Press Release February 14, 2022

Alston & Bird Expands REIT, Real Estate Tax Capabilities with Addition of Partner Sarah Ma in Washington, D.C.

Alston & Bird has broadened its ability to advise real estate investment trusts (REITs) and other industry investors with the addition of tax partner Sarah Ma in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office. Joining from Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, where she was a partner, Ma represents clients in high-value and sophisticated REIT and structured finance and securitization transactions.

“Sarah is a tax lawyer’s tax lawyer, recognized for her strategic and creative forward-thinking in handling the tax elements of big-ticket transactions,” said John Baron, Alston & Bird partner and head of the firm’s Federal & International Tax Group. “Sarah’s addition comes at an important time as corporate deal-making remains robust, and our Corporate & Finance Practice continues to run red hot amid significant client demand.” 

Ma’s practice focuses on the tax aspects of complex REIT and other real estate transactions, including domestic and global mergers and acquisitions and investments, public offerings and private debt and equity placements, structured financial products, large-scale joint ventures, and workouts and restructurings. Her clients include real estate investment trusts, funds, developers, and special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs); underwriters; and investment management firms.

Recent highlights of Ma’s tax work include supporting Banyan Acquisition Corp., an NYSE-listed SPAC, in its debut $241.5 million initial public offering. She also advised on the tax aspects of a joint venture between Blue Vista Capital Management LLC, a Chicago-based real estate investment firm, and Koramco Asset Management, a South Korean investment management firm, to invest in student housing assets across the United States, in addition to advising the joint venture in the tax structuring of its initial acquisition of two properties with a total asset value of approximately $250 million: Villas on Rio, an 856-bed property at the University of Texas at Austin, and Theory Syracuse, a 601-bed property at Syracuse University.

Ma began her legal career as a tax associate at a BigLaw firm in Washington, D.C. 

“Sarah’s arrival underscores our strategy of focusing on high-performing practices in markets where we see opportunity for adding exceptional talent to further serve our clients,” said Dennis Garris, partner in charge of Alston & Bird’s Washington, D.C. office. “Alston & Bird has a long-held reputation as a preeminent destination for tax law nationally and globally, and Sarah will be an outstanding addition to what is already an outstanding practice.”

Ma is the most recent addition to Alston & Bird’s growing tax team. Since 2020, the firm has added partner Laura Gavioli and counsel Amy Nogid in New York, partner Shawna Tunnell in  Washington, D.C., and senior counsel Miller Williams in Atlanta.
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