By Joshua Burd
A.Y. Strauss LLC has added a new attorney to its commercial real estate practice, one of two new hires by the Roseland-based law firm.
Lonnie J. Halpern joined the firm’s real estate group, where he will represent clients in commercial real estate transactions, joint ventures and financings, according to a news release. Prior to joining the firm, he served as vice president of BRT Realty Trust, a publicly traded real estate investment trust focused on commercial bridge lending and joint venture equity investing, as well as in-house counsel to a commercial real estate-focused New York family office.
A.Y. Strauss described Halpern as “a creative dealmaker (who is) well-versed at navigating even the most complicated transactions. With more than 15 years of experience in real estate and corporate transactions, he counsels early-stage and high-growth companies on initial organization, fundraising and general corporate matters, while also advising startup companies focused on applying technology to commercial real estate investing and finance.
Halpern also founded CrowdMason, one of the first real estate crowdfunding companies, according to a news release. Halpern, who earned his law degree from Boston College Law School, began his law career at Goodwin Procter LLP and Hogan Lovells.
“Having spent much of his career working on behalf of institutional lenders, property owners and developers, Lonnie brings extensive legal expertise and a practical, business-focused approach to our growing commercial real estate client base,” Aaron Y. Strauss, the firm’s managing partner, said in a prepared statement.
The firm’s other new hire, Aaron I. Messing, will serve as the founder of its corporate and technology practice. He has advised entrepreneurs and emerging growth companies on legal matters related to emerging technology, corporate structures, business transactions, capital raises, intellectual property, information privacy and data security.
As part of his practice, Messing also serves as outside general counsel and outside privacy counsel for clients in the technology, e-commerce, software, real estate and several other industries, the news release said. Previously, he practiced at OlenderFeldman LLP, a boutique law firm.
Messing earned a law degree from Fordham University School of Law.
“Aaron brings a wealth of experience in the business and technology realm to our firm where we are very focused on delivering meaningful value to each engagement,” Strauss said. “We work with clients of all sizes, ranging from startup ventures to midsized companies that require expert guidance to accomplish their goals efficiently and cost-effectively, whether on the real estate side or within the tech space.
“Aaron will play a key role in expanding our services to consult with clients on issues that are vital to the health and success of their business, such as data privacy and security, as well as intellectual property matters. We are very excited to welcome both Lonnie and Aaron to the firm at this time.”