Belinda Schwartz was named Herrick's Executive Chair in March 2023 and has been a member of the firm’s Executive Committee since 2017. With female leaders accounting for approximately 10 percent of Am Law 200 chairs and managing partners, Belinda has become one of the few women in the nation currently leading a major law firm. Additionally, she has led Herrick’s Real Estate Department since 2014 and is a 30+ year veteran of New York City’s commercial real estate market. She is a leader and mentor for 65+ attorneys and urban planners (23 of which are women) and one of the only women in the country to lead 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 financings, preferred equity and mezzanine lending; restructurings and workouts; fund formation; joint ventures; property acquisitions and sales; 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.
In 2023, Belinda was elected a Fellow of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers (ACREL) which recognizes national preeminence in the practice of real estate law.
Belinda has consistently been ranked one of New York City’s leading real estate lawyers by Chambers USA, Legal 500, Best Lawyers in America, Crain's New York Business, National Law Journal, New York Law Journal, New York Business Journal, GlobeSt., City & State, AMNY/Politics NY, Real Estate Weekly, Bisnow, Best Lawyers, Super Lawyers and Real Estate Forum.
Additionally, Belinda is a member of Law360's 2023 New York Editorial Advisory Board. The board provides feedback on Law360's coverage and insight on how best to shape future coverage.
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
- American College of Real Estate Lawyers (ACREL), Fellow
- Law360 New York Editorial Advisory Board, Member (2023)
- 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
- TAGLaw®, Member
- American Bar Association, Member