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Nelson Migdal, Greenberg Traurig

DC has the best lawyers in the country (we're not biased at all). To highlight some of the city's best commercial real estate attorneys, we applied extensive use of statistics and the scientific method and bring you our latest installment of the legal minds that help DC's real estate industry thrive. (Check out Part 1 and Part 2.)


Since he was in fourth grade, Nelson knew he wanted to be a lawyer. After attending Hofstra and Albany Law School, he spent his first 10 years practicing in Binghamton, NY, and moved to DC in '88. He focuses on hotel acquisition, finance, licensing and development. In the $2B purchase of New York's famed Waldorf Astoria, Nelson repped buyer Anbang, a Chinese insurance company, counseling it in negotiating the first-ever 100-year management agreement (which will govern its relationship with Hilton, the hotel manager). Six months of work happened in three weeks, Nelson tells us (and the last few days overlapped with the UN General Assembly, so lawyers kept getting the boot from their fully booked hotels). Last year, he helped turn an old racetrack outside of Cleveland into a Hard Rock concert venue, and he's working with MGM on the National Harbor. Outside of work, Nelson can be found kayaking, boating or skiing near his family's vacation home in Central City, PA. Best lesson: Establish your own personal brand.