Blank Rome LLP is pleased to announce that Michael Peskowitz and Lauren Scarantino have joined the Firm as Partners in the Real Estate group in the Firm’s New York office. Michael and Lauren focus their practice on commercial real estate lending, representing both lenders and borrowers in commercial transactions for all property types. The duo joins from Thompson & Knight LLP.

“We are thrilled to be continuing our Firm’s growth in 2019 with the addition of Michael and Lauren,” said Grant S. Palmer, Blank Rome’s Managing Partner and CEO. “Together, they bring exceptional real estate knowledge that will seamlessly integrate with our respected real estate practice and contribute to cross-practice collaboration, strengthening the core of our Firm.”

With over 30 years of experience, Michael has primarily represented institutional lenders in the origination of mortgage and mezzanine loans secured by commercial mortgages that are either held on the balance sheet of the lender or sold into securitization in the commercial mortgage-backed securities (“CMBS”) markets. Michael’s practice also focuses on the purchase and sale of mortgage loans, mezzanine loans, participation interests, and mortgage-backed securities, in addition to restructuring these various debt instruments. He also has experience representing real estate developers throughout the country in the acquisition and financing of commercial properties, including hotels, office buildings, shopping malls, retail stores, and multifamily apartments.

Lauren has significant experience in commercial real estate finance and representing institutional lenders in the CMBS market, as well as special servicers in these markets. She also has experience in acquisition and disposition of mortgage and mezzanine loans, A/B notes, participation interests and mortgage-backed securities, acquisition and disposition of commercial properties, formation of real estate joint ventures and partnerships, debt restructurings, loan modifications, and work-outs.

“Having Michael and Lauren join our team will have a tremendous impact on our practice,” said Samuel M. Walker, Co-Chair of Blank Rome’s Real Estate group. “Their comprehensive experience in all aspects of commercial real estate transactions substantiates our efforts to deepen the capabilities of our group and continue to offer our clients a full-service practice, and greatly adds to our New York office’s recent expansion efforts with the addition of new lateral hires.”

“Our decision to move to Blank Rome was primarily a result of the success of the Firm’s real estate practice. As a nationally recognized group, they are a full-service department that receives tremendous support from other departments in the Firm,” said Michael. “We wanted to join a broad-based national real estate group that represents all aspects of real estate while maintaining a strong presence in the New York market.”

Michael earned his B.A. from Colgate University, his M.A. from The New School for Social Research, and his J.D. from Brooklyn Law School. Lauren received her B.A., with honors, from Georgetown University and her J.D., magna cum laude, from the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University where she was a member of the Hofstra Law Review.

Both active members of their community, Michael and Lauren will continue supporting a broad range of clients on a variety of pro bono topics and remain engaged in causes they value as part of their move to Blank Rome.