From our very first deal, Avenue Living Asset Management has relied on our legal professionals to help make sure things go smoothly. In fact, Shelley Allchurch was one of our very first full-time team members, joining us as general counsel in 2010.
“We’ve been so lucky to have Shelley on our team right from the beginning,” says Avenue Living Founder and CEO, Anthony Giuffre. “She’s built an incredible team over the years. It has really evolved as Avenue Living has grown and she and her team have become an essential part of our platform.”
Today, our legal team includes 17 professionals — lawyers who are experts in real-estate law, securities law, corporate law, and risk management, as well as paralegals, in addition to an insurance risk expert and a contract management specialist.
“We’ve really expanded and adapted to meet the demands of the business,” says Shelley. As Avenue Living has evolved, we’ve called on the legal team to handle everything from typical tenancy issues and employment contracts, all the way to complex legal matters, such as multi-jurisdictional real estate acquisitions, M&A transactions, restructurings, fund formation and the negotiation and drafting of sophisticated commercial agreements. The legal team ensures the decisions we make and the actions we take are in line with local regulations and mitigate risk for our many stakeholders, including investors, residents, employees, and the communities in which we operate.
“Legal teams can often be seen as the naysayers,” says Shelley. “But that’s not our role. We’re here to support and facilitate Avenue Living in reaching our business goals. We do this by looking at the business through a legal lens and bringing a unique perspective to decision-making.”
While Avenue Living started out in 2006 as an owner/operator of multi-family residential properties, we’ve since grown to include a thriving group of companies that invests in the everyday, from self-storage to technology. These companies all have their own unique needs, and our legal team does a great job at managing most of these needs in-house.
The members of the legal team are partners in the organization. Legal touches every aspect of Avenue Living’s business. Their specialized knowledge and expertise serve us in so many ways — in large ways, such as mergers and acquisitions, and in smaller, everyday ways, like vetting our communications (including this blog post). They help us ensure we adhere to our organizational pillars, which guide our decisions every day.
“It’s vital that we understand the business strategy and objectives,” says Trevor Korsrud, Associate General Counsel to the organization, “so we can align with business units throughout Avenue Living and provide them with the guidance they need.”
Being part of an in-house team has meant stretching the legal team’s knowledge and abilities in ways not possible in private practice. The Avenue Living team touches many different aspects of law in their day-to-day duties, whether they’re providing counsel themselves or consulting and working with specialized experts outside the organization.
And like so many groups within this organization, our legal team regularly learns from each other, sharing insights and experiences as we take on new challenges, together.
“I’m so proud of the team we’ve built,” says Shelley. “It’s challenging, motivating, and validating work.”
This commentary and the information contained herein are for educational and informational purposes only and do not constitute an offer to sell, or a solicitation of an offer to buy, any securities or related financial instruments. This article may contain forward-looking statements. Readers should refer to information contained on our website at www.avenuelivingam.com for additional information regarding forward-looking statements and certain risks associated with them.