5 Questions With Beatriz Azcuy of Sidley

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Veteran real estate attorney Beatriz Azcuy heads the real estate practice at Sidley’s Miami office.

Sidley, also known as Sidley Austin and one of the nation’s largest law firms, expanded into South Florida in 2022, and it’s making a big investment in office space. The firm has signed a lease for 60,000 square feet at 830 Brickell, the high-end new office tower where rents top $100 a square foot.

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“We have to service clients who expect a certain level from us,” Azcuy said. “In Miami, we’re seeing so much investment – private equity, fintech, sports business. We needed to have a presence.”

The following conversation has been edited for length and clarity.

Commercial Observer:  Why did Sidley decide to open an office in Miami?

Beatriz Azcuy: Miami serves as a vibrant international business hub, attracting diverse industries and highly skilled legal professionals. Sidley’s expansion into South Florida is a strategic step to better serve our global clientele, many of whom have relocated their operations to Florida or are venturing into the region. As a native of Miami and a graduate of the University of Miami School of Law, it also brings me personal joy to see my company expand successfully and be a part of the ongoing regional growth.

What’s the focus of your commercial real estate practice in South Florida? 

The commercial real estate practice in South Florida will help clients nationally, as well. South Florida is one of the hottest markets to enter in order to grow and have that national footprint in the CRE space.

Our clients’ real estate transactions include the sale, acquisition, development, management and leasing of commercial real estate, including mixed-use condominiums and multifamily, official, hospitality, stadium and entertainment, industrial and retail properties throughout the United States and Latin America. We also have a focus on complex real estate and capital markets financing that can include methods such as senior and subordinate debt structures, construction lending, portfolio acquisitions and private equity investments, among others.

How are you handling returning to the office? Are your attorneys in the office full time, or are they doing a hybrid arrangement? 

To create a culture, it’s important to work in the office. I think there’s a real benefit to having people being trained and mentored in person.

What’s your biggest challenge?

Within the dynamic landscape of a globally operating law firm, one of the biggest challenges we encounter involves navigating potential conflicts. The complexity arises from managing client interests across diverse industries, requiring a delicate balance to ensure ethical and professional standards are maintained while meeting needs and business objectives. This demands a nuanced approach to conflict resolution that considers the intricacies of the global legal landscape.

In the context of the local and national market, economic fluctuations also pose a challenge. The ever-changing economic environment influences client demand and the overall operational dynamics of our business. Successfully navigating through the uncertainties of the economy while ensuring stability and fostering client satisfaction necessitates planning and a strategic outlook.

From a personal perspective, my greatest challenge has always been balancing family, career and me time. It has not been easy, but the continuous effort has been rewarded with three amazing adult children, a successful practice and a wonderful life.

Work-life balance is tough for everyone. How do you navigate that?

One day at a time. There’s no magic answer to it. Just one day at a time, trying prioritize whatever comes my way. Obviously, family comes first, but there’s also work.

Jeff Ostrowski can be reached at jostrowski@commercialobserver.com.