Real Estate

Project Development & Permitting

Real estate project development and permitting requires technical skill and dedication as well as a deep understanding of the legal and business issues on a project. Our attorneys will help you manage the conflicting needs of developers, lenders, tenants, public authorities, and other stakeholders to find common ground and appropriate, cost-effective solutions. From site evaluation, due diligence, acquisition, permitting, zoning, and financing, to construction, leasing, and disposition, we take a proactive approach to your project and address issues before they become problems.

Our clients develop substantial commercial real estate projects, including retail, office, sustainable energy, multifamily residential, mixed-use projects, and sports facilities. Our clients rely on us for development-related advice that addresses the complexities and transactional demands of the real estate development process. Our team is committed to helping clients through the process — from concept to completion.

Quick Facts


  • 500 lawyers in 8 offices
  • Core practice of the firm
  • 35+ real estate attorneys with 25+ years of experience in sophisticated, large-scale real estate, acquisition, disposition, development, financing, and leasing transactions
  • Practice and attorneys recognized for real estate law by Chambers USA
  • Senior lawyers include a Commissioner of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
  • Integrated group of attorneys and professionals with environmental law, litigation, energy and clean tech, tax law, and government relations experience
  • Strategic real estate consulting services with our affiliate, ML Strategies, LLC

Areas of Focus

Representative Experience

  • Represented a diversified international real estate developer in the acquisition, development, and financing of numerous apartment communities including the acquisition and development of an office and retail space in the downtown area of Boston, MA.
  • Represented the developer in connection with the acquisition and permitting of a mixed-use 150 room hotel, 100 unit residential condominium, and retail and parking garage project on Battery Wharf in Boston’s North End.
  • Represented Manulife Financial / John Hancock Financial, the Toronto-based, international financial services company (acquirer of John Hancock) on the development, permitting, and construction of the headquarters of its US operations, a 470,000-square-foot complex on a ground lease with the Massachusetts Port Authority. The project required city, state, and federal approvals as part of this commercial port development and master planning process, including approval of the FAA, the State and Federal Highway Administration, CA/T, the MBTA, the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority, the Massachusetts Housing Department, DEP, and other state and city regulatory agencies.
  • Represented Olin College of Engineering since the college’s launch in 1997 and the acquisition of land from Babson College, which included land use matters. Additionally, represented Olin in its land use, title, and predevelopment planning for the school’s anticipated improvement projects valued at $20 million.
  • Collaborated with ML Strategies professionals in representing the First Church of Christ, Scientist, in connection with its plaza revitalization plan on its 14-acre world headquarters, Church Plaza, in the Back Bay of Boston, including all aspects of community planning, historical landmarking, environment, development, and project entitlements, and a development of approximately 900,000 square feet.

Representative Clients

  • Ameresco, Inc.
  • Boston Properties, Inc.
  • Broadcom Corporation
  • Colony Realty Partners
  • CVS Health Corporation
  • General Electric Company
  • GenOn Energy Holdings
  • Gillette (Procter & Gamble)
  • Lincoln Property Company
  • Manulife Financial / John Hancock Financial
  • Northeast Utilities Systems
  • Sentinel Properties, Inc.
  • Spectra Energy Corp.