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Top Rated Lawyer, Martindale-Hubbell - 2015-   2022Avvo - 2023

Top 100 Real Estate Lawyers in New York State,

        American Society of Legal Advocates - 2014

Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers,

        Martindale-Hubbell - 2013, 2014

Legal Elite - Top Women Attorneys in New York

        CityAvenue Magazine - 2011, 2012

AV Preeminent, 5.0 out of 5.0 Peer Review Rated,

        Martindale-Hubbell - last 24 years.


Speaking Engagements, Podcasts,

Papers & Publications:

"Wisconsin Construction Law: What Do You Do

     When...?"  (National Business Institute Lecture)

"Ten-Year Statute of Repose for Design and

     Construction Defects" *

"Home Buyer Beware: Make the Fine Print Work

     for You" *

"Remodeling Contractor Beware -- Liability Under

     Wisconsin Home Improvement Trade  Practices

     Regulations" *

Guidelines for Office Relocation and Expansion

     (co-author) **

Furniture Guidelines (co-author) **


*  Michael, Best & Friedrich Construction / Real

     Estate Newsletter

**  McKinsey & Company internal publication

                                      "Real Estate & Law" - tips on

                                           buying or selling a home

                                    (Boomers Rock radio talk show)

DEBRA H. ZARNE, Attorney at Law


Areas of Practice:  Commercial and residential real estate law with an emphasis on commercial leasing and architectural/construction contracts. 


Bar Admissions:  New York and Wisconsin



A.B. English - Stanford University  (Phi Beta Kappa)

J.D. - Harvard Law School

M.F.A. Cinema/Television (Film Production Division) - University of Southern California


Work Experience:

Debra has handled nearly all types of real estate transactions, including reviewing, drafting and negotiating commercial leases (corporate headquarters, office, retail, shopping center, industrial and antenna leases); construction contracts (general contractor and construction management agreements and subcontracts); architectural, engineering and consultant agreements; commercial and residential purchases and sales (office, apartment and industrial/warehouse buildings; houses, coops and condominiums); sale-leasebacks; mortgages and other financings; partnership agreements; brokerage agreements; and other real estate contracts.  


Highlights have included drafting a headquarters lease in Manhattan for a global bank, drafting a construction management agreement for construction of a new New York Stock Exchange building, representing an art museum in its expansion, representing several hospitals on new construction projects, providing advice to corporate offices worldwide on the entire process of opening a new office or expanding an existing one, as well as a variety of real estate matters for real estate developers, a clothing designer, clothing stores, various small businesses, and individuals.


Debra received most of her training in real estate law as an Associate in the law firm of

Kaye, Scholer, Fierman, Hays & Handler (New York office).  She went on to become the Real Estate Counsel at the global management consulting firm of McKinsey & Company, Inc. (New York office); a Partner at the law firm of Michael Best & Friedrich LLP (Milwaukee office); and Counsel at the global law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP (New York and Tokyo offices).  


On the side, Debra has served as an Administrative Law Judge at the NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission (part-time), adjudicating cases relating to taxicabs, for-hire vehicles, commuter vans, paratransit vans, etc.; and as a Small Claims Arbitrator for the New York City Civil Court (pro bono). 

Debra also is a notary public in New York and Wisconsin.


"AV Preeminent" and 5.0/5.0 Peer Review rating on - 2024

 9.6 ("Superb") Avvo rating as of 7/7/2024                                   

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