Nixon Peabody is building out its real estate practice in New York City, adding infrastructure partner Roderick Devlin from Squire Patton Boggs and separately launching a new cooperatives and condominium practice.
Devlin, who joined Squire Patton Boggs in 2014 from Greenberg Traurig, joins Nixon Peabody as a partner in its infrastructure finance practice. His practice focuses on project finance and public-private partnerships (P3), working on the structuring, financing, construction, operation and maintenance of infrastructure assets in the U.S. and overseas.
“Public-private partnership is an ever-expanding sector,” said Devlin, who used Major, Lindsey & Africa legal recruiter Sharon Garb in his move.
“Nixon Peabody are already players in the market [and] they have all the ingredients that I needed to further develop my practice.”
While at Squire Patton Boggs, Devlin served as counsel to the New York Transportation Development Corp.’s public-private partnership that helped secure a $4 billion redevelopment of LaGuardia Airport’s Terminal B facility. Delvin also acted as counsel to other P3 infrastructure projects, including the expansion of Colorado’s I-70 highway and the “Transform I-66” project in Virginia.
“The P3 market is unusually busy at the moment, [and] there are more transactions in the marketplace than there have been for a while,” said Devlin, who began his legal career at the Scottish firm Brodies over two decades ago.
Now that the market has a more clear sense of the federal infrastructure plan, more projects are being green-lit, he noted.
“[This] is good for the market and makes my timing very fortuitous in terms of this move, because it’s a very good time to be active in the P3 space,” Devlin said.
Devlin’s addition to the Boston-based Nixon Peabody comes on the heels of the firm’s creation of a new cooperatives and condominiums practice team in New York City.
Led by Erica Buckley, the former chief of the real estate finance bureau of the New York Attorney General’s Office, the group will represent developers and boards across all segments of the market, from luxury buildings to single-family homes.
“The market’s really, really robust, and I think everyone would love to have a piece of the city,” said Buckley, who joined Nixon Peabody last year after a brief stint as special counsel at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan.
The creation of the group was a year in the making and comes at a time of increased focus on homeownership in New York, Buckley said, noting Mayor Bill de Blasio’s “Housing New York 2.0” plan, which seeks to build and preserve some 300,000 affordable-housing units across the city.
“For the first time in a really long time, [the project] set aside financing for both the preservation of homeownership units and the creation of new construction co-op and condo units,” she noted.
“We’re really hoping to be able to service both those for-profit and nonprofit developers that are going to be taking advantage of the open-door financing tool, as well as both the high-end and middle market.”
In addition, the group will also represent and counsel clients on government investigations.
The group is currently comprised of five attorneys, including Ruben Ravago, who joined the firm this month as counsel from New York City-based real estate boutique Braverman Greenspun.
While the practice will initially be heavily focused in New York City, there are plans to expand further into the state, taking advantage of the firm’s offices in Albany, Long Island, Buffalo and Rochester.
“We feel really strategically placed [that] once we get really fully rooted in New York City, we’re definitely going to expand throughout the state,” Buckley said.