Jonathan Epstein draws on more than 35 years as a transactional lawyer, commercial litigator and adviser to real estate developers to deliver insight, counsel and courtroom advocacy tailored to his clients’ priorities and needs. While he maintains an active litigation practice and advises various type of businesses, Jon is especially well-known for handling complex transactions and financing for real-estate-developer clients. Jon joined the firm after a successful career at Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath, LLP where he served as managing partner of that firm’s Princeton office for 25 years. Jon is a past president of the Mercer County Bar Association and a highly regarded member of the New Jersey legal community.
Real Estate Development
Jon helps developers and lenders navigate regulatory and business challenges in all facets of real-estate-related matters, from the formation of a development entity and the negotiation of joint ventures, site acquisition and financing through the sale, syndication, workout or restructuring of any type of real estate project. He also represents clients on redevelopment projects and land-use matters in municipalities throughout New Jersey, including many contested land-use cases. During his career, Jon has represented local, regional and national developers – large and small – as well as several national multifamily residential developers, financial institutions, title companies, brokers, hotel operators and property managers.
Jon has been lead counsel on numerous significant real estate projects throughout New Jersey and New York, including the acquisition, related joint ventures and financing of Astoria West, a $400 million luxury apartment complex in Astoria Queens, several luxury multifamily developments in lower Manhattan, the acquisition and restoration of the grand historic beachfront Congress Hall Hotel in Cape May, the acquisition and financing of the Chelsea Hotel in Atlantic City, the 544-unit Alexan CityView luxury apartment complex at Bayonne Harbor, and the zoning approvals for an 800,000-square-foot expansion of the Quaker Bridge Mall.
Commercial and Real Estate Litigation
Jon’s multi-discipline practice distinguishes him from many of his fellow business lawyers. While maintaining an active and sophisticated transactional practice, Jon also represents developers, lenders and corporate and individual clients in commercial litigation, with an emphasis on real estate matters, including prerogative writ actions and real estate disputes. Jon also handles general corporate litigation, including oppressed shareholder cases, and has represented many clients in contentious partnership disputes and business breakups of all types of privately held businesses. Jon has argued multiple complex cases before the New Jersey Appellate Division and the New Jersey Supreme Court.
Outside General Counsel – Commercial Transactions
Clients rely on Jon to handle various types of transactions as their outside general counsel, recognizing that his broad range of experience in commercial matters enables him to advise business clients on myriad issues that they routinely confront in their ventures.
After decades of closing complex transactions while simultaneously litigating commercial disputes and representing litigation clients in numerous mediations with a variety of mediators, Jon is now offering his services as a mediator of commercial disputes. Jon’s depth of experience as both a transaction lawyer and litigator gives him an understating of the issues and the dynamics involved in almost every business dispute that will undoubtedly be invaluable in helping the litigants and their counsel resolve difficult cases.
Representation of a developer in a $400 million senior, mezzanine and equity financing for a 534-unit luxury multifamily rental apartment community in Astoria Queens, NY, which also included representation on joint ventures between the developer and equity investors
Representation of Cape Advisors in the acquisition, equity raise and financing of multiple $100 million residential real estate developments in Manhattan
New Jersey counsel for Mill Creek Residential Trust on multi-family residential developments throughout New Jersey
Representation of American Real Estate Partners on approvals in connection with Bank of America/Merrill Lynch World Headquarters office campus in Hopewell, NJ
Representation of Trammel Crow Residential on multi-family development projects, including $150 million 544 unit Alexan CityView Redevelopment Project on the Peninsula at Bayonne Bay Harbor
Representation of joint venture involving Whitehall funds, Och-Ziff and Cape Advisors on $80 million financing and acquisition of Atlantic city casino hotel site
Representation of developer on acquisition and financing of Chelsea hotel in Atlantic City
Lead counsel for Bayonne Residential Limited Partnership (an AIG/Trammell Crow Residential joint venture) on $100 million claim against the Port Authority of NY & NJ, Bayonne Local Redevelopment Authority and City of Bayonne for breach of a Redevelopment Agreement and violation of New Jersey Redevelopment Law
Defense of Princeton University in multiple cases challenging various governmental approvals for the University’s $325 million Arts and Transit Project
Successful defense of Albridge Solutions Board of Directors in founder shareholder oppression litigation enabling the Company to sell for over $300 million
Successful representation of numerous “business divorce” actions involving real estate development venture, energy companies, software businesses, law firms, wealth management companies, title companies, restaurants and a variety of other businesses.
Counsel to NHP/AIMCO in its capacity as receiver on multiple foreclosure actions involving 35 apartment complexes in several states securing over $300 million