James R. Difede
Jim is the Managing Principal of the Firm, which he co-founded in 2014.
Jim began his career with the New York law firm of Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett, where he worked on large-scale project financing, acquisition, merger and securities matters for a variety of highly visible national and international clients.
He joined the firm of Counts & Kanne in Washington, D.C. (later Potts-Dupre, Difede & Hawkins), in 1990, eventually becoming managing partner and head of the real estate finance practice.
In January of 2014, Jim co-founded DRB in order to establish a boutique firm offering clients the sophisticated representation offered by large, commercial law firms, by a small, dedicated team of former “big firm” professionals.
In addition to representing institutional investors in complex real estate financing transactions, Jim is general counsel and serves on the board of National Real Estate Advisors, a DC-based real estate investment management firm with more than $2.3 billion under management. He is also real estate general counsel of the National Electrical Benefit Fund, a $12 billion pension fund, and serves as special counsel to the Investment Committee of The Union Labor Life Insurance Company. In these roles, Jim has brought a thoughtful, practical and detail-oriented approach to a broad range of transactions, including the structuring and negotiation of joint ventures, debt financings, acquisitions, REIT transactions and mezzanine financing.
Georgetown University, J.D., magna cum laude, Order of the Coif, 1986
Adelphi University, B.A, magna cum laude, 1982
Prior to attending law school, Jim worked as a professional musician, playing drums in jazz clubs in New York City, including the Blue Note in Greenwich Village.
Jim is admitted to practice law in the District of Columbia and New York