Christine A. McGuinness

Chris is a seasoned business lawyer with over 30 years of experience guiding clients through complex matters involving real estate development, corporate finance, commercial lending, and financial institutions.
Chris McGuinness

Combining her knowledge of real property and other commercial assets with on-the-ground experience, clients benefit from her ability to balance the economics of a transaction with the legal protections needed to get it done right. She was recently named one of Crain’s New York Business’ “Notable Woman in Law” in 2022, recognized for booking “more than $1 billion in deals” since 2020.

Chris' practice focuses on equity investments and debt financings, including with respect to real estate, aircraft interests, and other asset-based financings, partnership and joint venture agreements, complex asset and portfolio acquisitions and sales, as well as ground leasing transactions.

She also represents real estate developers, funds, and lenders in all aspects of commercial real estate, as well as individuals and corporations in the acquisition, leasing, and financing of corporate jets and fractional aircraft interests. When working with clients, she ensures they are performing effectively in their role within the business, helping to protect the corporation as well as themselves. 

Client Work

  • Served as deal counsel for the sponsor of a series of real estate investment funds in connection with the investment of over $4.5 billion of assets in 43 states involving distressed loan portfolios, REO and multifamily properties, as well as office and industrial assets.
  • Represents a public office/industrial REIT with 50 assets in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Delaware in connection with the initial formation of an UPREIT structure and the ongoing acquisition, disposition, and financing of the portfolio.
  • Represented the fee owner of a development site in lower Manhattan in connection with a 99-year ground lease of the site to an office developer.
  • Represented the owner of a luxury high-rise in connection with the sale of more than 50,000 square feet of development rights to the developer of an adjacent property, including the negotiation of a zoning lot development agreement and related air and light easements.
  • Represented the fee owners of a potential development site in Queens, New York in connection with the granting of an option to purchase to a developer.
  • Represented an established New York City developer in the acquisition and financing of nine separate multifamily/mixed-use assets in Manhattan and Brooklyn, New York, as part of tax-free forward and reverse exchanges under IRC 1031.
  • Represents a Toronto developer in connection with the acquisition of potential residential development sites in New York City including acquiring development rights and inclusionary air rights.      
  • Represented the US Treasury in a program put in place under the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) to help homeowners with underwater mortgages, for which Chris was instrumental in completing and submitting the US General Services Administration (GSA) application, which gave ArentFox Schiff the ability to bid on GSA contracts.


  • “Leasing to a Cannabis-Related Business: Banking, Permitting, Zoning, Rent, Indemnification, and Insurance,” Strafford Publications, Inc., Webinar (May 18, 2020)
  • “State of the Market and Purchases, Sales and Closings,” Practising Law Institute, Chicago, Ill. (Oct. 23, 2019)
  • “Advancement of Women in the Law,” (panelist) Fordham University School of Law, New York, N.Y. (Mar. 28, 2019)

Pro Bono

  • The Leviticus Fund – serves as pro bono counsel in connection with the financing of low-income housing and daycare centers.
  • Disability Opportunity Fund – serves as pro bono counsel to a nonprofit provider of loans to facilities and companies that service the disabled community.
  • Habitat for Humanity – serves as pro bono counsel for Habitat for Humanity’s NYC Community Development Fund, which provides low-interest loans to support, preserve, and create affordable housing.

Boards, Memberships & Certifications

  • Habitat for Humanity — New York City, Leadership Counsel, Chair

Awards & Recognitions

  • “Notable Woman in Law,” Crain’s New York Business (2022)
  • “Volunteer of the Year,” Habitat for Humanity (2022)
  • Connect CRE’s 2021 Lawyers in Real Estate – New York & Tri-State (2021)
  • The Legal 500 - Real Estate



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