Amy M. Williams leads the Williams Legal Advisory Group, LLC as its founding and managing member. She first began working in the field of commercial real estate twenty-five years ago at a boutique Chicago law firm before moving to New Jersey and working at what is now Sills Cummis & Gross, in Newark, where she was involved in the acquisition, leasing, and disposition of commercial real property, as well as the real estate aspects of 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, before returning again to a transactional practice when she joined the New York City office of what is now Eversheds Sutherland, representing clients in the leasing, acquisition, financing, and development of commercial real estate.
In September of 2008, Amy left big firm practice to become one of the founding members of the firm, where she continues her primarily transactional practice, focusing on representing the owners, operators, and developers of retail and mixed use properties. Among other clients and matters, Amy acts as outside general counsel to a national real estate investment manager, counseling that client in the operation, leasing, construction and redevelopment, and risk and asset management of its portfolio of properties throughout the United States. She also acts as asset management counsel and leasing counsel to various national asset managers and owners of retail and other commercial properties. As a result of many years of negotiating leases both on behalf of regional and national tenants and landlords, Amy enjoys a long-standing and strong working relationship with many lawyers in the field across the country, often bringing to the table a valuable balance of zealous representation without unnecessary friction, all aimed at efficiency, productivity, and forward deal progress. When things become adversarial, however, Amy's litigation experience uniquely allows her also to act as litigation counsel, almost exclusively to existing transactional clients, when those clients become involved in legal disputes in state and federal courts throughout the country.
From 2010 to 2014, Amy served on the New Jersey Supreme Court Committee on Women in the Courts and under Amy's direction as the firm's Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Williams Legal Advisory Group, LLC has been certified since 2010 as a women-owned business enterprise by both the State of New Jersey and State of New York, and as of 2019, has also been so certified by the City of New York. Amy 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
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, in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, and in the United States District Court, District of New Jersey, and has appeared pro hac vice in various state and federal courts throughout the country. Amy is a member of the American Bar Association and the New Jersey 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 on retail and office leasing at shopping center developments, mixed-use projects, office towers, and urban assets throughout the United States. In addition to an active law practice, Kathy is active in the commercial real estate industry generally, both locally and nationally, as a member of the Real Estate Board of New York and as a member of the International Conference of Shopping Centers (ICSC). We are proud to acknowledge, honor, and support Kathy in 2020 when she serves as the Chair of the ICSC U.S. Shopping Center Law Conference.
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 there in-house positions, 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 in-house for both a developer and retailer, gives her a unique perspective in understanding all aspects of a transaction and in successfully moving sometimes protracted and contentious negotiations forward.
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. Kathy is admitted to practice in both New Jersey and New York.
Dylan J. Mruczinski is the newest addition to the Williams Legal Advisory Group, LLC, joining the firm as a law clerk following his graduation from law school in May, 2019 and becoming an Associate at the firm shortly thereafter, after passing the bar exam and being admitted to practice law in the State of New Jersey. Already, Dylan has become involved with the firm's leasing and asset management practice, regularly assisting with the drafting of lease amendments and other ancillary lease documents, preparing lease abstracts and performing other lease reviews, conducting acquisition due diligence and estoppel review, and preparing various operational contracts for vendor and professional services at our clients' retail and office properties.
We anticipate that Dylan will leverage his business and finance background to become involved in the acquisition, disposition, and finance aspects of our clients' legal needs, as well as expand his involvement in the operational and leasing representation of investment and asset management clients and other leasing and property owning clients of the firm.
As the newest addition to our team, Dylan complements the heft of the firm's three senior lawyers, allowing the Williams Legal Advisory Group to allocate its workload and resources to put each of our team members to his or her highest and best use in the most cost-effective and productive manner for the benefit of each of our clients.