David Hales is a member of the Real Estate Practice Group. He is an accomplished real estate attorney with over 20 years of experience acting as real estate counsel for closely held businesses, public companies, governmental entities, educational institutions, and religious organizations that serve the real estate, logistics, automotive, insurance, hotel, charitable and military components industries. He represents both lenders and borrowers in real estate workouts, deeds in lieu of foreclosure, purchase of distressed debt, foreclosures, receiverships, and bankruptcy. With considerable knowledge and expertise in real estate transactions, David assists both owners and lenders, and both sponsors and investors of limited partnership interests. He provides corporate real estate and general corporate counseling for real estate entrepreneurs, investors, lenders, and developers.

Earlier in his career, David was a certified public accountant at a Big 5 accounting firm in New York City. He earned his J.D., magna cum laude, from Boston University School of Law in 1996 and a Bachelor of Science degree from State University of New York at Binghamton in 1991.

Representative Cases & Matters

  • Acted as local counsel for one of Ohio’s full service casinos, assisting with land assemblage, tenant relocations, demolition and construction, historic landmarks, landowner lawsuits, receivership purchases and venture financing in excess of $800,000,000.
  • Assisted in development of four full service hotels in Chicago, Durham, North Carolina, and Atlanta, Georgia.
  • Assisted in the acquisition and redevelopment of a historic Atlanta inn.
  • Acted as local counsel on the purchase and re-capitalization of a 128 hotel, multi-state portfolio.
  • Assisted an investor group with the acquisition of an auto parts manufacturer sold by state court receivership.
  • Represented a Fortune 500 company in the acquisition of $757,000,000 of coal mines in West Virginia.
  • Represented a regional financial institution in the financing of high wall and deep coal mines.
  • Assisted a snack food manufacturer with the acquisition, construction and financing of a LEED certified food manufacturing and HQ facility.
  • Represented a public company in the divestiture of deep coal mines, surface mines and processing plants.
  • Assisted a private individual with the purchase of an apartment at Waldorf Astoria, Jerusalem, Israel. 
  • Represented a shareholder in the sale of a chemical production corporation involving multi-state facilities for $58,000,000.  
  • Assisted a national cardiologist group with acquisitions of a full service hospital in Hawaii.
  • Represented an Ohio county with the acquisition of 63 acres of waterfront property located in downtown Cleveland, which was subject to a foreclosure action, a separate eminent domain action and a submerged land lease with the State of Ohio.
  • Assisted an owner of 950 units of garden-style apartment complexes in the workout and deed in lieu of foreclosure to main lenders with related discharge of personal guarantees.
  • Assisted a medical school to relocate its main campus from the City of Cleveland to the City of Independence, Ohio, including acquisition, zoning and development representation.
  • Assisted an Akron, Ohio-based private golf club with a loan workout and golf club management representation to avert bankruptcy and shut down of club operations. 
  • Provided real estate representation to an international steel producer in the reorganization of operational assets and recapitalization of business pursuant to court-supervised sale and restructuring under the United States Bankruptcy Code.
  • Assisted a property owner in removing a large industrial center from a securitized loan pool without payment of prepayment penalties, late fees or default interest. 
  • Assisted the developer during the acquisition and restoration of the Old Arcade in Cleveland, Ohio’s central business district, including the negotiation of multi-tiered public and private financing arrangements and real estate tax abatement. 
  • Represented a national land trust in the acquisition of approximately 150 acres of land in Summit County, Ohio for development into a park and recreation facility. 

Honors & Recognition

Named by The Best Lawyers in America for Real Estate Law (2024)

Selected for inclusion in Ohio Super Lawyers (2008-2016)

Named an Ohio Rising Star by Law and Politics Magazine (2005-2007)



Boston University School of Law

State University of New York at Binghamton

Admissions – State

Professional & Civic

Professional Activities

Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, Real Estate Section 

First American Title Insurance Company, Advisory Board

International Council of Shopping Centers

Urban Land Institute 

Hill ‘N Dale Club

Community Involvement

Bluecoats, Inc.

News & Insights

External News & Publications

“A Practical Guide to Sale/Leaseback Transactions” Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Journal, October 2015


Speaking Engagements

“Tenant Due Diligence: When Relying on the Lease is not Enough,” Retail Development & Law Symposium by International Council of Shopping Centers, Columbus, Ohio, March 4, 2016 and March 4, 2017

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