Jonathan L. Mechanic
Lecturer on Law
Jonathan L. Mechanic 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 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 is a Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School and has taught the real estate law course for eight of the last ten 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.
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. Notably, he represented a Paramount led joint venture in its acquisition of Deutsche Bank’s U.S. headquarters at 60 Wall Street and CWCapital Asset Management in its sale of Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village to Blackstone Group and Ivanhoé Cambridge. He also represents landlords and tenants in commercial leasing and ground lease transactions, including his recent representations of 21st Century Fox and News Corp. on their headquarters leases at 1211 Avenue of Americas; Citigroup in its long-term lease of its global headquarters at 388-390 Greenwich Street and the exercise of its option to purchase the building; Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP in the law firm’s relocation to 55 Hudson Yards; and Coach in the sale-leaseback of its global headquarters at 10 Hudson Yards.
Click here to view video of remarks made by Larry A. Silverstein, Chairman of Silverstein Properties, Inc., about Mr. Mechanic.
Mr. Mechanic was recently awarded the 2016 Distinguished Alumnus Award from New York University and the 2016 Chambers USA Outstanding Contribution to the Legal Profession Award, which highlighted his work on tens of billions of dollars in property deals and praised his support of the ongoing development of the Real Estate market. For a decade, Mr. Mechanic has been consistently recognized by Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, as a "Star Individual" in real estate. He is consistently included on The Commercial Observer's "Power 100" list of the most powerful people in New York real estate and was the only practicing attorney to make the list in 2016 and 2017. Fried Frank's Real Estate Department is consistently recognized as Law360’s Real Estate Group of the Year and 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 March 2011, Mr. Mechanic was named one of the "Most Influential Lawyers" by The National Law Journal. He was also named "MVP Lawyer of the Year" by Law360 in 2011 and 2013. In addition, Real Estate Weekly recognized Mr. Mechanic in its 2008 All Stars edition, which honors real estate industry leaders. In 2007 Mr. Mechanic was named a "Dealmaker 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.
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. In 2013, Mr. Mechanic was honored by Big Brothers Big Sisters and for his work on behalf of the Eldridge Street Synagogue. In 2017, he and his longtime friend and colleague, Stephen Lefkowitz, were awarded the Lewis Rudin Award by Coro New York Leadership Center.
Over the years, Mr. Mechanic has also been honored for his numerous philanthropic activities by UJA, Israel Bonds, the Modell Foundation, ORT, The Association for the Help of Retarded Children, Albert Einstein Medical College, the Police Athletic League, American Friends of the Rabin Medical Center, and The Salvadori Center.
Mr. Mechanic is a member of the Executive Committee, Board of Governors for the Real Estate Board of New York and the Board of Trustees of NYU Law School. He is also Chairman of the Advisory Board of the NYU Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy, a member of the Advisory Board of the NYU Schack Institute of Real Estate, a member of the Industrial Advisory Board for the Columbia University Center for Urban Real Estate, and a member of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers.
Mr. Mechanic received his JD from New York University School of Law in 1977, where he served as editor of the Law Review and was elected to the Order of the Coif, and his BA, magna cum laude, from Brandeis University in 1974. He is admitted to practice in New York.