Ness Cohen is the Chairman of the Firm's Real Estate practice in the Americas.
Ness specializes in real estate private equity and joint ventures as well as acquisitions, dispositions and financings involving real estate. His work also includes representing REITs, investment banks, insurance companies, real estate funds and developers in real estate acquisitions, dispositions, financings, and real estate related transactions.
His clients include leading real estate investors, lenders, REITs, investment banks, private equity funds and other institutional investors in the real estate industry. He has also advised institutional clients in the formation of private equity funds dedicated to real estate and has represented several of these funds in their investment activities.
- Representing a non-US investor in its real estate acquisition program where it acquired over US$600 million in commercial real estate over the past three years
- Representing Madison International on a joint venture acquisition of a 16 property retail portfolio valued at US$852 million
- Representing Yes! Communities in connection with the acquisition, financing and re-financing of US$1.3 billion+ multi-state portfolio of manufactured housing communities parks
- Representing JSRE Acquisitions on the purchase of the office unit at 660 Madison Avenue
- Representing JSRE Acquisitions on the acquisition and subsequent sale of its interest in the retail condominium at the St. Regis Hotel in New York City
- Yes! Communities in restructuring its business that involved the formation of a joint venture with a group of investors, including an Asian sovereign wealth fund and an Asian pension fund, with respect to a US$2 billion portfolio of manufactured home assets
- Madison International Realty on its recapitalization of Madison's 49% joint venture interest in a 15 property portfolio of retail assets in the New York City metropolitan area at a value of more than US$1.282 billion
- J. Safra Real Estate (Safra) on its acquisitions of a number of U.S. properties in excess of US$800 million
- National Storage Affiliates Trust on the formation of a joint venture with a state pension fund to acquire a US$650 million property. This portfolio consists of 66 properties, located across 12 states
News and client work
- Special Real Estate Family Office Meeting – Opportunity Zones: Investing in Opportunity Zones fireside chat with Silverstein Properties
Facilitator, December 12, 2018
Career and qualifications
- New York University (B.A., Economics) 1993
- Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, J.D., summa cum laude 1998
- Partner since 2007
- Order of the Coif
- Member, Benjamin N. Cardozo Law Review
Awards and citations
- Ness Cohen is wickedly smart and sharp. He has a unique ability to focus on the real issues at hand and boil them down which helps greatly to solving what may seem at first an impossible problem or one that seems zero sum. Ness does a great job leading matters and bringing in needed talent.
Legal 500, 2022 – United States: Real Estate Real estate – Tier 4
- ‘Ness Cohen is my main contact. He very commercial and business oriented. He understands how we succeed and what our goals are and works as an extension of our business. He anticipates well such that we do not feel like we are on the back foot and reacting. He is high quality, engaged and very responsive.’
Legal 500 USA 2020: Real estate
- Recognized Lawyer: Real Estate Law
The Best Lawyers in America (2021 Edition)
- "Commercially minded and solution-driven."
Legal 500 USA 2019: Real Estate
- Highly Regarded – New York
IFLR1000 US 2019: Real Estate
- "The practice is chaired by New York-based Ness Cohen, who is ‘extremely knowledgeable and talented’ and ‘has an excellent grasp of the law in all relevant areas’."
Legal 500 USA 2018: Real Estate
- Ness has lectured and has been a panelist on issues important to the real estate industry. He was recognized in the Legal 500 USA and Chambers USA as a leading real estate lawyer and was lauded for his “sheer depth of expertise.