Leopold Z. Sher
Mr. Sher is a business lawyer whose practice is concentrated in commercial real estate and business and finance law. He also practices in the areas of: commercial litigation, creditors' rights, workouts and foreclosures, commercial bankruptcy, disaster recovery, arbitration and mediation, secured finance and asset based lending. Along with his practice, Mr. Sher is actively involved with many professional and trade organizations, including the American College of Real Estate Lawyers, where he served as Treasurer and a member of the Executive Board; the Anglo American Real Property Institute (an organization limited in its membership to the top 50 real estate practitioners in the United States and the top 50 real estate practitioners in the United Kingdom) where he served as Treasurer and a member of the Governing Board; the Real Property Section of the American Bar Association, where Mr. Sher has served in many positions, including the Section's governing Council and as the Section Delegate to the ABA House of Delegates; the American College of Commercial Finance Lawyers, which selects its members (fellows) from those attorneys in the United States who serve the asset based lending industry; the American College of Mortgage Attorneys; the Business Section of the American Bar Association, particularly the Commercial Financial Services Committee of the Section; and the American Law Institute, where he is currently serving as a member of the Members Consultative Group on the Restatement Third, The U.S. Law of Commercial Arbitration Committee. Mr. Sher is an arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association, with a special designation for arbitrating Commercial Disputes. Mr. Sher also serves on the Tulane Law School Dean's Advisory Board, whose purpose is to serve as an advisory and consultative group to the Dean of the Law School, bringing the perspective of alumni and other friends of the Law School to bear on matters of Law School policy, activities, programs and goals, and acts as an advocate to assist the Dean in advancing the interest of the school. He also is currently a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers, a trade association that represents the interests of those involved in the shopping center industry, including lenders, tenants, owners and developers. From 1986 to 1999, Mr. Sher was also a member of the Lenders' Counsel Group of the American Land Title Association (ALTA), a group limited to 75 lending lawyers who met in conjunction with the ALTA, the title insurance industry trade association.
Over the years, Mr. Sher has been actively involved in virtually every type of major business, real estate and finance transaction representing various and diverse interests as follows: major lenders, including life insurance companies, banks, finance companies and other asset based lenders, savings and loans and other lenders such as Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITS), Real Estate Mortgage Investment Conduits (REMICS) [conduit lending], and CMBS (Commercial Mortgage Backed Securities) lenders for all categories of loans and lending arrangements including private and public financing, industrial development bond financing, public/private partnerships, New Markets Tax Credits financing, and Urban Development Action Grants); commercial developers, including developers of shopping centers, hotels, office buildings, apartment complexes, free standing retail establishments, industrial properties, condominiums, golf courses, Planned Unit Developments, historic rehabilitations, mixed-use projects, conversions, parking lots and garages, warehouses, and other traditional and nontraditional (facade donations, air rights transactions, etc.) real estate projects; businesses, including representation related to the buying and selling of businesses, structuring transactions, joint ventures and other combinations, general business advice and major contracts; landlords and tenants, which representation includes drafting of form leases and negotiation of lease agreements, construction, operation and reciprocal easement (servitude) agreements and other agreements that affect real property; owners and purchasers, which representation includes drafting and negotiation of purchase and sale agreements, construction contracts, development agreements, and acquisition and disposition in bulk of multiple properties. Mr. Sher has also represented major national and international clients in the food service, hospital, title insurance and oil and gas industries.
On behalf of clients of the firm, Mr. Sher regularly practices before and works closely with political entities and public administrative boards and agencies, at the local, parish (county), state and national levels.
Mr. Sher has spoken extensively, both locally and nationally, on many diverse subjects including marine pollution/offshore oil leak disasters, capital markets, real estate finance, government bailouts, disaster recovery, insurance, zoning, land use, expropriation/condemnation/eminent domain, environmental law, limited liability companies, workouts, leases, title insurance, asset based lending, lending, lender liability, civil forfeiture, distressed real estate, brokerage agreements, arbitration and other areas related to his practice. Since Hurricane Katrina, Mr. Sher has spoken extensively all over the country to various business groups, professional organizations, and trade associations on disaster recovery, disaster planning and disaster management. Mr. Sher participates annually in the Tulane Law School Intersession "Transactional Boot Camp" program. He also regularly speaks on ethics and professionalism at the New Orleans Bar Association Procrastinator’s CLE Program.
Mr. Sher is active in the community, currently serving as a board member of the Arts Council of New Orleans and the New Orleans Opera Association, where he serves as Secretary for 2016-2017.
Areas of Practice
- Commercial Real Estate
- Business and Finance Law
- Commercial Litigation
- Creditors' Rights
- Workouts and Foreclosures
- Commercial Bankruptcy
- Disaster Recovery
- Arbitration and Mediation
- Louisiana, 1976
- U.S. District Court Eastern District of Louisiana, 1976
- U.S. District Court Middle District of Louisiana, 1976
- U.S. District Court Western District of Louisiana, 1976
- U.S. Court of Appeals 5th Circuit, 1976
- U.S. Supreme Court
- Tulane Law School, New Orleans, Louisiana
- Honors: Moot Court
- Tulane University, New Orleans, LA, USA
- B.A. (Cum Laude) - 1974
- Honors: Phi Beta Kappa
- Major: Political Science
- Mr. Sher is now teaching a course in contract drafting at Tulane University Law School. This is the first time the course has ever been offered at the law school, and is limited to 30 students, even though 90 students signed up for the course. This is a three-hour, graded course, comprised mainly of 3L students in their last semester at Tulane, introducing students to the principles, processes and techniques for drafting standard commercial business contracts. Mr. Sher is teaching students how to translate business deals into typical contracts, emphasizing how transactional attorneys aim to manage risks, minimize ambiguity, and draft with clarity.
- New York, New York: A Multi-Topic CLE Seminar, “Issues with Arbitration Clauses,” and “Choice of Law vs. Forum Selection” , Louisiana State Bar Association, November 19, 2016 - November 21, 2016
- Mr. Sher has spoken on the following topics: Expropriation/Condemnation/Eminent Domain, Capital Markets, Ethics, Real Estate Finance, Government Bailouts, Asset Based Lending, Disaster Recovery, Environmental Law, Limited Liability Companies, Workouts, Leases, Title Insurance, Lender Liability, Civil Forfeiture, Distressed Real Estate, Brokerage Agreements and Arbitration. Mr. Sher participates annually in the Tulane Law School Intersession "Transactional Boot Camp" program. He also regularly speaks on ethics and professionalism at the New Orleans Bar Association Procrastinator’s CLE Program.
Honors and Awards
- Louisiana Super Lawyers 2007-2017, recognized in the New Orleans Top 50 (2013-2017), Louisiana Top 10 (2007-2012, 2014-2017) and Louisiana Top 50 (2007-2017)
- Lawyer of the Year, Best Lawyers in America, 2011, 2012, 2014-2017
- Best Lawyers in America since 2006 with special designations, during 2016 or a prior year, in Administrative / Regulatory Law, Banking and Finance Law, Commercial Litigation, Corporate Compliance Law, Corporate Governance Law, Corporate Law, Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law, Equipment Finance Law, Financial Services Regulation Law, Franchise Law, Land Use and Zoning Law, Litigation - Banking and Finance, Litigation - Land Use and Zoning, Litigation – Municipal, Litigation - Real Estate, Mortgage Banking Foreclosure Law, Municipal Law, Non-Profit / Charities Law, Project Finance Law, Real Estate Law and Securitization and Structured Finance Law, 2006-2016
- Lawdragon 500 named Mr. Sher one of its Leading Lawyers in America, 2007-2016 and one of its Top Managing Partners You Need to Know for 2008. Lawdragon also named Mr. Sher a Lawdragon Legend, 2016.
- Nation’s Top One Percent, National Association of Distinguished Counsel, 2016
- Chambers and Partners 2004 - 2016 USA Rankings in Real Estate (Band 1) – Chambers sources stated that “The well-respected Leopold Sher has a varied business practice with a strong focus on finance and commercial real estate. He has a strong track record in representing banks, REITs, insurance companies and real estate developers.” Furthermore, 2016 Chambers sources wrote, "Leopold Sher focuses his practice on commercial real estate matters for a broad clientele. He has experience in project financing, drafting agreements and title insurance issues." Sources name him "a strong, good lawyer and a smart guy."
- Who’s Who Legal Real Estate Directory - Leading Real Estate Lawyer, 2015
- New Orleans City Business has awarded Mr. Sher the first annual Leadership in Law Award for 2005, as one of the top 50 Lawyers in New Orleans, 2005
Professional Associations and Memberships
- American Law Institute, Member, Consultative Group for Compliance, Enforcement, and Risk Management for Corporations, Nonprofits, and Other Organizations, 2016
- Super Lawyers Advisory Board, Member, 2014 - Present
- American College of Real Estate Lawyers, Board of Governors, Treasurer, Member
- American College of Mortgage Attorneys, Member
- American Arbitration Association, Panel of Arbitrators, Member
- Anglo American Real Property Institute, U.S. Group, Treasurer
- American College of Commercial Finance Lawyers, Member
- American Law Institute, Member; Member Consultative Group for Rest. Third, The U.S. Law of International Commercial Arbitration
- Tulane Law School Dean's Advisory Board, Member
- Arts Council of New Orleans, Board of Directors, 2010 - Present
- New Orleans Opera Association, Secretary - Present
- Lender's Counsel Group of the American Land Title Association (ALTA), Member
- American Bar Association, Real Property Section, Governing Counsel, Section Delegate to the House of Delegate, Member
- American Bar Association, Special Committee on Disaster Response and Preparedness, 2011 - Present
- Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law's Task Force on Real Property Law School Curriculum Committee, 2009-2010
- American Bar Association Judicial Division, Member, 2009 - Present
- American Bar Association, Business Section, Commercial Financial Services Committee, Member
- American College of Mortgage Attorneys, Member, 2000 - Present
- International Council of Shopping Centers, Member
- American Bar Foundation, Member
- Academy of Hospitality Industry Attorneys, Member
- Association of Commercial Finance Attorneys, Inc., Member
- American Bankruptcy Institute, Member
- Federal Bar Association, Member
- New Orleans Bar Association, Member
- CCIM, Louisiana Chapter Commercial Real Estate, Member
- Louisiana Land Title Association, Member
- Louisiana Bankers Association, Member
Past Employment Positions
- McGlinchey Stafford Law Firm, Member, 1976 - 1999
Pro Bono Activities
- New Orleans Bar Association’s representative to The Pro Bono Project