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Karen M. Nelson

Charlotte Office

Karen M. Nelson concentrates her practice in commercial real estate finance, with an emphasis on the origination and restructuring of debt secured by real estate assets of all types, including office, retail, hotel, apartment, homebuilder, condominium and industrial properties. She represents commercial banks, investment banks, insurance companies and real estate investment trusts (REITs). Karen provides counsel in connection with single-asset loan structures, portfolio loan structures, construction and permanent loan originations, mezzanine financings and financings intended for securitization, as well as workouts of non-performing credit facilities, restructurings and enforcement of creditors’ rights related to distressed real estate assets and defeasance transactions. She is also experienced in the purchase and sale of various types of loans and loan portfolios.

Additionally, Karen advises clients on traditional real estate transactions including acquisitions, dispositions, sale and leaseback transactions, leasing and development.

She is a LEED Accredited Professional (LEED AP), a distinction she earned through the Green Building Certification Institute. 

Shown below is a selection of Karen’s engagements.


Best Lawyers in America, 2019–2020

Real Estate Forum

Real Estate Forum, Southeast Woman of Influence, 2015

Charlotte Business Journal

Charlotte Business Journal, 40 Under 40, 2014

North Carolina Lawyers Weekly

North Carolina Lawyers Weekly, 2015 Leaders in the Law
Karen M. Nelson


  • JD, Northwestern University
  • BA, University of Notre Dame

Bar Admissions

  • North Carolina


Best Lawyers in America

Real Estate Forum

Southeast Woman of Influence, 2015

Charlotte Business Journal

40 Under 40, 2014

North Carolina Lawyers Weekly

2015 Leaders in the Law
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