Bradley Arant Boult Cummings has expanded its practice offerings in Dallas by hiring David Pratt, who specializes in commercial real estate transactions.
Pratt was most recently at Johnston Pratt, a law firm he co-founded in 2017 after practicing for more than a decade and serving on the management committee at Kane Russell Coleman Logan. He says starting his own law firm was a good experience, but when he was approached by Bradley he saw an opportunity to expand his client relationships.
“Bradley provides a platform to serve my clients across the country,” he said. “I can expand my existing client relationships by working with Bradley attorneys in other states where clients have properties. On the lending side, as we move into a workout cycle, Bradley has attorneys that are already on the approved lists of banks I represent that have litigation and restructuring expertise.”
Pratt’s clients include Sprouts Farmers Market, Bradford Commercial Real Estate Services and EB Arrow. He also represents high-net-worth families and middle-market money center bank lenders.
One week before the coronavirus shutdown orders, Pratt completed a transaction for the lease of a 340,000 square foot warehouse facility for Furniture of America.
While Pratt remains “very bullish” long term on Texas real estate, he noted COVID-19 has already had a severe impact on the commercial real estate industry and some properties, particularly retail, have been hit especially hard. He is currently working with owners of retail shops and malls on their preparations and plans to reopen according to applicable law, which varies county by county.
Office building owners are addressing the same questions, while also dealing with their own unique challenges with high-risk areas like elevators. Pratt says these clients are looking at how they can monitor the number of people that get on an elevator at one time and increasing the cleaning of common areas.
On the financial services side of his practice, one development Pratt has observed is the CMBS market has reduced its new loan originations to just a small percentage of what they once were and the market has “basically shut down.”
With the additions of Pratt and his associate Anna Lee Alford, Bradley has increased its Dallas headcount to 20 attorneys, which is more than double what the Birmingham, Alabama law firm opened with in January 2019.
“Adding David and Anna Lee to our Dallas office allows us to enhance the business transactional services we can provide to our clients on the local, regional, and national level,” Dick Sayles, managing partner of Bradley’s Dallas office, said in a statement.