Mr. Piesner is Managing Partner of Morrison & Foerster’s Singapore office and Firmwide Managing Partner with responsibility for Asia. A highly accomplished practitioner, he heads the firm’s market-leading Asia real estate practice and practiced in the firm’s Tokyo office for 10 years.
Mr. Piesner focuses his practice on cross-border real estate transactions, including joint- and multi-party ventures, fund formation and restructuring, real estate finance, and strategic M&A and private equity deals focused on real estate. Mr. Piesner has significant experience working with all major real estate asset classes – particularly hotel/resort and industrial properties – across the region and worldwide, including work in Japan, China, India, Australia, Singapore, Thailand, Brazil, and Hong Kong.
During his career in Tokyo, Mr. Piesner was consistently recognized as one of the leading U.S. real estate attorneys in Japan. Chambers Asia Pacific has ranked him in Band 1 five years in a row and The Asia Pacific Legal 500 has included him in its elite “Leading Lawyer” list since 2010. Chambers has also recognized him for his investment funds work. In Chambers Asia Pacific, clients described Mr. Piesner as “friendly and professional…a top-level lawyer” who is “very strong – he is a business generator for the firm and we find that clients stay very loyal to him.”
Mr. Piesner’s representative projects include acting as counsel for:
- Global Logistic Properties in its $1.6 billion joint venture with China Investment Corporation for the acquisition of 15 logistics properties in Japan from a fund managed by LaSalle Investment Management. Awarded Real Estate Deal of the Year by the 2012 Asian Legal Business (ALB) Japan Law Awards.
- Global Logistic Properties in its $1.4 billion joint ventures with Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, China Investment Corporation, and the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation for the acquisition of 40 logistics properties in Brazil from funds managed by Prosperitas. Awarded Global Deal of the Year by the 2012 Global PERE (Private Equity Real Estate) Awards.
- Host Hotels & Resorts in connection with its hotel acquisition and development work in Asia, including projects in India and Australia.
- A group of German banks in connection with the onshore and offshore debt restructuring of a large retail asset in Japan.
- Global Logistic Properties in connection with the establishment of a Japan logistics property development platform with the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board.
- ING Real Estate Investment Management in connection with its assumption of management and control of New City Corporation’s $772,000,000 pan-Asia real estate fund (Japan, China, and Korea).
- AMB Property in connection with its investment and joint venture activities in Japan including multiple acquisitions, development projects and financings.
- AMB Property in connection with several of its joint venture and investment projects in China and India.
- Union Investment Real Estate GmbH in connection with its acquisition of multiple properties in Japan.
- Kajima Corporation in connection with its sale of the Hualalai Resort (including the Four Seasons Hualalai) on the Big Island of Hawaii.
- DEGI in connection with its acquisition of the La Porte Shinsaibashi building in Osaka, Japan.
Other representative clients Mr. Piesner has worked with include CBREI, Morgan Stanley, Prologis, RREEF, The Carlyle Group, and Union Investment.
Mr. Piesner received his A.B. (Phi Beta Kappa and cum laude) in East Asian Studies from Colby College in 1988 and his J.D. in 1992 and M.A. in Asian Studies in 1993 from the University of Hawaii. Mr. Piesner also was a Ph.D. student in History and East Asian Languages at Harvard University before returning to the practice of law in 1997. Mr. Piesner lived in Japan for 15 years and is proficient in spoken and written Japanese.