Amy M. Williams began working in commercial real estate twenty years ago, at a boutique Chicago law firm that represented retail landlords, following which she worked at what is now Sills Cummis & Gross, in Newark, New Jersey, where she was involved in the acquisition, leasing, and disposition of commercial real property, as well as the real estate aspects of corporate mergers and acquisitions. Thereafter, Amy transitioned to a litigation practice at Riker, Danzig, Scherer, Hyland & Perretti, in Morristown, New Jersey, litigating a wide variety of real estate-related disputes, including construction litigation, breach of contract claims, and actions for specific performance. She returned to a transactional practice when she joined the New York City office of Sutherland, Asbill & Brennan, representing national clients in the acquisition, financing, development, leasing, and disposition of commercial real estate.
In September of 2008, Amy left big firm practice to become one of the founding members of what is now the Williams Legal Advisory Group, LLC, where she continues her transactional practice, focusing primarily on retail properties. Among other clients and matters, Amy acts as outside acquisition, asset management, and financing counsel to several real estate developers, asset managers, and real estate investment trusts with properties located throughout the United States. On occasion, Amy also acts litigation counsel, mostly to existing transactional clients, when those clients become involved in real-estate related legal disputes in state and federal court throughout the country. As a complement to her focus on retail real estate, Amy also represents clients in construction and development matters, as well as the negotiation of office and warehouse leases on behalf of both landlords and tenants for properties and premises that range from 500 square foot office suites to million square foot warehousing and distribution facilities. As a result, Amy’s clients range from private individuals to Fortune 50 companies.
For four years, from 2010 to 2014, Amy was appointed to and served on the New Jersey Supreme Court Committee on Women in the Courts. In 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016, after being nominated by her peers, Super Lawyers® named Amy a “New Jersey Rising Star” in the area of real estate. Under Amy’s direction as the firm’s Diversity and Inclusion Officer, the firm has been certified since 2010 as a women-owned business enterprise by both the State of New Jersey and State of New York. Amy also has been a lecturer at Rutgers University School of Law – Newark and is an accredited Continuing Legal Education instructor in Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island in the areas of commercial leasing, federal law, and appellate practice.
Amy served as a judicial law clerk to The Honorable Katharine S. Hayden, U.S.D.J., and a judicial intern to The Honorable Harold A. Ackerman, U.S.S.D.J., both of the District of New Jersey. She is admitted to practice in the State of New Jersey and in the United States District Court, District of New Jersey. Amy is a member of the American Bar Association, National Association of Women Lawyers, New Jersey State Bar Association, and New York State Bar Association.
Barbara A. Schwartz primarily focuses her practice in all facets of commercial leasing, with a particular expertise in retail leasing. She is critical to the comprehensive leasing objectives of the firm’s national real estate clients, providing a seamless and strategic platform for their leasing processes and pipeline.
Prior to joining the firm, Barbara worked for several regional, national, and international law firms for more than twenty years where she represented a wide variety of clients, advising them on business and legal matters relating to their real estate holdings and interests. Specifically, Barbara spent nearly six years working in the New Jersey office of Greenberg Traurig, LLP, where she represented both landlords and tenants in office and retail leasing transactions and acted as lead leasing counsel for a shopping center landlord’s redevelopment of a regional mall in southern California. Barbara also worked at three law firms in New York, Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson, Stroock Stroock & Lavan, and Cyruli Shanks Hart & Zizmor, where she represented major metropolitan New York City landlords in their office and retail leasing transactions, tenants in leasing transactions, and purchasers and sellers of commercial properties, as well as conducted closings for multi-property and portfolio transactions. Barbara began her legal career following law school (and returned for a second four-year stint later in her career) at what is now Sills Cummis & Gross in Newark, New Jersey where she represented landlords and tenants in office and retail leasing transactions and purchasers and sellers of commercial property, including shopping malls, as well as conducted title reviews and advised clients and conducted closings in connection with a multitude of real estate transactions.
Kathleen A. Crocco focuses her practice in all facets of complex commercial real estate transactions, including shopping center development, acquisitions, dispositions, and commercial condominium transactions, with a specialty in retail and office leasing.
Prior to joining the firm in 2016, for nearly a decade, Kathy held the position of Senior Vice President - Leasing Counsel at SL Green Realty Corp., a publicly-traded, self-administered and self-managed REIT headquartered in New York City where she directed and managed a team responsible for all leasing transactions and operational issues relating to SL Green’s portfolio of over 30 million square feet of real estate. Before her tenure at SL Green, Kathy was Vice President - Retail & Real Estate Counsel for Ralph Lauren Corporation, where she spearheaded all aspects of the company’s real estate operations, including all retail, office, and warehouse transactions, as well as all real estate-related litigation. Kathy also was Chair of Ralph Lauren’s Retail Diversity Council, which identified and addressed diversity issues throughout the entire Ralph Lauren portfolio. Before holding in-house positions with both a developer and a retailer, Kathy worked at what is now the law firm of Sills Cummis & Gross, in Newark, New Jersey, where she was involved in the acquisition, leasing, and disposition of commercial real property, including the creation of commercial condominiums and real estate aspects of corporate transactions. During her tenure at Sills Cummis, Kathy represented several “big box” national retailers in the leasing, acquisition, and development of stores in New York, New Jersey, New England, and the Southeast and represented one of New Jersey’s top developers in the leasing of two 500,000 square foot shopping centers in Central New Jersey. Kathy’s broad range of experience, working for a law firm as well as for both a developer and retailer, gives her a unique perspective to understand all aspects of a transaction and to facilitate successfully moving sometimes protracted and contentious negotiations forward.
Kathy is a member of the Real Estate Board of New York and is an active member of the International Conference of Shopping Centers (ICSC), where she serves on the ICSC U.S. Shopping Center Law Conference Program Planning Committee. Kathy has also conducted classes at the ICSC Law for Non-Lawyers Seminar and Executive Learning Series in New York City, and has been a speaker and roundtable leader at numerous ICSC U.S. law conferences.
Immediately after law school, Kathy served as a judicial law clerk to The Honorable Naomi G. Eichen, in the Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey and prior thereto, as a legal intern for the United States Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York. She is admitted to practice in both New Jersey and New York.
Prior to joining the firm in 2015, Dorian served as the judicial law clerk to The Hon. Greta Gooden Brown, Presiding Judge of the Family Division of the Passaic Vicinage of the Superior Court of New Jersey, where he conducted legal research and drafted memoranda addressing criminal law and family law issues and civil contempt, and judicial ethics matters. Dorian also served regularly a mediator in landlord tenant actions, small claims actions, and actions regarding custody and child support. While at the Williams Legal Advisory Group, Dorian has become a key member of our real estate practice and plays a critical role in our due diligence team, preparing, coordinating, and assessing large-scale pre-acquisition tenant estoppel processes and spearheading post-acquisition tenant notices, among other things. Dorian is expanding his role in leasing matters, drafting inline leases and lease amendments and representing landlords in lease disputes and rent defaults. He is also often involved in real estate litigation including legal research and brief writing, as well as discovery.
Dorian Smith is a graduate of Rutgers University School of Law - Newark, where he served on the Rutgers Moot Court Board. During Law School, Dorian also was selected to be a member of the school's Jessup International Law Competition team where he competed in the largest moot court competition in the world. Dorian was also a member of the school's special education clinical program, where he represented parents and students seeking educational services and pursuing claims under the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act.
After law school, but prior to his clerkship, Dorian became a law and policy coordinator with The Citizens Campaign, a nonprofit organization that works with local citizens to influence and work with their local governments. In that role, Dorian researched and analyzed laws and policies in order to develop and promote legislation and practices that would positively impact local communities in an economical, but effective manner. He also met with local citizens, community leaders, and representatives from community-based organizations to develop solutions to local problems in areas of government reform, public safety, education, and fiscal responsibility.