Michael R. Leighton, a Member of the Sills Cummis & Gross Real Estate Department, concentrates his practice on real estate finance including loan workouts and distressed loan purchases. His practice includes counseling real estate developers, hedge funds, real estate investment trusts, lenders, insurance companies, securities dealers, investment advisors and syndicators. He has regularly represented national and publicly held companies in the purchase of real estate across the country, as well as investors funding projects internationally.

Mr. Leighton previously served as Co-Chair of the Real Estate Department of a major New Jersey law firm. Prior to that, he was an associate at Schulte Roth & Zabel.


  • Real Estate
  • Loan Workouts and Restructuring

Expand All

Representative Matters

    • Representation of a borrower in a $300,000,000 note on note financing from a European bank
    • Representation of a hedge fund in an $89,000,000 purchase of a discounted note secured by a Florida resort
    • Representation of one of the nation’s leading private lenders in the funding of national and international loans totaling in excess of $1,000,000,000
    • Representation of a Chinese government owned bank in connection with a construction mortgage loan of $1,000,000,000 to be secured by an Atlantic City hotel and resort
    • Representation of a hedge fund in the $75,000,000 acquisition of a Hudson River condominium complex

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey
  • U.S. Tax Court




Client Alerts

Rankings and Recognition

  • Selected for inclusion in:
  • The Best Lawyers in America®* 2007-2024, Real Estate Law
  • New Jersey Super Lawyers®* 2008-2024, Real Estate: Business; Business/Corporate; Securities & Corporate Finance
  • Martindale-Hubbell®* AV rating
  • Included in the Real Estate Weekly "2008 All Stars" list.

* See Award Methodology. No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.


  • Member, American Bar Association

  • Member, New York State Bar Association

    — Member, Real Property Law Section
    — Member, Committee on Real Estate Workouts and Bankruptcy


  • J.D., Georgetown University Law Center

    Associate Editor, The Tax Lawyer

  • B.A., The George Washington University

Bar Admissions

  • New Jersey
  • New York