NEW YORK CITY-Law firm Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP has appointed three lawyers as co-chairs of the company’s real estate practice. Partners Jeffrey Reich, Steven Sladkus and Lisa Smith will lead the group, focusing on cooperative and condominium law.

Wolf Haldenstein’s real estate practice employees 12 lawyers and five paralegals, according to a company spokeswoman. Partner Maria Beltrani will continue in her current position heading the landlord-tenant practice.

“With the naming of Lisa, Steven and Jeff as Co-Chairs, Wolf Haldenstein is bringing a new standard of service to our real-estate clients,” says Charles Baller, one of the senior partners of the firm. “Their appointments signify a new era of leadership at Wolf Haldenstein.” Reich and Sladkus tell, “This represents the first change in the leadership of the department in two decades. Having three highly experience co-chairs will allow the department to grow in a new direction.”

Previously, Reich has represented developers, lenders and investors in a number of different transactions; and advises boards of co-ops and condos on management and governance.

Sladkus has years of experience in real estate litigation as it pertains to co-ops and condos. Additionally he handles construction defects, mold and commercial and cooperate law cases, as well as discrimination claims against co-op boards.

Smith’s experience comes from working on acquisitions, dispositions, construction financing and leasing both in New York and across the country. In the past she has also represented developers of major co-op or condo projects throughout the city.

Initially the group had only two attorneys, but Reich and Sladkus say the co-chairs plan to grow the size of the practice in a “steady and planned manner,” and to “increase the scope of the firm’s real estate practice.” Most recently the group has been working on negotiating between tenants and owners that have withdrawn from the Mitchell Lama program, with the goal of protecting the residents.

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