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    January 20, 2010  

We’re donating a portion of proceeds from our Women’s event Friday to the American Red Cross for Haitian relief. We’ll be presenting a check at the Heart for Haiti fundraiser tonight at the Hyatt Regency, co-hosted by MOI, Arent Fox, Vornado, Jones Lang, OPX, Skanska, and others. Thanks to all for their help.

This morning, we joined 200 real estate professionals and government contractors for a tutorial at Arnold & Porter on the canon of laws pertaining to GSA leasing (thus our headline reference to that charming Three's Company tenant), which we’re told covers roughly 1/3 of leased office space in the DC area.
Arnold & Porter gov’t contracts expert Ron Schechter, real estate gurus Gary Humes and Amy Rifkind, both of whom focus on large-scale leasing, and Anita Molino

Here’s the panel: Arnold & Porter gov’t contracts expert Ron Schechter, real estate gurus Gary Humes and Amy Rifkind, both of whom focus on large-scale leasing, and Anita Molino, managing partner of Boston-based investment bank Bostonia Partners

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Ron Schechter

With 30 statutes, 10 executive orders, and 2000 pages of relevant federal acquisition regulations (Ron pictured here wielding said pages), the realm of GSA leasing is ripe for legal services. Key differences between the GSA and the private sector, according to Ron: a risk averse culture, cumbersome oversight procedures, and competing interests between tenant agencies and the GSA. Another important point relates to the integrity of the system; “think of the number five,” says Ron, “because that’s how many years you’ll spend in jail if you make a false certification on a contract.”

Chance (5th) - in-text or
Amy Rifkind

Amy tells us that 350 million sq. ft. of property nationwide is in GSA hands (about 50% of it owned) and that many of its leases will be expiring within the next four years. As a result, the threat of leasehold condemnations is on the rise. Because of the substantial leverage that the government has over tenants, she says very few of these cases will go to court. Instead, expect heightened demand for real estate lawyers who can help a growing number of embattled clients extend their lease agreements.


WilmerHale’s Carl Nichols

We recently caught up with the latest addition to WilmerHale’s litigation team, former Bush DoJ official Carl Nichols. After leaving DoJ in Jan. 2009, Carl spent six months with his family in Argentina, where his wife and, more recently, his youngest son were both born. Having represented the government in high-stakes litigation involving questions of executive privilege and separation of powers, including a lawsuit brought by the House Judiciary Committee to enforce subpoenas on Harriet Miers and Josh Bolton, Carl tells us he feels confident tackling fundamental issues of constitutional law as they relate to the perpetual “tug-of-war” that takes place between the three branches of government.

WilmerHale’s Carl Nichols

Carl says that means he’s well-equipped to help private clients avoid the pitfalls of Congressional investigations, offering Mark McGwire as an example of someone who recently benefited from that type of coaching. He tells us he’s also ready to roll on multi-district, inter-agency national security matters. While at DoJ, he tells us he was intimately involved with a number of cases relating to “terrorist surveillance,” or as members of the (then) minority used to call it, ‘wire-tapping.’ As such, he sees telecom regulation as another area in which he’d like to be of service.  


January 22 - Bisnow Breakfast & Schmooze, Where do Women Stand? (Part II) - 7:45-10:00am - Sequoia Restaurant. Info

Editor's note: In yesterday's issue, we incorrectly stated the reason for the detention of VOA's Rahman Bunairee at Dulles last August. It was due to suspicion that he intended to immigrate and not suspicion of having been linked to terrorist activity. We apologize for the error.

Please send story ideas to legal reporter Patrick Dowd at Patrick@bisnow.com

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Georgetown (Jan 21)
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K Str (Corporate)

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