Norris McLaughlin Welcomes New Real Estate Attorney

Posted on September 17th, 2018

The law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., is pleased to welcome Ellen M. Harris to its Real Estate & Finance Practice Group.

Harris, who joins the firm after 12 years as Chief Legal Officer at Newark Housing Authority, has a strong background in municipal and federal law, contract negotiations, arbitration, mediation, transactional real estate, and eminent domain matters.  She has handled transactions involving the acquisition of hundreds of properties that resulted in the relocation of thousands of residents and businesses within 77 redevelopment areas.

Harris is experienced in negotiating and creating comprehensive agreements for construction projects, redevelopment agreements with private parties, and lease of facilities projects (government-owned assets).  She negotiates binding Letters of Intent and term sheets as the framework for final agreements and coordinates with bond counsel, city, federal, and state agencies, as well as financial consultants to assist in analyzing risks, rewards, and requirements for the agreement under negotiation. Harris understands best practices and industry standards in public/private partnerships.

Harris’s experience gives her an understanding of asset management, management and labor relations, bond responsibilities, redevelopment agreements, coordination with a multi-governmental approval process, and reaching agreements with stakeholders holding varying opinions and interests. Further, her role as Chief Legal Officer and Executive Director at Newark Housing Authority has given Harris the ability to strategically negotiate and efficiently guide transactions to minimize risk and complications for her clients.

Harris has been recognized for personal and professional achievements throughout her career in including the “Woman of Achievement Award” from the Tri-County Scholarship Foundation and the “General Counsel of the Year” from NJBiz.

Harris earned her B.S. from Bucknell University in 1981 and her J.D. from Seton Hall University School of Lawin 1986.