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K&L Gates Grows Real Estate Practice with Addition of Washington, D.C., Partner and Of Counsel

2 August 2016

Washington, D.C. - The Washington, D.C., office of global law firm K&L Gates LLP welcomes Olivia S. Byrne as partner and Tala S. Gardner as of counsel in the real estate investment, development, and finance practice. Both join the firm from Reed Smith LLP.

Byrne focuses her practice on public policy, legislative counseling, real estate transactions, public/private partnerships, and finance, including conventional financing, mezzanine loans, and tax-exempt and taxable bonds. Her practice also includes a concentration in New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC) and Tax Increment Financings (TIFs), representing clients in NMTC finance and real estate projects for mixed use, office, restaurant, retail, residential, hotel, manufacturing, warehouse, and sports arena purposes. She has more than 20 years of experience advising for-profit and nonprofit clients such as universities and colleges, museums, hospitals, nursing homes, schools, and institutions of higher learning, and has assisted on numerous headquarters relocations, leases, and retentions.

At K&L Gates, Byrne will spearhead a team focused on lobbying for corporate attraction and retention in many states, including Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., with a particular concentration in commercial office space encompassing the technology, broadcasting, and hotel sectors, among others. Most recently, she and her team represented multimedia financial services company The Motley Fool in a lease renewal scenario and economic incentive deal that involved the successful obtaining of a direct cash grant for the first time in the City of Alexandria’s history.

Previously, Byrne served as co-chair of the Washington, D.C., Economic Partnership (WDCEP), a nonprofit, public-private organization designed to actively promote and support economic development and business opportunities in Washington, D.C. She also served as chief lobbyist for global research, technology, and consulting firm The Advisory Board, where she helped achieve the largest tax incentive issued in Washington, D.C., history consisting of more than $60 million of tax incentives over a period of 10 years.

Gardner’s practice concentrates on public policy, finance, and real estate transactions with a focus on structuring complex transactions, sales, acquisitions, NMTCs, TIFs, public/private partnerships, and public finance, including conventional loans, mezzanine loans, construction loans, taxable, and tax-exempt bonds. She has nearly a decade of experience representing sellers, borrowers, financial institutions, purchasers, and clients in commercial real estate and commercial community development-related borrowing activities as well as representing landlords and tenants in connection with drafting and negotiating letters of intent and leases.

“Olivia and Tala have built a national practice counseling clients on economic incentives available for their real estate investments,” said Matthew J. Norton, a firmwide leader for K&L Gates’ real estate practice and partner in the firm’s New York and Charleston offices. “Their deep experience is a natural fit for both our D.C. real estate offering and full-service real estate practice.”

With the arrival of Byrne and Gardner, K&L Gates’ Washington, D.C., office has added eight new partners, of counsel, and public policy professionals in under a year, including the earlier arrivals of Linda C. Odom (FinTech); Army Secretary John McHugh and Anne LeMay (public policy and law); Robert J. Grey (energy); Todd W. Betke (investment management); and Jeff M. Cohen (energy and infrastructure projects and transactions).

“Olivia’s and Tala’s experience operating at the intersection of real estate law and public policy will expand our offering to clients seeking legislative counseling on real estate transactions and securing various economic incentives new facilities and real estate investments,” stated David T. Case, administrative partner of K&L Gates’ Washington, D.C., office. “We are delighted to welcome them both to the firm.”

K&L Gates comprises approximately 2,000 lawyers globally who practice in fully integrated offices located on five continents. The firm represents leading multinational corporations, growth and middle-market companies, capital markets participants and entrepreneurs in every major industry group as well as public sector entities, educational institutions, philanthropic organizations and individuals. 
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