International law firm Dorsey & Whitney LLP announced today that it has formed a four-attorney real estate group in its Phoenix, Arizona, office, led by Partner Ben Thinnes. In addition to Mr. Thinnes, the group includes Of Counsel Brian McNamara and associates Lauren Smith and Tom Whitten, all of whom joined in June 2022.

Dorsey opened its Phoenix office in January of this year and now has 17 lawyers licensed to practice in Arizona. The real estate practice was a top priority for the Firm’s Phoenix offerings, and the addition of the practice group is an important step forward in Dorsey’s growth strategy for Phoenix and the Mountain West region.

Ben Thinnes is in his 20th year of real estate practice in the Phoenix market. His practice focuses on commercial real estate and finance transactions. Ben counsels his real estate clients on all aspects of purchase and sale transactions, leasing, and real property development projects. Ben’s experience includes dealing with an assortment of asset types, including office and industrial properties, retail centers, master-planned communities, multi-family developments, redevelopment projects, condominium projects, golf courses and private clubs. Ben’s lending practice focuses on all stages of financing transactions from term sheet negotiations, documentation, due diligence, and closing to workouts and restructurings over the life of the loan. Accolades Ben has earned include being named Best Lawyers “Lawyer of the Year” for Commercial Finance Law in Phoenix for 2022. Ben joins Dorsey from the firm of Salmon, Lewis & Weldon, and previously served as general counsel for one of the country’s preeminent private golf community developers.

Brian McNamara practices in the real estate transactions space, focusing on financing and acquisition/disposition transactions. His experience includes acting as general counsel to various real estate investment and development entities, advising family offices and assisting lenders providing real estate-related financing. Brian has a great deal of experience in international business transactions, and he has previous experience in commercial and real estate dispute resolution. He most recently practiced at The Venture Law Firm and Jennings, Strouss & Salmon in Phoenix.

Associate Lauren Smith joins Dorsey from Jennings, Strouss & Salmon and Associate Tom Whitten joins Dorsey from Quarles & Brady’s Phoenix office.

“Dorsey has been on a growth path since opening in Phoenix in January, and offering top-tier real estate expertise was a huge priority for both our clients and the firm,” said Scott Jenkins, head of Dorsey’s Phoenix office. “Bringing on Ben Thinnes to lead the team is a ‘wish-list’ type of hire. Brian McNamara, Lauren Smith and Tom Whitten bring a wide range of expertise to the team, and we couldn’t be happier about bringing on this outstanding group of real estate and finance attorneys.”