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Audrey A. Ellis

Area of Focus: CMBS
Audrey's practice over the last two decades has been focused on the CMBS loan industry with an emphasis on representing CMBS loan servicers in all aspects of CMBS loan servicing, including assisting our clients with servicing practices, procedures, and standards and business and legal issues involving pooling and servicing agreements, mezzanine loans, preferred equity, intercreditor and co-lender agreements, REMIC and rating agency reviews.

Audrey has also handled thousands of loan servicing files involving loan assumptions, consents to non-permitted equity transfers, partial releases, easements, collateral swaps and redevelopment, cash management, condemnations, loan modifications, deeds in lieu of foreclosure and other loan workouts.
Q & A
How has your legal experience been valuable to your clients?
I have spent most of my legal career working in the CMBS servicing space and, therefore, I do and can share my expertise in this area with existing and new clients. My expertise in this area and the long term relationships with industry participants that I have developed can help expedite the post securitization servicing process.
How have you used your knowledge and experience to advance the industry?
As creator and chair of a Task Force of the Servicer's Forum of the Commercial Real Estate Finance Council ("CREFC"), the largest CMBS loan industry group, I have used my knowledge and experience to lead a group of servicers and their counsel to develop standardized underwriting and legal checklists for loan assumptions which has just been adopted by CREFC as one of their best practices, with the goal being to streamline the post-securitization servicing process. We intend to continue our work to establish best practices for other post securitization borrower consent requests.

I have also been very involved with educating and training attorneys, clients and other industry participants by moderating two CREFC After-Work Seminars and conducting numerous in-firm and client training seminars.
What accomplishments at Bilzin Sumberg are you most proud of?

I am most proud of the growth of our CMBS Group and the high quality services that we provide to our clients. This has been, in part, due to my focus in the CMBS space and to my ability to train new and experienced attorneys and clients in CMBS best practices, procedures and efficiencies. 

Representation of one of the country's largest special servicers regarding its consent to transfer all beneficial ownership interests in several borrowers to a company that became a publicly traded REIT pursuant to a $400 million IPO. The REIT owns over 1,000 properties leased to over 150 single pro...
Representation of special servicers in connection with billions of dollars of loan assumptions and equity transfers, involving loan modifications to reserve requirements, permitted transfer language and other provisions of the loan documents, forward and reverse 1031 exchanges, post-securitization m...
Representation of national real estate investment company regarding purchase of $120 million property in New York, funded by a combination of a $60 million loan assumption, a $25 million preferred equity investment and the balance in cash.
Representation of servicers in numerous loan assumption or consent transactions involving publicly traded REITs as purchasers or transferees. Our representation included understanding the modifications to the loan documents to address unique REIT issues, such as the permitted transfers REITs require...
Representation of CMBS servicer in evaluating, structuring, and consenting to $18 million preferred equity investment in indirect owner of a CMBS borrower under a $92 million loan facility secured by a major urban redevelopment project in Cleveland, Ohio.
  • University of Miami, J.D., cum laude, editorial board of the University of Miami Law Review, 1985
    University of Florida, B.S., with high honors, 1981
  • American Bar Association
    Real Property, Probate & Trust Law Section
    CRE Finance Council
    Chair, Performing Loan Borrower Consents Standardization Working Group of Servicer Forum
    Dade County Bar Association
    The Florida Bar
    Real Property, Probate & Trust Law Section
  • Florida
  • Florida Trends Legal Elite, 2011- present

    Florida Super Lawyers, 2006 - 2008, 2013 - 2014

    AV Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell