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Maryland Real Estate-Focused Law Firm Adds Big Land Use, Zoning Team

Posted by: | Posted on: June 16, 2020

Mid-size Maryland firm, Selzer Gurvitch Rabin Wertheimer & Polott, expanded, hiring a team of six real estate lawyers led by Linowes and Blocher managing partner Robert “Bob” Dalrymple, even as the COVID-19 pandemic made striking a deal more complicated.

Because of the coronavirus restrictions, the team onboarded remotely and the lawyers started work in mid-May, Selzer Gurvitch managing shareholder Andrew Polott said in an interview on Saturday.

“It came down to being prepared,” Polott said.

The lateral hires help Selzer Gurvitch, based in Bethesda, expand its real estate practice offerings by adding a land use and zoning practice, Polott said, noting that the firm’s practice includes real estate transactions and tax and estate planning.

In addition to Dalrymple, now head of Selzer Gurvitch’s land use and zoning practice, the laterals include land use and zoning partner Matthew Gordon; Robert “Bob Park Jr., head of the real property taxation practice; commercial litigation and real estate taxation counsel Jessica Lieberman; condo and homeowner association partner Brian Bichy; and banking and transactional real estate partner David Weintraub.

Polott said the group includes one of the premier zoning land use groups in Montgomery County, Maryland.

“We’ve really acquired some significant heft there, and the others groups concentrate on homeowner and condo association law. Those things have actual meaning in the world [in which] we travel,” he said.

Dalrymple was not immediately available for comment on Monday. Heather Dlhopolsky, a Linowes and Blocher partner in Bethesda, also did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the departures.

Polott said his firm was prepared to expand, even during the pandemic, because the equity partners had decided in 2019 that a merger was off the table, but it would expand by adding lawyers.

Still, negotiations moved quickly, he said. He said he had one, pre-COVID-19 meeting with the Linowes and Blocher team in mid-March, but the rest of the talks were accomplished virtually.

“That of itself almost blows your mind,” he said.

The firm, now at 23 lawyers, is looking to expand further, Polott said. He said the firm’s revenue is driven mostly by real estate-related practices —although estate planning is a big contributor as well — so may diversify into other areas over time.

While most of the firm’s lawyers and staff continue to work remotely, he said the firm may eventually change up its office arrangement into more of a “hoteling” plan to accommodate more lawyers in its space.





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