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 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.
In the 2014 edition of Chambers Global, Mr. Piesner is recommended as a "Foreign expert" in Singapore for Investment Funds as well as an "Expert based abroad" for Japan Corporate/M&A and Investment Funds. 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 six years in a row and The Asia Pacific Legal 500 has included him in its elite “Leading Lawyer” list since 2010. In Chambers Asia Pacific, clients have 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.” They have also said “he is intelligent and able to absorb a great deal of information quickly,” adding that “he's a great resource - I can call him at any time and he's got all the knowledge.”
Mr. Piesner’s representative projects include acting as counsel for:
- Global Logistic Properties in the establishment of GLP Japan Development Venture II, a 50:50 joint venture with Canada Pension Plan Investment Board which is expected to reach US$2 billion over three years.
- Global Logistic Properties on the acquisition of a US$4.55 billion U.S. logistics portfolio from Industrial Income Trust making it the second largest logistics property owner and operator in the United States within a year of market entry.
- Global Logistic Properties on the establishment of CLF II, US$7 billion infrastructure fund, the largest logistics infrastructure fund based in China. CLF II is more than double the size of US$3 billion CLF I, the world’s largest China-focused logistics fund to date in 2014. We also represented GLP in the formation of CLF I.
- Global Logistic Properties on the syndication of 45% of its interests in GLP US Income Partners I to two leading global institutional investors from Asia and one from North America.
- Global Logistic Properties in its US$8.1 billion co-investment with an affiliate of Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC Pte. Ltd. to buy one of the largest logistics real estate portfolios in the United States from the Blackstone Group. This deal was awarded Global Deal of the Year and North America Deal of the Year by the 2014 Global PERE (Private Equity Real Estate) Awards.
- Global Logistic Properties in its US$1.1 billion partnership, GLP Brazil Income Partners II, with Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and a leading North American institutional investor.
- Global Logistic Properties in the expansion of its $2.2 billion joint venture with Canada Pension Plan Investment Board to develop logistics properties in Japan.
- An affiliate of Global Logistic Properties, Asia’s largest provider of modern logistics facilities based in Singapore, in the formation of the world’s largest China-focused logistics fund. Investors have committed US$1.5 billion in equity to the fund, with leverage allowing for an investment capacity of over US$3 billion over three years.
- Global Logistic Properties in its US$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 US$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.