Skip to content

Real Estate Litigation

Thompson & Knight has significant expertise handling complex real estate litigation matters, drawing on the strengths of our cross-practice team of real estate, trial, finance, and tax attorneys.

Overview

Thompson & Knight has significant expertise handling complex real estate litigation matters. Our wide range of experience includes landlord and tenant disputes, such as forcible entry, unpaid rent, and lease disputes, wrongful foreclosure actions, commercial lease enforcement matters, judgments satisfied by execution against the real property of the judgment debtor, and defense of environmental contamination property damage claims by property owners, among other matters.

We have significant experience representing real estate lenders, all manner of predecessor noteholders, and special servicers in connection with commercial real estate litigation in state and federal courts, including matters involving claims for breach of contract, fraudulent transfer, breach of fiduciary duty, common law fraud, conspiracy, RICO, and tortious interference.

Drawing on the strengths of our cross-practice team of real estate, trial, finance, and tax attorneys, we have handled numerous real estate development, construction, and finance litigation matters for developers, investors, and tax credit syndicators. We also represent homeowners’ associations and boards seeking to enforce the terms of their by-laws and other rules that govern their members, as well as landlords and tenants seeking to enforce their rights.

Our clients include commercial and residential developers, real estate agencies, real estate investment trusts (“REITs”), office and building owners from all industries, lenders and special servicers, landowners, retail companies, restaurants and franchisees, landlords and tenants, hospitals, and homeowners and homeowners’ associations, among others.

National ranking in “Litigation - Real Estate” in “Best Law Firms” 2019 by U.S. News-Best Lawyers®

Named among the top firms in Texas for Commercial Litigation in Chambers USA 2019 by Chambers and Partners

Recognized as a “Recommended Litigation Firm” in Texas in Benchmark: Litigation, The Definitive Guide to America's Leading Firms and Attorneys

Experience

  • Obtained relief from the automatic stay, including “in rem” relief, on behalf of the secured lender in a real estate bankruptcy case in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas, which had only been pending for 37 days
  • Represented a medical clinic that was sued for breach of lease, fraud, statutory fraud, promissory estoppel, and negligent misrepresentation as a result of the client’s decision not to execute an amendment to its existing lease agreement; obtained a complete jury defense verdict
  • Represented a hospital in defending against a real estate developer’s claims for breach of contract and injunctive relief centered around a purchase contract and repurchase-right provisions, which settled favorably after the court denied injunctive relief
  • Represented a trustee for a family trust in seeking payment for a closing extension against a potential purchaser in a real estate transaction and obtained summary judgment
  • Represented a nursing home operator in seeking specific performance of a purchase option and in defending claims of default of the underlying lease
  • Defended a company against allegations of manufacturing a scenario under which the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) elected to override prepayment restrictions in connection with a HUD guaranteed mortgage issued for the purchase and development of a multifamily apartment complex in Dallas
  • Represented a sovereign wealth fund regarding potential litigation and workout issues concerning commercial real estate portfolios and investments located throughout the United States
  • Represented a property owner in obtaining complete relief in a multi-party construction dispute for damage to property occurring during the project
  • Obtained summary judgment for a landowner involving claim of enforcement of letter agreement involving the sale of raw commercial land after defeating claim of injunctive relief after three days of testimony
  • Represented a physician group in a dispute with its business partner over the ownership and management of a multi-story professional office building; the case was resolved on terms favorable to the clients, which included the sale of the building at a value that paid trade creditors and returned substantial equity to the clients and allowed the clients to acquire an ownership interest and a multi-year lease in the building
  • Represented an East Texas landowner in its efforts to evict a tenant operating a nonhazardous waste injection well on the landowner’s property due to more than $6 million in unpaid rent; in a series of lawsuits in state district court and county court at law, the tenant sought to enjoin the landowner’s efforts on allegations of breach of contract and tortious interference, and at trial, the tenant confessed judgment for unpaid rent, interest, attorneys’ fees, and costs in exchange for the landlord’s agreement to convey the property for a negotiated price
  • Represented an apartment developer in a combined litigation/arbitration dispute regarding general contractor’s breach of contract on multimillion-dollar renovation of a 450-unit apartment complex; issues included architectural plan and code compliance, asbestos remediation, and delay damages; client received both court judgment and arbitration award against contractor for substantial monetary damages
  • Represented a neighborhood association for a lake resort community in a deed restriction enforcement action; the trial court enforced deed restrictions and rendered an award to our client
  • Obtained receiverships for several funds/special servicers in actions concerning compromised collateral of commercial mortgage-backed securities (“CMBS”) trusts
  • Represented a commercial tenant in obtaining a writ of reentry
  • Represented the owner of a shopping center in seeking past and future rents from a tenant who, without the consent and approval of the landlord, sublet the space to a franchisee that, within five months of operating the franchise in the leased premises, subsequently abandoned the leased premises, filed for bankruptcy, and rejected the lease
  • Represented a global hotel company in a commercial real estate dispute
  • Represented a major North Texas real estate agency in litigation involving claims of tortious interference with existing and prospective business relations
  • Represented a REIT in the enforcement of the purchase of a shopping center in Texas
  • Handled a trial involving a breach of contract dispute between a national real estate broker, custom homebuilder, and homebuyer