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Deals & Dealmakers

Who’s News: Charlie Leonard joins Rockwood, Tarter Krinsky promotes two lawyers

Rockwood Capital has hired Charlie Leonard as a director of the firm.

Leonard’s duties include responsibility for East Coast acquisitions and asset management of various product types, including residential, office, retail and hotel assets.

Prior to joining Rockwood, Leonard was a First Vice President for CIM Group where he focused on real estate investments.

From 2006 to 2016, his work included the acquisition and asset management of stabilized and opportunistic real estate assets in New York and Northern California. Prior to CIM Group, he was an analyst for Aareal Financial Services.

Leonard received a Bachelor of Arts from Middlebury College.


Tarter Krinsky & Drogin in New York promoted two lawyers.

Gina Piazza becomes partner and is a member of the Real Estate, International, Retail, and  Corporate and Securities practice groups and co-chairs the firm’s Italian Desk.

She assists companies in conducting business in the United States and serves as outside general counsel to organizations.

Her clients include start-ups, established businesses and multinationals first entering the U.S. market. She represents prominent brands, including those in the industries of fashion, e-commerce, luxury goods, architecture and design, craft beverages and hospitality.

Christopher Tumulty becomes counsel and is a lawyer in the Litigation, Construction, Real Estate and Cooperative and Condominium practices.

He works with businesses of all types involved in the real estate and construction industries in New York. Chris is an experienced litigator in complex commercial disputes in state and federal courts, as well as in domestic and international arbitration and mediation.

He also acts as outside counsel to condominium and cooperative apartment boards on all aspects of building management, dispute resolution and governance.


Rosenberg & Estis, P.C. announced that Daniel Bernstein, Bension DeFunis and Patrick Tierney have joined the firm.

Bernstein, DeFunis and Tierney join as Of Counsel.

Daniel Bernstein brings experience in the assessment and taxation of real property in New York, as well as acquisition, financing, leasing, declarations of condominium, and condominium offering plans. He also has extensive experience assisting real estate developers with obtaining economic incentives.

Prior to joining Rosenberg & Estis, Bernstein was with Venable LLP. He received his J.D. from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law after attending Carleton College in Northfield, Minn.

Bension DeFunis joins Rosenberg & Estis after serving as Senior Counsel at Jaffe & Asher LLP.

He represents a broad clientele in complex commercial and real estate litigation matters in state, federal, and appellate courts. He also represents individuals and entities in connection with investigations and proceedings brought by various state and federal government enforcement agencies.

DeFunis received his J.D. from Cornell Law School after attending the University of Washington in Seattle, Wash.

Prior to joining Rosenberg & Estis, Patrick Tierney was with Bryan Cave LLP, where he served as Counsel. He managed all aspects of a variety of e transactions, including acquisitions and dispositions, borrower-side financing, ground leasing, and leasing.

Tierney received his J.D. from the George Mason University School of Law after attending George Mason University in Arlington, Va.


Savills Studley announced that football legend Jeff Feagles has joined its New Jersey operation as managing director.

Feagles played in the National Football League (NFL) for 22 seasons as a punter for the New England Patriots, Philadelphia Eagles, Arizona Cardinals, Seattle Seahawks and, most recently, the New York Giants.

Known as the most durable punter in NFL history, Feagles retired from football in 2009 with two Pro Bowl selections and a Super Bowl victory under his belt.

In his new role, Feagles will focus on the representation of office and industrial tenants throughout New Jersey.

He joins Savills Studley with 10 years of real estate experience. Previously, Feagles developed the commercial division and led a team of agents at Keller Williams Village Square Realty.

Earlier in his real estate career, he worked at Marron Gildea & Donohue Realtors and John L. Scott Real Estate. He graduated from the University of Miami with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree.

Peter McMullen also joins the firm’s New Jersey office as associate.

He will support Savills Studley’s office and industrial leasing practices with a focus on manufacturing and professional services firms in the New Jersey area.

Prior to joining the firm, McMullen worked at Mountain Top Advisory Group. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Boston College.


Mitti Liebersohn, Avison Young President and Managing Director of the firm’s New York City office, announced that Jamie Covello has joined the company.

Covello becomes an Executive Director and will continue her representation of both landlords and tenants in the corporate arena with relation to real estate advisory and transactions.

Covello brings more than 30 years of experience with merger and acquisition advisory, including due diligence and headquarter rationalization.

Most recently, she served as Executive Director at Cushman & Wakefield, where she has worked since the mid-80s, serving many corporate clients locally, regionally and globally.

Covello has vast experience working with national corporate clients creating customized strategic planning, headquarters solutions, consolidations and transaction management solutions, for clients including General Re, Scott Paper, Sunbeam, Honeywell, Pitney Powers, Ernst & Young and Office Depot.

Covello attended New York University and Columbia University, and has returned to Columbia University’s Real Estate Program as a guest lecturer.


A.Y.Strauss LLC announced that Lonnie J. Halpern and Aaron I. Messing have joined the firm as partners.

Lonnie Halpern joins the firm’s commercial real estate practice, where he will represent clients in commercial real estate transactions, joint ventures and financings.

With over 15 years of experience, hecounsels early-stage  companies on initial organization, fundraising and general corporate matters, and advises startup companies focused on applying technology to commercial real estate investing and finance.

Prior to joining the firm, Halpern served as vice president of BRT Realty Trust, as well as in-house counsel to a commercial real estate-focused New York family office.

He also founded CrowdMason. Halpern began his law career at Goodwin Procter LLP and Hogan Lovells.

He earned a J.D. from Boston College Law School and a B.A. from Cornell University.

As founder of A.Y. Strauss LLC’s corporate and technology practice, Aaron Messing brings experience advising entrepreneurs and emerging growth companies on legal matters related to emerging technology, corporate structures, business transactions, capital raises, intellectual property, and information privacy and data security.

Previously, Messing practiced at OlenderFeldman LLP. He also served as chief privacy officer for Advanced Health Media, LLC, and as chief privacy and security officer for Avatar Solutions (acquired by Press Gainey).

Messing earned a J.D., cum laude, from Fordham University School of Law, where he was a dean’s fellow, a Ruth Whitehead Whaley scholar, an associate editor of the Moot Court Board, and a member of the  Journal of Corporate & Financial Law.

He also earned an M.A.,magna cum laude, and a B.A., cum laude, both from Binghamton University.


Walker & Dunlop announced that Michael Warren has been appointed to the Company’s Board of Directors.

Warren is the Managing Principal and Chief Executive of Albright Stonebridge Group.

He is currently Trustee of the District of Columbia Retirement Board and serves on the Board of Trustees of the Commonfund.

Warren is also the Chairman of the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC).

During the first term of the Obama administration, Warren was Senior Advisor in the White House Presidential Personnel Office. He previously worked at McKinsey & Company as a strategic consultant.

Warren served in the White House during the Clinton administration as Executive Director of the National Economic Council and in the Office of the Secretary for the U.S. Department of Labor.

Warren is a graduate of Yale University and Balliol College, University of Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar.

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