Moguls’ Mechanic

sitdown 8 Moguls’ MechanicLocation: Last year, a Legal Media Group study named you the best-connected and most powerful real estate lawyer in the world. That’s sort of extraordinary.

Mr. Mechanic: I did get a kick out of that, I have to admit. That was fun. I went to a meeting with a tenant I was representing with a pretty good sense of humor, and I walked in and he said, ‘Aha! We now have the best real estate lawyer in the galaxy!’ So you have to enjoy all that. But I think I’m pretty good at what I do, and certainly I have lots of relationships that I’ve developed in almost 30 years in the business.

 

How is the real estate law business now?

I think the New York market has been extraordinarily strong. Obviously, you’ve seen dramatic sales take place, whether it’s the sale of the GM Building or the sale of the retail unit at 666 Fifth Avenue.

 

Both of which you were involved with.

Yes.

 

Would you mind if I listed a few moguls just to get a sense of the breadth of your client list?

O.K.

 

Jerry Speyer?

Done a lot of work with Jerry Speyer over the years.

 

Steven Roth?

I worked with Steven.

 

Stephen Ross.

Yes.

 

Mike Bloomberg?

I have only worked with the mayor in the context of his role as mayor, not privately.

 

The guys at SL Green?

I do a lot of work with the guys at SL Green.

 

Bruce Ratner?

I’ve worked with Bruce Ratner.

 

Douglas Durst?

I’ve done work with Douglas Durst, mostly across the table, but we as a firm do a lot of work for Douglas on the land-use side.

 

Mort Zuckerman?

I’ve spent time with Mort Zuckerman in connection with the sale of a large property portfolio in Princeton, New Jersey—the Carnegie Center, which Boston Properties bought seven or eight years ago. And I spent some time with him in this recent acquisition here.

 

Because you represented the Macklowes in the sale of the GM Building.

We represented the Macklowes with my partner, Rob Sorin, who has a long history with Macklowe Properties.

 

The Zeckendorfs?

I’ve represented the Zeckendorfs. The Zeckendorfs recently did a deal buying the site from Harry Macklowe across from the United Nations, with a partner, Global Holdings.

 

El-Ad’s Miki Naftali?

We represented the owners of the Plaza [in its sale] to Elad.

 

Sheldon Solow?

I have had a couple of things across the table, but I’ve never represented Mr. Solow.

 

Gary Barnett?

We’re representing Gary on some of his land-use [issues].

 

The Rudins?

I’ve worked with the Rudins as well.

 

The Olnicks?

I’ve worked with the Olnicks as well.

 

The Trumps?

I’ve both been across the table from and represented the Trumps on some matters.

 

Just a few more. Kent Swig?

I’ve worked with him for a very long time.

 

Paramount’s Al Behler?

We sold them a building on Ninth Avenue from SL Green, and I’ve dealt with Albert in other contexts.

 

The Moinians?

We’ve repped them on a lot of stuff.

 

Larry Silverstein?

Across the table we represented Moody’s, which is the primary tenant of 7 World Trade Center. We also sold them 575 Lexington Avenue.