Taylor Ward, rated AV- Preeminent by Martindale Hubbell, established Ward Law Firm P.L. in March 2009, bringing an extensive and diverse legal practice which permits him to advise and counsel firm clients in a wide array of real estate and business transactions.
After graduating from Duke University’s School of Law with joint degrees (J.D. and LL.M. (Foreign and International Law)) in 1988, Taylor spend one year in Sendai, Japan as a Fulbright scholar at Tohoku University’s Faculty of Law where he researched dispute resolution in Japan. Thereafter, he joined Webster & Sheffield in midtown Manhattan practicing in the areas of structured finance and trademark law. In 1992, he moved to the New York offices of White & Case, where he developed a practice which concentrated in various kinds of financing transactions, including senior and mezzanine loan transactions, asset-backed loan financings, commercial aircraft sale-leasebacks, REIT financings and also bankruptcy-related workouts and restructurings. In 1994, Taylor moved his family to Winston-Salem, North Carolina and worked at Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice for two and a half years, primarily focusing on commercial real estate transactions.
In mid-1996, Taylor returned to his hometown and joined the law firm of Lowndes Drosdick Doster Kantor & Reed, PA in Orlando, Florida. There Taylor concentrated in loan and sale-leaseback financings relating to various commercial property types, including franchise restaurants, gas & convenience stores, retirement communities, hotels (both high-end, destination resorts and roadside hotel/motels), golf properties, shopping centers, single and multiple tenant commercial properties, and other commercial properties. Over the next twelve years (including ten years as a partner at the Lowndes firm), Taylor assisted several REITS affiliated with CNL Financial Group in the acquisition and/or financing of thousands of properties in over forty states. He worked in all aspects of securitization transactions, including the negotiation of senior revolving loan facilities, repurchase agreements, private placement offerings, securitized debt and leaseback offerings, servicing agreements, as well as the assignment documentation to give effect to the securitization of various portfolios.
Taylor was a key player in the development and maintenance of a 50 state “standardized” secured loan documentation merge package for securitized loan programs which successfully securitized over a billion dollars of securitized commercial loans products in the late 1990s and early 2000’s. He also was the partner in charge of obtaining local counsel opinions from each State in connection with the securitized loan programs and as a result has extensive knowledge of real estate lending requirements in well over 40 States. Taylor also was the lead attorney in hundreds of closings of commercial loans and sale-leaseback properties. These were typically multiple-property acquisition financings (or refinancings) which often were also multi-state transactions. In addition, it was not uncommon to simultaneously close related equipment loans or leases as part of multi-site/multi-state transactions.
Taylor also has experience with construction and development financing, mezzanine financing, defeasance transactions as well as extensive workout, forbearance and loan restructuring. He also assists businesses in contract review and negotiations and handles all of their real estate work, including lease negotiations. He also handles corporate maintenance and other routine business matters on behalf of commercial clients. He has negotiated hundreds of commercial leases on behalf of landlords and tenants and is well versed in opinion practice for both Florida and New York State.
Taylor has provided legal representation to sophisticated clients including:
- Purchaser/Borrower in connection with $1,525,000,000 acquisition financing of five Marquee Hotel Properties
- Purchaser/Borrower in connection with $184,000,000 Acquisition of Seniors’ Housing Facilities
- Lender/Landlord in connection with restructuring of debt and franchisee obligations in excess of $70,000,000 relating to over 100 franchise restaurants (client was one of seven creditors, including a national restaurant franchisor)
- Oversee development of multi-state Loan and Leaseback Documentation Packages and coordinate implementation of streamlined production process
- Oversee various large volume due diligence reviews of real estate acquisitions and purchase of loan and lease portfolios