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Kwon Lee is a partner in the Real Estate practice of the firm’s New York office and a member of the Asia Real Estate Board. He also serves as Global Head of the firm’s Korea Practice. Kwon works substantively in energy and infrastructure equity, finance and M&A transactions. He has over 25 years of experience advising on a wide range of cross-border real estate transactions. He has advised pension funds, asset management companies, securities companies, construction companies, financial institutions and conglomerates seeking investment into large scale overseas development projects, construction loan, senior loan, sale and acquisition of various asset types (including commercial buildings, logistics, retail, hotel, multi-family residences), acquisition of mezzanine and B Notes. Kwon was an investment advisor to both local and central government authorities in Korea and sat as an investment review board member to several pension funds in Korea.

In addition to working with Korean clients, he also has close working relationships with major investors and funds in Australia, China, France, Germany, Japan, Middle Eastern countries, Netherlands, Singapore, and the United States.

He is widely recognized within global real estate industry as a "deal-maker" and is often invited to act as chairperson, moderator and speaker to real estate forums in Hong Kong, Singapore, Korea and France. He was described as “one of the most impressive real estate lawyers in Korea and a top player in the real estate market," especially with regards to cross-border transactions, by leading legal directory Chambers & Partners. Kwon is listed as an “Eminent Practitioner” for Real Estate in South Korea by Chambers Asia Pacific (2014).

He is fluent in English and Korean.

Practices

Civic Involvement & Honors

    • Chambers Asia Pacific, Eminent Practitioner for Real Estate in South Korea, 2014; Band 1 for Real Estate in South Korea, 2008-2013
    • asialaw Leading Lawyers, Leading Lawyer (Corporate/M&A), 2014
    • Asian Legal Business, Finalist for Managing Partner of the Year, 2013-2014
    • Global Law Experts, Expert (Private Equity), 2013
    • PLC Which Lawyer, Recommended Lawyer
    • Twice awarded the Korea Minister of National Defence Citation/Decoration for Outstanding Legal Service, 1996, 1997
    • Asian Legal Business, Finalist for Managing Partner of the Year, 2013-2014
    • Global Law Experts, Expert (Private Equity), 2013
    • PLC Which Lawyer, Recommended Lawyer
    • Twice awarded the Korea Minister of National Defence Citation/Decoration for Outstanding Legal Service, 1996, 1997
    • PLC Which Lawyer, Recommended Lawyer
    • Twice awarded the Korea Minister of National Defence Citation/Decoration for Outstanding Legal Service, 1996, 1997
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Representative Experience

  • Represent a Korean Asset Management in fee and leasehold financing of a major hotel asset in eastern part of the United States.
  • Represented multiple Korean AMCs in separate transactions related to numerous acquisitions of a mezzanine transactions across United States.
  • Represented multiple Korean AMCs in GSA leased properties located in eastern part of the United States.
  • Represented a Korean AMC in senior lending of logistics portfolio across United States.
  • Represented multiple Korean AMCs in separate fund investment transactions in the United States.
  • Represented a Korean AMC in acquisition of several major hospitality assets in the United States.
  • Represented a Korean AMC in acquisition of a commercial building in California.
  • Represented multiple Korean AMCs in separate transactions in acquisition of commercial buildings in Texas.
  • Represented a Korean AMC in acquisition of a commercial building in United Kingdom.
  • Represented a Korean Asset Management Company (with Korean LPs) related to the acquisition of a trophy office building in Chicago under the REF trust structure.
  • Represented a Korea-based asset management firm in the acquisition of a GSA-leased commercial office building in the Eastern part of the United States.
  • Represented a Korea Asset Management Company (with Korean LPs) related to a 49% equity investment for a trophy office building in New York.
  • Represented a Korea Asset Management Company (with Korean LPs) on a mezzanine loan in connection with the financing of a large major corporate campus for a leading US company in the Western part of the United States.
  • Represented a Korean Asset Management Company (with Korean LPs) on the acquisition of a distribution center in the Eastern part of the United States.
  • Represented a Korean Asset Management Company (with Korean LPs) on a construction loan for a hospitality asset in Eastern part of the United States.
  • Represented a Korean company in the acquisition of logistics centers in the United States and China.
  • Represented a Korean institutional investor on tax and corporate aspects of US real estate investments.
  • Represented a US investor in a share deal acquisition of another real estate investment company with an extensive real estate portfolio in Korea.
  • Represented a leading Korean asset management company in the acquisition of a commercial building in Europe.
  • Represented a Korean conglomerate in the acquisition of serviced residences in the United States and Europe.
  • Represented a Korean manufacturing company in its residential development project in China.
  • Represented a Korean conglomerate in the acquisition of farmlands in Ukraine.
  • Represented a Korean construction company in the construction of a worker’s dormitory in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
  • Represented a leading Korean pension fund in overseas alternative investment transactions in London, New York and Australia.
  • Represented a Korean conglomerate in viable investment structures for constructing a cultural centre in Beijing.
  • Represented a leading Singapore developer on its first real estate development investment project in Korea.
  • Represented a leading Singapore logistics company in its logistics investments in Korea.
  • Represented the largest German Open-Ended Fund Union in its real estate investments in Korea.
  • Represented a UK based investor in the largest theme park development project in Korea.
  • Represented a foreign investor in the first use of a Real Estate Fund-YH structure and the largest commercial building acquisition deal of the year by a foreign investor in Korea.
  • Represented a Japanese hotel chain in providing initial investment structure advice and business expansion plan into the US.
  • Represented a US based asset management company and a French asset management company in outbound fund registration for investing into France, Spain, UK, the Netherlands and Germany.
  • Represented a leading Mongolian based real estate company in real estate investment, finance, construction and regulatory issues.
  • Represented a team of syndicated loan lenders and developer/construction companies in new town development projects in Algeria.

Publications

  • Quoted in, "Korean Wave Pours into U.S. Commercial Real Estate," The Real Deal, September 24, 2020
  • Quoted in, "Korean Investors are Hot on US Commercial Real Estate," GlobeSt.com, March 8, 2018
  • Quoted in, "Korean Investors Chase U.S. Mezzanine Deals," Real Estate Finance & Investment, June 26, 2017
  • Quoted in, "South Korean Investors Eyeing CMBS B-pieces," Debt Wire, June 3, 2016
  • Quoted in, "South Korea Rides New Wave of US Real Estate Investments," Commercial Property Executive, June 1, 2016

Speaking Engagements

  • Panel Discussion Moderator, “Capital Markets,” Asian American Real Estate Association of America (AREAA) East Meets West Real Estate Connect Conference, New York, NY., September 26, 2018
  • Panelist, “Korean Capital Investment into US Real Estate,” MBAofNY Educational Breakfast, April 5, 2018
  • Conference Moderator, Asian Association for Investors in Non-Listed Real Estate Vehicles (ANREV) Korea Conference 2018, Seoul, South Korea, February 6–7, 2018