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Industry Law Firm Adds Valuation Department

brett dockwell Dockwell: “An increasing number of our CRE clients have come to us with valuation-related legal issues.”

NEW YORK CITY—Morrison Cohen has launched a valuation disputes practice group, charged with focusing  on real estate valuation disputes, particularly “rent reset” arbitrations.

Chaired by Brett Dockwell, the group brings together attorneys from the firm’s real estate and business litigation departments who have negotiated, arbitrated and litigated valuation disputes involving all types of commercial real estate, including land, retail space, office space, hotels and multifamily buildings.

“Virtually every dispute involving commercial real estate comes down to a question of property value,” he points out to GlobeSt.com. “By creating a practice group that focuses entirely on property valuation disputes, we can better provide our clients with the specialized legal guidance they need in navigating valuation-related matters.

Dockwell continues, “Over the past 12 to 18 months, an increasing number of our commercial real estate clients have come to us with valuation-related legal issues, particularly lease renewals in which the amount of the rent is to be ‘reset’ based on the fair market value of the property.”

He continues, “Valuing property is partly an art and partly a science, and the purpose of our valuation disputes practice group is to bring together attorneys who understand the art and the science of property valuation and can provide sophisticated and practical legal advice whenever valuation is an issue.”

Adds managing partner David Scherl, “Real estate valuation disputes are a highly specialized area of practice in which Morrison Cohen attorneys have extensive experience. The valuation disputes practice group is perfectly suited to our business model, which focuses on providing sophisticated advice from senior attorneys, at rational billing rates.”

Morrison Cohen’s attorneys reportedly have strong ties in the appraisal community, enabling them to provide practical and sophisticated guidance on rent renewals for ground leases and space leases, use- and occupancy disputes, IRS tax appeals, business dissolutions and other valuation-related matters.

“This new group will help solidify the firm as a market leader in this specialized area of practice at a time when surging property values have led to an increasing number of disputes between landlords and tenants of significant commercial leases,” adds Mary E. Flynn, co-chair of business litigation and deputy managing partner-operations.



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