Carlton Fields Adds Real Estate Group in Miami

Creditors’ Rights and Bankruptcy   |   Distressed Asset and Workout   |   Real Estate   |   December 13, 2017

Miami, Fla. – Carlton Fields is pleased to announce that three attorneys joined its Miami office today: Jay Koenigsberg, Michele B. Softness, and Matthew H. Jacobson. Their addition marks six new hires in the firm’s national real estate practice — five in Miami — in the last four months. They will practice in the firm’s Real Estate and Commercial Finance practice group, which comprises more than 70 attorneys. All three join Carlton Fields from the Miami law firm of Isicoff, Ragatz & Koenigsberg.

The trio has practiced together for more than a decade handling complex real estate transactions and litigation matters for their clients.

“Jay, Michele, and Matthew are strategic additions to our strong real estate team and we are pleased to welcome them to our firm,” said Steven J. Brodie, Carlton Fields’ Miami office co-managing shareholder. “They are widely recognized by their clients for finding creative and practical solutions to complex matters, and they will provide immediate value to our clients while contributing to our culture of collaboration and innovation.”

Amy E. Furness, Carlton Fields Miami office co-managing shareholder added, “Jay, Michele, and Matthew bring great experience and sophistication to the wide-range of services we provide to our clients. Our growing team of lawyers in Miami reflects Carlton Fields’ core strengths in real estate and commercial finance, and other dynamic sectors.”

Koenigsberg shared, “We are thrilled to join Carlton Fields. The firm has a unique approach to the real estate and commercial finance industry and the way they serve their clients. It’s truly groundbreaking. We look forward to expanding our footprint to a national platform.”

Softness added, ““The firm’s collaborative culture among its lawyers and commitment to its clients is consistent with our own approach. We are glad to be here and excited to make a contribution.”

“These lawyers add critical depth to our national, regional, and local capabilities as our clients’ needs continue to grow,” stated Robert S. Freedman, co-chair of Carlton Fields’ Real Estate and Commercial Finance practice group, which ranks in national top tiers for real estate law and real estate litigation in 2017 by Best Lawyers ‘Best Law Firms.’ “The breadth and depth of Jay, Michele, and Matthew’s practices are an asset to the firm and our clients.”

Koenigsberg is board certified in Real Estate Law by The Florida Bar. He has more than 30 years of experience in complex commercial real estate and finance transactions, including purchase, acquisition, development, finance, leasing, managing, disposition,  and equity financing. His client base includes institutional lenders and individual investors and developers. He has particular expertise in advising lenders and borrowers in loan restructuring and work-outs and he is widely recognized for finding creative and practical solutions for his clients involved in loan and business transactions. Koenigsberg regularly represents financial institutions in commercial real estate and asset based lending, including structuring and documenting complex construction lending, trade finance, receivable and inventory financing, equipment leasing and financing and inter-creditor agreements.

Additionally, Koenigsberg handles business transactional matters for clients. His experience includes corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, tax, and estate planning. He managed the Business Transactions practice at his prior firm.

For the last nine years, Koenigsberg has served as chairman of the board of the Palm Beach Photographic Centre. He received his J.D., cum laude, from the University of Miami and his B.A., magna cum laude, from Boston University.

Softness has a deep understanding and experience in the area of commercial lending, real estate transactions and litigation. She has particular experience assisting lenders through fluctuations in the market with loan workouts and restructurings. Additionally, she has a unique understanding of complex construction cases for commercial developers throughout Florida. She represents commercial developers in all phases of real estate development, including the negotiation and drafting of construction contracts for developers, contractors and subcontractors. She also represents financial institutions in varied loan transactions, including asset based lending, and has represented both purchasers and sellers of commercial real estate.

Softness is an agent of Old Republic National Title Insurance Company and First American National Title Insurance Company. She is actively involved in the South Miami community and serves as a fundraiser for various civic and health organizations. She received her J.D., cum laude, from the University of Miami School of Law and her B.A. from the University of New York at Buffalo.

Jacobson concentrates his practice in the areas of commercial lending, real estate transactions, and representing and advising private lenders. He has particular experience in residential and commercial loan and sale transactions, real estate litigation support, and landlord/tenant leases.

He is as an agent of Old Republic National Title Insurance Company and Fidelity National Title Insurance Company. He joined Isicoff, Ragatz & Koenigsberg immediately following law school at Tulane University. While at Tulane, Jacobson was a member of the American Association of Justice mock trial team and the Moot Court Board. During the summers of 2010 and 2011, respectively, Matthew served as a legal intern for Judge Maxine Cohen Lando of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court and as a law clerk for Isicoff, Ragatz & Koenigsberg. He received his B.A. from Kenyon College.

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