Vasiliki Yiannoulis-Riva

Partner | New York

Secretary Cheryl Carlin


Vasi is a partner in the New York real estate team.

She focuses her diverse real estate practice on representing companies, family offices, joint ventures, funds, and other investors in their U.S. commercial real estate investments.

Vasi is experienced in efficiently closing commercial acquisition and sale transactions in a variety of jurisdictions and routinely assists clients through the entire life cycle of a deal – from acquisition/investment through sale/exit. In particular, she is well-versed in explaining the intricacies of U.S. real estate markets to foreign investors and guiding them through the various stages of a typical transaction. She often provides key support to her corporate colleagues, particularly in handling the real estate component in M&A transactions. She also advises clients on a wide variety of everyday real estate matters, such as title issues, access and license agreements, easements, brokerage agreements, and post-closing agreements such as construction contracts, architect agreements, development agreements, interior design agreements, and management agreements.
She has handled such transactions in New York City and nationwide across a range of real estate assets, including retail, multi-family, and mixed-use buildings, commercial condominiums and cooperative units, and hospitality properties.  She works collaboratively with her global tax colleagues to seamlessly run transactions once a tax-efficient structure has been created for the investment. 

Vasi has a long and successful track record of negotiating and closing financing transactions, whether real estate is the primary security for the loan or one of many assets underpinning it. She has worked on all kinds of loan transactions, including mezzanine loans and construction loans, and with a variety of lenders, including leading institutional lenders, regional and local lenders, and private lenders. She prides herself on being nimble and responsive to lender requests, as well as on being commercially minded in finding solutions to help her clients obtain the funding they need to achieve their short-, medium-, and long-term business objectives. 

She routinely represents investors in joint venture transactions. Her thorough knowledge of her clients’ objectives and goals (for example, on the investor side, preserving certain crucial decision-making rights, drag-along/tag-along rights, and/or exit options), helps her to negotiate more effectively on their behalf.  She is particularly sensitive to the concerns of foreign investors, who often desire to obtain a significant equity stake in a joint venture, but who may not be as familiar with the customs and practices of the markets in which they are investing.

Her practice further includes negotiating leases on behalf of landlords and tenants, from retail leases for well-known luxury brands to hospitality leases, commercial office leases, warehouse leases, to ground leases for entire buildings. She views lease transactions as a potential long-term relationship between landlords and tenants, and accordingly hones in on areas where problems and disputes are most likely to arise, or in which nimble negotiating can save her clients time, money, and potential headaches down the road – among them, operating expense clauses, assignment clauses, and use clauses. In particular, she routinely negotiates leases on behalf of tenants with the biggest and most well-known institutional landlords, in New York City and nationwide. Her knowledge of leasing custom and practice ensures that she negotiates lease agreements efficiently while at the same time protecting her clients.

Frequently featured in the press, Vasi has been interviewed on various trends and topics related to the real estate market, by leading publications such as The New York Times, Globe Street, and Commercial Property Executive. Vasi also serves as the US lead for the Withers International Real Estate Wealth special interest group.
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Me in a minute

The real estate world is populated with a variety of interesting characters

I have known that I wanted to be a lawyer since high school, but I fell into real estate purely by accident. Since then, it has been a very fun ride, as the New York City real estate world is populated with a variety of interesting characters.

As I have progressed in my career, I have found that I particularly love leasing (and have developed a real expertise in this area), which is the building block of real estate transactions.