Real Estate Advisory Board

BNA's Real Estate Advisory Board is comprised of esteemed professionals from renown corporations, universities, and government entities. Below is a listing of our current board members.

Leonard Silverstein

Leonard L. Silverstein is the founder of Silverstein and Mullens, which later became part of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC. He concentrates his practice in estate planning, nonprofit organizations, charitable contributions and representation before the Internal Revenue Service and Treasury Department.

Leonard serves as founder of the highly regarded Tax Management publication series. For the past 50 years, Tax Management has produced and maintained more than 500 portfolios, monthly journals and periodicals, providing tax professionals and advisors with a sophisticated analysis, application and interpretation of the Internal Revenue Code.

Before he founded his own firm with Richard A. Mullens in 1960, Leonard served as an attorney in the Office of Chief Counsel for the Internal Revenue Service and on the legal advisory staff of the Treasury Department. His long history of professional and community service includes roles on the Advisory Group of the House Ways and Means Committee in the late 1950s, as executive director of the "Filer" Commission on Private Philanthropy and Public Needs, as a member of President-elect Nixon's Task Force on Taxes, President Reagan's Committee on the Arts and Humanities and as a member of the IRS Commissioner's (Lawrence Gibbs) Exempt Organizations Advisory Group.

Lisa M. Starczewski, Esq., Co-Chair; Counsel, Buchanan, Ingersoll & Rooney; J.D., Villanova University School of Law, summa cum laude; B.A., Smith College, magna cum laude.  Lisa Marie Starczewski is Counsel in the tax department at Buchanan, Ingersoll & Rooney. She served as Editor-in-Chief of the Villanova Law Review (1987–88) and has practiced tax law with Morgan, Lewis & Bockius and Schnader, Harrison, Segal & Lewis. She has also taught in the LL.M program at Villanova University School of Law. Ms. Starczewski has authored more than 20 Bloomberg BNA Tax Management Portfolios in both the U.S. Income and Accounting series. She is also the author and co-author of numerous Bloomberg BNA Tax Practice Series chapters. She has received the Tax Management Distinguished Author Award and is co-chair of the following Bloomberg BNA Tax Management Advisory Boards:  U.S. Income; Corporate Tax; Real Estate; Estates, Gifts & Trusts; Compensation Planning; U.S. International; and Transfer Pricing.

Howard E. Abrams, Univeristy of San Diego School of Law; J.D., Harvard University (1980) cum laude; B.A., University of California, Irvine (1976) summa cum laude.  Mr. Abrams clerked for Chief Judge Theodore Tannenwald, Jr., of the United States Tax Court. He taught at Emory Law School from 1983 until 2014, was the William K. Jacobs, Jr., Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School in 2013-14, and was the Maurice R. Greenberg Visiting Professor at Yale Law School in in 2009. Abrams has also taught as a visiting professor at Berkeley and Cornell Law Schools. Abrams practiced in Los Angeles with Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison and in Washington, DC, with Steptoe & Johnson as well as with the National Office of Deloitte Tax.  

Robert L. Bachner, Esq., J.D., Harvard Law School (1958), A.B., Harvard College (1955).  Senior Counsel in the New York office of Phillips Nizer LLP, Robert Bachner engages in a broad spectrum of real estate practice involving properties throughout the United States.  He frequently guides clients through tax sensitive transactions, including tax free exchanges, deferred dispositions and estate planning for family owned real estate.  Mr. Bachner has extensive experience in the formation of collective enterprises for the acquisition and ownership of real estate including tenancies in common, general and limited partnerships and limited liability companies.  He has represented offerors, offerees and broker-dealers in connection with the private placement of real estate securities.

Edwin H. Baker, Esq., Epstein Becker & Green, New York, NY.

Bradley T. Borden, Esq., B.B.A. (1995), M.B.A. (1996), Idaho State University; J.D. (1999), LL.M. in taxation (2000), University of Florida Fredric G. Levin College of Law. A professor of law at the Brooklyn Law School, Professor Borden’s research, scholarship, and teaching focus on taxation of real property transactions and flow-through entities (including tax partnerships, REITs, and REMICs). He teaches Partnership Taxation, Taxation of Real Estate Transactions and a general income tax course, and is affiliated with the Dennis J. Block Center for the Study of International Business Law. His work on flow-through and transactional tax theory appears in articles published in many law reviews such as Baylor Law Review, University of Cincinnati Law Review, Florida Law Review, Georgia Law Review, Houston Law Review, Iowa Law Review, Tax Lawyer, and Virginia Tax Review, among others. His articles also frequently appear in leading national tax journals including Journal of Taxation, Journal of Taxation of Investments, Real Estate Taxation, and Tax Notes.  Professor Borden has worked as a consultant to The Joint Committee on Taxation, Congress of the United States and also often serves as an expert witness or consultant on major litigation matters that relate to real estate, flow-through taxation or legal malpractice. Before entering academia, he practiced tax law in the San Antonio, Texas law firm of Oppenheimer, Blend, Harrison & Tate, Inc. He is active in the American Bar Association Section of Taxation, is a past chair of its Sales, Exchanges & Basis Committee, and is a fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel.

Martin B. Cowan, Esq., Attorney at Law, New York, NY.

Gerald S. Deutsch, Esq., Attorney at Law, Glen Head, NY.

Joseph L. Ferst, B.S., State University of New York at Binghamton, 1975. Mr. Ferst is the Service Line Leader, National Federal Tax Services, at Deloitte Tax LLP in Atlanta, Georgia. He is a member of the AICPA, NYSSCPA, NAREIT, and ULI. Mr. Ferst is a speaker on real estate, partnership, and financial instruments tax issues and the author of numerous books and articles on real estate, partnership, and financial instruments taxation, including contributions to BNA's Real Estate Journal,Real Estate Investment Trusts HandbookThe Handbook of Commercial Mortgage-Backed SecuritiesThe Appraisal Journal, Journal of Real Estate Taxation, and the Journal of Taxation of Financial Institutions.

Stephen D. Gardner, Esq., Cooley LLP, New York, NY.

Michael Hirschfeld, Esq., Dechert; LL.M., Taxation, New York University School of Law (1980); J.D., University of Pennsylvania Law School (1975) cum laude; B.E.E., The City College of New York (1972) summa cum laude.  A Partner with Dechert, who specializes in Tax, Real Estate Finance and Investing, Private Equity, Distressed Mergers and Acquisitions, Energy and Clean Technology, Michael Hirschfeld gives taxation advice and represents clients in planning to minimize tax burdens in corporate, international, partnership, real estate, workouts, and leasing matters. Mr. Hirschfeld is the immediate past Chair of the American Bar Association Section of Taxation, the nation’s largest organization of tax lawyers.

H. Grace Kim, Esq., Ernst & Young LLP, Washington, D.C.

Leslie H. Loffman, Esq., Retired from DLA Piper. Syosset, NY.

Robert E. Madden, Esq., Blank Rome LLP; J.D., Cornell Law School with distinction; B.S, Cornell University.  Of Counsel with the law firm of Blank Rome LLP, Robert Madden focuses his practice in the areas of federal taxation, estate planning, probate and general business planning. He is highly regarded for his knowledge of estate planning and administration of high-end trusts and estates. Mr. Madden also provides counsel in executive compensation planning for corporate employers and general tax advice to both individuals and corporations, including representation of clients before the Internal Revenue Service.  

Avram S. Metzger, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP; J.D., New York University; B.A., New York University.

Joel E. Miller, Esq., Miller & Miller LLP; A.B., Columbia College (1954); J.D., Columbia University School of Law (1956); LL.M. in taxation, New York University Graduate School of Law (1964). Mr. Miller served as Law Secretary to Honorable Harold R. Medina, Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, 1956–1957, and was associated with Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, New York, NY, 1957–1960. Mr. Miller is associated with and a member of Demov, Morris, Levin & Shein, New York, NY, 1961–1969; a member of the adjunct and full-time faculty, St. John's University School of Law between 1976 and 1989; Chair, Subcommittee on Condominiums and Cooperatives, Committee on Real Estate Tax Problems, Section of Taxation, American Bar Association; Chair, Subcommittee on Liens, Cooperatives and Condominiums Committee, Real Property Law Section. New York State Bar Association, Tax Section. He is co-author of Modern Trust Forms and Checklists (Warren, Gorham & Lamont, Inc. 1980) and Federal Taxation of Trusts (Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1968) as well as a contributor to Tax Law Review, Journal of Real Estate Taxation, Journal of Taxation, and other legal publications on matters involving federal taxation and property law. Mr. Miller was an editor of Real Estate Tax Ideas from 1979–1983 and is a member of several advisory boards. He is also a lecturer at various tax institutes.

Steven F. Mount, Esq., Squire Patton Boggs; B.A., Muskingum College (1976); J.D., Harvard University (1979). A Partner with Squire Patton Boggs, Steven Mount focuses his practice on tax credit financings including New Markets Tax Credit, Historic Tax Credit and Energy Tax Credit transactions. He also represents clients concerning partnership taxation and other real estate joint venture transactions, and issues concerning real estate investment trusts.  Mr. Mount has been a panelist in the Novogradac New Market Tax Credit Conference series, is a member of the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts and an Advisory Board Member at Bloomberg BNA. He is the original author on Bloomberg BNA Tax Management’s Portfolio on Real Estate Investment Trusts and is the author of a new Portfolio on New Markets Tax Credit. Mr. Mount has been recognized in The Best Lawyers in America since 2006; recognized in Ohio Super Lawyers.

Frederic A. Nicholson, Esq., Wilcox & Savage PC, Norfolk, VA.

Marshall B. Paul, Esq., Saul Ewing; LL.M., Georgetown University Law Center; J.D., University of Maryland School of Law; B.A., The Johns Hopkins University.  A Partner with Saul Ewing LLP, Marshall Paul focuses his practice on counseling businesses, health care concerns and professionals with respect to limited liability company matters, general corporate matters, joint ventures, acquisitions and sales, fiduciary duty issues and financings. His clients include large-scale health care providers, technology companies, distributors, service providers and manufacturers of various sizes, as well as individual health care professionals and other professionals.

Martin D. Pollack, Esq., Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP; LL.M., New York University School of Law (1979; J.D., University of Pennsylvania Law School (1976); M.A., Johns Hopkins University (1973); B.A., Johns Hopkins University (1973).  A Partner with Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, Martin Pollack is a co-head of the firm’s global tax practice and is a nationally recognized authority on federal income tax matters. He has extensive experience in structuring complex private equity and merger & acquisition transactions, and he regularly advises clients on the formation and operation of private equity funds, joint ventures, and other investment vehicles. Mr. Pollack’s practice also involves the tax aspects of bankruptcy and insolvency, leasing transactions, and planning for technology intensive enterprises.

Donald B. Reynolds, Jr., Esq., Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC; J.D., Georgetown University Law Center (1979) magna cum laude; B.A., Hamilton College (1976) magna cum laude.  A Shareholder in Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC’s Washington, D.C. office, Donald B. Reynolds, Jr. focuses his practice on financings, acquisitions and business planning for a variety of businesses, including both closely and widely held entities.  Don's clients include mortgage companies, real estate brokerage firms, insurance companies and real estate developers.

Howard J. Rothman, B.A., City College of New York (1967); J.D., Brooklyn Law School (1971); LL.M., New York University School of Law (1972). Howard Rothman is the chair of the Kramer Levin’s Tax Department and a member of Kramer Levin’s Executive Committee. He has experience in all aspects of planning for incorporated and unincorporated business entities, including the international, federal and state and local tax aspects of structuring mergers and acquisitions and other complex corporate and real estate transactions, as well as personal planning for high net worth individuals, including gift and estate planning. Mr. Rothman’s expertise touches on several specific areas of tax law, including real estate, corporate finance, entertainment, banking, trusts and estates, apparel and publishing. Mr. Rothman’s particular strength is his ability to use an in-depth knowledge of tax issues and an acute understanding of clients’ business needs to develop creative, practical and efficient solutions. He is the co-author of two tax-related treatises, “Transfers to Controlled Corporations” and “Capital Assets.”

Blake D. Rubin, Ernst & Young LLP; B.A., Haverford College (1976); J.D., cum laude, University of Pennsylvania (1980); M.B.A., with distinction, Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania (1980). Blake D. Rubin is Global Vice Chair of McDermott Will & Emery’s U.S. & International Tax Group and is also Head of its Washington Tax Practice. With more than 250 practicing tax lawyers, McDermott has the largest law firm tax practice in the United States. Based in Washington, D.C., Blake practices in the area of federal taxation, with particular emphasis on matters relating to partnership and real estate taxation. His practice includes planning, policy and controversy matters. He has extensive experience structuring large partnership and real estate transactions, and regularly represents several of the 20 largest U.S. real estate developers and owners in transactional matters. He serves as principal outside tax counsel or does substantial work for three members of the Forbes 400, five publicly traded REITs and a variety of smaller organizations.

Richard A. Shapack, B.S., Engineering, United States Naval Academy; M.B.A, Harvard University Graduate School of Business; J.D., Catholic University Columbus School of Law. Mr. Shapack is Of Counsel, Butzel Long, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, and practices business law, real estate, and estate planning with special emphasis on tax and business planning. He is a member of the Michigan Bar, ABA, Florida Bar (Board Certified Tax Lawyer), and a Fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel.  He is a Fellow, American College of Trust and Estate and a Michigan Super Lawyer since its inception, 2006-09. Mr. Shapack is a speaker at the ABA Real Property Section and Tax Section meetings, State Bar of Michigan meetings, the Michigan Institute for Continuing Legal Education, the Tax Management Advisory Board, the BNA Law Education Institute National Law Conference, and the NYU Real Estate Institute. Mr. Shapack has authored many articles and book reviews.

Ira B. Stechel, B.A., magna cum laude, City College of New York (1969); J.D., Cornell Law School (1972). Mr. Stechel was Note Editor of the Cornell International Law Journal (1971–72); LL.M. (taxation), New York University. Mr. Stechel is a member of the Connecticut Bar, New York Bar, American Bar Association (Section of Taxation), New York State Bar Association (Tax Section), Committee on Corporations, and Committee on Partners and Partnerships. He is the author of Tax Management Portfolio, Travel and Transportation Expenses—Deduction and Recordkeeping Requirementsand a contributor to the Journal of Taxation, Taxation for Lawyers, Taxation for Accountants, Tax Management Real Estate Journal, and Tax Ideas. Mr. Stechel is a lecturer at the N.Y.U. Institute on Federal Taxation, Midwest Tax Institute, and Fordham Law School.

Stefan F. Tucker, B.B.A., University of Michigan, 1960; J.D., University of Michigan, 1963. Mr. Tucker is a Partner at Venable LLP in the Washington, DC, office. He is a member of the District of Columbia Bar, ABA Section of Taxation, ALI-ABA, ACREL, and ACTC. Mr. Tucker is also a member of the Board of Trustees of Massachusetts School of Law at Andover and a speaker on current developments, estate planning and tax planning for real estate. He is the author of Tax Planning for Real Estate Transactions (Thomson/West) July 1989. He is also Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law School and Lecturer in the Law at University of Michigan Law School.

William P. Wasserman Esq., Retired from Ernst & Young LLP. Los Angeles, CA.

Louis S. Weller, Esq., Managing Partner, Weller Partners LLP, Sausalito, CA. Lou previously served as National Director of Real Estate Transaction Planning and National Director, Like Kind Exchange Services at Deloitte Tax LLP. Mr. Weller has practiced tax and business law for 40 years.  He has extensive experience designing and implementing strategies for real estate and business asset acquisitions, transfers, exchanges, leases, financing, work-outs,  business start-ups, limited liability companies, partnership and joint venture formations, transactions involving REITs, capital raising through placement of partnership interests and stock, as well as counseling clients on achieving business and personal tax planning objectives. He also owned and for more than 20 years operated a like kind exchange qualified intermediary business. Mr. Weller is the Real Estate Department editor of the Journal of Taxation and past Chair of the Real Estate Committee, American Bar Association Tax Section and of that committee’s Subcommittee on Like-Kind Realty Exchanges.  He is also past Chair of the Taxation Section, Bar Association of San Francisco, the San Francisco Tax Club and of the Federal Taxation of Real Estate Transactions Committee, American Bar Association Real Property, Probate and Trust Section.  He is an elected Fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel and is active in various professional and civic organizations.

Mark E. Wilensky, Johns Hopkins University, B.A.; University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy, M.A. Columbia University School of Law, J.D.; New York University School of Law, LL.M., Taxation. Mr. Wilensky is Counsel to the Firm's Tax Law Group. Prior to joining the firm Mark was a tax attorney in the New York City office of Roberts & Holland LLP for twelve years. A large part of Mark’s practice involves advising clients looking to sell, exchange, lease, or refinance real estate and take advantage of the tax deferral opportunities offered by section 1031 exchanges, installment sales, and long-term lease agreements. Mark frequently works with real estate counsel at the Firm advising clients operating as partnerships, limited liability companies, or S corporations on ways to achieve tax deferral from an exchange of property without triggering gain from receipt of taxable “boot.” Another large part of Mark’s practice involves working with the Firm’s corporate counsel advising business entities on ways to divide a business among shareholders or partners without triggering taxable gain or otherwise counseling clients operating as limited liability companies or S corporations on ways to take advantage of the lower tax rates on capital gains when selling all or a portion of a business. Mark also has experience settling New York State and City residency audits and advising clients on New York State and City real estate transfer tax, mortgage recording tax, and sales taxes. Mark chaired the American Bar Association Tax Section's Sales, Exchanges & Basis Committee from 2012 through June 2014 and is a frequent speaker at Tax Section meetings. Mark was honored by the Tax Section as a Nolan Fellow in 2011. 

Donald T. Williamson, B.A. (Phi Beta Kappa), Hamilton College (1973); M.B.A., Johnson Graduate School of Business Administration, Cornell University (1976); J.D., Cornell Law School (1977); LL.M., Georgetown University Law Center (1983). Mr. Williamson was Associate Editor of The Tax Lawyer, 1982–1983 and is a Certified Public Accountant (Virginia, 1979). Williamson currently is principal at LaMonaca & Williamson, CPAs, Falls Church, VA.

Lary S. Wolf, Esq., Roberts & Holland LLP, New York, NY.

Robert W. Wood, Esq., Wood LLP; J.D., University of Chicago Law School (1979); A.B., English, Humboldt State University (1976) summa cum laude; University of Sheffield, England (1975-1976).  Robert W. Wood is a 1979 graduate of University of Chicago Law School where he earned a Juris Doctor and won the Florence James Adams Prize as well as a University of Chicago Scholarship. He practices law with Wood LLP in San Francisco, California where he provides services for domestic and international clients on a variety of state, federal, and international tax matters. Mr. Wood is admitted to practice law in CA, NY, AZ, MT, WY, TX, and DC. He is also admitted to practice as a Solicitor in England and Wales. Mr. Wood is a tax expert and has been designated by the State Bar of California as a Certified Specialist in Taxation. Mr. Wood is the author of over 35 books in the field of taxation. He has long been recognized as a leading authority and commentator on several highly specialized and complex areas of the tax law. He is one of the foremost experts in the world on the taxation of damage awards and settlement payments. Mr. Wood frequently serves as a counselor and expert witness to his clients throughout the world on this unique area of the tax law and is the author of the leading treatise in the area, Taxation of Damage Awards and Settlement Payments (published by Tax Institute). Mr. Wood is also the founder and Editor-in-Chief of The M&A Tax Report, a national monthly newsletter addressing tax techniques and trends affecting mergers and acquisitions.