Real Estate Law

Get to the solution more efficiently with attorneys who know the lay of the land.

Downs Rachlin Martin’s real estate attorneys represent owners, developers, investors, lenders and title companies in connection with all aspects of real estate investment.  Entrepreneurial and business-minded, our attorneys have the acute legal skills, technical understanding and comprehensive knowledge required to negotiate complex real estate transactions.

Downs Rachlin’s New England location attracts lawyers and legal professionals with world-class talent who choose high-quality lifestyles in the smaller cities and towns of Vermont and New Hampshire. With 16 experienced, full-time attorneys practicing throughout Vermont and New Hampshire in the area of real estate and environmental law, and highly-trained and professional paralegal support, the group consistently delivers timely and effective solutions to real estate challenges.

Areas of concentration:

  • Commercial real estate transactions
  • Environmental & land use planning, subdivision and development
  • Project planning, financing and tax advice
  • Environmental, permitting and zoning due diligence and compliance
  • Regulatory and Environmental Court appeals
  • Hazardous waste law
  • Environmental insurance
  • Construction and architectural contracts
  • Common interest communities
  • Long-term ownership and management of family real estate.

Experience that runs the gamut.

The depth of our transactional experience includes:

  • acting as national leasing counsel for major retail clients
  • counseling domestic and foreign investment entities in the acquisitions and development of commercial and residential real estate
  • assisting several national communications businesses with large-scale portfolio leasehold analyses to facilitate corporate restructuring and asset acquisitions
  • helping developers acquire and convert under-utilized manufacturing and industrial spaces throughout the Northeast into modern, multi-use facilities to generate tenant revenue streams
  • representing utilities to secure new and expanded utility line corridors via negotiated conveyances and condemnation
  • resolving boundary disputes and title claims on behalf of owners and title companies through negotiation and litigation; and
  • representing lenders and owners in transactional and insolvency/restructuring, analyzing default situations and business opportunities as well as debtors’ and creditors’ rights and remedies.

Our services know no bounds.

Our real estate attorneys include members recognized by Super Lawyers, Chambers and Martindale-Hubbell and are actively involved in professional organizations and trade associations related to their areas of concentration. The range of services we offer our clients is as diverse as the real estate issues they face.

  • due diligence, property acquisition and subdivision land use permitting and due diligence for complex projects under Act 250
  • state environmental permitting such as wetlands mitigation, hazardous waste handling and disposal, wastewater treatment, stormwater runoff, and agricultural lands mitigation, drawing upon excellent relationships with top regulators throughout New England
  • effective advocacy before zoning boards, selectboards, regional environmental commissions and state environmental courts
  • construction and design contract preparation and enforcement
  • formation, registration and interstate marketing and sales of condominiums and other common interest ownership communities
  • development of public relations strategies
  • settlement and litigation counsel at state and federal Superfund sites throughout New England, with extensive experience as lead counsel to Fortune 100 companies in complex contribution actions in federal court.

Read our case study on how one client needed to close a complex sales transaction in less than two weeks - and how our team was able to pull the deal together. Case Study: A Rapid Real Estate Response.

Local roots, global reach.

Collectively, Downs Rachlin’s real estate attorneys are licensed to practice in Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, California, Texas, Virginia, and South Carolina, as well as before six U.S. District Courts, four U.S. Courts of Appeals, the U.S. Tax Court, and the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.

Through our position as the exclusive Vermont member firm for Lex Mundi, the world’s leading association of independent law firms, we have one-call access to top law firms in 120 countries. That means that clients get the personal attention and value associated with a smaller law firm, without sacrificing talent, depth or quality.

Recent Accomplishments

Assisting from conceptual design to grand opening, Downs Rachlin’s dedicated real estate and environmental lawyers guide businesses, developers, contractors, and institutions through the maze of regulatory law and permitting. Examples of recent projects include:

  • guiding a ski area that is the foundation of its local area economy through a multiple-phase, long-range process of planning, proposal, presentation, alteration, permitting and construction that has enabled it to reclaim its status as a premiere world-class winter and summer destination resort
  • advising lenders and developers about to New Markets Tax Credit financed redevelopment projects
  • assisting a tenant-in-common syndicator in the acquisition of a regional shopping mall
  • advising a national, high-end premier resort developer on a multi-phase, 1,000 unit-plus ski resort, hotel and golf-course development
  • representing a national retailer confronted with conflicting state and federal laws for controlling stormwater runoff, achieving ultimate success through a combined regulatory, legal, and legislative strategy
  • protecting the viability of a medium-sized, privately-owned energy company through a complex Superfund assessment, negotiation and settlement involving multiple parties
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