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  • Education
    • J.D., Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law, 2005
    • B.A., with honors, The University of Texas at Austin, 2001,


John Duncan serves as Chair of the Financial Services Division within Polsinelli’s Real Estate & Financial Services Department and also leads the firm’s national Real Estate Finance Practice Group.  John offers clients a deep understanding of all facets of the commercial real estate finance industry and related legal issues. Because of his broad background and strategic mindset, many lenders and special servicer clients seek John’s input and guidance on their most important matters.

John represents lenders, commercial mortgage and special servicers, and other investors in a wide variety of commercial real estate finance transactions including loan originations, loan sales and purchases, commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS), loan restructurings, modifications and workouts, foreclosures, and the leasing, management and sale of commercial real estate properties.  

John represents commercial lenders in connection with all types of commercial real estate financing transactions involving all types of commercial real estate assets. Recently, he has assisted a lender in all aspects of developing and implementing a bridge lending program focused on the origination of floating rate commercial mortgage loans intended for securitization, secured by properties that generally do not yet qualify for permanent financing, including advising on licensing issues, development and maintenance of processes, procedures, form loan documents and other loan program issues.  

A significant portion of John’s practice involves the CMBS industry and, in particular, advising commercial mortgage and special servicers on a variety of issues, including day-to-day legal issues with respect to pooling and servicing, intercreditor and participation agreements and important business decisions. 

In addition to transactional matters involving commercial real estate finance, John works closely with Polsinelli’s Financial Services Litigation practice on matters involving litigation, bankruptcy and other disputes related to non-performing and sub-performing commercial mortgage and mezzanine loans, and with Polsinelli’s Capital Markets practice on matters involving securitization and mortgage loan servicing rights.  

Following the financial crisis of 2008 and continuing for the next several years, John represented various lenders and special servicers in the successful resolution and workout of many large, highly-structured commercial mortgage loans, including loans secured by multiple luxury hotels in the United States and Mexico and loans secured by trophy office buildings across the United States. 
  • Represented CMBS special servicer, on behalf of CMBS trust, in connection with restructuring of a single-asset securitization consisting of a $425 million mortgage loan to various hotel operators secured by five luxury hotels located in New York, California and Mexico, which transaction involved additional collateral, $100 million in new mezzanine debt and a complex cash management arrangement.
  • Represented CMBS special servicer, on behalf of CMBS trust, in connection with restructuring of a $132,600,000 mortgage loan secured by a luxury resort, multiple golf courses and golf club in Florida, which transaction involved a transfer and amendment of the loan participation structure and conversion of a $30,400,000 mezzanine loan into equity in th sole member of the various borrower entities.
  • Represented CMBS special servicer, on behalf of CMBS trust, in connection with the assumption and restructuring of a $120 million mortgage loan secured by full service hotels located in California and Florida, which transaction involved extinguishment of a junior participation interest and an assignment-in-lieu pertaining to a $40 million mezzanine loan.
  • Represented collateralized debt obligation, acting through its investment advisor and special servicer, in connection with a variety of loan restructuring matters involving large commercial mortgage loans, note sales and exercise of remedies.
  • Represented CMBS special servicer, on behalf of CMBS trust, in connection with a unique settlement, foreclosure and ultimate successful resolution of a defaulted commercial mortgage loan secured by large office building in Dallas, Texas.
  • Represented national bank, as lender and agent, in connection with a bankruptcy and plan of reorganization involving a large syndicated loan secured by an incomplete mixed-use project.