White & Case is bringing on three new partners in its real estate and mergers and acquisitions practice as the law firm continues its expansion plans amid a changing market.
Paul Hastings real estate partners David Viklund and Ted Smith III are joining White & Case’s global M&A practice and global real estate industry group as partners in New York and Houston, respectively. The firm is also adding Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman’s Christopher Lacaria as a partner in its M&A and private wealth and family offices group in New York.
Viklund and Smith both work with private equity firms, REITS, institutional lenders and other investors on all aspects of financing real estate investment and have extensive experience advising on restructurings and the development of commercial properties across the industry.
The pair had relationships and common clients with White & Case, which made it a “quick and easy fit,” Smith said.
A transitioning market, between the pace of new acquisitions and financings last year and potentially some distressed situations ahead, has created a bit of a wait and see period, Viklund said. “We think White & Case has all of the practice areas that we need to handle a real downturn,” he said.
Lacaria, a former Cravath Swaine & Moore attorney, joins in New York, a key target for White & Case under its 2020 growth strategy.He advises family offices and high-net worth individuals on a wide range of trusts and estates issues.
“The world is becoming increasingly globalized place and that’s especially true for wealthy individuals and their families,” Lacaria said. To be able to have the international platform that White & Case does across practices and geographies is “a real plus factor” for his practice, he said.