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A headshot of Jim Difede, Managing Principal at DRB.

James R. Difede

Managing Principal



Georgetown University, J.D., magna cum laude, Order of the Coif

Adelphi University, B.A., magna cum laude


District of Columbia

New York

Jim Difede is the Managing Principal of the firm and brings an unusually wide breadth of experience to the representation of the firm’s clients, including holding the general counsel’s role for a major client. A good part of Jim’s time is spent advising clients on the front-end structuring of investments and then advising throughout the life cycle of the ownership, management and divestment of real property assets.

In recent years, Jim worked closely with other of the firm’s attorneys to create several private funds, and has an ongoing role in each fund’s management and operations.

Jim also serves on the Board of Directors of National Real Estate Advisors, and is special counsel to the Real Estate Investment Committee of the Union Labor Life Insurance Company, and his client relationships often span decades.

Representative Transactions/Positions

  • Counsel to owner/management team of private fund real estate fund manager in the creation of the firm and ongoing management issues

  • Real Estate General Counsel to large Taft-Hartley Pension Plan

  • Counsel to developer of several multi-use projects located in major urban areas

  • Counsel to majority equity investor in large scale, multi-year redevelopment project in the suburban Boston area

  • Lead counsel in the creation of a large co-mingled real estate fund with 65+ investors

  • Lead counsel in the creation of a private fund specializing in the development and ownership of data centers and negotiation of investment terms, side letters, etc. with several Fortune 500 investors

  • Large debt restructurings on behalf of owners of several large urban assets during the 2008-2009 downturn

Professional Background

Jim began his career at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP in New York where he focused on securities, project finance, mergers and acquisitions. Prior to co-founding DRB with his partners, Jim served as the managing principal at its predecessor firm.

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