BNA's Real Estate Law & Industry Report recently published a five-page in-depth interview with Venable Real Estate Practice Group co-chair Kevin L. Shepherd. Shepherd, who is the newly elected President of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers (ACREL), spoke with BNA about the challenges facing commercial real estate attorneys and his plans as the new head of ACREL.
In the interview, Shepherd enumerated some major objectives for ACREL in 2010, including a planned increase in communication to ACREL fellows, in-house counsel and law professors; more value messaging to the legal industry and business community; raising the profile of ACREL's brand; and creating more synergy with other real estate bar-related organizations.
Shepherd also spoke about ACREL's response to the economic crisis, saying, "we've been pretty nimble in terms of identifying the changes that will affect our real estate careers and practices, and how we can best adapt to that in this environment."
When asked about hot topics in CRE law, Shepherd pointed out the general lack of activity in commercial real estate and the changing career paths of lawyers during a recession as issues ACREL is working to address. According to Shepherd, the challenge of dealing with distressed real estate is also an issue.
"There's a pretty big overhang right now in terms of loans that have to be refinanced in 2010, 2011, 2012, and I think that's going to keep a lot of real estate lawyers busy, but it remains to be seen how that actually plays out in the next two or three years," said Shepherd.