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Jay Epstien

Jay Epstien

Retired Partner

Jay Epstien represents local and national owners, developers and users in all aspects of real estate transactions involving urban office buildings, shopping centers and mixed-use projects.

He has been the lead lawyer on many of the largest downtown office leases in Washington, DC, representing both landlords and tenants, including numerous law firms that have sought his counsel. He has represented major corporations in corporate real estate facilities matters throughout the United States, involving major corporate relocations and disposition of significant existing facilities. Jay is also an active practitioner in the shopping center industry.

Jay is a fellow of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers, serving as President in 2018, and a member of the ICSC Law Conference Program Committee, where he served as chair of the 2010 ICSC Law Conference.

Bar admissionsDistrict of Columbia
  • J.D., Cornell Law School
    Order of the Coif
    Editor, Cornell Law Review
    magna cum laude
  • B.S., Case Western Reserve University
    magna cum laude


  • Chambers USA
    • Band 1, District of Columbia Real Estate (2012-2023) 
    • Band 2, Nationwide Real Estate (2019-2021) 
    • Band 1, Nationwide Real Estate (2013-2018)
  • The Legal 500 United States
    • Recommended, Real Estate (2019-2021) 
    • Hall of Fame, Real Estate (2020)
    • Leading Lawyer, Real Estate (2015-2018)
  • AJC Learned Hand Award (2015)
    • In recognition of exceptional professional achievements and dedication to civic and philanthropic causes and organizations

In 2013, Jay was one of only two attorneys recognized among 30 executives in Commercial Property Executives' "Most Influential People in Real Estate" feature celebrating those central to driving growth and innovation in the commercial real estate recovery. In 2011, Jay was the recipient of a Champions and Visionaries: The Legal Times Award, named in a Washington-based special report of The National Law Journal. He was selected as a Visionary Leader, one whose business or legal acumen has been key to expanding his firm, improving government or advancing the law. Jay is also listed in The Best Lawyers in America (2012), the Guide to the World's Leading Real Estate Lawyers 2008 and 2010, An International Who's Who of Real Estate Lawyers and Who's Who Legal: The International Who's Who of Business Lawyers. In addition, Jay was recognized as one of the top 25 real estate lawyers in the world in the Best of the Best 2009 Guide to the World's Leading Lawyers.

Jay is consistently recognized as one of the leading real estate lawyers in Washington, DC. In 2011, Washingtonian magazine named him one of Washington's top lawyers. He has been named as one of the Top 100 Super Lawyers in Washington, DC and among the Top 10 Super Lawyers in Washington, DC. The Legal Times named him one of 13 leading real estate lawyers and the Washington Business Journal ranked him as the Top Real Estate Lawyer in Washington, DC in 2004.


  • Chair, Editorial Board, BNA Real Estate Law & Industry Report
  • Lead Editor, Chambers Global Real Estate Guide (2017-2022)
  • Using a Variety of Skills to Satisfy a Variety of Clients, Inside The Minds  -- Winning Legal Strategies for Real Estate (2005)
  • Real Estate in the World of Disruption, Innovation and Rapid Technological Change, Who’s Who Legal: Real Estate (2018)
  • US Commercial Real Estate Transactions: Trends for 2019, The US-Israel Legal Review (2019)

Memberships And Affiliations

  • Fellow, American College of Real Estate Lawyers
    • Board of Governors (2002-2007)
    • President (2018)
  • Board of Directors, American Heart Association – Greater Washington Region (2002-2011)
  • Federal City Council
  • Georgetown University Law Center Advanced Commercial Leasing Institute, Advisory Board (1998-2001)
  • US Law Conference Planning Committee, International Council of Shopping Centers (2001-present)
  • Boards of Directors – Headstrong, Higher Achievement, Annika Foundation