Shapiro, Lifschitz & Schram

“The firm gets personally involved with their clients and their work to achieve the most successful outcomes.”

Robert G. Hisaoka – President, RRR, LLC

Ronald S. Shapiro

Ronald S. Shapiro

Tel 202.689.1900, ext. 3018
Cell 202.329.9188
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Experience. Passion. Solutions.

Practice Areas:

  • Commercial Real Estate Acquisition and Disposition
  • Commercial Real Estate Development and Construction
  • Commercial Lending
  • Retail and Office Leasing
  • Joint Ventures, Partnerships and Limited Liability Companies
  • Troubled Loan Work-Outs

Bar Admissions:

  • District of Columbia (1973)


  • J.D., George Washington University Law School, 1972 (with honors)
  • B.S., Accounting, University of Maryland, 1969

Professional Memberships:

  • District of Columbia Bar Association
  • International Council of Shopping Centers


  • Former Editor of The National Property Law Digests, The National Financing Law Digest and The Digest of Environmental Law of Real Property.


Ronald S. Shapiro ("Ron") is Co-Founder and Senior Counsel of Shapiro, Lifschitz & Schram. Armed with a wealth of experience in a broad range of commercial real estate and other business transactions, Ron represents real estate developers and investors, including foreign individuals and institutions, in sophisticated transactions throughout the Washington, DC region. Ron's history in this business community runs far and deep, and his experience is such that if it has happened, he has most likely seen it and dealt with it. A life-long resident of the Washington, DC area and educated at local universities, Ron often draws upon his knowledge of the region and his extensive contacts in the community to provide business, as well as legal guidance to his clients. In addition, he represents regional retail businesses, automobile dealerships and non-profit associations, and has represented local, national and international aggregate companies.

Ron has represented local and national banks and credit companies in all types of secured and unsecured financings, such as acquisition, development and construction loans, permanent loans, asset based financings, ground lease financings and joint ventures. Ron is also well versed in major debt restructurings, representing both borrowers and lenders.

Ron's commitment to excellence is recognized in the legal community. He is a Martindale-Hubbell AV rated attorney, and has earned the Super Lawyer designation awarded by Law & Politics, demonstrating the high esteem that clients and other lawyers have for him. Super Lawyers is a listing of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. In addition to Ron's transactional finesse, he has put his legal knowledge to use through previous roles as Editor of The National Property Law Digests and The Digest of Environmental Law of Real Property, and The National Financing Law Digest.

Clients enjoy working with Ron and value his straightforward approach to getting a deal closed. They appreciate how Ron can draw on his many long-standing relationships in the Washington business community to further his clients' interests. They also recognize that Ron does not rest on his laurels but is always willing to work long hours, if necessary, to achieve their goals.

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Having been in the practice for many years, Ron has learned that there is little satisfaction if the client isn't successful. This is why he is completely dedicated to achieving the best possible results for his clients – and this isn't just talk, this is truly his passion. He is a fierce and relentless negotiator when the situation requires, but also appreciates and understands when a softer approach may be more effective. One of Ron's clients recently commented that "Ron is a seasoned attorney who understands that when he makes me successful, I'm making money."

Ron espouses a philosophy of treating his clients' concerns and objectives as his own. To this end, he doesn't approach the practice of law as routine or vanilla, rather he embraces the challenge of finding creative solutions in complex transactions that maximizes cost savings for his clients and "gets the deal done."

Not only are clients on a first-name basis with Ron, but they have also come to enjoy his relaxed nature and personalized attention. One of Ron's clients likened their relationship to "teammates" and indicated he would "go into battle together with Ron" whenever the situation required. This is a true testament to the deep and personal relationships that Ron's passion for the law and his client's success has developed.

When he's not practicing law, Ron enjoys participating in sports such as racquetball and squash and likes to follow collegiate sports. Ron is also an avid traveler who appreciates a good book, especially political history.

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Ron has an inexhaustible supply of "war stories" about deals that he has successfully closed despite great complexity, cranky opposing counsel, extreme deadlines and last-minute surprises. A few examples will illustrate why his clients value him so highly.

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  • Through one of his friends from college, Ron learned of a parcel of land for sale on an underdeveloped block in Washington's central business district. He alerted a client to the investment potential if the parcel could be added to an assemblage. The client agreed, and over the next several months, Ron successfully negotiated for the acquisition not only of the original parcel, but also two adjoining parcels. The first adjoining parcel was owned by a widow (who was required to sell only after a court in Reno, Nevada declared her incompetent to make sound business decisions). The second adjoining parcel had been in the same family for eight generations and required the consent of three individuals with a combined age of 270. The assemblage also required a buy-out of a long-term lease encumbering one of the properties. Ron then spearheaded the sale of the entire assembled package to a public company for four times what his client had invested.
  • Ron represented a regional homebuilder in a successful work-out and restructuring of $60 million in loans from several institutional lenders, secured by properties in Maryland, Virginia, Georgia and Florida. The lenders were not acting in a consortium, and they each had to be persuaded that it was in their best interest to negotiate and compromise, rather than fight to the death. Ron's client survived the downturn and was in a position to take advantage when the market improved.
  • Ron successfully counseled a client through the acquisition of several pieces of contiguous ground in the East End neighborhood of Washington. More than one potential buyer had passed on the deal because, as one seasoned professional commented, it had "too much hair on it." But Ron knows that in a great challenge lies a great opportunity. Various parts of the site involved just about every problem that can be encountered in a downtown commercial real estate project – title defects; "strips, gaps and gores" on the survey; a neighboring tenant who encumbered the future development of the parcel in question with a long-term lease including rights of expansion and renewal extending 30 years into the future; unique zoning restrictions; historic preservation requirements; a required public alley closing; special arts requirements; joint development requirements imposed by law and by private covenants; and shared underground parking facilities and above-ground loading docks. Ron coaxed each piece of the deal across the finish line. His client then sold part of the property to a public company and sold the rest to a non-profit theater company, all at a large profit.
  • Ron represented the seller in a $45 million stock sale involving a large stone quarry operation in West Virginia with additional mineral rights and other assets in suburban Maryland. The purchaser was a multi-national public company. Ron deftly bridged the considerable culture gap between the Appalachian miners and the European businessmen, and by almost continuous negotiations, he hammered out a complex agreement over the Thanksgiving holiday. Since a transaction of this type involves (among other things) real estate, employee contracts, permits, mineral rights, equipment, vehicles and environmental issues, there is usually a period of several months between contract execution and closing. Since Ron's client had a timing issue, the deal was closed over the New Year's holiday in a round-the-clock session. The purchaser was so impressed with Ron that they hired him for their next U.S. acquisition.
  • A construction company built a hotel in downtown Washington, DC for a customer who was unable to pay for it. The company turned to Ron. He negotiated the acquisition of the hotel by his client and the eventual re-sale to a very thinly capitalized purchaser. Four separate layers of debt and equity were required, as well as a creative management agreement, but the sale was completed and Ron's client enjoyed a profit instead of a disastrous loss.

Did You Know . . .

Members of the SLS trial group have tried in excess of 50 jury trials and 75 bench trials?

The SLS construction group has worked on sports stadiums across the country including Orioles Park in Baltimore and Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati?

The SLS construction group has worked on power plant projects across the country?

In 2007 SLS was selected for an Honorable Mention as one of the Best Places To Work in Washington DC?

Ron Shapiro, Steve Schram and Judd Lifschitz have all been selected as SuperLawyers by Law and Politics?

The SLS office building is an historic townhouse constructed in the late 1800s?

SLS has been selected by Martindale-Hubbell as a Preeminent Law Firm?

SLS trial lawyers have argued appeals in the U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal for the 4th, 5th, 9th, D.C. and Federal Circuit?

SLS trial lawyers have been lead trial counsel in cases in Arizona, California, District of Columbia, Florida, Louisiana, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Texas, and Virginia, - to name just a few?

Virtually all the cases that SLS trial lawyers mediated have been favorably settled at mediation?

The transactional group at SLS was lead counsel on one of the largest, most complex mixed-use projects in downtown Washington, DC involving 4 lenders and 6 property owners?

In appreciation for the outstanding efforts of each of its employees during 2007, SLS gave everyone (attorneys, paralegals, and staff) a 4 day/3 night expense paid trip to Key West, Florida?

The transactional group at SLS has represented tenants in more than 200 retail leases in the Mid-Atlantic region?

Every attorney in the transactional group at SLS has at least 15 years experience?

The transactional group at SLS has represented developers in the purchase, construction, financing and/or sale of more than 75 multi-family apartment projects?

The transactional group at SLS has represented real estate investors and developers with respect to property in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Delaware, Maryland, the District of Columbia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Texas, Tennessee, Michigan and the U.S. Virginia Islands?

Attorneys in the transactional group at SLS have represented eight national banks in commercial real estate loans?

Attorneys in the transactional group at SLS have represented the FDIC, the Resolution Trust Corporation and several banking institutions in loan workout transactions throughout the Mid-Atlantic region?

The transactional group at SLS has represented homebuilders and commercial real estate developers in work-outs of individual loans and also for work-outs of large portfolios involving dozens of properties in several states?

The trial lawyers of SLS have numerous reported decisions to their credit?