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Jay Epstien, DLA Piper

Washington DC Legal DC

Yesterday, we kicked off our series on top DC real estate attorneys. We're back with another round identifying the great legal minds of our time. (No punchline - it's too close to Thanksgiving.)

Jay Epstien, DLA Piper


Jay has a full life-cycle real estate development and leasing practice, on major retail and office building projects for both owners and tenants, with clients including Target, Boston Properties, Holland & Knight, Cadwalader, Greenberg Traurig, Kirkland & Ellis, The Kaempfer Co. and Vornado, Ruben Cos., Blake Real Estate, and Verizon. Somehow he also makes time to head two practices at the 4,200-lawyer firm: the 175-lawyer US real estate practice and (with a colleague) the 500-lawyer global real estate group. He repped three different clients last year in leasing space to Whole Foods as an anchor tenant in new multifamily developments; Target in opening 25 stores in the Mid-Atlantic; and DLA Piper itself in multiple deals, including those involving its current DC office at 500 Eighth St  and its new Chicago home in a Hines riverfront development. It all started when Jay, a young Shaw Pittman associate in '79, was put on Boston Properties' first area building, 400k SF Capital Gallery, working with Ray Ritchey and Shelly Weisel. That led to work on about half a dozen other BP projects in DC and MD. Another early project was working for The Rouse Co. in the mid-'80s on The Shops at National Place and National Press Club. Jay grew up in North Jersey and came to DC in '76 following Case Western and Cornell Law School. He's married to Nancy, above, and they have two daughters: Shira, an associate at Latham, and Jessica, a pediatrician in NY.