investors or developers, is another powerful resource we can offer Cozen O’Connor clients,” commented Michael C. Schmidt, Cozen O’Connor co-office managing partner of the New York office. “It seems fitting that he will have the opportunity to work in our offices at 3 World Trade Center, a property in which he played an instrumental role in the redevelopment and construction.”
“This is a homecoming of sorts, particularly meaningful for me to be joining Cozen O’Connor’s real estate practice group at the World Trade Center, the revered site that I had the distinct privilege and pleasure to be a part of its rebirth,” Richard said. “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to collaborate with my new colleagues in handling our clients’ complex commercial real estate transactions, with a focus on joint venture acquisitions, dispositions, and ownership restructurings.”
Richard earned his B.A. from Purchase College and his J.D. from Brooklyn Law School, where he graduated cum laude, served as the associate managing editor of the Brooklyn Journal of International Law, and was the recipient of the CALI Excellence for the Future Award in the Law of Condos, Co-Ops, and HOAs. Following his time as associate counsel of Silverstein Properties, and before joining Cozen, Richard was a commercial real estate attorney at a prominent New York City law firm for over a decade.