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Joseph M.HernandezPartner, Chair of Real Estate Practice Group
Joseph M.


Chair of Real Estate Practice Group

(305) 854-0800

Joe Hernandez is a sought-after transactional real estate and business lawyer with a unique perspective: he is able to draw from his prior work experience as a banker and general counsel for a private equity firm to inform his representation of a variety of clients seeking to engage in complex commercial real estate and business transactions.

Joe’s clients include real estate developers, financial institutions, private equity firms, high net worth individuals, and public entities in all phases of complex commercial real estate and business transactions in the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean. He handles acquisitions, development, financing, leasing, joint ventures, and advises clients on raising capital for real estate projects.

Joe has also developed a particular niche representing condominium associations and cooperative corporations being pursued by developers for acquisition of the units and termination of the condominium or cooperative. Joe coordinates a multi-disciplinary approach in order to counsel clients in navigating the myriad of legal issues faced by associations and unit owners in these situations. Joe also represents condominium associations, community associations, developers of condominium projects, and groups of unit owners in a variety of condominium law and community association matters, including turnovers, dispute resolution, casualties and construction defects issues.

Joe is an agent for several national title insurance companies and has handled the resolution of complex title insurance issues involving real property in the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean.

Prior to joining the firm, Joe served as general counsel for an asset management firm owned by Cerberus Capital. Prior to that, Joe was the head of the real estate practice group at the Miami office of an AmLaw 100 firm and a real estate shareholder at one of the largest law firms in the country. Prior to law school, Joe was a banker at a large money center bank in New York and also worked for the predecessor of Bank of America for five years as a corporate and real estate banker.

Joe was elected as a Fellow of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers (ACREL) in 2017.

Active in the community, Joe is on the board of directors of Junior Achievement of Greater Miami. He is an adjunct professor at the University of Miami School of Law and teaches courses in real estate finance for the Real Property Development L.L.M Program.

Professional & Community Involvement

  • American College of Real Estate Lawyers (ACREL), Fellow
  • The Florida Bar, Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section
  • Dade County Bar Association, Real Property Committee
  • American Bar Association, Real Property Section
  • Junior Achievement of Miami, Former Chairman of the Board and Executive Committee Member, Member of Board of Directors
  • Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Miami, Class of 2001
  • Adjunct Professor, University of Miami Law School, Real Property Development L.L.M. Program

Awards & Recognition

  • Chambers & Partners USA, Real Estate – South Florida, 2022
  • Best Lawyers in America®, Real Estate Law, 2019 – present
  • Daily Business Review, Dealmaker of the Year Award, 2015
  • Florida Trend’s Legal Elite, 2007-2012; 2020, 2022

Practice Areas


Florida, 1996


University of Miami School of Law, J.D., cum laude, 1996

University of Florida, B.S.B.A., 1987



  • The Next Frontier, Bisnow Money Conference, November 15, 2022
  • Driving Meaningful Community Engagement, Bisnow Multifamily Annual Conference, November 3, 2022
  • Construction Outlook: Supply Chain, Investments, and Strategies, Bisnow, September 29, 2022
  • State of South Florida’s Capital Market, Bisnow, May 12, 2022
  • The Miami State of the Market, Bisnow, September 2021
  • Opportunity Zone Panel, Legal Services of Greater Miami, Inc., June 5, 2019
  • South Florida Opportunity Zones, Bisnow, February 2019
  • Building For Resiliency: Strengthening Workforce, Housing and Mitigating Future Risk, Bisnow, Caribbean Hospitality Investment Summit, August 2018
  • Real Estate Industry, Forecast for 2018, South Florida Association for Financial Professionals (SFAFP), November 2017
  • Trends in South Florida Real Estate, Miami-Dade Legal Support Association, July 2017
  • The Peebles Path to TOD’s, Bisnow, May 2017
  • Miami’s 2017 Outlook & Forecast Forum, Bisnow, January 2017
Press Mentions
Representative Experience
  • Represented a trust consisting of a large group of homeowners in the negotiation of a settlement worth over $20 million with a large residential developer for the development of a 110-acre golf course.
  • Represented a condominium association in the $55 million sale of all of units, the termination of the condominium, and related transactional and litigation matters.
  • Represented the City of Miami in one of the largest real estate transactions in its history, which involved the negotiation of a ground lease and development agreement for leasing City land located on the Miami River to a developer in exchange for the developer building a new state of the art administration building for the City.
  • Represented a developer in a joint venture with an institutional equity partner in the purchase of a development site and development of a luxury condominium project in downtown Miami.
  • Represented a condominium association in the $82 million sale of the entire condominium under a plan of termination.
  • Represented a lender in its $1 billion senior mortgage participation and mezzanine loan to a nursing home and health care facilities company.
  • Represented a large hotel company in the refinancing of $300 million in mortgage financing for a large resort hotel in Orlando, Florida.
  • Represented a public university in analyzing real estate issues in connection with the donation of a large tract of land located in Puerto Rico to the university for conservation purposes.
  • Represented a large commercial bank in its $110 million corporate and real estate financing to a large commercial grower of foliage and bedding plants involving over 2,600 acres of real property throughout several states.
  • Represented Florida East Coast Industries in real estate aspects of the $270 million acquisition of Codina Group, Inc., the largest industrial developer in South Florida, and acquisition of related real estate assets.
  • Represented a developer throughout the purchase, development and $90 million construction financing of an affordable residential project consisting of a 398-unit condominium and retail development in the City of Miami.
  • Represented West LB in a corporate and real estate loan in the aggregate amount of $59 million to a world renowned hotel company and its affiliates, secured in part by a mortgage on a five-star hotel in Brazil.
  • Represented a condominium association controlled by a bulk owner of the units to terminate the condominium and in related litigation.


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