Susan M. Gschwendtner founded Gschwendtner Law Firm (GLF), a boutique firm focusing on business and commercial real estate law, on June 21, 1999 and remains the principal of GLF. In addition to Ms. Gschwendtner, GLF has several of-counsel real estate attorneys and legal assistants. Further, GLF is of-counsel to Gurne Porter, PLLC, a boutique firm handling title issues and litigation and environmental and employment law matters. GLF has represented a major Washington, DC-area real estate development company, a major Washington, DC-area university, a number of trade associations and many start-up and small businesses, including a media purchasing company, restaurants, an accounting services company and a surveying firm. GLF also has represented individuals in connection with their ownership interests in commercial real estate projects.
GLF has handled the following types of projects:
- Commercial loans secured by real estate and other assets.
- Purchases and sales of commercial real estate (ranging in value from $1.2 million to $24 million and in size from 20,000 SF of land to a 380,000 SF/450 unit apartment complex), including a major acquisition using a tenants-in-common structure.
- Tax-free exchanges.
- Architectural, development and construction contracts.
- Asset purchases of businesses, including restaurants.
- Formation of business entities and advising new businesses.
- Purchases and sales of partnership, corporate and LLC interests.
- Commercial leasing agreements.
- Brokerage and listing agreements and property management agreements.
- Easements and other title and survey matters.
Immediately before founding GLF, Ms. Gschwendtner was Senior Vice President and General Counsel of The JBG Companies, a major Washington, DC real estate development, management, investment and advisory services firm, where she had been employed for nearly 12 years (i.e. from January of 1988 until GLF was founded in June of 1999). One of the highlights of her years at JBG was the sale of nearly 4 million square feet of office buildings in the Washington, DC metropolitan area, including the Watergate Office Building, to TrizecHahn Office Properties, Inc. in a transaction valued at nearly $600 million. She has handled over $1.3 billion in acquisitions and financings over the past 20 years.
Ms. Gschwendtner has served as the chair and on the board of directors of the International Association of Attorneys and Executives in Corporate Real Estate. She has served on a number of committees both for the D.C. Bar, including the Steering Committee for the Real Estate Section, and for Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW). She currently serves as a member of the Illinois State University Attorneys’ Advisory Council. Ms. Gschwendtner, who is a member of the D.C., Maryland and Illinois bars, received her B.A. in History and in Mathematics in 1980 from Illinois State University, her J.D. in 1983 from The Harvard Law School, and a Certificate of Business Administration in 1993 from Georgetown University. She served as a law clerk for the Honorable Thomas Penfield Jackson of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia from 1983 to 1984 and as an associate at the law firm of Hogan & Hartson in Washington, DC from 1984 to 1987.