Attorneys

Stuart M. Lee

Stuart M. Lee

  • Shareholder, Department Head

Stuart Lee serves as the Department Head of the Firm’s Business Banking and Professional Practices Department. His practices involves a wide variety of commercial and industrial transactions, representing commercial lenders as lender’s counsel in complex commercial and industrial finance transactions, workouts, and related compliance matters. Stuart’s practice deals with many aspects of economic development throughout the region, whether by lender representation in project financing or by representation of developers, utilities, and end users in the commercial and industrial projects which grow the local and state economy. Clients have utilized Stuart’s experience in the drafting and implementation of governing documents for master planned developments in order to provide for orderly and sustainable growth the developments while preserving the project’s initial vision.

Stuart has worked extensively with lenders and developers in multi-family project financing and development, including low income tax credit transactions and student housing. He has also handled numerous acquisitions and dispositions of retail shopping centers and developments and handled post acquisition leasing matters. Stuart often works on finance transactions that involve franchisees of nationally recognized hotel brands, and navigates the complexities of the franchise relationship in order to protect lender interests through the negotiation of “comfort letters” as well as other agreements with property managers, vendors, licensees and other parties that ensure the ongoing operations of project in the event of lender intervention. Stuart’s commercial finance practice is not limited to real estate based lending transactions, and he regularly assists in inventory, equipment, and receivables based transactions. Further, his knowledge of a wide variety of finance transactions enables him to develop and implement master loan agreements for multiple loan facilities to a single borrower or multiple related borrowers.

In addition to finance and development work, Stuart also represents utility companies in matters involving easements and rights of way, substations, and other utility facilities together with the negotiation and implementation of master utility agreements for large scale developments. He regularly assists with condemnation actions for utilities, and negotiates resolutions of eminent domain issues ranging from just compensation disputes, right of way placement and facility relocations, as well as associated Constitutionality issues.

 

Representative Matters:

  • Handled the redevelopment of an aged hotel site into a high-end multifamily apartment complex within a major Midlands corridor
  • Negotiated master utility agreements with public and private developers of industrial and multi-use project sites in several South Carolina counties
  • Counseled a commercial lender through a commercial loan provided as part of a merger of two beverage distributors
  • Represented a commercial lender in the planning, negotiation, and closing of construction loans to market rate apartment developers through credit facilities ranging from $10,000,000 – $30,000,000
  • Served as counsel to commercial lenders in franchised hotel refinance transactions ranging from $5,000,000 to $45,000,000
  • Assisted developers in the rezoning of properties to support student housing projects

 

Education

  • University of South Carolina, J.D., 1999
  • University of South Carolina, B.A., 1996

Memberships

  • South Carolina Economic Developers Association
  • Committee of 100 (Central SC Alliance)
  • Urban Land Institute (ULI)
  • Leadership South Carolina, Class of 2013
  • South Carolina Bar
  • Richland County Bar Association
  • Lexington County Bar Association
  • Palmetto Land Title Association
  • Columbia Bank Counsel Association
  • Carolina Wireless Association
  • Leadership Columbia Class of 2004
  • Leadership Columbia Alumni Association
  • Leadership Lexington, 2011

Awards & Recognition

  • Midlands 20 Most Influential Under 40 – The State, 2011

Community Involvement

  • Columbia Chamber of Commerce – Partner Engagement Committee
  • Committee of 100 (Central SC Alliance)
  • Columbia Green Foundation Board
  • Historic Columbia Foundation, Advisor

News/Press Releases

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