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Overview

Branden Gross is the Managing Partner of the Lexington office. Branden handles all aspects of commercial real estate transactions, including retail, office, industrial and commercial leasing, financings and loan transactions, complex real estate developments (including mixed-use, office, industrial, retail and multi-family), land use and entitlements, and title examinations, insurance policies and endorsements.

Branden assists real estate developers and expanding companies with land uses in Kentucky and the region. He works extensively with companies on a variety of real estate transactions throughout the Ohio Valley. Such representation includes office, industrial, retail, multifamily, residential and mixed-use developments. Branden regularly negotiates leases with national tenants. Within Fayette County, Kentucky, Branden represents a number of developers with zoning and development issues before the Planning Commission. Kentucky is an attorney-agent state, and Branden is an authorized agent for First American Title Insurance Company.

Branden also assists companies with real estate litigation. Such representation includes quiet title, condemnation, title insurance defense, commercial evictions and other actions related to real estate in Kentucky.

Many closely-held-companies do not have in-house counsel and with Branden's comprehensive experience, he is able to act as their “external general counsel” assisting them with legal and strategy issues from their start-up through exit or succession planning. Branden also assists companies with mergers and acquisitions in Kentucky and the region.

Branden represents a variety of local banks and other lending institutions on loan transactions throughout Kentucky in connection with construction, interim and permanent financing. In addition, he has extensive experience with loan servicers, financial institutions and banks on loan workouts, assumptions, foreclosures, receiverships, modifications, and commercial litigation.

Branden has served as a citizen member of a number of governmental bodies. He has served on the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government Board of Adjustments (administrative appeals, variances and conditional use) since 2015, and he was elected to serve as the board’s Chair in 2017 (and continues in that role). The Governor of Kentucky appointed Branden to two terms on the Kentucky Financial Institutions Board, serving from 2009-2017. Branden has served several terms on the Fayette County Board of Assessment Appeals (Real Property Taxes). He was also appointed by the Kentucky General Assembly to the 2019 Task Force on Electronic Recording of Official Documents by County Clerks, as a member from the Real Property Law Section of the Kentucky Bar Association.

Career Highlights

Representative Cases and Achievements

Developers

  • Represent developers with acquisition, development and financing of retail stores and centers throughout Kentucky.
  • Represent developer with acquisition, development and financing of O’Reilly Auto Parts and Family Dollar stores in, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Tennessee.
  • Represent developer with acquisition, development and financing of shopping centers in Alabama and North Carolina.
  • Represented developer with acquisition, development and financing for Walgreens stores in southeastern Kentucky.

Title Insurers

  • Authorized agent for First American Title Insurance Company.
  • Local title agent for title insurers and assist national offices with commercial transactions, including, $62,500,000 hotel and golf course, $20,000,000 manufacturing facility, and $28,000,000 apartment building.
  • Represent national title insurance company with assisting insured parties with clearing title to their property interests in pending foreclosures throughout Kentucky.

Finance

  • Represent community bank with its commercial transactions in its Northern Kentucky, Southeastern Kentucky, Central Kentucky and Louisville Markets.
  • Represent national bank with small and large commercial transactions in Central Kentucky.
  • Drafted and negotiated loan documents for $10,000,000 shopping center acquisition and loan. The deal involved 1031 Like-Kind Exchange funding. 
  • Drafted and negotiated loan documents for third party purchaser of tax liens. The deal required a special and complicated debt service covenant.
  • Represented lender with USDA guaranteed loan to automotive manufacturing firm with collateral located in Kentucky, Minnesota and South Carolina. Drafted and negotiated commitment letter, credit agreement, security documents and heavy due diligence.
  • Represented lender with loans to be secured with aircrafts, including filings with Federal Aviation Administration and Aircraft Registry.

Leasing

  • Represent developers with negotiations of leases with national tenants, including, Walgreens, O’Reilly Auto Parts, Panera Bread, Buffalo Wild Wings, Mattress Firm, McDonald’s, Vision Works, and Aspen Dental.
  • Represent landlords and tenants with their office leases in Lexington.
  • Drafted lease form that is used by Mattress Firm in the region.
  • Represented landlord with drafting and negotiating ground lease for convenience store / gas station development.

Litigation

  • Represent national title insurance company with assisting insured parties with clearing title to their property interests in pending foreclosures throughout Kentucky.
  • Represented lender with $5,000,000 foreclosure of shopping centers and office building. Borrower brought lender liability claims against lender.
  • Represented lender with foreclosures of apartment buildings.
  • Represented client with boundary dispute with adjacent landowner.
  • Represented client with a bench trial to quiet title to property in Woodford County for a new development.
  • Represented landlord with commercial eviction of national tenant with ground lease of a shopping center’s out parcel.

Governmental Relations

  • Negotiations with the Fayette County Property Valuation Administrator related to real estate tax assessments.
  • Negotiations with the Kentucky Real Estate Commission related to brokering without a license.
  • Hear cases as a member of the LFUCG Board of Adjustments for conditional use permits and zoning variances.
  • Hear appeals as a member of the Fayette County Board of Assessment Appeals related to real estate tax assessments.

Awards

  • Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America®, 2018 - 2020, in the field of Real Estate Law
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent™
  • Selected for inclusion in Kentucky Super Lawyers® in the field of Real Estate, 2019
  • Selected for inclusion in Kentucky Super Lawyers® "Kentucky Rising Stars" list, 2013 - 2016, 2018

Affiliations

Professional Affiliations

  • LFUCG Board of Adjustments (Planning), 2015 - Present
  • Fayette County Board of Assessment Appeals (Tax Board), 2015 - Present
  • Leadership Lexington, Class of 2011 - 2012
  • Fayette County Bar Association, 2002 - Present
  • Kentucky Bar Association, 2002 - Present
  • CCIM, Kentucky Chapter, Affiliate

Former Employment

  • Member, Morgan & Pottinger, P.S.C.
  • Partner, Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs, LLP

Community Involvement

Professional Leadership

  • Kentucky Bar Association
    • Vice-Chair (Chair-Elect) of Real Property Law Section, 2019 - Present
  • Fayette County Bar Association
    • Director, 2008 - 2010 
  • Central Kentucky Lawyer Referral Source
    • Director, 2009 - 2010

Branden is active with a number of civic organizations that focus on real estate issues. He is a member of Commercial Property Association of Lexington and has served as an officer a number of years; Vice President, 2011; and Board of Directors, 2013 - Present. Since 2013, Branden has served on the Board of Directors for Kentucky Land Title Association.

Civic and Charitable Involvement

  • Leadership Lexington Alumni Association, 2012 - Present
  • Picadome Elementary PTA, 2012 - Present
  • Southland Association, 2010 - Present
  • University of Kentucky Alumni Association, 2002 - Present

Media

Contributions & Published Works

  • Author, “Hemp and Commercial Real Estate,” 15th Biennial Real Estate Law & Practice Institute, University of Kentucky College of Law CLE, April 2019
  • Author, “Point: Should Kentucky Require Title Insurance Agents to be Licensed?,” Louisville Bar Association, Bar Briefs Focus on Real Estate, October 2016
  • Author, “Protecting a Lender’s Interest in a Mobile Home or Manufactured Home in Kentucky,” Morgan & Pottinger, P.S.C. Newsblog, 2016
  • Co-Author, “Same-Sex Married Couples and Real Property in Kentucky,” Morgan & Pottinger, P.S.C. Newsblog and Kentucky Land Title Association Newsletter, 2016
  • Author, “Real Estate Industry Legislative Law Summary,” Kentucky Land Title Association Newsletter, 2015
  • Author, “Federal Conference and Lobbying Day,” Kentucky Land Title Association Newsletter, 2015
  • Co-Author, “KRS 382.365 Does Not Apply to Erroneously Filed Liens,” Kentucky Land Title Association Newsletter, 2014
  • Author, “Community Bank Lenders Need to Prepare Now for Upcoming Regulatory Changes,” Kentucky Land Title Association Newsletter, 2014
  • Author, “Don’t be Haunted by the Family Cemetery,” Morgan & Pottinger, P.S.C. Newsblog, 2014
  • Author, “Kentucky Financial Institutions See Steady Growth, Face Changing Federal Regulations,” Morgan & Pottinger, P.S.C. Newsblog, 2014
  • Author, “Modifying Processes for Garnishments of Accounts Containing Federal Benefit Payments,” Kentucky Banker Magazine, 2013

Presentations

  • Presenter, “Land Use Update - Perspective From Lexington / Fayette County,” Kentucky Commercial Real Estate Conference, pending 2019
  • Presenter, “Hemp and Commercial Real Estate,” 15th Biennial Real Estate Law & Practice Institute, University of Kentucky College of Law CLE, 2019
  • Presenter, “Dealing with Difficult Landlords,” Kentucky League of Cities, May and October 2016
  • Presenter and Author, “Evaluating Boundary Evidence” and “Conservation Easements,” NBI, Inc., 2015
  • Presenter and Author, “Insuring Foreclosed Property,” First American Title Insurance Company, 2014
  • Presenter and Author, “Understanding Title Insurance” and “ALTA Exclusions and Endorsements to Policies,” NBI, Inc., 2014
  • Presenter and Author, “Closing a Simple Real Estate Transaction: Due Diligence,” Kentucky Bar Association, Annual Convention, Young Lawyer’s Conference, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014

Services

Industries

University of Kentucky, B.A., with Departmental Honors in History, 1999

University of Kentucky College of Law, J.D., 2002

  • Kentucky, 2002
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