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Barbara Simpson Kraft

Chair, Real Estate and Land Use Practice Group
Barbara Simpson Kraft's practice is split between real estate advice, including entitlements work, and corporate advice. She handles all aspects of real estate ownership, including: acquisition, financing (purchase, construction and long-term), permitting and entitlements, construction, occupancy issues (including leasing), and sale. Barbara regularly advises clients needing assistance before state and local agencies on permitting, entitlement, and lease issues in Anchorage as well as in remote areas of the state. She represents owners, developers, contractors, investors, banks, and purchasers.

On the corporate side, Barbara's practice involves mergers, acquisitions, stock sales, governing document drafting and amendments, and presentations on fiduciary duties and other issues necessary for a board of directors to properly govern a corporation. She advises small, closely-held companies with only a few directors as well as corporations with boards of 30 or more. In addition, she prepares loan documents for secured and unsecured loans with various types of collateral.

In both areas of practice, Barbara's clients come from different industries including ANCSA corporations, hospitality, fishing, and health care, as well as national retailers. She also handles issues arising from a corporation's for-profit or nonprofit status. Barbara is a long-time Alaskan with roots in the state and contacts throughout. She serves as chair of Davis Wright Tremaine’s Real Estate and Land Use practice group and is responsible for managing over 40 attorneys in five offices.

Representative Experience

Lender's counsel for loans secured by multiple types of collateral

Representing national bank as lender’s counsel in loans secured by personal property, real property (owned and leased), accounts, and other assets; preparation of subordination agreements necessary for loans involving mezzanine lenders; borrowers represent broad spectrum of industries in Alaska; also represent mezzanine lender in loans to small companies with venture capital overlay. (Ongoing)

Real estate acquisitions and sales for multiple fish-processing companies

Preparation of real estate documents for multiple fish-processing companies relating to purchases, sales, and leases of various parcels located around the state of Alaska including tidelands, uplands, Native allotment property, public entity sellers with performance deed of trust requirements, employee housing, and a dam (FERC licensed project); diligence necessary to identify and acquire related assets and land rights and tracing of rights acquired by predecessors pre-statehood. (Ongoing)

Trust Land Office

Representing the Trust Land Office on projects located in Alaska on leasing, sales, and acquisitions of undeveloped land, single-tenant properties and multi-tenant properties involving ground-leased and fee-owned property; providing advice on leasing issues arising from property owned by the TLO in other areas of the nation. (Ongoing)

Real estate purchases, development, and sales (multiple entities/industries)

Representing various private entities in multi- and single-use development projects in rural and urban Alaska; public-private partnership elements requiring negotiation of multi-party agreements between client and multiple local governmental entities of various types (state agencies, boroughs, cities, tribes, local ANCSA corporations, and regional ANCSA corporations); development aspects extending from initial acquisition through entitlements, subdivision, construction, financing, operation, and sale; ownership structures include fee simple, restricted ownership, leased (single- and multi-tenant), ground leased, and condominiums and cooperatives under UCIOA. Industries include fish processing, hospitals, hotels, community correctional residential centers, retail, hospitality, affordable housing, and office buildings. Specialized aspects include affordable housing, LIHTC, NMTC, HUD loans, block grants, and UDSA funds. (Ongoing)

Real estate leasing (multiple entities/industries)

Representing landlords and tenants in multiple industries for single- and multi-tenant leases of improvements and ground leases; preparing form of lease for client’s use in negotiating residential property leases, employee housing occupancy agreements, retail leases, and office/service industry leases; reviewing leases related to mergers and acquisitions from purchaser, seller, and lender perspective. (Ongoing)

Alaska Native health care entities

Representing Alaska Native health care entities in various parts of Alaska on corporate governance, purchases and sales of real property, construction contracts, investigations, and other legal issues that arise. (Ongoing)

Corporate restructures

Representing for-profit and nonprofit entities in restructuring of operations including formation of new entities, transfer of assets to appropriate entities, consideration of employee and employee benefits issues, and structuring in accordance with state and federal requirements relating to type of industry and well as source of funding (private, state, and federal). (Ongoing)

Mergers & acquisitions (for-profit entities)

Acquisitions of operating companies supporting fishing industry including single- and multi-site locations in Alaska and other states; provided advice on diligence, structuring, lease assumptions, local governing body licensing requirements, and zoning compliance issues.

Mergers & acquisitions (nonprofit entities)

Merger of four Big Brothers Big Sisters organizations into one statewide entity (pro bono). Multiple mergers of Washington and Alaska nonprofit entities in health care industry. Read more

Professional & Community Activities

  • American Bar Association
  • Phi Delta Phi Legal Fraternity
  • Alaska Bar Association
  • Chapter L-Alaska, Philanthropic Educational Organization (PEO), 1982-present

Professional Recognition

  • Named one of "America's Leading Lawyers for Business" by Chambers USA in Corporate/M&A Law, 2003-2018; Real Estate (Alaska), 2009-2018
  • Selected by Best Lawyers as Anchorage's "Lawyer of the Year" in Mergers & Acquisitions Law, 2017
  • Named one of the "Best Lawyers in America" in Corporate/M&A Law by Best Lawyers, 2007-present
  • Selected to "Alaska Super Lawyers" in Business/Corporate, Real Estate and Land Use/Zoning, Thomson Reuters, 2007-2011, 2013-2018
"A very capable practitioner," with one source praising her "in-depth analysis, creative solutions and level of responsiveness." -Chambers USA 2018