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For Earl Segal at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, real estate is in the blood. His father was a commercial real estate broker in Philadelphia, where he grew up, and now his son is a lawyer with a small real estate firm outside of Philadelphia. “In real estate work, there is a lot of opportunity for win-win,” says Segal, 55. “It’s a very rewarding practice, and I get the opportunity to work with some very smart people. We have the same goal: to get the transaction completed. “Unlike litigation, if I win, it doesn’t mean someone else has to lose,” Segal says. Another feature of real estate practice that Segal likes is the ability to see the fruits of his labor, and even show them off to others. “Sixty percent of what I do, I can get in the car and go look at,” he says. When his children were young, Segal would drive them around to see his projects. Among the properties he can point to is the Judiciary Office Building adjacent to Union Station. Segal represented the architect of the Capitol about a decade ago in negotiating the financing and leasing of the building, which houses federal judicial workers. More recently, he has been representing the Food Lion grocery chain in store leasing and acquisition. He also represents Wyndham Hotels, and has helped the Dallas-based hotel chain in nearly 100 transactions. “Earl is one of the finest lawyers in the hospitality profession,” says Leslie Ng, who was senior vice president for mergers and acquisitions at Wyndham and now is a consultant to the company. Ng credits Segal with being thorough and easy to work with. “He’s extremely pleasant in negotiations, which creates an atmosphere conducive to getting a deal done,” says Ng, who has seen transactions sour because of lawyer spats. Segal started practice nearly 30 years ago at Linowes and Blocher in Silver Spring, which is still a real estate powerhouse in Montgomery County that’s known for its zoning expertise. In 1986 he moved to Akin Gump, which now has 10 lawyers in its real estate practice here. Segal recently was named general counsel to the Greater Washington Board of Trade, a prestigious volunteer position with the business networking organization, founded in the late 19th century. He also recently represented Venable and Shaw Pittman in their lease negotiations. “It’s very nice to work with people you respect,” says Segal, adding that being hired by one’s peers is a particular honor.

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