Laura Swihart
Partner | New York
Laura Swihart

Laura Swihart, co-chair of Dechert’s global finance and real estate practice groups, focuses on commercial real estate finance and securitization matters. Ms. Swihart regularly represents issuers, underwriters, mortgage loan sellers and subordinate bond buyers in connection with commercial mortgage-backed securitization transactions. She has represented joint ventures and entities in connection with the creation of commercial mortgage loan origination platforms, including the negotiation of organizational documents, the creation of internal underwriting and closing processes and the creation of form closing documents. Laura also serves as the firm’s Deputy Chair for Strategic Growth and is a member of the Policy Committee.

In addition, Ms. Swihart has represented financial institutions and funds as both seller’s and purchaser’s counsel in connection with the sale and purchase of whole mortgage loans and mezzanine loans and the creation, sale and purchase of pari passu, junior and senior interests in mortgage loans and mezzanine loans. She represents both borrowers and lenders in connection with commercial mortgage loan warehouse facilities and repurchase facilities. Ms. Swihart has also represented numerous borrowers, lenders, issuers and underwriters in connection with the negotiation of repurchase facilities and securitizations secured by non-performing commercial mortgage loans and REO properties.

In 2021, Ms. Swihart was named one of the Financial Times’ top ten Innovative Lawyers in North America for guiding clients through multiple first-of-their-kind commercial mortgage-backed securities transactions and for championing women’s advancement at Dechert and in the wider industry. Since 2015, Ms. Swihart has been consistently recognized for real estate finance and structured finance by The Legal 500 USThe Legal 500 US listed Ms. Swihart as a leading lawyer in structure finance in 2023. She is ranked by Chambers USA as a leading lawyer in the real estate finance category for New York and is also listed as a highly regarded structured finance and securitization lawyer by IFLR1000. Previously, Ms. Swihart was named a "2016 Client Service All-Star” by BTI Consulting Group and among the Women Worth Watching by Profiles in Diversity Journal in 2017.

Ms. Swihart previously served as the Chair of the CRE Finance Council Women's Network Chair and also served as the past co-chair of the Structured Finance Association's CMBS Committee.

  • Regional Bank CRE Pullback: Fact vs. Fiction — CRE Finance Council’s Capital Markets Conference 2023, New York, NY (September 28, 2023)
  • Unknotting New Tangles, moderator — The Ties That Bind: Distressed Debt in a Structured World presented by Dechert LLP, New York, NY (May 8, 2023)
  • State of Capital Markets — CRE Finance Council's January Conference, Miami, FL (January 10, 2023)
  • The Housing Puzzle: Multi, SFR, BFR, and Meeting Demand — CRE Finance Council Capital Markets Conference, New York, NY (October 26, 2022)
  • Market 360: State of CRE Finance — CRE Finance Council Annual Conference 2022, New York, NY (June 13-15, 2022)
  • CRE CLOs Versus Other Financing Alternatives — Presented by CRE Finance Council at CRE CLO 2019, New York, NY (October 10, 2019)
  • CMBS Originators’ Panel: Dealing with Risk Retention — Presented by IMN at SFIG Vegas (February 28, 2017)
  • Industry Leaders Roundtable — Presented by CRE Finance Council by Dechert LLP, Washington DC (June 6, 2017)
  • B-Piece Hot Topics: What Buyers Care About: A CREFC After-Work Seminar — Presented by CRE Finance Council with sponsorship by Dechert LLP, New York, NY (June 1, 2016)
  • The Return of Dodd-Frank Rulemaking: SEC Proposes Expansive Prohibition on Conflicts of Interest in Securitization — The Investment Lawyer (June 2023)
    • University of Connecticut, B.A., 1994, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa
    • New York University School of Law, J.D., 1997
    • New York
    • New York State Bar Association