Mr. Aguilar brings to Shutts more than 20 years of experience representing real estate developers, home builders, financial institutions, private equity funds, and other investors in sophisticated commercial transactions throughout the United States and in Latin America, with an emphasis on acquisitions and dispositions, joint ventures and financings. He also has extensive experience in the formation of real estate investment funds, distressed investments and loan restructurings, transportation infrastructure and public-private partnerships (P3s). A native Spanish speaker, Mr. Aguilar regularly represents Latin American investors in business transactions in Florida.
“Shutts is very pleased to add Rafael Aguilar among those bilingual attorneys in South Florida concentrating on real estate, finance and commercial transactions, with both domestic and international clients,” said Francis E. Rodriguez, Managing Partner of the Miami office and Co-Chair of the Tax and International Law practice group. “As an attorney with more than two decades of experience, Rafael has handled numerous transactions involving thousands of acres of land, millions of square-feet of real estate and billions of dollars in financing. Rafael joins an already strong real estate practice at Shutts.”
“Rafael is known as an exceptional lawyer,” said Florentino Gonzalez, a partner in the Miami office and Co-Chair of the firm’s Real Estate Practice Group, “his extensive experience in handling complex real estate transactions will greatly benefit our Real Estate Practice Group.”
Prior to joining Shutts, Mr. Aguilar was one of the founding partners of Jones Day’s Miami office and the former founder and national co-chairman of Akerman’s Latin American and Caribbean practice. Prior to moving to Florida, he practiced at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett in New York City. He has written several articles on conducting business in Florida, including an article relating to foreign investment in Florida real estate.
“Joining a firm of Shutts’ stature and reputation provides me with a great platform to continue to expand my real estate practice by allowing me to offer my clients a wide range of legal services throughout the state of Florida,” said Mr. Aguilar. “I am excited to join one of the best real estate practices in Florida.”
His experience includes representing a Florida-based homebuilder in connection with the acquisition of 3,800 acres of land in Palm Beach County for development into a master-planned community and incorporation into a municipality; the leading operator of casinos and horse racing tracks in Argentina in the acquisition of the Dania Jai Alai in Dania Beach, Fla.; and a New York based private equity fund in a joint venture to develop a landmark property in downtown Ft. Lauderdale into an Icon-branded luxury condominium tower.
A resident of Pinecrest, Mr. Aguilar earned his J.D. and an LL.M. in taxation from New York University and a bachelor’s degree magna cum laude from Yale University. He serves on the board of directors of the Salvadoran-American Humanitarian Foundation, which provides medical supplies and equipment, and administers an extensive nutrition-based program to combat malnutrition throughout El Salvador.
About Shutts & Bowen LLP: Established in 1910, Shutts & Bowen is a full-service business law firm with more than 260 lawyers in offices in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Orlando, Sarasota, Tallahassee, Tampa and West Palm Beach. Learn more about Shutts & Bowen at www.shutts.com.