Full Name
Joseph Philip Forte
Sullivan & Worcester LLP
Joseph Philip Forte, who chairs the Firm’s real estate finance practice, has substantial experience in commercial real estate finance and capital markets representing lenders, investors, and servicers in:

Originations: closing permanent, bridge and construction loans; mezzanine financing, pari-passu and subordinate debt; co-lending, participation and intercreditor agreements.

Secondary and capital markets: handling whole loan sales, B Notes, co-lending, participations, and securitisations.

Workouts: conducting workouts, foreclosures, receiverships, restructurings and bankruptcies, and deeds in lieu of foreclosure.

Advisory: counselling on mortgage banking, state doing business and licensing requirements, usury, federal pre-emption of state laws, investment authority and environmental risk management.

He has been at the forefront of many major innovations and reforms in the real estate finance industry for over 45 years, including the development of the mortgage secondary and securitisation markets; reform of Dodd Frank Act’s Basel III High Volatility Commercial Real Estate Rule; and working with industry trade associations on the LIBOR transition.

Joe has counselled his clients through six real estate market cycles of downturns and recoveries beginning with the failure of the early mortgage REITs in the mid-70s; the interest rate spike and disintermediation in the late 70s and early 80s; the partnership syndication crisis subsequent to the adoption of the Tax Reform Act of 1986; the savings and loan failures and the RTC workouts in the early 90s; the market disruption after the Russian Ruble default in August 1998 through the recent global financial crisis. In 2013, he was one of only two attorneys recognized among 30 executives in Commercial Property Executives’ “most influential people in real estate” feature celebrating those central to driving growth and innovation in the commercial real estate recovery after the financial crisis.

Widely recognized as a leader in the real estate finance industry, he has received the Commercial Real Estate Finance Council’s (CREFC) Founder’s Award (2001), the Mortgage Bankers Association of America’s Distinguished Service Award (1998) and the CREFC’s Leadership Award for his service as President. (1998-1999)

Since 2000 Joe has been recognized annually in The International Who’s Who Legal (WWL) as one of the top 10 most highly regarded real estate lawyers, and from 2010 to 2013 and 2017 and 2018 as global “Real Estate Lawyer of the Year.” He is featured in the Real Estate chapter of the inaugural WWL: Thought Leaders 2017 and thereafter. In 2019, he received the WWL: Lifetime Achievement Award.

Joe has also been recognized as a leading real estate finance practitioner in Chambers; Legal 500; Euromoney Guides to the World’s Leading Real Estate Lawyers: Construction and Real Estate Lawyers, Structured Finance and Securitization Lawyers, and Banking Finance and Transactional Lawyers; Best of the Best-United States, Best of the Best-Globally, Best of the Best; and as “highly recommended” by PLC Corporate Real Estate Leading Lawyers Guide. Joe is regularly chosen as a Super Lawyer in New York and is listed in The Best Lawyers in America.Joe frequently publishes and speaks on property finance, capital markets, regulatory, and related issues and is the recipient of several “Best Article” awards from legal and industry publications on commercial real estate finance topics. He is the founder and publisher of CREFC’s CRE Finance World.

He is a Fellow of: American College of Real Estate Lawyers, American College of Mortgage Attorneys, and Anglo American Real Property Institute (serving as Chair in 2015).