The Real Deal Miami

Akerman partners join Kasowitz to expand real estate practice

Kasowitz's clients include Starwood Capital, Blackstone, WeWork, LNR Partners and JDS
By Katherine Kallergis | January 12, 2017 09:00AM

Albert Delgado and Manuel Fernandez

Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman LLP has brought on Manuel A. Fernandez and Albert J. Delgado, both former partners at Akerman LLP, as partners in the firm’s real estate group.

Fernandez and Delgado have worked together on and off for about 14 years, they told The Real Deal. Before Fernandez joined Akerman in 2011, he was managing partner of Stroock & Strook & Lavan LLP. His high-profile deals include representing Amancio Ortega in the $370 million purchase of a block on Lincoln Road and the $517 million acquisition of the Southeast Financial Center in downtown Miami.

At Akerman, both attorneys said they were able to get in on the (metaphorical) ground floor and build business during the downturn. They plan to bring clients with them from Akerman, but declined to name any. “What we’ve been fortunate enough to build at Akerman” is what they plan to build at Kasowitz.

Both Delgado and Fernandez represent institutional and private lenders in real estate deals including sales, leasing, commercial mortgage loans, mezzanine financing, CMBS and negotiating joint ventures. They plan to expand Kasowitz’s national real estate practice, as well as in South Florida. (Founding partner Marc Kasowitz has repeatedly made headlines for his representation of President-elect Donald Trump.)

The new hires bring the firm’s real estate group to five partners and nearly 30 attorneys. The group has represented clients like Starwood Capital Group, Blackstone, WeWork, LNR Partners and JDS Development Group, according to a press release.

“Inevitably properties fall into distress,” Delgado told TRD, adding that they will capitalize on the next downturn when it comes.