By Joshua Burd
Larken Associates has announced the hiring of a new in-house corporate counsel, citing its high leasing velocity across its mix of commercial properties in several states.
The developer and landlord, which is based in Branchburg, said Jessica Battaglia will work with the firm’s in-house brokerage division, Raider Realty, to increase efficiency throughout the leasing process and enhance the team’s capabilities. Those efforts will help bring efficiency to its nearly 3 million-square-foot portfolio of office, industrial and retail space, rather than relying on third-party attorneys for legal review of leasing documents.
Prior to joining Larken Associates, Battaglia was a senior counsel at Paris Ackerman LLP and practiced law at other prominent New Jersey firms, including Jardim, Meisner & Susser PC, along with Greenbaum Rowe, Smith & Davis LLP and Hill Wallack LLP. In her new role, she will also conduct legal review of documentation pertaining to commercial tenants and their leases, while reviewing tenant attorney comments and revisions throughout the lease negotiation process.
Battaglia will also provide strategic counsel through the interpretation of federal, state and local mandates and statutes surrounding COVID-19.
“With such an expansive commercial portfolio, we are always searching for ways to make our leasing process as easy and fast as possible,” said David Gardner, CEO and president. “Through the addition of Ms. Battaglia and bringing the legal review of leases in-house, we are removing a significant hurdle for our leasing team that will ensure their continued operational excellence and that the execution of lease deals can be done more agilely and efficiently, especially in an increasingly fast-paced real estate landscape.”
Battaglia is admitted to practice law in New Jersey and the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. She earned her law degree from Seton Hall University School of Law and holds a bachelor’s in political science and English literature from Rider University.