“A businessman with a law degree, who [has made] me money, and who really cares about me.”

This is what long-standing client of the firm said about Adam when asked why the client had stayed with Adam for the past 20+ years.

In Adam’s real estate and business transactions practice, he listens carefully to each client to understand his client’s business and needs, rather than just “jumping into drafting” or “pulling a form off a shelf” to resolve a legal issue.  He recognizes that every agreement is part of managing a client’s business relationships, from a one-time transaction like selling a business to a long-term transaction such as leasing a building.  To do this, he pulls from not only his 20+ years of legal experience, but also his five years’ experience as a corporate financial analyst and his background in psychology.

As Adam tells his William & Mary law school students in his advanced transactions classes – the deal drives the drafting, so the lawyer must understand the deal before drafting a document.  Your job, he tells his students, is to fix problems for your client and get your client’s deal done, while protecting your client as best you can.  Or, if you cannot protect your client, you need to let your client know this truth, so your client can decide whether to walk away from the deal.

Adam represents individual and business clients in commercial transactions, emphasizing:

  • Drafting agreements to resolve real estate and business issues – boundary line disputes, easement issues, forbearance by lenders, and other issues
  • Commercial leasing (including resolution of commercial landlord and tenant disputes and representation of landlords in tenant bankruptcies)
  • Sales and purchases of commercial real estate
  • Sales and purchases of businesses and business assets

Adam joined ThompsonMcMullan after graduating from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1995. Prior to law school, he attended the Pennsylvania State University, from which he received a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (Finance), graduating first in his MBA class. From 1987 until 1992, Adam served as a corporate financial analyst for Ford New Holland, Inc., the agricultural subsidiary of Ford Motor Company.

  • University of Virginia School of Law, J.D., 1995
  • Pennsylvania State University, MBA, Finance, 1987
    • Graduated first in the class
  • Pennsylvania State University, B.A., Psychology (Business Minor), 1985

How does Adam incorporate his approach into his practice?

    • A client with a 60-acre special use property came to Adam seeking to sell the property, with the buyer wanting seller financing. After discussing the situation with the client, Adam understood that the client wanted the monthly cash flow that financing would provide, but the client did not want to accept the default risk of being the buyer’s lender.  The client also did not want the property potentially going to the highest bidder at some future foreclosure sale, as the client had “deep roots” and a personal attachment to the property.  The deal changed to a short-term lease with a purchase option, which worked out well, as the buyer paid the rent for the term but ultimately could not obtain financing.  That resulted in the client having the cash flow for the term, but keeping control over the property and its destiny after the buyer did not exercise the purchase option (and the real estate market had improved during the term, increasing the value of the property to the client).

 

    • A client wanted to purchase a lot at a busy intersection to build and lease a store to a national auto parts dealer. Unfortunately, a property behind the site owned a small strip of land running parallel to one street, all the way to the intersection, with only a too-small existing access easement reserved to the store site.  A “spite strip” perhaps, used by the neighbor to prevent development of the store site?  No, the neighbor merely wanted a sign at the intersection for the neighbor’s business, but the locality required signs to be on only “owned” land.  Adam drafted a detailed easement agreement to give the client most of the rights to the use of the strip, while preserving the neighbor’s right to have the sign, and protecting the neighbor’s site line to the sign, so that both parties got what they needed and the client could get the deal done.

 

  • A sophisticated business client was obtaining a $2 million credit line requiring a personal guaranty, and the client had not done this before, as he had previously self-financed his business. Adam reviewed and explained all of the documents to the client, pointed out some critical points that would have resulted in the client being in default, and the client considered “walking away.”  Instead, Adam negotiated some concessions from the lender to both the deal and to the lender’s form documents, which the client had believed could not be changed, and got the client’s deal done while protecting the client from the client’s largest issues of concern.
  • AV Peer Review Rated in Martindale-Hubbell
  • Virginia Business Magazine’s “Legal Elite”, Real Estate/Land Use category, 2012 – 2017
  • Selected to the Super Lawyers Virginia List, Business/Corporate Law category, 2014 – 2016

William and Mary Law School, Adjunct Professor, Spring 2017, Fall 2017
Advanced Writing and Practice – Transactions Course

 

Upcoming Speaking Engagements

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Past Speaking Engagements

15marAll DayGuest Lecturer, Real Estate Leasing for Advanced Transactional Practice CourseWilliam and Mary Law SchoolPresented by: Adam R. Nelson
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