Mr. Kipnis, a member of Schnader’s Real Estate Practice Group, head of the group’s New York Office Real Estate Team and leader of the firm’s Retail Industry Team, focuses his practice on closing deals for national and regional chains in leasing and retail property development transactions and regularly closes numerous retail, office, warehouse and industrial leases. He has over 25 years of experience handling all aspects of commercial leasing, including construction-related disputes, permits, variances, and diverse developmental issues.
In real estate matters, Mr. Kipnis represents institutional and private interests in all phases of real estate transactions and development (for sellers, purchasers and developers) and provides keen insight regarding zoning, land use and title issues, insurance coverage and financing. Mr. Kipnis has a particular understanding of all aspects of retail property development from the inception of lease negotiation to retail store launch and beyond. He was among the first practitioners to develop a practice of buying leases from bankrupt companies and most recently was among the first practitioners to handle retail leasing deals on a military base. His clients include major Fortune 500 retailers, smaller national and regional retailers, commercial NYC real estate developers, insurance defense third-party administrators, and emergent businesses seeking general business and litigation advice.
Mr. Kipnis’ practice also includes the smooth resolution of complex leasing disputes, general land use advice including the acquisition of building and sign permits and representing clients’ interests in variance applications. He is experienced in negotiating the resolution of contractual, licensing, construction and, employment disputes, overseeing premises defense insurance litigation, working on general bankruptcy matters for both debtors in possession and creditors, and resolving general business disputes.
Mr. Kipnis’ background representing the different parties involved in retail leasing and property development informs his deal-closing approach to such transactions. He spent the first half of his career representing commercial banks, landlords, and retailers in commercial and real estate litigation. In addition to Mr. Kipnis’ experience in purchasing bankrupt company assets, he has participated in several complex and high profile bankruptcy matters, and has often served as counsel to debtors-in-possession.
Mr. Kipnis has been an active member of the International Council of Shopping Centers for more than a decade.
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Community & Pro Bono
- President of a condominium association in the Catskills
- Hofstra University, J.D., with distinction, 1992, Law Review
- University of Maryland, B.S., Finance, 1989
- New York, 1992
- New Jersey, 1992
- Pennsylvania, 2005
- U.S. Supreme Court
- Court of Appeals for the Second and Third Circuits
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York
- U.S. District Court, Western District of New York
- U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
- International Council of Shopping Centers, Member
- Shopping Center Law & Strategy, Editorial Board Member
- Association of the Bar of the City of New York, Member
- New York State Bar Association, Member
- Rated AV® Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell®*
- Published in the New York Law Journal
- Noted as a “New York Super Lawyer,” 2018-19*
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Leasing, Retail Business and Bankruptcy
- Outside of real estate leasing counsel to a Fortune 500 retailer, and other small and regional retailers throughout the country, including a regional clothing company chain and a local health and beauty aid chain.
- Appeared pro hac vice in various federal and bankruptcy courts across the country on behalf of national retailers and other corporate clients.
- Acquired assets of McCrory’s, a variety retail chain, assisted in the operation of the company, and served as outside general counsel, principally on leasing matters.
- Assisted a high-profile theme restaurant’s emergence from Chapter 11 bankruptcy as lead counsel. Prevented the case from being dismissed after repeat filings in the notable reported decision, In re 1633 Broadway Mars Restaurant Corp., 388 B.R. 490 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. 2008).
- Directed the Chapter 11 filing and thereafter appointed Chapter 11 debtor-in possession special counsel for McCrory’s, a 100-year-old variety retail chain. Directed the McCrory’s bankruptcy, disposing of over 100 leases and multiple parcels of owned real property, which allowed the debtor to successfully wind up operations and make a meaningful disbursement to creditors. Settled the creditor’s committee suit against the insiders. Successfully prosecuted a claim against the director and officer’s liability policy.
- Filed and confirmed Chapter 11 plan of technology startup incubator company.
- Confirmed Chapter 11 plan for the owner of an improved real property.
- Bankruptcy counsel for several big-box retailers in connection with a landlord or other entity filings.
General Real Estate and Real Estate Litigation
- Prevailed on summary judgment and obtained opinion by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals affirming the dismissal for a retailer in a commercial lease dispute.
- Sold a mixed office/retail building in lower Manhattan to a major public development company.
- Resolved multiple easement/land title disputes.
- On behalf of a retailer, prosecuted case against bank and landlord for failing to rebuild store in California.
- Obtained signed variances for land use across the country.
- Established lead New York precedent of good faith and fair dealing in landlord and tenant relations.
- Helped forge new securities law in convincing the court to uphold the dismissal of a securities fraud class action in the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.