March 16, 2022
Am Law 100 firm Polsinelli welcomes seasoned attorneys S. Shawn Whitney and Emily K. Wehr to the Miami office as the latest high-profile additions to the firm’s Real Estate and Financial Services Practice. Whitney joins the firm as shareholder and steps in as the new leader of Polsinelli’s Tax Credit Practice. Wehr joins the firm as Counsel in the Tax Credit Practice. 

“We are pleased to welcome Shawn and Emily to our firm, knowing the immediate impact they will have in growing our outstanding Tax Credit Practice, which serves our real estate and finance clients who develop, invest in and provide financing for tax credit structured developments,” said Polsinelli Real Estate and Financial Services Department Chair Kraig Kohring. “Aligning Shawn’s leading tax credit financing expertise with our extraordinary real estate and real estate finance experts will further solidify the real estate powerhouse we are able to offer to our clients.”

Whitney brings extensive credibility and connections to Polsinelli’s Real Estate and Tax Credit Practices, a group catalyzed by the collective strength of Polsinelli’s national Real Estate and Real Estate Finance practices and the firm’s Opportunity Zones group, which is led by Korb Maxwell. After another exceptional year of successful results and noteworthy hires, the nationally ranked Real Estate practice now has 220 lawyers on its roster. As one of the first Opportunity Zones groups formed in the country, under Maxwell’s leadership, Polsinelli has more than 30 attorneys dedicated to the practice. The team has closed deals valued at more than $1.5 billion.

“I’ve long been impressed by Polsinelli’s successful work and sterling reputation among clients, and I’m eager to work alongside Kraig, Korb and other colleagues that I’ve respected for years,” said Whitney. “I appreciate this opportunity to further grow the Tax Credit Practice throughout Polsinelli’s national footprint.” 

Whitney and Wehr join Polsinelli having worked closely together at Spencer Fane LLP, where Whitney was Co-Chair of the Real Estate group and chair of their Tax Credit Finance and Opportunity Zones team.  

“As we expand our Opportunity Zones work across the nation, Shawn’s experience, insights and leadership will be invaluable to our clients,” said Korb Maxwell, who leads Polsinelli’s Opportunity Zones Practice group. “I’ve been wanting the chance to partner with Shawn for years, so this is a big day for our firm and our clients.”

Over the past two decades, Whitney has built a respected national practice dedicated to affordable housing and the adaptive reuse of historic buildings utilizing state and federal tax credit programs along with other incentives such as tax abatements/exemptions, TIF, and other development incentives. Whitney has a successful track record of structuring low-income housing, historic rehabilitation, and new markets tax credit transactions for developers, investors, syndicators, lenders, and Community Development Enterprises (CDE’s). Many of his deals require him to work with clients to layer HOME funds, non-profit grants, and NMTC leverage loans into difficult-to-develop projects. Whitney has deep experience representing developers of a continuum of care facilities often including raising millions of dollars in private equity. Whitney earned his bachelor’s degree from Drury University before obtaining a J.D. from University of Missouri - Kansas City School of Law. 

Wehr comes to Polsinelli having enjoyed a lengthy career in which she has combined her experience in real estate law and litigation to help clients efficiently close transactions and avoid unnecessary and potentially costly litigation. Passionate about her clients’ needs and interests, she works diligently to analyze case merits, minimize risk and secure positive resolutions to complex legal matters. Wehr earned her bachelor’s degree from University of Central Florida before obtaining a J.D. from Nova Southeastern University.

“It’s clear these are exciting times for Polsinelli, and especially the Real Estate and Financial Services team,” Wehr said. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to continue to work with Shawn as we grow our Tax Credit Practice, and I look forward to collaborating with colleagues on our nationally ranked Real Estate and Tax teams to best serve our clients.” 

Polsinelli’s rapidly expanding Real Estate and Financial Services Department also recently welcomed attorneys Andrew Cromer, Dora Acherman, Louis D. Rubin, Diana Feng in Miami, Sarah K. Laird in Nashville, Benjamin M. Lee in Washington D.C., Emma R. Keyser in Houston, Rafael Santos-Hernández in New York, Amber L. Munday in Chicago, Lauren E. Hirt in Denver, Bradley E. Wright in Phoenix, Kristian J.F. Bornemann in San Francisco, and Robert J. Bello in the Chicago and Los Angeles offices.

The Real Estate Practice continues to achieve a National Tier One ranking in Real Estate Law by U.S. News & World Report’s 2021 “Best Law Firms” list, and it was included in Legal 500’s prestigious 2021 rankings. The Real Estate Practice also earned several prominent placements in the 2021 state, practice and attorney rankings from Chambers USA, a leading legal industry rankings organization.

About Polsinelli

Polsinelli is an Am Law 100 firm with 950 attorneys in 21 offices nationwide. Recognized by legal research firm BTI Consulting as one of the top firms for excellent client service and client relationships, the firm’s attorneys provide value through practical legal counsel infused with business insight, and focus on health care, financial services, real estate, intellectual property, middle-market corporate, labor and employment and business litigation. Polsinelli PC, Polsinelli LLP in California.