The Firm: Clients describe this seven-lawyer boutique as “an efficient and experienced firm with a very specific real estate focus.” Formerly with Baker & Daniels, the name partners continue to excel and were repeatedly singled out by interviewees for their individual strengths and expertise. The firm garnered praise for its commercial real estate transaction work and was highlighted for its “canny ability to effectively represent buyers, sellers, landlords, tenants, lenders and local municipalities in all matters of commercial real estate.” Clients referred to the fact that “as all members in the practice are experienced real estate specialists, there are definite time and cost-efficiency bonuses to be considered too.” As already indicated, the firm is deeply involved in the representation of private developers, but also acts for banks, publicly traded companies and municipalities in urban redevelopment work.
The Lawyers: Karl Haas continues to impress. He is described as “an exceptional real estate attorney, who is extremely gifted at being able to understand and tackle very complicated and contentious transactions.” He has recently represented the City of Carmel in the negotiation and financing of an expansive redevelopment project designed to revitalize the city. The project includes a performing arts complex and residential, retail, hotel and office buildings. Other recent highlights include projects in West Lafayette, Hammond and Bloomington. “True deal-maker” George Somers represents developers and insurance companies, REITs and lenders on a local and national basis. Clients refer to his “efficient, creative approach to dealing with obstacles that hold up a transaction” and his ability “to focus on the key terms of a deal, not wasting time on the minutiae.” Peers agree that they happily refer work to him when conflicted. Last year Somers assisted clients in the development and leasing of over one million sq ft of primarily retail space as well as the acquisition of land in preparation for another million sq ft of development. “Top-notch real estate lawyer” Barry Wallack has also turned heads with “his conscientious, crisp and responsive advice.” Wallack has represented lenders on numerous real estate and commercial loan transactions, as well as borrowers looking to refinance major office buildings in Cincinnati and Indianapolis. He was involved in the sale of an apartment complex in Indianapolis for a record per unit price.