Cozen O’Connor announced Jon S. Ziefert, one of New York’s leading real estate attorneys, has joined its New York City Real Estate Practice. Ziefert, who brings a 20-plus-year track record of successfully representing developers, private equity funds, large investors, and institutional lenders in complex real estate investment and development transactions, joins the firm as a member and will reside in its Manhattan office.
Ziefert guides clients through the acquisition, development, financing, leasing, and disposition of shopping centers, office buildings, hotels, residential and mixed-use complexes, and industrial facilities. He also advises on the formation of related joint ventures, equity investment vehicles, and operation/management agreements.
Ziefert is the second attorney to join the firm’s Real Estate practice and New York office this month, joining litigator and dispute resolution practitioner Scott J. Pashman, who joined two weeks earlier. Prior to coming to Cozen O’Connor, Ziefert served as special counsel at a New York City-based prominent law firm.
“With COVID-19 dramatically changing the way we work, shop, and communicate, the real estate market is in a tumultuous period of transition,” said James Williams, co-chair of Cozen O’Connor’s Real Estate Practice. “Jon brings us two decades of hands-on experience helping domestic and international clients assemble and execute a wide range of complex real estate transactions. In light of recent events, he’s an ideal addition to our practice, and I’m happy to welcome him to the firm.”
“With decades of experience representing both developers and investors, Jon can identify and help resolve potential issues early on and keep a major transaction moving forward — to the obvious benefit of the client,” added Michael C. Schmidt, co-managing partner of Cozen O’Connor’s New York office. “With so much of the city’s real estate market in a state of flux, that skill is an extremely valuable commodity, and our clients will benefit greatly. I’m thrilled Jon’s chosen to join us.”
Ziefert’s track record includes representing clients in a range of fast-growing and cutting-edge global industries. Earlier this year, for example, he represented a client involved in a major New York City renewable energy project — one that will transform its South Brooklyn Marine Terminal into one of the largest offshore wind port facilities in the nation.
“During my many years in New York and Los Angeles, I’ve been through a number of economic cycles, and there are certainly similarities to the one we’re in right now,” Ziefert said. “It gives me a unique take on the city’s current real estate market, which is important because, at the end of the day, it’s all about developing a strategy to get the deal done efficiently and practically. In the client’s eyes, that’s all that matters.”
Ziefert earned his J.D. from Rutgers University School of Law, his M.S. in real estate development from the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Columbia University, and his B.A. in American history from Columbia College, Columbia University.