Belinda Schwartz has chaired Herrick’s Real Estate Department since 2014, is a member of the firm’s Executive Committee since 2017 and is a 30+ year veteran of New York City’s commercial real estate market. She is a leader and mentor for 50+ attorneys and urban planners (23 of which are women) and one of the only women in the country to chair a major commercial real estate practice.
One of the industry’s most creative real estate dealmakers, Belinda’s clients value her ability to find common ground in negotiations and achieve a desirable outcome as swiftly as possible. Her clients include prominent developers, owners, funds, investors and family-owned real estate businesses, whom she advises in complex debt and equity transactions including real estate restructurings and workouts; fund formation; property acquisitions and sales; joint ventures; development deals; construction matters; ground leases and commercial leases.
Belinda frequently advises clients in single asset and portfolio transactions involving residential, hospitality, office and retail properties across the U.S. She has also advised on several of New York City’s largest development projects, including Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Empire Stores complex, Downtown Brooklyn’s 1.8 million square-foot City Point project, and one of the largest land swaps in Manhattan history, a deal which won REBNY’s coveted Most Ingenious Deal of the Year Award. Recently, Belinda has been leading her clients through the impact of COVID-19 on their real estate transactions, development projects, workouts and restructurings, loans and leases as a critical addition to her clients' business team.
Belinda has consistently been ranked one of New York City’s leading real estate lawyers by Chambers USA, Best Lawyers in America, Super Lawyers, City & State and Real Estate Forum, which has twice named her a “woman of influence.” Belinda was named one of National Law Journal's Trailblazers in Real Estate/Construction Law in 2020. In 2019, Belinda was named one of Real Estate Weekly's, Real Estate Dealmakers, and in 2018, one of Real Estate Weekly’s Leading Ladies of Real Estate. In 2017, Belinda was named one of Crain’s New York Business’ top 100 women lawyers and for the past number of years she has been named one of Bisnow’s New York power women.
Family-Owned Real Estate Businesses
Belinda serves as outside general counsel to many family-owned real estate businesses with portfolios valued in excess of $1 billion. In this role, she helps manage a full range of transactional and operational matters, as well as succession, tax and estate planning concerns. Belinda also uses her keen understanding of interpersonal dynamics to resolve conflict, and when necessary, negotiate business divorces.
Belinda has significant experience representing foreign investors from China, Israel, Turkey and South America, who are looking to invest in commercial real estate in the U.S., either as principals, mezzanine investors or preferred equity providers. Navigating cultural differences and different business practices, Belinda helps to demystify the intricacies of the market for foreign investors.
Memberships & Associations
- Legal Outreach, Advisory Board
- Real Women of Real Estate, Founder
- Professional Real Estate Forum (PREF), Board Member
- Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), Member
- WX New York Women Executives in Real Estate, Member
- TAGLaw®, Member
- American Bar Association, Member