Jonathan L. Mechanic is a partner of the Firm and is chairman of Fried Frank's real estate department. He first joined the Firm in 1978. He became a partner in 1987, when he rejoined the Firm after having acted for five years as general counsel and a managing director of Howard Ronson's HRO International Ltd., a real estate development organization responsible for the development of more than 2.5 million square feet of office space in Manhattan.
Mr. Mechanic routinely counsels developers, owners, investors, REITs and lenders in all aspects of commercial real estate transactions, including the acquisition, disposition and development of office, retail, hotel and mixed-use properties; commercial mortgage, mezzanine and construction financing; acquisition and sale of distressed debt; and joint ventures and restructurings. He also represents both landlords and tenants in commercial leasing and ground lease transactions.
Mr. Mechanic has taught the real estate transactions course at Harvard Law School for the last five years. He also lectures regularly for NYU Law School, the Real Estate Board of New York and the Practising Law Institute, and is a co-author of The Commercial Office Lease Handbook published by the American Bar Association.
Fried Frank's real estate department was awarded the Chambers USA Award for Excellence 2009 for Real Estate, an award which honors outstanding lawyers and law firms across the USA. In 2007 Mr. Mechanic was named a "Deal maker of the Year" by The American Lawyer and in 2006 he was the recipient of the Chambers USA Award for Excellence for Best Real Estate Lawyer. Mr. Mechanic is consistently recognized as a "Star" individual in real estate, a ranking given to attorneys with exceptional recommendations in their field, by Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business. He is consistently recognized as a leading lawyer by Legal 500 in Real Estate. He appeared on the cover and was featured in the 2007 edition of New York Super Lawyers. In March 2011, Mr. Mechanic was named one of the "Most Influential Lawyers" by The National Law Journal. He was also named a 2011 "MVP Lawyer of the Year" by Law360, and is consistently included on The New York Observer's "Power 1 00" list of the most powerful people in New York real estate.
In addition, Real Estate Weekly recognized Mr. Mechanic in its 2008 All Stars edition, which honors real estate industry leaders. He was also honored with the Kenneth R. Gerrety Humanitarian Award at the Real Estate Board of New York's 112th annual banquet and received the National Jewish Health Humanitarian Award in 2009. In December 2011, Mr. Mechanic was awarded the Judge Joseph M. Proskauer Award by UJA-Federation of New York. Over the years, he has also been honored for his philanthropic activities by Israel Bonds, the Modell Foundation, ORT, The Association for the Help of Retarded Children, Albert Einstein Medical College, the Police Athletic League and The Salvadori Center.
Mr. Mechanic is a member of the Executive Committee, Board of Governors for the Real Estate Board of New York; the Board of Trustees of NYU Law School; the American Bar Association; the National Realty Committee; Real Estate Roundtable; American College of Real Estate Lawyers; YMWREA; and the New York City Bar Association. He is also on the advisory board of the NYU Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy and the NYU Schack Institute of Real Estate. He is a board member of The Eldridge Street Synagogue; The Jeffrey Modell Foundation; the Realty Foundation of New York; and National Jewish Hospital.
Mr. Mechanic received his JD from New York University School of Law in 1977, where he served as an editor of the Law Review and was elected to the Order of the Coif, and his BA, magna cum laude, from Brandeis University in 197 4. He is admitted to practice in New York.