David C. Djaha
David Djaha is managing partner of Ropes & Gray and a member of the firm’s management committee. Most recently, he led the firm’s global real estate investments & transactions group.
David focuses his practice on complex core and distressed acquisitions and dispositions as well as asset- and mortgage-backed finance. David has almost 30 years of experience representing clients in both U.S. and international transactions. He has extensive experience advising investment banks, private equity funds, and domestic and international developers and investors in all of their real estate transactional needs. Additionally, David regularly advises clients on matters involving capital markets, asset-based and mezzanine finance, as well as warehouse lending and construction lending, real estate private equity, and joint ventures involving domestic and international transactions.
- Represented a global private equity firm in connection with its formation of four joint ventures to acquire multiple portfolios of office and development properties located throughout the United States, having a value of more than $1 billion.
- Representing subsidiaries of a real estate investment trust in connection with the closing of loan facilities having an aggregate principal amount of over $15 billion.
- Represented an international financial conglomerate in connection with its $415 million co-investment in a $1.2 billion, 90-story luxury condominium development on Park Avenue, New York, including the creation and use of onshore and offshore investment vehicles.
- Represented a private equity fund in connection with its investment in a $1.6 billion debt stack for the restructuring of a seven-property portfolio consisting of hotels in California and Hawaii, including the restructuring of multiple layers of debt, the forbearance of the senior loan, and negotiating new intercreditor arrangements.
- Representing one of the world’s largest private equity investment firms, including most recently: the bid for a Florida office portfolio of over 100 properties; a $250 million investment in a public REIT; a consortium acquisition of two separate hotel chains; the acquisition and financing of a portfolio of Japanese real estate and related assets; and the acquisition of a multichannel specialty retailer.
- Represented a global investment firm in organizing a credit- and real estate-related fund, developing the forms of transaction documents to be used in connection with the acquisition and disposition of anticipated purchases and sales of various performing and non-performing loan portfolios and other debt-related instruments to third parties, and assisting with the closing of the fund transaction.
- Represented a group of affiliated publicly traded REIT in a series of acquisitions of commercial, medical and government office buildings in major U.S. cities, including Class A office buildings in Manhattan and Chicago totaling more than $1 billion and 4 million square feet.
- Represented a global hedge fund in a joint venture with a New York developer to acquire and finance a 1+ acre site in New York City, to be developed into a multi-tower condominium development requiring approximately $600 million in combined capital.
- Represented an institutional investor in the formation of a programmatic joint venture to acquire and develop more than $400 million of mixed-use real estate located in New York City, including 21 West End Avenue.
- Represented a private real estate investment company and its capital partner, a large investment fund, in the distressed purchase of a New York hotel.
- Co-Author, “Commercial Real Estate in the United States,” Practical Law (August 2020)
- Co-Author, “Commercial real estate in the United States,” Practical Law (December 2018)
- Featured, “Ropes & Gray to Elevate Real Estate Pro David Djaha to Managing Partner,” The American Lawyer (April 25, 2018)
- Co-Author, “Commercial real estate in the United States,” Practical Law (November 2017)
- Co-Author, “Commercial real estate in the United States,” Practical Law (November 2016)
- Co-Author, “U.S. Issues Orders Requiring Identification of All-Cash Buyers of High-End Residential Real Estate,” Ropes & Gray Alert (January 21, 2016)
- Co-Author, “Commercial real estate in the United States,” Practical Law Global Guide 2015/16 (November 2015)
- Co-Author, “Violations of SPE Covenants After 2008: Borrowers Beware,” New York Law Journal (December 15, 2014)
- Co-Author, “Commercial real estate in United States,” Practical Law’s Multi-Jurisdictional Guide 2014/15 (November 2014)
- Co-Author, “Protect Yourself From the 'Bad Boys',” Real Estate Law & Practice section of The New York Law Journal (August 13, 2012)
- Co-Author, “Primer for High Net Worth Individuals Buying Real Estate in NY,” Asian Real Estate Association of America Journal (Spring 2012)
- Co-Author, “U.S. section of the Practical Law Company’s Corporate Real Estate Handbook” (2012/2013)
- Co-Author, “U.S. section of the Practical Law Company’s Corporate Real Estate Handbook” (2011/2012)
- Co-Author, “U.S. section of the Practical Law Company’s Corporate Real Estate Handbook” (2010/2011)
- Co-Author, “Savvy Investing in Distressed Properties,” The New York Law Journal (January 19, 2010)
- Co-Author, “Purchasing U.S. Real Estate—A Primer for Non-U.S. Investors,” IBA Newsletter (October 2010)
- Co-Author, “Litigation Risks for Special Servicers,” Law360 (April 28, 2009)
- Panelist, “State of the Market” and “Talent, Working Differently and Agile Workplaces,” 13th Annual Leading Law Firm Conference (November 22, 2019)
- Presenter, “2018 Hot Topics in Tax Reform, Regulatory Enforcement & Real Estate Investments,” National Association of Real Estate Investment Managers ("NAREIM"), Acquisitions and Dispositions Meeting (February 8, 2018)
- Panelist, “Strategy and Leadership and State of the Market: Acceleration of Change,” “Staffing Models and Compensation in Transition,” and “Profitability, Pricing, Predictability and Client-Centric Service,” 2017 New York Legal Market Conference (March 22, 2017)
- Presenter, “Confidentiality Agreements – Are They Really, and What Happens if They Are Not?,” American College of Real Estate Lawyers' Premier Organization Meeting (April 1, 2016)
- Moderator, “Note Sales/Acquisitions/Distressed Debt Investing: What an In-House Real Estate Lawyer Needs to Know,” IMN Real Estate General Counsel Forum (October 2013)
- Moderator, “Acquiring and Selling Notes: What you Need to Know,” IMN Real Estate General Counsel Forum (October 2011)
- Presenter, “Outward Investment into the U.K., Europe, and U.S.” Doha, Qatar Conference for Middle East Investors (March 2009)
- Panelist, “The First Time Buyers' Guide to Distressed Commercial Assets: A Road Map for Entering the Market,” IMN's Forum on Distressed Commercial Real Estate (October 2009)
- Presenter, “Building Engines,” presentation on law firm space needs in the economic downturn (April 2009)
- Moderator, “The Doomsday Economic Scenario—Its Impact on the Property Markets and What You Can Do to Protect Yourself,” IMN's Ninth Annual European Real Estate Opportunity & Private Fund Investing Forum (November 2008)
- Moderator, “Structuring and Regulatory Considerations for German Based Investors Considering Real Estate Opportunities on Either Side of the Atlantic” (December 2008)
- Panelist, “Quo Vadis/Good Time for a Change,” Epic Conference (October 2008)
- Speaker, “Where the New Money is Coming From: Asian and Middle Eastern Investors to the Fore,” IMN’s Second Annual Summit On Real Estate M&A, Private Equity & REIT Privatization (September 2008)
- Moderator, “Marketing of U.S. Products Overseas,” NARIEM Senior Compliance Officers Issues Forum (June 2008)
- JD, Dean's List, Brooklyn Law School, 1988; Executive Research Editor of The Brooklyn Journal of International Law
- BA (Communication), cum laude, University at Buffalo, State University of New York, 1985; Dean's List, Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society
Admissions / Qualifications
- New York, 1989
- England and Wales, Registered Foreign Lawyer, 2019
- Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business (2013-2021)
- The Legal 500 (2015-2018)
- The Best Lawyers in America, Real Estate Law (2015-2021)
- New York Super Lawyers (2008-2020)
- BTI Client Service All-Stars (2018)
- Lawyers Alliance for New York, Cornerstone Awards – 10 Year Circle (2019)
- Pro Bono Advocacy Award from the New York Lawyers For Public Interest (2008)
- Euromoney Liquid Real Estate Award for “Best Real Estate Legal Services USA” (2007)