Joseph M. Hernandez

Hablo EspaƱol
Area of Focus: Real Estate
"Joseph knows the field. He is someone who works to get the deals done for their client and does not over-lawyer a particular aspect. Joseph is negotiating things on a cost-effective basis." - Chambers USA source
Joseph M. Hernandez

Drawing on his prior experience as a banker and general counsel for a private equity firm, Joe Hernandez counsels a variety of clients in negotiating and structuring complex commercial real estate transactions. He represents real estate developers, financial institutions, private equity firms, family offices and public entities in all phases of such transactions, with deals across the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean. He handles acquisitions, development, financing, leasing, joint ventures, and advises clients on raising capital for real estate projects.

He also represents developers and investors in the area of condominium redevelopment, which oftentimes involves the bulk-acquisition of condominium units and the complex process of terminating an existing condominium. He helps clients navigate all stages of the process, from due diligence, joint venture structuring, structuring bulk-acquisitions and termination strategies, to acquisition financing, construction financing, and mezzanine financings that facilitate the redevelopment.

Joe is a Fellow of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers (ACREL), a prestigious fellowship reserved for lawyers distinguished for their skill, experience and high standards of professional and ethical conduct in the practice of real estate law. He also serves as Chair of ACREL’s Common Interest Ownership Committee.

Q & A
How does your professional experience outside of private practice inform your counsel to clients?
My clients frequently cite my background as both a banker, and general counsel for a private equity firm, as important in my ability to render them insightful counsel. The banking experience provided me with the perspective and understanding of the business side of every transaction I work on, going beyond strictly legal parameters to consider how my recommendations may affect the financial well-being of the client. Meanwhile, my general counsel background has accustomed me to think strategically about client matters where I adopt a long-term view of their business goals and tailor my legal advice to cover the wider operational implications that a given transaction may have.  Also, as general counsel, I engaged attorneys and law firms and have a keen understanding of the need to provide real value to clients.
What is an important trend that you see shaping real estate development in Florida?
The redevelopment of aging condominiums will certainly be on the rise in the coming years. In May of 2022, Florida enacted new legislation in response to the Champlain Towers South tragedy to address safety concerns for condominiums and cooperative buildings. The most substantive effect of this law is that it will cause a dramatic increase in assessments for a large number of unit owners across the state. This will incentivize many of them to sell their property to developers, as they look to avoid the costly repair and retrofitting work that will now be mandatory for some older buildings. Consequently, I expect to see a sustained uptick in bulk-acquisitions, condominium terminations and redevelopment activities, which will require experienced counsel familiar with the complexities of condominiums and their unit owner-controlled associations.
  • University of Miami, J.D., cum laude, 1996
    University of Florida, B.S.B.A., 1987
  • American College of Real Estate Lawyers

    Common Interest Ownership Committee, Chair

    University of Miami

    School of Law
      Adjunct Professor, Real Property Development LLM Program
      Member, Real Property Development LLM Advisory Board

    American Bar Association

    Real Property Section

    The Florida Bar

    Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section

    Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce
    Leadership Miami, Class of 2001
    Junior Achievement of Greater Miami

    Former Chairman of the Board and Executive Committee Member
    Board of Directors, Member

  • Florida
  • Chambers USA, Real Estate - South Florida, 2022 - present

    The Best Lawyers in America, Real Estate Law, 2019 - present

    Florida Trend’s Legal Elite, 2007-2012; 2020, 2022

    Daily Business Review, Dealmaker of the Year Award, 2015