Local Counsel Opinions in Real Estate Finance Transactions

Strategies for Maximizing Efficiency and Reducing Risks for Opinion Givers

An encore presentation featuring live Q&A

A 90-minute CLE webinar with interactive Q&A

Thursday, August 23, 2018 (in 5 days)

1:00pm-2:30pm EDT, 10:00am-11:30am PDT

or call 1-800-926-7926
Program Materials

This CLE webinar will provide counsel with tools for drafting local counsel opinions for real estate finance transactions, referencing recent published opinion reports. The panel will also discuss ethical considerations and liability risks associated with the rendering of local counsel opinions and best practices for reducing such risks.


Commercial real estate loan transactions are usually conditioned upon opinions of counsel. Lenders will often require lead counsel and local counsel opinions when, for example, the lead counsel’s license is from a different state than the situs of the property subject to the mortgage loan.

Local counsel rendering an opinion must understand, and define with lead counsel and the client, as appropriate, the local counsel’s role in the transaction and the areas for which local counsel is specifically responsible. Local counsel must also render an opinion that accurately reflects local state law and is in a format consistent with lender requirements (as negotiated) and customary opinion practice.

Listen as our authoritative panel explains best practices when drafting local counsel opinion letters for commercial real estate finance transactions.



  1. Defining the scope of engagement of local counsel.
  2. Document Review and Due Diligence—including ethical considerations relating to recommended changes to the draft loan documents under the law of the opinion jurisdiction.
  3. Substantive Opinion Issues:
    1. Opinion Requests:
      1. Entity Opinions
      2. Usury and Enforceability Opinions
      3. Choice of Law Opinions
      4. Non Contravention and No Violation of Applicable Law Opinions
      5. No Litigation Opinions
    2. Assumptions, Qualifications and Exceptions
    3. Reliance Wording
  4. The relevance of “customary practice” and published opinion reports, in particular the American Bar Association/American College of Real Estate Lawyers/American College of Mortgage Attorneys Real Estate Financing Opinion Report and Local Counsel Opinion Supplement.
  5. Theories of opinion-giver liability and best practices for minimizing liability risk.


The panel will review these and other critical issues:

  • What are the roles and responsibilities of the local and lead counsel in providing their respective opinions?
  • What guidance do published opinion reports provide with regard to local counsel opinions?
  • What due diligence steps are critical for counsel preparing commercial real estate finance opinion letters to minimize risks and liabilities?

This is an encore presentation with live Q&A.


Prince, Doug
Doug Prince


Mr. Prince has over 36 years’ experience in transactional real estate, real estate finance, and commercial asset...  |  Read More

Gerson, Gordon
Gordon L. Gerson

Gerson Law Firm

Mr. Gerson emphasizes real estate and business transactions, real estate financing, and loan recovery in his...  |  Read More

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