Robin Panovka is Co-Head of Real Estate and REIT M&A at Wachtell Lipton. He specializes in complex M&A and strategic real estate transactions, including leading several of the largest REIT mergers, buyouts and restructurings completed in recent years; large-scale private equity transactions and fund formations in the U.S., Europe and Asia; and the redevelopment of the World Trade Center in Manhattan and other major projects.
Panovka has been named one of the LawDragon 500 leading lawyers in the U.S., and is consistently ranked as one of the leading REIT and real estate M&A lawyers by Chambers, Legal 500, Who's Who Legal and similar publications. He has also been featured in a number of publications for his leadership in real estate and M&A, including as an American Lawyer “Dealmaker” for his work on a transformative M&A transaction.
Panovka is the co-author of "REITs: Mergers and Acquisitions," a leading treatise published by Law Journal Press, and has authored many articles and papers on related subjects. He is co-chair of the NYU REIT Center and has served as an adjunct professor at Columbia Business and Law Schools and in NYU’s Masters in Real Estate Program. He is a founding director of the International Institute for the Study of Cross-Border M&A (XBMA), a joint venture among Peking University, Cambridge and NYU, and has co-chaired its symposia in Beijing, Cambridge and New York. He speaks frequently on topics in his fields, including chairing annual conferences for the NYU REIT Center, Practising Law Institute and XBMA.
Panovka is active in a number of non-profit and educational programs, including serving on the boards of Harlem Educational Activities Fund (HEAF), NYU’s Real Estate Institute, and Duke Law School; is a fellow of the American Bar Foundation and the American College of Real Estate Lawyers; and serves on the Cornell University Council.
Panovka played an active role in the redevelopment of the World Trade Center following its destruction on September 11, 2001. He has been recognized for his negotiation of the master development agreement and master plan for the redevelopment, and the related so-called “footprint swap,” in the Cornell Real Estate Review, American Lawyer Magazine and other publications.
Panovka holds degrees from Cornell University and Duke Law School. He grew up in South Africa and Israel and currently lives in Manhattan with his family.