Press Release October 27, 2008

Goodwin Procter to Expand Real Estate Investment Management, Hospitality Practices with Seven Attorneys from Heller Ehrman

BOSTON, Oct. 27, 2008 — Goodwin Procter LLP today announced that seven attorneys from Heller Ehrman will be joining the firm, strengthening its real estate investment management and hospitality practices.

Brian Smith, the Managing Attorney of Heller Ehrman’s London office and Robert Asher, a member of Heller Ehrman’s Real Estate and Hospitality Practice Group will be joining the firm as partners. They will be based in London, together with Matthew G. Pohlman and Lindy Muto who will be joining as associates. Teresa K. Goebel, counsel; Judith Miles, of counsel; and Valerie Washburn, associate, will be joining in San Francisco.

“For many years our Real Estate practice has represented the nation’s leading real estate investment managers, advisors and institutional investors,” said Regina M. Pisa, chairman and managing partner of Goodwin Procter. “Our attorneys in this area are well integrated with our nationally recognized REITs & Real Estate Capital Markets practice. They are equipped to anticipate the continuing evolution of the real estate capital markets and to ensure our clients are at the forefront of emerging industry trends.”

Goodwin Procter, has one of the nation’s largest real estate practices and has handled billions of dollars worth of hotel transactions, including mergers and acquisitions of public and private companies, initial and follow on public offerings for hospitality companies, formation of commingled hospitality funds, construction and forward sales of hospitality assets and representation of some of the leading hospitality owners, operators, managers and investors. In 2008, Chambers USA Awards For Excellence named Goodwin Procter’s Real Estate Leisure and Hospitality practice as a finalist for its prestigious annual award.

“Goodwin Procter’s real estate platform is a natural fit for the tremendous expertise coming from the long and distinguished careers of Brian and Bob,” she added. “Additionally, the experience in the international hospitality sector that these attorneys bring dovetails nicely with the work we have been doing for our U.S. clients.”

Their work extends to most aspects of commercial real estate, having handled some of the most significant recent hotel transactions in Asia, the U.S. and Europe. Their principal clients include several of the world’s leading international hotel brands, including Four Seasons, Starwood Hotels, the Dorchester Group, and Fairmont Raffles Hotels - as well as investment banks, funds, advisors and investors. They handle management agreements, acquisitions and sales, partnership/joint venture transactions, fund formation, operating company investments, financing and the workout of distressed investments.

About Goodwin Procter
Goodwin Procter‘s interdisciplinary Real Estate Investment Management practice includes attorneys with real estate, tax, corporate, ERISA and bankruptcy expertise who understand the business objectives and unique legal needs of clients in this dynamic market. The firm’s attorneys work with clients to structure collective investment vehicles and to structure, negotiate and close a wide variety of real estate investments.

The firm’s long-standing tradition as a real estate industry leader and intimate knowledge of the real estate capital markets are a competitive advantage for clients. For years, Goodwin Procter has been a significant counselor to the REIT industry as well as a major participant in the current consolidation of the real estate industry, having participated in real estate company merger and acquisition transactions involving assets in excess of $25 billion over the past decade. The real estate investment management attorneys are integrated with the REITs & Real Estate Capital Markets and M&A/Corporate Governance practices in order to provide clients with the widest array of market information and guidance possible.

Goodwin Procter is one of the nation’s leading law firms with more than 900 attorneys in offices in Boston, Los Angeles, New York, San Diego, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, and Washington, D.C. The firm’s core areas of practice are corporate, litigation and real estate, with specialized areas of focus that include financial services, private equity, technology, REITs and real estate capital markets, intellectual property, tax and products liability. Information may be found at

Attorney Biographies

Robert Asher
is a former member of Heller Ehrman’s Real Estate and Hospitality Practice Group. He specializes in corporate and finance transactions involving the hospitality industry, and has represented developers, hotel management companies, investors, and lenders in transactions in Europe, the Middle East, the Caribbean, Africa and Asia. He acts for several major hotel chains with respect to the negotiation of management agreements, and has strong experience with mixed-use, condominium hotel and fractional hotel products and in sale and manage-back transactions. Asher also has a substantial real estate private equity practice, and regularly acts for several major investment banks on principal investment transactions, including public-to-private transactions, mezzanine and participating loans, and development and acquisition joint ventures.

Asher has handled some of the most significant recent hotel transactions in Europe, including leading the team which represented Starwood Hotels in the restructuring of the Meridien Hotels group and Starwood's acquisition of Meridien brand and management business; acting for the Dorchester Group on its acquisition of the Principe di Savoia in Milan and the Hotel Plaza Athenee in Paris; acting for the developer of the Four Seasons Hotel, Marrakech; and representing Fairmont Raffles Hotels in numerous investment and management agreement transactions for hotels and mixed-use developments in the Middle East and Africa.

Asher earned his J.D. from the University of Colorado Law School, and a B.A. from Pomona College. He is admitted in the District of Columbia.

Teresa K. Goebel - is a former member of Heller Ehrman’s Real Estate Practice Group. She previously worked as a corporate associate at law firms in New York and San Francisco, where her practice focused on mergers and acquisitions and strategic transactions. She was a law clerk for the Honorable David S. Tatel of the U.S, Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. She earned her J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School, and an A.B. from Brown University. She is admitted in California and New York.

Judith Miles - had served in various leadership roles throughout Heller Ehrman, including Managing Director of People and co-chair of the firm's Real Estate Practice Group. Her practice encompasses a broad range of commercial real estate matters, including hotel transactions, joint ventures, financings, real property sales and acquisitions, leasing, and land use issues. She focuses particularly on the representation of hotel operators and owners in a variety of matters relating to the acquisition, development, financing, management and sale of hotel, resort and fractional ownership properties. Miles has also worked extensively in the area of real estate finance, including the structuring and negotiation of creative debt and equity financing transactions, and the workout and restructuring of troubled investments. She also has significant experience in negotiating and documenting purchase and sale transactions and commercial office and retail leases.

Miles has taught Real Estate Transactions as a member of the adjunct faculty of Stanford Law School. She has lectured frequently on hospitality industry topics and is consistently recognized as one of the leading hospitality lawyers in the U.S. She earned her J.D. from Harvard Law School and an A.B. from Stanford University. She is admitted in California.

Lindy Muto - is a former member of Heller Ehrman’s Real Estate and Hospitality Practice Groups. She completed her legal training in Australia and worked as a commercial/ corporate lawyer focusing on a range of commercial and corporate transactions, including structuring, mergers and acquisitions, taxation and estate planning.

In 2005, Muto moved to London to work as a corporate lawyer. She has experience in private equity and corporate real estate transactions, including management buy-in, joint ventures, fund investments, mergers and acquisitions and the establishment and collapse of on-shore and off-shore structures Queensland University of Technology (Bachelor of Law, 1998); Leo Cussen Institute, Victoria (Legal Training, 1999). She is admitted in the Supreme Court of Victoria, Solicitor & Barrister; High Court and the Federal Court of Australia, Solicitor; England and Wales, Solicitor.

Matthew Pohlman - is a former member of Heller Ehrman’s Real Estate & Finance Practice Group. His real estate practice is focused on the operation, management, acquisition, disposition and financing of hotels, resorts and other mixed use hospitality assets in Europe, Asia and North America. Pohlman regularly negotiates, structures and documents management agreements and equity and debt investments for hospitality projects on behalf of major hotel operators and private equity investors.

Pohlman also has significant experience representing institutional investors, hedge funds and real estate investment companies in the acquisition, disposition, leasing and financing of various classes of commercial real estate assets located throughout North America. Pohlman's real estate secured financing work is on behalf of both borrowers and lenders.

Prior to joining Heller Ehrman, Pohlman served as an associate in Goodwin Procter’s corporate department. He earned his J.D. from the Boston University School of Law, a B.A. from the University of Washington, and an M.B.A. from the Boston University School of Management. He is admitted in Washington and Massachusetts.

Brian Smith is the former Managing Attorney of Heller Ehrman’s London Office. Smith’s practice extends to most aspects of commercial real estate, including acquisition and sale, partnership/joint venture, fund formation, operating company investments, financing and the workout of distressed investments. His practice emphasizes the representation of hotel operators and owners in all matters relating to hotel and resort development, operation, management and finance and the representation of investment funds and other private equity capital in all manner of investment transactions (from M&A, to asset purchase and sale and hybrid equity/mezzanine debt investment). In recent years, he has focused on cross-border hospitality transactions, taking the lead on hotel and hotel/residential projects throughout Asia, North America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa and private equity investment in operating company platforms. His principal clients include investment banks and funds, advisors and investors and several of the world’s leading international hotel brands.

Smith earned his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law, an A.B. from Brown University and a Ph.D from Cambridge University. He is admitted in California, and New York. Smith is a member of the American Bar Association, State Bars of California and New York and a Registered Foreign Lawyer with the Law Society of England.

Valerie Washburn - prior to joining Heller Ehrman as an associate, Washburn was a research assistant for the China Law Center at Yale Law School and an intern at the Economic Development Division of the New York City Law Department. Before law school, she spent several years in the People’s Republic of China, including one year as a visiting scholar at the Beijing Film Academy, and published an English translation of a Taiwanese novel. Washburn is fluent in Mandarin Chinese. She earned her J.D. at Yale Law School, a B.A. at Harvard University, an M.A. at Columbia University and was a Fulbright Scholar. She is admitted in California.