NY Hospitality, Real Estate Partner Joins Blank Rome
Christy Reuter, the former hotel and hospitality group chair at Meister Seelig & Fein, has joined Blank Rome LLP in New York City as a partner in the firm's real estate group and chair for its hospitality group.
Reuter has decades of experience guiding hospitality transactions and is a leader within what she calls a "sexy" practice. She told Law360 in a phone interview Friday morning that she loves being part of new deals and seeing projects from the ground up.
"The creativity that goes into building a restaurant and the hard work and creativity and creating the menus and keeping the restaurant going and keeping the business thriving and serving the customers at every level of it excites me," Reuter, who started Aug. 10, said.
She normally walks through all the spaces when she does leases, which helps her see and feel the raw space, and then in six, eight or 10 months, Reuter gets to see the finished product at an opening party.
Samantha Wallack, a Blank Rome partner and co-chair of the real estate practice group, said during a joint video interview with Reuter that she just matched with the group by enjoying being together and working together.
"When we met, Christy was one of those kind of 'when you see it, you know it,' and her personality, her energy, her hustle, her work ethic is really something that we're so excited to have on board," Wallack said.
"Just on a high level, we were so excited to meet Christy, who has such a well-regarded name in the industry and whose clients also are just clients whose restaurants we all would like to get reservations at if we could," she added with a laugh.
Reuter received her law degree from St. John's University and previously spent seven years as the general counsel for Cipriani USA, which owns and runs luxury restaurants and clubs globally. After her time there, Reuter founded her own practice and then joined Meister Seelig for more than five years.
She called her move to Blank Rome a no-brainer, given its access to multiple markets she was previously unable to serve and predicted seeing a lot more booming hospitality business in cities like Boston, Austin, Texas, and Dallas.
"Blank Rome has offices in key markets around the country, and they also have certain practice areas that are very unique, for example there's a practice area here that just does insurance review for policies, and that's a big, big issue with regard to my clients," Reuter said.
She also highlighted the firm's leadership in diversity as a large draw and described how clients nowadays are more sensitive to working with firms that have a diverse workforce. Reuter said while she thinks diversity should be important to everyone, and that being in a firm that promotes women and people of color is important to her.
Reuter said that her goal at Blank Rome is to reach an even broader base of hospitality clients, given that they span all over the world.
"Here I can really grow that practice and reach out to a broader base of hospitality companies that are growing every day — just look at a newspaper or go online and you can see every day hospitality groups that are growing and building new sexy ideas or restaurants and hotel concepts," Reuter said, emphasizing her excitement to be part of it.
She added, "If you're not having fun, what's the point?"
“NY Hospitality, Real Estate Partner Joins Blank Rome,” by Diamond Naga Siu was published in Law360 on August 13, 2021.