Raymond N. Hannigan is a Partner in Herrick's Litigation Department focusing on real estate litigation, transactional real estate, and international law and transactions.
Ray's legal career began in the 1980's in the real estate department of Thacher Proffit & Wood where he closed a variety of transactions, including the sale of Kiawah Island, South Carolina, as well as numerous complex commercial mortgage loans, often involving securitizations through that firm's investment banking clients.
In 1990, Ray joined Herrick and its real estate department, now one of the largest real estate departments in New York. At that time, the real estate market entered a challenging period – with numerous loan defaults, workouts and foreclosures – and Ray began a transition to a litigation practice focused upon real estate litigation, workout and debt enforcement.
Ray is recognized as one of the top real estate litigators in New York, lecturing often before developers, title companies, bankers and other real estate professionals and acting as host and moderator of Lorman's popular session, held every July: Real Estate Litigation in New York.
Over the years, Ray has litigated – and won – a wide variety of commercial real estate matters, including title matters, contract disputes, zoning disputes, partnership disputes, brokerage matters, lien law, construction and lease disputes (see the matters list for just a few of Ray's many wins). Ray has represented every major title insurance company in New York and has been brought in, on several occasions, to act as special appellate counsel to handle a tricky appeal.
Moreover, Ray is also highly experienced in the workout and foreclosure of mortgage loans. During the economic downturn in the early 90's, Ray spearheaded many workouts and foreclosures, and Herrick's clients continue to look to Ray, with his decades of experience in this area, during the current crisis. Ray often lectures on the unique challenges involved in foreclosing the "half-completed condominium project."
Ray has litigated several noteworthy real estate matters at Herrick, including representing Japanese billionaire Hideki Yokoi in Nihon Sangyo Kabushiki Kaisha v. Nakahara, the celebrated battle for control of the Empire State Building. That case was the subject of a front page article in the Wall Street Journal and is chronicled extensively in Mitchell Pacelle's book, "Empire; A Tale Of Obsession, Betrayal And The Battle For An American Icon." Herrick represented the Trump Organization in the historic sale of the Empire State Building to a group led by Peter Malkin. This matter was detailed in The New York Times articles "Partnership in Deal for Empire State Building" in March 2002 and "Long, Long Legal Battle for Tall, Tall Building" in December 2001. Ray does not view real estate litigation as an end in itself; rather, in many instances, a successful real estate litigation – after being fought hard – should conclude around a closing table, rather than in court. In this way, Ray remains a member of Herrick's top-tier real estate group, here utilizing hard-fought litigation as one additional tool to conclude the deal. And when a settlement is reached, Ray is able to document and close the transaction himself, rather than hand it off to a transactional lawyer.
Ray is also a founding member of the Herrick's International Practice Group and is involved in international transactions and litigation matters here and abroad. Over the years, he has represented diverse companies and clients, from all over the world, including Korea, Japan, Russia, Ukraine, Bulgaria, France, Holland, Switzerland and Luxembourg. He is proficient in French and Japanese and travels frequently to deal with international matters.
Ray was the subject of a front-page article in the New York Law Journal discussing the rise of New York litigation involving the former Soviet Union. Riccardi, Investing in Bulgaria Leads to Litigating in New York, NY LJ, May 22, 2001.
While pursuing his law degree, Ray was Notes and Comments Editor of the New York Law School Law Review and received American Jurisprudence Awards in Land Use Regulation, New York Practice, Insurance Law, Municipal Finance Law and Torts.