Alston & Bird strengthened and expanded its capabilities to provide corporate, tax, and real estate advice to real estate investment trusts (REITs) and other clients with the addition of three partners in Dallas who collectively bring several decades of legal experience. Don Hammett and Lane Folsom join the Financial Services & Products Group and REITs & Funds Team, while Raleigh Johnston becomes part of the Federal & International Tax Group.
“We are delighted to welcome Don, whose unique combination of corporate and tax experience helps REITs and other real estate clients navigate the most innovative transactions,” said Rosemarie Thurston, Alston & Bird partner and leader of the firm’s nationally recognized REIT Team. “Don brings with him a talented cohort of lawyers who share our commitment to excellent service. This group will contribute specialized knowledge and valuable insights to our team and other practices across the firm.”
Hammett, Folsom, and Johnston join from Dentons, where they worked together for a number of years.
Hammett joins as co-leader of Alston & Bird’s REITs & Funds Team. He previously served as the chair of Dentons’ U.S. Corporate Practice Group and managing partner of Dentons’ Dallas office. For more than 25 years, he has advised public and private clients on corporate, tax, and structural issues related to the formation and financing of REITs, partnerships, funds, and other pooled capital vehicles. Hammett also counsels clients on mergers and acquisitions involving corporate entities, REITs, partnerships, limited liability companies, and other pass-through entities. In addition, he advises clients on the formation of investment funds, including UPREITs and DownREITs, and the formation of acquisition vehicles and various debt and equity structures.
Folsom advises public and private companies on a range of corporate matters, including financing transactions, fund formation and operation, joint ventures, and other strategic transactions, as well as corporate governance matters and other general corporate transactions. In addition, she counsels clients on a variety of transactions, including private placements, debt financings, structured finance transactions, and other capital markets transactions. Her substantial experience also includes advising REITs, investment funds, and other investment vehicles that own, finance, manage, and develop real estate assets.
“As the home to leading REITs, real estate, and tax practices, Alston & Bird remains committed to providing the full suite of specialized tax capabilities that these sophisticated transactions require,” said Kendall L. Houghton, Alston & Bird partner and chair of the Tax Area. “Our clients will benefit from Raleigh’s seasoned perspective, honed through advising a variety of intricate tax matters and structuring investments in real estate.”
Johnston advises public and private companies on a range of U.S. federal income tax issues related to transactions involving REITs, corporations, partnerships, and limited liability companies. He counsels clients on transactions involving joint ventures, fund formations, securities offerings, mergers and acquisitions, and real estate purchases and sales. His broad experience includes advising clients on the tax and corporate aspects of investing in, acquiring, developing, selling, and leasing real estate assets.
Alston & Bird works closely with public and private REITs and private institutional and non-institutional funds on matters involving almost every asset class, including office, industrial, retail, multifamily, hospitality, medical, timber, mortgage, and specialty finance. The team has advised issuers, underwriters, and financial institutions in raising more than $100 billion in capital for REITs in the last five years through equity and debt offerings, asset securitizations, and lending transactions. In addition, the firm’s lawyers have served as counsel to both fund sponsors and U.S. and non-U.S. investors (institutional and high net worth) in connection with the formation of commingled closed and open-ended funds investing in and outside the United States. To help clients structure and execute successful transactions, the team draws on deep real estate securities experience and expertise in corporate governance, tax, broker-dealer regulation, real estate, financial services, environmental law, employee benefits, leveraged capital, construction, intellectual property, and other areas.