Erica Buckley - Real Estate lawyer - Nixon Peabody LLP

Erica F. Buckley



Erica F. Buckley leads our Cooperatives & Condominiums and State Attorneys General practices, representing some of New York’s most prolific developers and real estate professionals on a variety of transactional, regulatory, and investigative matters. Erica continues to build upon her background as chief of the Real Estate Finance Bureau of the New York Attorney General’s Office, where she oversaw various regulatory matters, government investigations, and policy initiatives.

What do you focus on?

Cooperative and Condominium Developer Services

I represent my developer clients on complex real estate transactions involving cooperatives, condominiums, timeshares, homeowners associations, and community land trusts. I draft offering plans, exemption applications, no-action letters, syndication filings, and submit those documents to the New York Attorney General’s Office on behalf of my clients. I also represent developers and investors on unique transactions involving bulk purchases of shares, mergers, and dissolutions of housing cooperatives, and advise on compliance with applicable laws such as the Martin Act, the Business Corporation Law, and the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act.

New York Attorney General Investigations and Dispute Resolutions

A substantial part of my work involves representing clients before the New York Attorney General’s Office who are under investigation for alleged violations of laws under the Martin Act or the Executive Law. I appear before the New York Attorney General’s Office on behalf of clients under investigation, and I assist in brokering workable settlements to close out matters to avoid litigation. When necessary, I also provide guidance to my clients on litigation strategy and facilitate alternative dispute resolutions, harnessing my experience as an Assistant Attorney General charged with closing out scores of disputes among sponsors, boards, and unit owners in cooperatives, condominiums, timeshares, and homeowners associations.

New York City and State Government Relations

My work at the Attorney General’s Office afforded me the opportunity to cultivate strong relationships with city and state government agencies, including the New York Attorney General’s Office, Division of Housing and Community Renewal, the New York City Housing Development Corporation, the New York City Housing Authority, the New York State Housing Finance Agency, as well as the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD). I represent developers before these city and state agencies on various regulatory, transactional, and policy matters. I also provide guidance on legislative and policy matters on a broad range of real estate issues and act as a New York State registered lobbyist, appearing before legislators on select occasions.

Cooperative and Condominium Board Services

As special counsel, I advise cooperative and condominium boards on complex legal issues such as major corporate changes (e.g., corporate dissolution), adoption of new governing documents, the procurement of real estate tax benefits, financing, and dispute resolution on matters such as construction defects.

What do you see on the horizon?

New York has gone through some tough times due to COVID, but we are ever more resilient. The luxury market is active, making our economy boom and showing the world we are open for business. Middle-market and for-sale affordable projects are still quite active, proving that New York is still a place that people want to call home. I am delighted to be working on so many cooperative and condominium conversions in New York City. The initial interest in the upstate market at the onset of COVID remains strong; many upstate developers are actively pursuing new construction condominiums, homeowners associations, and timeshares, and those projects are faring well. As one would expect in a robust and active market, the scrutiny from various city and state agencies is growing, and the New York Attorney General’s Office continues to use its vast powers under the Martin Act and Executive Law to zealously investigate and prosecute alleged wrongdoing in the real estate industry. I stand ready to represent my clients in all aspects of the changing landscape.

Representative Experience

Cooperative and Condominium Developer Services

  • Represent condominium sponsor in all stages of condominium conversion of luxury Upper West Side condominium, including offering plan, amendments, contracts, closings, and advice on litigation strategy and public relations.
  • Represent condominium sponsor in all stages of rental to condominium conversion of luxury Upper West Side condominium, including offering plan, amendments, contracts, closings, and guidance on matters involving rent stabilization, 421-a, and government relations.
  • Represent sponsor of new construction cooperatives developed under HPD’s Open Door Program in Brooklyn during all stages of conversion, including financing, acquisition, offering plan, amendments, contracts, and closings.
  • Represent for-profit and not-for-profit sponsors in the conversion of rental properties to cooperative status under HPD’s Affordable Neighborhood Cooperative Program throughout New York City during all stages of conversion, including financing, acquisition, offering plan, amendments, contracts, and closings.
  • Represent condominium sponsor in all stages of condominium conversion of former historic church to luxury Upper West Side condominium, including offering plan, amendments, contracts, closings, and guidance on matters related to church unit.
  • Represent national life insurance company as peer review counsel during the conversion of a leasehold property in Battery Park City to cooperative ownership, including review of ground lease, offering plan, and other salient documents.
  • Represent developer as special counsel on compliance with the Martin Act and Rent Stabilization laws during the buy-out of all shareholders in Park Avenue cooperative.
  • Represent successor sponsor in bulk condominium purchase during due diligence and all stages of submission of restated offering plan, contracts, closings, and guidance on various board matters.

New York Attorney General Investigations and Dispute Resolutions

  • Represent Manhattan condominium sponsor during multi-million-dollar unit owner construction defect dispute in all stages of negotiation of confidential settlement, including closure of investigation before the New York Attorney General’s Real Estate Finance Bureau.
  • Represent New York real estate brokerage during confidential investigation before the New York Attorney General’s Real Estate Finance Bureau.
  • Represent real estate professional during parallel civil and criminal investigation before the New York Attorney General’s Real Estate Finance Bureau and Real Estate Enforcement Unit involving alleged violations of the Rent Stabilization laws.
  • Represent Brooklyn condominium sponsor during unit owner construction defect dispute in all stages of negotiation of confidential settlement, including closure of investigation before the New York Attorney General’s Real Estate Finance Bureau.
  • Represent New York City property management company during confidential investigation before the New York Attorney General’s Housing Protection Unit involving alleged violations of various tenant protection laws.
  • Represent equity investor during ownership takeover of rent-regulated properties in ongoing investigation before the New York Attorney General’s Housing Protection Unit involving alleged violations of the Rent Stabilization laws.
  • Represent upstate property management company during confidential investigation before the New York State Department of State, Division of Licensing, involving real property law violations.

New York City and State Government Relations

  • Represent landlord in various negotiations before the Battery Park City Authority on ground rent issues.
  • Represent national not-for-profit organization before the New York Attorney General’s Office on policy matters involving syndications and co-housing.
  • Represent New York City not-for-profit organization before the New York Attorney General’s Office on policy matters involving the conversion of low-to-moderate income rental conversions to cooperative status.
  • Represent Mitchell-Lama cooperative before various state lawmakers on opposition to pending legislation.

Cooperative and Condominium Board Services

  • Represent West Village Houses in all stages of its conversion from an HDFC cooperative to market-rate status.
  • Represent 420-unit Brooklyn Mitchell-Lama cooperative in all stages of conversion under the Article II to Article XI Program.
  • Represent Upper East Side cooperative in bulk sale of shares to investor.
  • Represent tenant-owned and controlled Mitchell-Lama rental in all stages of conversion to HDFC cooperative.
  • Represent HDFC cooperative in amending its corporate documents to adopt new resale policy to ensure compliance with applicable laws in the absence of a regulatory agreement.

Publications

Select Presentations

  • “Educational Session: The Benefits of Community Land Trusts,” Westchester County Housing Opportunity Commission, October 31, 2021
  • “The Journey of NYC Affordable Housing,” AABANY Real Estate Committee virtual conference, June 23, 2021
  • Real Estate Opportunities in Upstate New York in Light of COVID-19,” Nixon Peabody Webinar, June 10, 2020
  • “AIAI P3 Solutions for Affordable and Workforce Housing,” Webinar, May 28, 2020
  • “Shifting Landscape: Understanding Recent Tenant Protection Laws and Initiatives in New York City,” NYU Furman Center Policy Breakfasts, New York, NY, October 15, 2019
  • “State Rent Regulation Changes: What Affordable Housing Developers Need to Know,” NYHC Housing Marketing & Rent Law Policy Symposium, New York, NY, September 10, 2019
  • “The Attorney General’s Office: A Discussion About New York’s Top Real Estate and Business Regulator,” September 2018
  • “Housing Issues in Focus: Evaluating Homeownership Options in Light of the Current City and State Housing Policies,” September 2017
  • “The Affordable Housing New York Program (421-a),” Real Estate. The Economy. The Trump Effect. How Changes in Markets, Taxes and Politics are Shaping our Real Estate World Seminar, hosted by NY Metro CCIM Chapter of the CCIM Institute and Stewart Title, May 2017
  • “Fair Housing: Still Fair?” 18th Annual New York State Association for Affordable Housing Conference, May 2017
  • “Navigating City Approval Processes,” 18th Annual New York State Association for Affordable Housing Conference, May 2017
  • “Current Issues in Affordable Housing in New York City: Alternative Model for Permanent Affordability—Community Land Trusts,” New York City Bar Association CLE, May 2017
  • “New York’s Condo Market,” Real Estate Finance & Investment Briefing, June 2016
  • “The Future of Affordable Housing in New York City 2016,” New York City Bar Association CLE, May 2016
  • “Special Briefing for HDFC Shareholders,” Hon. Gale Brewer, Manhattan Borough President, December 2015

Practical implications of transfer tax amendment

New York Law Journal | September 23, 2021

New York City Affordable Housing & Real Estate partner and Cooperatives & Condominiums team leader Erica Buckley contributed this article discussing New York State’s amendment to its estate transfer tax statute, its elimination of “grossing-up” which historically raised the total amount paid by the purchaser, and the amendment’s implications for attorneys of project sponsors.

Moving away from stress: Fleeing the big city for small town life

Bloomberg Law | September 09, 2021

New York City Affordable Housing & Real Estate partner and Cooperatives & Condominiums team leader Erica Buckley contributed this article on the efficiencies she gained while working from her upstate New York home during the pandemic, and how the new norms have allowed her to achieve better work-life balance while simultaneously expanding her practice.

How the New York AG can prevent a Surfside disaster in the Big Apple

Crain’s New York | August 12, 2021

Cooperatives & Condominiums team leader and New York City Affordable Housing & Real Estate partner Erica Buckley co-wrote this op-ed analyzing New York’s Martin Act and the ways in which the state’s attorney general can modify current regulations in order to prevent the kind of apartment building collapse that devastated Surfside, Florida.

Understanding the mortgage recording tax credit deadline suspension

New York Law Journal | June 23, 2021

Cooperatives & Condominiums team leader and New York City Affordable Housing & Real Estate partner Erica Buckley contributed this column on New York state’s mortgage recording tax credit, which offers relief to real estate professionals, and how the governor’s executive order suspending the deadline to take advantage of the credit will alleviate some of the marketplace disruptions caused by COVID-19.

Nixon Peabody Co-Op Leader Sees Strong Residential Sectors

Law360 | March 19, 2021

Cooperatives and Condominiums practice team leader and New York City partner Erica Buckley is featured in this Q&A article on her outlook for New York’s affordable and middle-market residential sectors during the pandemic. This story is part of a series spotlighting female real estate leaders during Women’s History Month.

The 2021 Law Power 100

City & State | March 16, 2021

Cooperatives & Condominiums practice team leader and New York City Affordable Housing & Real Estate partner Erica Buckley is included in this list of attorneys influencing New York’s political and government spheres.

Would new law allow for conversion of a hotel to a condominium?

New York Law Journal | March 08, 2021

In the latest installment of her “Ask the Former Regulator“ column, Cooperatives & Condominiums team leader and New York City Affordable Housing & Real Estate partner Erica Buckley discusses the Multiple Dwelling Law and the proposed law to allow the conversion of a hotel to a for-sale condominium.

Law firm forms practice group to tackle state AG probes

Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly | February 04, 2021

This feature article on the formation of NP’s State Attorneys General team quotes Boston Government Investigations & White Collar Defense partners Bill Codinha and Rob Fisher throughout the story on the team’s work both in Massachusetts and across the country. The article also quotes Litigation chair Scott O’Connell and mentions the team’s co-leaders, Affordable Housing & Real Estate partner Erica Buckley and Government Investigations & White Collar Defense partner Travis Hill, both in New York City.

Wake up call

Bloomberg Law | February 01, 2021

The launch of the firm’s State Attorneys General practice team is included in this roundup of notable legal news. The team is led by New York Affordable Housing & Real Estate partner Erica Buckley; New York partner Travis Hill and Boston partners Bill Codinha and Rob Fisher, of the Government Investigations & White Collar Defense group.

New York Lawyers for the Public Interest Names Anthony Karefa Rogers-Wright as Director of Environmental Justice

New York Law Journal | January 28, 2021

The launch of the firm’s State Attorneys General practice team is included in this roundup article of notable legal news. The team is led by New York Affordable Housing & Real Estate partner Erica Buckley; New York partner Travis Hill and Boston partners Bill Codinha and Rob Fisher, of the Government Investigations & White Collar Defense group.

Notable Women in Law

Crain’s New York | December 21, 2020

Cooperatives & Condominiums team leader and New York City partner Erica Buckley is featured in this article for being named one of the city’s “Notable Women in Law“ for the third year in a row.

When HDFC Shareholders Want To 'Go Private'

New York Law Journal | December 11, 2020

In the latest installment of her “Ask the Former Regulator“ column, New York City Affordable Housing and Real Estate partner Erica Buckley discusses whether a housing development fund company that operates as a housing cooperative can go private and what factors shareholders need to consider.

Real Estate Syndications - What You Need to Know

WRCN 103.9 FM Long Island Radio | October 04, 2020

Cooperatives & Condominiums practice team leader and New York Affordable Housing & Real Estate partner Erica Buckley was featured in this radio segment focusing on the Martin Act (one of the most exhaustive securities laws in the country), New York State filings and compliance, and investigation and enforcement by the New York Attorney General.

Relief for Condominium Sponsors Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic

New York Law Journal | July 16, 2020

In her latest “Ask the Former Regulator” column, New York City Affordable Housing & Real Estate partner Erica Buckley examines some of the limited relief afforded to condominium sponsors under the recent executive orders signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

On the Move

Albany Times Union | June 20, 2020

This roundup of notable executive news includes the appointment of New York City Cooperatives & Condominium practice team leader and partner Erica Buckley to co-chair of the New York State Bar Association’s Condominiums & Cooperatives Committee.

From Mitchell-Lama Rental, to HDFC Co-op, and Now to Free-Market

The Cooperator | June 16, 2020

This feature article on New York City’s first-ever Housing Development Fund Corporation cooperative dissolution and reconstitution to free-market status quotes Cooperatives & Condominiums practice team leader Erica Buckley and mentions Affordable Housing & Real Estate counsel Ruben Ravago, both of New York City, for advising West Village Houses.

West Village Houses Co-op Transitions From HDFC to Market Rate

Habitat | June 08, 2020

This feature article on New York City’s first-ever Housing Development Fund Corporation cooperative dissolution and reconstitution to free-market status quotes Cooperatives & Condominiums practice team leader Erica Buckley and mentions Affordable Housing & Real Estate counsel Ruben Ravago, both of New York City, for advising West Village Houses.

City's tax shortfall stems from the lack of homeownership

Crain’s New York | April 29, 2020

Cooperatives & Condominium practice team leader Erica Buckley contributed this op-ed on New York City’s real estate landscape during the pandemic, offering her outlook and appeal for affordable housing and home ownership.

Caution required if co-op and condo boards enlist volunteers

Habitat | March 26, 2020

New York City Affordable Housing and Real Estate partner Erica Buckley and counsel Ruben Ravago co-wrote this contributed article, based on their NP client alert, about the key issues condo boards and co-ops must consider before enlisting the assistance of volunteers during a pandemic.

COVID-19, executive orders and pending condo offering plans

New York Law Journal | March 23, 2020

In her latest “Ask the Former Regulator” column, New York City Affordable Housing and Real Estate partner Erica Buckley explains that the functions of New York government, including the Attorney General’s Real Estate Finance Bureau, are still in operation during the coronavirus shutdown, as most state employees continue to work remotely.

The 2020 Law Power 100

City and State | March 09, 2020

New York City Affordable Housing and Real Estate partner Erica Buckley appears on this City and State 2020 Law Power List, recognizing New York’s most politically powerful lawyers.

Everything you need to know about combining apartments in NYC

Brick Underground | February 19, 2020

This article features New York City Affordable Housing & Real Estate partner Erica Buckley talking about the process for condo and co-op owners who may want to buy a second unit in the same building to combine with their current home.

Cuomo veto spares condos, co-ops from paying prevailing wage

The Real Deal | February 13, 2020

New York City Affordable Housing and Real Estate partner Erica Buckley talks about Governor Andrew Cuomo’s veto of a bill that would’ve jeopardized property tax abatements for condos and co-ops that do not pay a prevailing wage to their building service workers.

Clarifying the Law on Escrow Accounts and Certificates of Occupancy

New York Law Journal | December 18, 2019

In her latest “Ask the Former Regulator” column, New York City Affordable Housing and Real Estate partner Erica Buckley answers a question from a condominium sponsor in New York City who is beginning to sell condo units with only a temporary certificate of occupancy.

Martin Act amendments: Threshold for effective offering plan

New York Law Journal | September 30, 2019

In the latest installment of her “Ask the Former Regulator” column, New York City Affordable Housing and Real Estate partner Erica Buckley analyzes new legislative language that changes the threshold for effective offering plans on rental conversions.

Inside Bernie Sanders’ $2.5T housing plan

The Real Deal | September 17, 2019

New York City Affordable Housing and Real Estate partner Erica Buckley comments on presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ proposed plan for increased federal funding for community land trusts, an arrangement in which nonprofits acquire land as a permanent location for affordable housing.

Co-op and condo tax abatements could be tied to staff pay

Habitat | July 11, 2019

This story quotes New York City Affordable Housing and Real Estate partner Erica Buckley on a controversial new bill headed to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s desk. The bill would require co-op and condo owners to pay their nonunion employees more than twice the minimum wage to qualify for a key tax abatement.

Unintended result of new rent law may be less home ownership

Crain’s New York | July 09, 2019

New York City Affordable Housing & Real Estate partner Erica Buckley wrote this op-ed outlining how a new law designed to protect tenants may actually reduce home ownership opportunities in the city, due to a provision making condo conversions more difficult.

New York Rent Law Sparks Response from Real Estate Industry

The Real Deal | July 01, 2019

This article features New York City Affordable Housing & Real Estate partner Erica Buckley discussing a new statewide housing law that could have a major impact of landlords’ ability to move forward with condo conversions.

Enforceability of shortened period for suing condo sponsor

New York Law Journal | June 04, 2019

New York City Affordable Housing and Real Estate partner Erica Buckley wrote this contributed column on the statute of limitations governing the length of time unit owners and condo boards have to sue a condo sponsor. The column is part of Erica’s regular series, “Ask the Former Regulator.”

The 2019 Law Power 50

City & State | May 13, 2019

New York City Affordable Housing and Real Estate partner and Cooperatives & Condominiums team leader Erica Buckley is included in this inaugural list of the 50 most influential lawyers in New York state.

‘Grossing Up’ and ‘Seller Concessions’: Advice for Sponsors

New York Law Journal | March 01, 2019

Cooperatives & Condominiums Practice Team Leader Erica Buckley, based in New York City, authored this “Ask the Former Regulator” column. The article discusses “grossing up” and “seller concessions” and what scenarios are permissible under the Martin Act in New York.

Number games: How developers inflate the height of their penthouses

The Real Deal | February 19, 2019

New York City Affordable Housing & Real Estate partner Erica Buckley is quoted in this story on the common practice of misnumbering residential floors in luxury condo developments to give the impression of a higher position in the building.

2019 Notable Women in Law

Crain’s New York | January 01, 2019

New York City Affordable Housing & Real Estate partners Erica Buckley and Tatiana Gutierrez are featured on this annual list honoring the top women in law in New York.

Contact

Erica F. Buckley

Partner

New York

Phone: 212-940-3733

Albany

Phone: 518-427-2731


Fax: 844-380-7135

City University of New York School of Law at Queens College, J.D.

State University of New York at Binghamton, B.A.

New York

Erica has received various accolades during her career. Most recently, Erica was featured on the City and State “The 2021 Law Power 100” list which recognizes the state’s most politically powerful lawyers. In 2019, Erica was awarded the Habitat for Humanity Leadership Volunteer Habby Award. She was also recognized by City & State New York as one of the state's “Power Law 50” attorneys which recognizes 50 of New York’s most influential attorneys outside of government who demonstrate and command an in-depth understanding of the laws governing their practices. She was also included in the Crain’s New York Business inaugural 2018 list recognizing “Leading Women Lawyers in New York City,“ and has since been recognized on the Crain’s 2021 list of “Notable Women in Law.”

Erica is a member of various industry organizations and holds leadership positions as co-chair of the New York State Bar Association Committee on Condominiums and Cooperatives, and is co-chair of the Real Estate Board of New York Housing Committee. Erica is also an active supporter of Habitat for Humanity New York City and Westchester, where she is a member of the Leadership Council.

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