Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Opar

John Opar

Partner, Real Estate Practice, Shearman & Sterling LLP

John Opar is a partner in the Real Estate practice. He has extensive experience in all areas of commercial real estate law, including foreign investment in U.S. real estate. He has worked frequently on Shari'ah compliant investments and has been involved in development projects in the U.S., the Middle East, China, England, Germany and the Philippines. Some of his most recent representation includes advising Qatar Investment Authority on its investment in Manhattan West, a development site valued upon completion at up to US$8.6 billion, advising Wafra Investment Advisory Group, Inc. in the acquisition of numerous multi-family and office properties including in New York; Washington, D.C.; Miami, Florida advising Public Institution for Social Security of Kuwait with respect to an investment in a joint venture to acquire a US$1 billion+ portfolio of regional shopping centers and advising a sovereign wealth fund in connection with investments with an operating partner in Manhattan office properties at 230 Park Avenue and 350 Madison Avenue. Mr. Opar received his J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and his B.A. from Swarthmore College. Mr. Opar is a member of the New York City Bar Association, the New York State Bar Association, the Arab Bankers Association of North America and the Real Estate Board of New York . Mr. Opar has authored several publications and participated in a number of speaking engagements at seminars and conferences on various real estate subjects. He has also been recognized in Euromoney's Guide to the World's Leading Real Estate Lawyers, New York Super Lawyers and The International Who's Who of Real Estate Lawyers.

Please visit http://www.shearman.com for more information.

Mr. Opar can be contacted at 212-848-7697 or jopar@shearman.com

Coming up in September 2019...

Hotel Group Meetings: Uncommon Destinations

The last few years have been good to the Hotel Group Meetings industry and that trend is expected to continue into 2019. Planners are brimming with confidence due to an expanding economy and increased job creation, which typically results in a boost in corporate meetings. Given this promising outlook, planners are trying to outdo themselves to satisfy the high expectations of their clients. One notable trend is to integrate unusual settings into the meeting experience, hosting groups at local zoos, aquariums, museums, event centers, or other outdoor facilities. The goal is to embrace uncommon destinations, rather than a typical hotel conference room, so that meetings can be memorable, unique and stimulating. This is also part of another trend which is to support all things local - from hosting events at landmark city venues; to catering through local restaurants, food trucks and microbreweries; to hosting off-site excursions like agri-tours, athletic events or scenic 5k routes. However, though the setting might be spectacular, there are still some bedrock components that must be provided to ensure a successful meeting. Free, high-speed Wi-Fi is still one of the most requested services. Planners have to make sure that a comprehensive communication infrastructure is in place so clients can easily connect - and stay connected - to the network throughout the entire meeting experience. Also, technology tools can be used to streamline the booking, registration, and check-in process, and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) materials can be utilized to ensure seamless access to conference events. There are also numerous software tools that encourage audience participation, as well as integrating polls, Q&A, surveys and games into speakers' presentations. The September Hotel Business Review will examine issues relevant to group meetings and will report on what some hotels are doing to promote this sector of their operations.