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NYC: Belinda Schwartz Rises to Top

National Legal DC

One of real estate attorney Belinda Schwartz’s favorite memories was the first all-nighter of her career: a fee-above-a-plane transaction for a building in Manhattan. As she watched the sun come up, her co-worker asked, “Aren’t you tired?” But she wasn’t. “It was absolutely amazing,” she says. Her love of deals continues to this day, and this week, Herrick, Feinstein named her chair of its real estate department, making her one of the only female chairs of a major real estate law practice. Now she oversees 50 lawyers and urban planners (15 of them women) working on hot deals like Downtown Brooklyn’s City Point development and the Orbach Group’s acquisition and financing of a major NYC apartment portfolio.


When Belinda (here with Invesco's Todd Bassen at Bisnow's NYC Multifamily Summit) was attending NYU Law, she took a summer job with a prominent NYC developer and became enamored with the industry: “I love seeing the tangible results of my work and the Rubik’s cube of putting a deal together.” After stints with firms Cole & Deitz and Wien & Malkin, she joined Herrick 16 years ago. Her deals include one of the most complex (and award-winning) land swaps in Manhattan history. She counts Peter Malkin and Herrick’s Howard Peskoe and Stephen Rathkopf among her mentors, but says there’s plenty to learn from clients, too. Her advice for young women and men entering the industry: “Work incredibly hard and don’t be afraid to push yourselfluck also plays a part.”