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Deals & Dealmakers

WHO’S NEWS: Commercial appointments and promotions

Peckar & Abramson, P.C. (P&A) announced that Warren E. Friedman and Jesse S. Keene have been elevated to the firm’s Partnership.

The firm also announced that Paul Monte, Co-Managing Partner of P&A’s New York office, has been named to the firm’s Executive Committee. Adam P. Handfinger has been elevated to Co-Managing Partner of the firm’s Miami office, and New York office Co-Managing Partner Gregory H. Chertoff will assume two additional key roles for the firm, Co-Chair of the Associates and Senior Counsel Committee, and Chair of the firm’s International Dispute Resolution Practice Group. Additionally, Jerry P. Brodsky, leader of the firm’s Latin American practice will serve as Vice-Chair of that practice group.

P&A has also announced the elevation of five attorneys to the position of Senior Counsel: Christopher M. Bletsch, Monique S. Cardenas, K. Stefan Chin, Alexander X. Saunders, and Rashmee Sinha and the promotion of three attorneys to Senior Associate: Levi Barrett, Meredith N. Reynolds, and Christopher M. Sweeney.

The firm is also pleased to announce the promotion of Luis E. Alvarez to the role of Director of Information Technology for the firm.


Belkin Burden Wenig & Goldman announced the promotions of Lisa Gallaudet and Christina Simanca-Proctor to Partner, effective January 1, 2017.

Formerly Associates, both Ms. Gallaudet and Ms. Simanca-Proctor practice in the litigation department. They are based in the firm’s Midtown Manhattan Madison Avenue headquarters.

Ms. Gallaudet advises landlords from the purchase of an IMD building (interim multiple dwelling) through the legalization process, including development and conversion, litigation and removal from the Loft Board’s jurisdiction. Prior to joining, she was Assistant Corporation Counsel in the Commercial and Real Estate Litigation Division at the New York City Law Department, Office of the Corporation Counsel. During her tenure there, she represented various City agencies in commercial, contract, construction and real estate disputes in Civil and Supreme Court as well as mediation. She earned a JD degree from Villanova Law School, graduated Cum Laude from Seton Hall University, and is qualified to practice law both in New York and New Jersey.

Ms. Simanca-Proctor represents Real Estate Investment Trusts and cooperative corporations in summary proceedings as well as condominium Boards in actions commenced in New York State Supreme Court. Prior to joining BBWG, she was an Associate at Rosenberg & Estis, PC. She earned her JD from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and graduated from the University of Wisconsin at Madison with a BA in political science. She is a member of the New York Bar, admitted to practice in the Western District of New York Federal and Bankruptcy Courts.


Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP announced that the following associates have been promoted to Special Counsel, effective Jan. 1, 2017: Samantha V. Ettari, Inge Hindriks, Tobias B. Jacoby, William Johnson, Arielle Warshall Katz, Seth R. Merl, Sheila Pozon and Anupama Yerramalli.

Samantha V. Ettari (Litigation, New York) is a trial lawyer who maintains a diverse litigation practice focusing on complex commercial litigation, with an emphasis on contract and licensing disputes, advertising litigation, securities and regulatory defense, bankruptcy litigation, and regulatory defense work. She also serves as the firm’s e-discovery counsel; frequently publishes and presents on developments in state and federal jurisprudence concerning document preservation and production, as well as on information governance and data security; and she is a member of the firm’s Cybersecurity, Privacy and Data Protection Group. Ms. Ettari earned her B.A. from State University of New York at Geneseo. She earned her J.D. from Brooklyn Law School.

Inge Hindriks (Real Estate, New York) advises and represents developers, property owners, lenders and investors in real estate development and construction in a comprehensive range of matters related to office buildings, industrial facilities, hotels, and retail and mixed-use projects. Ms. Hindriks earned her J.D. from Universteit Utrecht (Utrecht University), and was a member of the Foreign Trained Lawyers Program at Brooklyn Law School.

Tobias B. Jacoby (Litigation, New York) is a trial lawyer who litigates complex civil cases, including lawsuits involving advertising, contract, copyright, trademark, trade secret and trust disputes; accountants’ and auditors’ liability; and claims of breach of fiduciary duty and securities fraud. In 2016, he was awarded the firm’s Marvin E. Frankel Award for Outstanding Pro Bono Contributions. Mr. Jacoby earned his A.B. in law, letters and society from the University of Chicago and his J.D. from Columbia Law School.

William Johnson (Business Immigration, New York) advises and represents corporations in the hiring, transfer and retention of foreign talent. Mr. Johnson provides counsel in the context of corporate reorganizations to ensure compliance with U.S. immigration law, and counsels companies on compliance with employer sanctions and antidiscrimination laws. He is an active member of the firm’s Pro Bono Committee. Mr. Johnson earned his B.A. in philosophy and international cultural studies from St. Francis College. He earned his J.D. from New York Law School.

Arielle Warshall Katz (Litigation, New York) represents corporate executives, boards of directors, and public and private companies in regulatory and criminal investigations, trials, and related proceedings involving the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Department of Justice, Securities and Exchange Commission, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and other regulatory agencies. Ms. Katz is also a member of the firm’s Cybersecurity, Privacy and Data Protection Group and counsels clients on cybersecurity risks and incident response. She currently serves as the chair of Business Development and Networking Programs for the firm’s Women’s Initiative Committee.

Ms. Katz earned her B.A., summa cum laude, from Barnard College, Columbia University, and her J.D., magna cum laude, from Fordham University School of Law.

Seth R. Merl (Corporate, New York) advises and represents public and privately held companies, both domestic and foreign; private equity and hedge funds; and other financial, asset management and real estate investment institutions in mergers, acquisitions, corporate restructurings, portfolio/asset investments and divestitures, joint ventures, strategic alliances, and securities law matters across multiple industry sectors, including financial, consulting and asset management services, mortgage origination and servicing, transportation, technology, pharmaceuticals/health care, and consumer products. Mr. Merl earned his B.A. in history from the University of Michigan and his J.D. from Brooklyn Law School.

Sheila Pozon (Land Use, New York) represents private developers, private property owners, cultural and educational institutions, lenders, and investors in connection with New York City real estate development issues. Ms. Pozon advises clients on municipal law issues, the development potential of sites (including the purchase and sale of development rights), and the land use and environmental review processes. Ms. Pozon earned her B.A. from Columbia University and her J.D. from Boston University School of Law.

Anupama Yerramalli (Creditors Rights, New York) represents a diverse range of clients, including debtors, official committees, bondholders and other investors, in bankruptcy cases, out-of-court restructurings and other distressed situations. As an elected member of Kramer Levin’s Associates Committee, Ms. Yerramalli represents associates in supporting goals such as business and professional development, mentoring, and recruitment and retention. She earned her B.A. in economics and history from the University of Pennsylvania. She earned her J.D. from St. John’s University School of Law.


Jordan Friedman has joined the sales team at Cignature Realty as an associate real estate broker. His focus will be on multifamily and mixed-use investment sales in Manhattan.

Friedman practiced law for over 18 years, concentrating on the commercial real estate sector. He began his legal career representing architects, engineers and other construction industry insurance companies.

Later in his career, he became more involved in commercial leasing on behalf of governmental and private entities and led complex litigation in disputes regarding public contracts at the state, county and municipal levels in New Jersey.

Jordan graduated from Lafayette College, received his law degree from New York Law School. As he became more involved in and passionate for real estate litigation, Jordan pursued his MBA from Florida State University and graduated with a concentration in real estate finance and analysis. He is licensed to practice law in New York and New Jersey.


BBG announced it has named a new Chief Executive Officer and expanded its Board of Directors. Current President Chris Roach has been promoted to CEO. Former CEO Diane Butler has transitioned out of the business but will remain a member of the Board of Directors.

BBG also announced that Joel Leitner, Managing Director of the firm’s New York office and an appraisal industry veteran, has joined its Board of Directors.

Mr. Roach was a founding shareholder of BBG. Mr. Roach began his career as a commercial real estate appraiser. Prior to BBG, Mr. Roach was Vice President – National Client Manager for LandAmerican Valuation Corporation. He currently holds the MAI designation from the Appraisal Institute along with the ASA and CCIM.

He is actively involved in The Real Estate Council (TREC) and was elected into the Associate Leadership Council, class of 2010-11. Mr. Roach is also an active member of the North Texas Chapter of Appraisal Institute where he currently serves as Vice President.

Mr. Leitner is a veteran commercial real estate appraiser with over 27 years of experience. Previously, he was the founder and CEO of Leitner Group Inc., a leading Tri-state area commercial real estate appraisal firm that was acquired by BBG in 2014. Mr. Leitner was recently appointed to the panel of neutral arbitrators by the American Arbitration Association.


Jeff Conti has joined Eyzenberg & Company as a Managing Director, according to David Eyzenberg, founder and managing partner of the New York City-based real estate investment bank.

In his new role, Conti will place and execute commercial real estate capitalization assignments for the company’s clients. Additionally, he will bolster the firm’s origination capabilities.

With over 25 years of experience, Conti brings in-depth knowledge of the commercial mortgage lending industry across all major asset classes and throughout various economic cycles. He has extensive experience in business development, balance sheet lending, real estate credit, as well as equity investments across the risk-return spectrum, including bridge loans, mezzanine debt, B-notes, preferred equity and joint venture equity. During his career, Conti has originated more than $5 billion in commercial real estate debt, equity and real estate private equity investments.

Prior to Annaly, Conti originated and structured entity level investments in real estate operating companies, joint venture equity and mezzanine debt as a vice president in Prudential Real Estate Investors’ (PREI’s) Merchant Banking Group. Before that, he was at TIAA-CREF for 18 years in various capacities, including Managing Director-Regional Head of Commercial Mortgage Originations where he oversaw the large loan production team for the Eastern United States and Canada. The team he managed originated $1 billion in commercial loans annually.

Conti received a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from Rider University and a Diploma in Real Estate from New York University.

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