Robin Panovka is a corporate partner and co-head of Wachtell Lipton’s Real Estate and REIT M&A Groups, which for more than 20 years have played a leading role in the ongoing consolidation and globalization of the commercial real estate industry, including advising on many of the largest REIT and real estate M&A transactions in recent years, several large-scale private equity transactions and fund formations, and major projects such as the redevelopment of the World Trade Center in Manhattan. He is active in a wide variety of cross-border transactions across industries, with particular focus on emerging markets.
Robin 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 been featured in a number of publications for his leadership in real estate and M&A, including as an American Lawyer “Dealmaker.”
Under Robin’s leadership, Wachtell Lipton’s real estate practice has focused on public company M&A and strategic transactions across the real estate, REIT, hospitality and gaming sectors, including handling major transactions for Apollo, ARES, Archstone, Chatham, Cole, Equity Office, Harrah’s, Kimco, Lazard, Morgan Stanley/MSREF, Penn National Gaming, Prologis, Public Storage, PREIT, Sears, Silverstein, Simon, Starwood, Sunrise, Taubman, Tishman Speyer and Ventas, among others.
Robin 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.
Robin is active on a number of non-profit and educational boards, including 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.
Robin played a central role in the redevelopment of the World Trade Center following its destruction on September 11, 2001, and 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.
He 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.