Colette A. Dafoe

Colette Dafoe is the office managing partner of the firm’s DC office, and focuses her practice on all aspects of commercial real estate transactions, representing owners, investors and developers in acquisitions, sales, leasing, financing and development of commercial real estate. Her practice involves drafting and negotiating purchase and sale agreements, leases and loan documents and performing due diligence and other site acquisition services.

What do you focus on?

Multifamily and senior housing and care

I work on multifamily housing matters, particularly with respect to the senior housing and care industry. I represent clients in transactions ranging from single property matters to several of the most notable transactions in the industry involving publicly traded and privately held clients. My clients include investors, financiers, purchasers and providers and sellers of multifamily apartments, active adult communities, assisted living facilities, nursing homes and CCRCs.

Restructuring and workouts

My restructuring and workout experience includes workouts of commercial loans, portfolio and securitized loans, distressed property sales and representation of lenders in debtor-in-possession financing transactions.

Representative Experience

  • Serves as outside general counsel to the largest continuing care retirement community in metropolitan Boston, handling its day-to-day legal affairs and mitigating operating risks.
  • Represents a regional health care lender financing the acquisition, development and expansion of seniors housing campuses (independent living, assisted living and continuing care retirement communities) throughout New England.
  • Represented a foreign investor in two acquisitions and a disposition of a New England seniors housing portfolio valued at $890 million, and counseled client on a range of asset management matters throughout the ownership period.
  • Counsel to a U.S. developer, owner and operator of a seniors housing portfolio situated throughout the Northeast in joint venture, development, regulatory and financing matters.
  • Represented a special servicer in the workout of an approximately $100 million loan portfolio.
  • Represented the special servicer in the sale of multiple REO hotel properties located throughout the mid-Atlantic and northeastern United States.

Higher Ambition: Moving the Needle on Law Firm Diversity

Washington Lawyer | June 05, 2020

This feature article on the Move the Needle Fund and law firm diversity spotlights Nixon Peabody’s MTN participation and quotes Washington, D.C. office managing partner Colette Dafoe, of the Affordable Housing & Real Estate group, and director of Diversity & Inclusion Rekha Chiruvolu on why it’s vitally important to increase diversity in the legal profession.

Senior housing looks more like luxury apartments today, but it can be harder to build

Bisnow | March 28, 2019

Washington, DC managing partner Colette Dafoe is highlighted in this article for her role as moderator of Bisnow’s Greater DC State of Senior Housing event.

D.C. CRE leaders on the lending environment, architecture trends, PropTech and more

Bisnow | September 30, 2018

Washington DC Office Managing Partner Colette Dafoe and Community Development Finance partner Jeff Lesk are mentioned in this story about the DCSolar project, which began on Nixon Peabody’s rooftop and has expanded throughout the District.

Montana Highlights

Big Sky Business Journal | April 08, 2018

Nixon Peabody is mentioned in this roundup of major Montana business news for its representation of Eagle Bancorp Montana, Inc., in its acquisition of Ruby Valley Bank in Twin Bridges, Montana. Nixon Peabody’s deal team was led by Public Company Transactions partner Lloyd Spencer and senior counsel Ray Gustini and included Public Company Transactions partner Sean Clancy, Real Estate partner Colette Dafoe, Energy & Environmental Group partner Jean McCreary, and Labor & Employment partners Jeff Gilbreth, Yelena Gray and Tom McCord.


Colette A. Dafoe

Office Managing Partner

Washington, DC

Phone: 202-585-8393

Fax: 866-583-2262

Let's Talk!

DC office managing partner Colette Dafoe spoke with Congresswoman Anna Eshoo of California’s 18th congressional district at NP DC’s “Let’s Talk” event.

Northeastern University School of Law, J.D.

Tufts University School of Medicine, M.P.H.

St. Lawrence University, B.S., summa cum laude


District of Columbia

Colette was selected, through a peer-review survey, for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2021 in the field of Real Estate Law. Colette has been listed in Best Lawyers since 2018.

Colette has been designated a “Recognized Practitioner” in the legal community in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business 2019 for Real Estate (District of Columbia). She has also been recognized in Chambers in previous years. She was also recognized in the 2014 edition of The Legal 500: USA as a Leading Lawyer in the Real Estate category.

Colette formerly served as a founding member and vice chair of the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing and Care Industry’s (NIC) Future Leaders Council (FLC).

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