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DALLAS-Henry S. Miller’s group of companies has added a five-member appraisal firm to its line-up, returning a 23-year executive to the fold after a 10-year hiatus. Effective immediately, Law Realty Advisors is part of HSM Consulting Group.

The merger of HSM and Law Realty Advisors creates what is believed to be the largest MAI-designated team in the region. HSM Consulting’s leader Mark O’Briant remains as president of the group, which now has six MAI-designated appraisers. “Even some of the national firms do not have six,” says Tracy Smith Law, executive vice president for HSM Consulting and president of Law Realty Advisors. “It’s unheard of except for companies like Cushman & Wakefield and Integra Realty Resources.”

Sam Kartalis, president and COO of Dallas-based Henry S. Miller Commercial, adds that “most independent companies don’t even have appraisers so six probably puts us at the top.” O’Briant and Law will oversee a division that includes MAI appraisers, Norman Archibald, Blaine Porter, Ann Kostishak and Craig Christensen. The six represent a combined 140-plus years of experience. The specialty team includes Law’s senior consultant Lea Michaels and consultant Michelle Morse.

Law tells GlobeSt.com that her 17-year-old firm will keep its name intact as a state-certified “historically underutilized business,” known as a HUB for government contracts, and “disadvantaged business enterprise,” which is a designation of the North Central Texas Regional Certification Agency. In retaining the name, Law also holds firm to a minority and women’s business enterprise designation.

HSM Consulting does appraisal work all over the US while Law’s focus predominately has been Dallas/Fort Worth as an impartial non-advocate for government and private property owners. Her firm specializes in litigation support for condemnation and eminent domain assignments and expert witness services. “We are consistently being asked by clients to provide litigation support services, which was difficult with the existing staff,” O’Briant says.

Kartalis says steps have been taken to eliminate any possible conflicts of interest for HSM and its clients. “Obviously, there will be conflicts, but they will be disclosed. And, there won’t be that many,” he stresses.

Law says talks have been held on and off since she left Henry S. Miller nearly one decade ago. The merger talks took a more serious turn in the past six months, she explains. “From an information standpoint, it’s difficult to get accurate information on sales and leases that are being done because Texas is a non-disclosure state,” she explains. “For us, it’s a huge advantage to have direct access to the ones involved and have complete and accurate details of the transaction.”

The HSM team has more than 450 professionals, including 160 brokers, across a multitude of platforms. The firm owns, leases or manages more than 10 million sf. “This helps in selling our company to a client,” Kartalis says. “It helps for them to know we’re a one-stop shop company, except for a title service.”

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