It’s deja vu all over again for some law firms’ real estate practice areas. After a stretch when deals and transactions reigned, the workout skills that some veteran real estate lawyers learned by necessity in the early ’90s are being dusted off.

During the recession of 2000, and in other troubled economic times, bank failures and declines in property values led to massive sell-offs. Today, lenders, borrowers and banks are more likely to negotiate than release distressed property. As a result, workout lessons from the ’90s, the last era when workouts dominated the real estate industry, are increasingly in demand.