"When you’ve built an institution with values and a purpose beyond just making money – when you’ve built a culture that makes a distinctive contribution while delivering exceptional results – why would you surrender to the forces of mediocrity and succumb to irrelevance……The best corporate leaders never point out the window to blame external conditions; they look in the mirror and say, “We are responsible for our results!”  Those who take personal credit but blame external events in bad times simply do not deserve to lead our institutions. "
-Jim Collins 2008

Bruce Stachenfeld is one of the nation’s preeminent real estate attorneys.  He is a founding partner of the Firm, the founder of the Firm’s high-profile Real Estate Practice Group, and he is also the Firm’s Chairman.  He previously served as Managing Partner from the Firm’s inception until 2018.  Mr. Stachenfeld is known to be one of the most “connected” real estate lawyers throughout the worldwide real estate community. 

Mr. Stachenfeld is also an industry thought leader in the real estate world.  In this capacity, he is well-known to the real estate industry as The Real Estate Philosopher, whereby his creative, outside-the-box, and sometimes iconoclastic thinking goes out to the 50,000 parties in the real estate world.

Mr. Stachenfeld also spearheads the firm’s core mission statement to: "Help Our Clients Grow Their Businesses".  In this capacity, Mr. Stachenfeld is both: (i) a business advisor to many clients and (ii) also an extremely useful teammate for creating transactions and other relationships among clients and third parties. 

As a business advisor, Mr. Stachenfeld can provide invaluable insights to his clients.  Periodically he sits down with each of his clients to brainstorm how to assist them in making their real estate businesses more successful.

As a lawyer, Mr. Stachenfeld has close to 40 years of real estate law experience encompassing tens of billions of dollars of real estate transactions of all kinds.  As a real estate lawyer, Mr. Stachenfeld distinguishes himself by seeking out areas of real estate law that are more difficult and in which he and his team can provide particular value.  In this vein:

  • Mr. Stachenfeld is particularly known also for representing clients in partnerships, limited liability companies, and other co-venture situations.  Indeed, Mr. Stachenfeld and the partners who have worked with him for many years have developed one of the premier real estate joint venture practices in New York City.  This includes representing institutional investors, operators, and platforms, strategic and other investors in U.S. and cross-border international transactions.

  • Mr. Stachenfeld, and his real estate team, are particularly known for representing clients in co-venture transactions (including platform transactions and programmatic, preferred equity, common equity, and other corporate real estate-type transactions).

Mr. Stachenfeld has also represented clients in bankruptcies, workouts, and insolvencies in each of the real estate downturns of the past 40 years.  Mr. Stachenfeld applied his real estate expertise in the late 1980s and early 1990s to numerous bankruptcy, insolvency, and workout matters by working in close conjunction with the bankruptcy departments of Latham & Watkins and Mayer Brown during his tenure at those law firms.  Additionally, Mr. Stachenfeld commenced his career with a one-year stint as a litigation attorney.  Finally, Mr. Stachenfeld rounded himself out by spending time as in-house general counsel for a shopping center development company.  Hopefully, it is not an overstatement to describe Mr. Stachenfeld as the “perfect lawyer” for a distressed real estate situation.

Mr. Stachenfeld’s reputation includes tenacious representation of his clients, creative thinking, and deeply caring for his clients’ welfare and success.  He is known to be a lawyer who absolutely loves his clients and will go to extraordinary lengths to support them and help them succeed.

Mr. Stachenfeld has evolved into an attorney who is “connected” to many of the major players in the real estate world (including not only clients but adversary attorneys as well).  These contacts enable him to provide critical assistance to his clients in achieving success in their transactions.  This includes everything from finding the ”money” or the right “operating partner” or other connection for a deal to reaching across the table to find common ground with adversaries with whom he has deliberately cultivated friendly relationships.

As an “amateur real estate philosopher”, Mr. Stachenfeld can provide invaluable insights to his clients in his core passion of helping his clients build their businesses.  Periodically he sits down with each of his clients to brainstorm how to assist them in making their real estate businesses more successful.  Due to the breadth of Mr. Stachenfeld’s “connected-ness” in the real estate world, he is often able to provide invaluable insights.

It is for all of these reasons that Mr. Stachenfeld was selected to The Commercial Observer’s Power 100 Reader’s Poll List in 2013 (along with his partner, Terri Adler) naming the most powerful people in New York real estate.  Indeed, Mr. Stachenfeld and his co-founding partner, Terri Adler (known as “Bruce’N’Terri”) create a dynamic duo of one of the “best” real estate lawyers in NYC and one of the “most connected” real estate lawyers in NYC – a combination that can help a client achieve virtually any goal in the real estate world.

In addition, as an industry thought leader, Mr. Stachenfeld (i) writes a bi-weekly column for AboveTheLaw.com entitled “Power Niche Marketing”, which is dedicated to innovative marketing strategies in the legal world; (ii) he also publishes a regular series entitled “The Real Estate Philosopher®”; and (iii) lectures on such topics as the importance of attracting, training and retaining “talent” as the critical ingredient for a successful real estate law firm or real estate business.

In April of 2016, Mr. Stachenfeld was elected a Fellow of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers (ACREL) in the Class of 2016. The American College of Real Estate Lawyers is the premier organization of U.S. real estate lawyers. Admission is by invitation only after a rigorous screening process. ACREL's distinguished, nationally-known lawyers have been elected to fellowship for their outstanding legal ability, experience, and high standards of professional and ethical conduct in the practice of real estate law.

Mr. Stachenfeld is also a prolific author.  In this capacity, he has written a marketing book called, If You Want To Get Rich Build A Power Niche -- a real estate thought book called, The Real Estate Philosopher’s Guide -- and (most recently) co-wrote with a friend a book called, How To Invest In Institutional Real Estate if You Know Nothing About Real Estate

As if all of this were not enough, Mr. Stachenfeld has also (i) competed successfully in two Ironmans, (ii) written a 900-page historical fiction book under a pseudonym, (iii) writes poetry, plays, children’s books and short stories, and (iv) most recently launched The Bruce Philosophical Project, thereby consummating Mr. Stachenfeld’s lifelong dream of being an actual philosopher.

Before founding Adler & Stachenfeld LLP, Mr. Stachenfeld was a partner in Shapiro, Shapses, Block & Stachenfeld LLP.  Before that, he practiced at Latham & Watkins, Mayer Brown, and Shea & Gould.

Mr. Stachenfeld received his B.S., summa cum laude, from Tufts University in 1979; and his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1983.  Mr. Stachenfeld is admitted to practice in New York.


  • American Bar Association

  • Member, American College of Real Estate Lawyers





  • How to Invest in Commercial Real Estate if You Know Nothing about Commercial Real Estate: The Definitive Institutional Real Estate Investing Guide (Purchase here)

  • If You Want to Get Rich, Build a Power Niche (Purchase here)

  • The Real Estate Philosopher’s® Guide: The Secrets to Real Estate Success (Purchase here)