Practice Focus

Business Banking and Finance, Real Estate

Scott Willis is a partner in our Business Section. He practices primarily in the areas of commercial transactions, negotiated acquisitions, banking and commercial real estate acquisitions, development, and financing.

Scott is a fellow of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers (“ACREL”) and previously served on its Board of Governors, is a member of the American College of Mortgage Attorneys (“ACMA”), and a past Chair of the Louisiana Banker’s Association’s Bank Counsel Committee. He is the current Co-Chair of the ACMA Opinions Committee, past Chair of the ABA’s Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section Committee on Legal Opinions, past Chair of the ACREL Attorney’s Opinions Committee, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Working Group on Legal Opinions Foundation. Scott served as the Chair of the ABA Real Property Trust and Estate Section standing CLE Committee, and as a Supervisory Council Member to the Section.  He is also past Chair of the New Orleans Bureau of Governmental Research. He has frequently lectured on commercial transactions and legal opinion issues and as a guest lecturer at LSU Law School where he is also a member of the Alumni Board of Trustees.

Education

  • J.D. from Louisiana State University, 1983
    • Associate Editor of the Louisiana Law Review
    • Order of the Coif
  • B.A. from Louisiana State University, 1980

Publications / Presentations

  • Justin L. Early and Sterling Scott Willis, Title Insurance or Title Opinion Letters?, 7 No. 1 REAL PROP. TR. & EST. O.M. 11 (Spring/Summer 2023)
  • Co-Editor of Uniform Commercial Code Opinions in Real Estate Finance Transactions by ACMA, ACREL and RPTE. 53 REAL PROP. TR. & EST. L. J. 137 (Fall 2018 – Winter 2018)
  • Co-Editor of Local Counsel Opinion Letters in Real Estate Finance Transactions- A Supplement to the Real Estate Finance Opinion Report of 2012 by ACMA, ACREL and RPTE. 51 REAL PROP. TR & EST. L. J. 137 (Fall 2016)
  • Member of the drafting group for the ABA/ACREL Real Estate Opinion Letter Guidelines 38 REAL. PROP. PROB. & TR. J. 241 (2003)
  • Author of Article 9 Remedies in West’s Louisiana Statutes Annotated Code of Civil Procedure

Representative Matters

  • Served as counsel to the New Orleans Convention Center, which controls the majority of a 47-acre property along the east bank of the Mississippi River, in negotiations for the master development of and ground leases for the $1 billion mixed-use River District development project; current plans include a new office building to house Shell Oil’s Gulf of Mexico headquarters, a Top Golf entertainment complex, and approximately 900 mixed-income apartments and condominiums, including space for those qualifying for affordable or workforce housing rents
  • $60 million acquisition of the Pan American Life Building in New Orleans by Stirling Properties, which transaction was referenced in The Wall Street Journal on December 8, 2010, as its “Deal of the Week.”
  • Rouses Supermarkets’ acquisition of the southern division of A & P Supermarkets and subsequent expansion to 65 plus stores, including the leasing, construction and remodeling of numerous facilities.
  • Acquisition, financing and transfer of over two dozen hotel developments.
  • Fauji Fertilizer’s acquisition, dismantlement, shipping, and redevelopment of a large chemical facility from Louisiana to Pakistan.
  • Acquisition and financing of The Canal Place mixed-use development in Louisiana.
  • Development and financing of several above ground and below ground natural gas storage facilities.
  • Stirling Properties’ development of the River Chase and Fremaux mixed-use communities in St. Tammany Parish, the Ambassador Town Center in Lafayette, the Mid-City Market in New Orleans, and Target-anchored shopping centers in Bossier City and Lafayette.
  • Acquisition and later sale of a leading fuel and lubricants supplier.
  • Numerous helicopter and marine vessel financings.
  • Regularly represent borrowers in syndicated commercial real estate financings
  • President of the firm’s affiliated title company, Commercial Title Agency, Inc., agent for Fidelity National Title Insurance Company, First American Title Insurance Company, Chicago Title Insurance Company and Stewart Title Guaranty Company.