David Portal

David Portal focuses his practice on all aspects of commercial real estate. Much of his work involves assisting his clients with strategies and approaches to purchases, sales, financings and ownership structures.

What do you focus on?

Real estate

I help my clients (which include developers, nursing home owners and operators, banks, hotel owners, hospitals, universities and nonprofit organizations) in the acquisition and sale of commercial office and mixed-use buildings and hotels; ground and master leasing of properties; multilevel financings; negotiation of limited liability operating agreements and joint ventures. I also work in commercial office and retail leasing, representing both landlords and tenants.

I strategize with clients on how to seize upon new or evolving opportunities through federal and state agencies, among other resources.

In addition to representing my clients on the real estate deals, I try to provide my clients with overall general advice and thoughts on the transactions.

New York City

Much of my work is located within the city. New York City represents what our great nation is all about—diversity of people, neighborhoods, businesses and communities.

Speaking and public service

I lecture and give seminars at various institutions and on behalf of the New York State Bar Association, the Legal Aid Society and other associations on real estate matters. I enjoy teaching and the networking aspects of this service.


David’s Lessons Learned

I have instituted a practical learning segment within the real estate department of Nixon Peabody where we/I discuss in a group setting current issues that lawyers encounter in real estate transactions, including purchases and sales, financings, leasing, transfer tax issues and the like and best approaches for resolving issues.

What do you see on the horizon?

The real estate market is competitive so margins are tight. Getting deals done in a timely manner with the client understanding the potential risk is critical.

Representative Experience

Purchase and Sale Agreements

  • Representation of The City University of New York (CUNY) in connection with the acquisition of a portion of a large office building in Queens, New York, that was converted into a condominium for the relocation of its law school. The engagement included the overseeing of the conversion of the building into a condominium regime, as well as the negotiation of all of the condominium documents with the only other condo owner, a nationwide recognized bank. Mr. Portal represented CUNY in the sale of its headquarters building located at 535 East 80th Street, New York, New York.
  • Representation of New York developers in the purchase and sale of numerous middle-market properties.
  • Representation of a well-known New York developer in the purchase and finance of a mid-town mixed-use office and retail building. The engagement included negotiating the purchase and sale agreement, reviewing and analyzing the existing space leases and negotiating all of the loan documents.
  • Representation of a developer in the purchase and financing of a large commercial office/retail building in Chicago.
  • Representation of an accredited college in connection with the purchase of a building in upstate New York and a lease of significant space in another building in the same area.
  • Representation of a developer in the sale of prime ground lease property in Midtown Manhattan.
  • Representation of not-for-profit entities in leasing and acquisition of real estate interests.
  • Representation of purchaser in connection with purchase of mixed-use retail and commercial office building in Midtown Manhattan. Ranked among the 10 largest New York City real estate transactions in the first quarter of 2012.

Commercial Leasing

  • Representation of a developer/landlord in the leasing of more than 190 nursing/assisted living facilities throughout the U.S.
  • Representation of developer landlord in leasing of 27 skilled nursing facilities.
  • Representation of a foreign bank in connection with the sale of its lease covering a large block of space in an office building in Manhattan to a Fortune 500 company.
  • Representation of a foreign beverage company in connection with a significant lease transaction as it made its entry into the U.S. market.
  • Representation of Corporate Property Investors for all leasing transactions affecting the General Motors Building, 767 Fifth Avenue, New York City.
  • Representation of an investment brokerage house in connection with its leasing of approximately 90,000 square feet of commercial space at 360 Madison Avenue in New York City.
  • Representation of a foreign bank in connection with its leasing of approximately 50,000 square feet of commercial space at 1185 Avenue of Americas in New York City.
  • Representation of various law firms in connection with their leasing of office space in leases ranging from 10,000 to 100,000 square feet.
  • Representation of a foreign bank in connection with its lease of approximately 135,000 square feet at 7 World Trade Center.

Airlines Leasing

  • Representation of JetBlue Airline in the leasing of its Terminal 5 at JFK International Airport in New York.
  • Representation of JetBlue Airline in its terminal lease in Orlando, Florida.
  • Representation of large users of Port Authority property for leasing and subleasing for various uses.


  • Representation of developers in purchase of various hotels.


  • Representation of both underwriters of the National Football League’s New York Giants and New York Jets in the new 82,000-seat open-air stadium that is to be the home stadium for both teams.
  • Representation of the New York City Industrial Development Agency in connection with the development, construction and financing of two new baseball stadiums for Major League Baseball’s New York Mets and New York Yankees.
  • Representation of various individual and corporate investors and developers in financing of mixed-use commercial and retail buildings in New York City and nationwide.
  • Representation of developer in three separate multi-property CMBS loans (covering 18 properties; four properties and major commercial buildings).
  • Representation of a major developer in the sale, financing, disposition and leasing of buildings in New York City.


  • “When Subprimes Lead to Subleases: You Better Get it Right,” Real Estate Weekly (co-author).

Speaking Engagements

  • “Commercial Leasing Workshop,” presented in cooperation with New York Legal Services, May 16, 2018 (speaker).
  • “Legal Essentials of Commercial Leasing Workshop,” presented in cooperation with the Legal Aid Society, 2008–2013; 2017 (speaker).
  • “The Art of Subleasing: What Every General Counsel in New York City Should Know,” presented as part of the Association of Corporate Counsel lecture series, March 12, 2009 (speaker).


David Portal


New York

Phone: 212-940-3008

Fax: 866-947-2249

Fordham University School of Law, J.D., cum laude (Fordham Law Review)

City University of New York at Queens College, B.A., summa cum laude

New York

David received the 2012 Cornerstone Award from the Lawyer’s Alliance for New York for exemplary pro bono services and was awarded the 2012 Legal Aid Society Pro Bono Publico Award. He was also selected for inclusion in New York Super Lawyers in 2007, 2008 and 2013–2020, as well as Super Lawyers Corporate Counsel in 2009, based on peer-review surveys.

David is a member of the American, New York State, and New York City bar associations. He also serves as president emeritus of a local temple, and is on the board of directors and board of governance of a prominent college.

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