Miami, FL Bilzin Sumberg Baena Price & Axelrod LLP is pleased to announce that Scott L. Baena, Chair of the firm's Restructuring & Bankruptcy Group, James W. Shindell, Chair of the firm's Real Estate Group and Marshall R. Pasternack, partner in the firm's Corporate & Securities Group, were selected by the Daily Business Review as "Top Dealmakers of the Year." Additionally, Jay M. Sakalo, and Steven D. Lear, partners in the Restructuring & Bankruptcy and Corporate & Securities Groups, respectively, were recognized as finalists. The distinction, a true testament to the quality and depth of experience the firm offers, solidifies Bilzin Sumberg's reputation as one of South Florida's top-tier law firms, handling some of the largest and most complex deals this past year.
Mr. Baena had the distinct honor of winning the Distressed/Restructuring category for his representation of Fontainebleau Las Vegas Holdings, LLC and two of its affiliates in a high-profile Chapter 11 case in the Southern District of Florida. Mr. Baena served as lead debtors counsel in what is considered one of the largest and most complex bankruptcy cases filed in Florida in a number of years. At the time of the filing, the debtors were in the process of constructing the Fontainebleau Las Vegas Hotel and Casino project on the Las Vegas strip. The debtors borrowed greater than $1.8 billion of debt, expended $500 million of equity contributions in the construction of the project and were in the midst of prosecuting claims against certain of its lenders for failure to provide $800 million of additional financing that was committed to Fontainebleau. Earlier this year, Mr. Baena represented the client in the subsequent sale of assets for approximately $150 million to Icahn Nevada Gaming Acquisition LLC, an affiliate of Carl Icahn's, Icahn Enterprises LP.
Mr. Shindell and Mr. Pasternack won the Real Estate Hotel category for their successful representation of SBR-Fortune Associates, LLLP, a partnership between the entities affiliated with Sonesta Hotel Corporation and Fortune International, Inc., in connection with its $78 million sale of the Sonesta Beach Hotel site on Key Biscayne, Florida. The hotel was sold to Argentine development group, Key Biscayne Consultatio, LLC, an affiliate of Consultatio S.A. The sale, one of the largest land deals conducted in south Florida since the real estate market's downturn, included the transfer of rights to redevelop the approximately 10.5 acre site as a 165-unit ultra luxury condominium.
Mr. Sakalo and Mr. Lear were both named finalists in the Distressed/Restructuring category. Mr. Sakalo was recognized for his complex representation of Real Estate Investment Ventures, LLC (REIV), a real estate investment company and second-lien lender in the Mercedes Homes, Inc. chapter 11 reorganization. Mr. Lear earned a finalist position for the reorganization out of bankruptcy of LandSource Communities Development LLC, one of Lennar Corporations strategic joint ventures, into a debt-free entity renamed Newhall Land Development Company, LLC.