Lerch Early Expands Real Estate Practice with Additional Leasing and Multifamily Skill

Vernon Lynch and Stephanie Smith

Lerch, Early & Brewer is pleased to announce that Vernon Lynch and Stephanie Smith have joined the firm in its real estate practice.

Vernon Lynch – Skilled Leasing Attorney

Vernon, who joins Lerch Early as a principal in the firm, is a seasoned real estate attorney who has represented developers, shopping center and mall owners and landlords, retailers, and property sellers and purchasers for decades in sophisticated commercial real estate transactions in Maryland, the District of Columbia, and throughout the United States.

Before joining Lerch Early, Vernon was senior legal counsel for Federal Realty Investment Trust, responsible for handling about 500 leasing and related transactions for retail shopping centers and mixed-use properties. Prior to serving as in-house counsel there and at The TAC Companies, Vernon was in private practice at an Am Law 100 firm and also founded and led his own firm.

Vernon’s leasing experience includes ground leases, big-box leases, build-to-suit leases, retail leases involving major and anchor tenants as well as in-line tenants, office leases, free-standing building leases, sales-leasebacks, and leasing and property management agreements. He also is skilled in development and construction transactions, such as site development agreements, master declarations, reciprocal easements and operating agreements, joint venture agreements, architect agreements, and construction contracts.

Stephanie Smith – Creative Multifamily Financing

Stephanie helps developers and other businesses create communities from start to finish, including corporate structuring, property acquisition, contracts, financing, and closing on multifamily and mixed-use projects throughout the Washington, DC area. Shortly before joining Lerch Early, she served as an attorney advisor at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, representing the Multi-Family Housing division, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, where she gave policy advice on key regulations and legislation impacting multi-family housing development. She joins the firm as “of counsel.”

For nearly 20 years, Stephanie has represented buyers and sellers in all stages of development transactions, including conducting due diligence, drafting and negotiating joint venture and partnership agreements and sales contracts, reviewing appraisals and surveys, addressing environmental concerns,, reviewing contractors’ bond performance agreements, assembling financial structures to include equity and debt, and reviewing and negotiating equity investor and/or lending documentation. She is experienced in 1031 tax-deferred exchanges, as well as state and local tax credit financing. Her clients include large-scale developers, financial institutions, nonprofit property owners, and equity investors.

Expanding Lerch Early’s Abilities

“We are delighted to have someone with such a unique blend of skills in private practice and as an in-house attorney at a national REIT,” says Robby Brewer, chair of Lerch Early’s board and a principal in the firm’s land use practice. “His knowledge of complex retail leasing is a real asset.”

Sharon Nelson Craig, co-chair of Lerch Early’s real estate practice, adds, “Vernon brings an amazing breadth and depth of real estate transactional experience throughout the Eastern seaboard. He is phenomenal at helping clients evaluate, structure, and close sophisticated real estate transactions.”

Robby says of Stephanie, “[Her] extensive multifamily experience will help us serve clients with both residential and mixed-use projects.” This and her thorough tax knowledge deepen Lerch Early’s bench.”  Ann Marie Mehlert, co-chair of Lerch Early’s real estate practice, adds, “Stephanie’s ability to focus on her clients’ business needs, not just on the transaction at hand, is what sets her apart. She’s always looking at how each real estate deal moves the company forward.”

For more about Lerch Early’s real estate services, visit http://www.lerchearly.comhttps://www.lerchearly.com/service/real-estate/.

Developers, commercial property owners, and investors turn to Lerch Early when they need to buy, sell, lease, or develop commercial real estate in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Lerch Early’s attorneys help them close with the best mix of price, terms, and timelines essential to their core real estate and business strategies. With 60 lawyers and more than half a century of experience in Maryland, the District of Columbia, and Northern Virginia, Lerch Early helps companies, nonprofits, and individuals rise to every challenge in business, real estate, litigation, and life.