I assist in the development of real estate projects throughout the state of New Hampshire from conception and planning through to when they come to life. Working with developers, investors, lenders, and borrowers. I work on purchase and sale transactions, financing, planning and zoning, and title issues. Other aspects of my work include leasing transactions and operational issues and challenges. My work also benefits cities and towns across the state, mostly notably the town of Bedford. I was co-author of the first traditional neighborhood development ordinance in the U.S. subsequently adopted by Bedford. I was honored to be named "Manchester Lawyer of the Year" for 2014 in the area of Land Use and Zoning Law by Best Lawyers in America.


In 2012, I proposed and drafted an overlay district, the River Corridor Smart Growth District, which was adopted by the Town of Bedford.  It provides innovative, compact, mixed-use projects in Bedford's most commercial area. I am currently development counsel to the developer of the former Macy's site in Bedford, NH, which a 16+ acre parcel is being developed into a mixed use, compact, walkable "downtown" style project with retail, office, entertainment, restaurant, and hospitality uses.

My 39 years of experience have benefited clients of all types--developers, investors, lenders, and borrowers. As an example, serving as lead counsel, I assisted a client acquire and finance more than one million square feet of commercial real estate in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, including the acquisition, financing, and leasing of a 550,000-square-foot office park. Some of my work centers on educational institutions, including the University System of New Hampshire. I recently completed a redrafting of the condominium declaration for the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire, in which Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital and the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth,which own the condominium units in the largest complex of hospital, physicians and medical teaching facilities in the State of New Hampshire.

My real estate practice includes representing a variety of land owners including healthcare facilities. I have worked with a medical center in the planning and zoning for and creation of condominiums for a medical office building and structured parking garage set in a tight urban setting and affiliated entities in which the buildings are located on land condominiums. I also have assisted several institutional tax-exempt healthcare facilities in tax-exempt bond transactions secured by assets, including real estate. 

I am counsel to a redevelopment authority for the creation of a condominium for a mixed-use development which is located in a city center on the site of a railroad station. It includes building units, air space units which convert to building condominiums upon construction, and the right to submit each building to a condominium form of ownership as sub-condominiums.
  
As an accredited member of the Congress for New Urbanism, I actively promote, in my work, the concept of developing walkable, mixed-use neighborhood developments, sustainable communities, and healthier living conditions.

While my Tennessee accent might give me away as not growing up in New England, I love living in New Hampshire and making the most of the many benefits the state offers. Running, skiing, and hiking get me into nature and allow me to appreciate the beauty of our state. When at home, I love to cook, and I am an avid reader.

On the community side of things, in addition to my work on the Bedford Planning Board, I am a commissioner representing Bedford on the Southern New Hampshire Planning Commission, serving currently as Chair, which commission represents the 14 municipalities, including the town of Bedford and the largest city in New Hampshire, Manchester. 
 
In 2008, I led a team of attorneys that was awarded in 2010 the New Hampshire Bar Association’s “Innovative Project” award for our pro bono work in helping families facing foreclosures on their homes.

Representative Matters

  • Lead development counsel for a mixed-use smart growth project in Bedford, New Hampshire of a former Macy's site for a mixed-use development that is being developed under Bedford's River Corridor Smart Growth Overlay Ordinance.
  • counsel for a real estate acquisition and financing for an investor, which held more than one million square feet of commercial real estate properties in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, in acquisition, leasing, development, and all aspects of his business, including the acquisition, financing and leasing of a 550,000-square-foot office park.
  • Lead real estate counsel for sale of a non-profit college to a for-profit educational institution.
  • Lead counsel in a college project for a health and wellness recreational facility, consisting of donated land, complex title issues, and bond financing.
  • Real estate counsel to the University System of New Hampshire.
  • Real estate counsel to a public utility, working on complex title issues.
  • Lead counsel for medical centers in the planning and zoning for and creation of condominiums for a medical office building and structure parking garage set in a tight urban setting adjunct to a major New Hampshire hospital and affiliated entities in which the buildings are located on land condominiums.
  • Lead counsel to several institutional tax-exempt healthcare facilities in several tax-exempt bond transactions secured by assets, including real estate.
  • Lead counsel for several tax exempt bond transactions in which the bank was issuing credit enhancements in the form of standby bond purchase agreement of direct pay letter of credit with bonds in principal amounts in the $10,000,000 to $40,000,000 range, secured by real estate.
  • Lead special counsel to redevelopment authority for the creation of a condominium for a mixed-use development that is located in a city center which was the site of a railroad station and includes building units, air space units which convert to building condominiums upon construction, and the right to submit each building to a condominium form of ownership as sub-condominiums. 
  • Lead counsel in the negotiation to purchase a 100-acre "brownfields" site in southern New Hampshire on which a residential development is planned after a completion of the environmental remediation of a former industrial site.

Publications

  • "Real Property Law: Creative Development with Condominiums,"  NH Bar News,  May 21, 2014

Speaking Engagements

  • “Implementation by New Hampshire Cities and Towns of Raising New Hampshire Goals,” Raising New Hampshire, September 26, 2015
  • "Commercial Condominiums in New Hampshire," New Hampshire Planners Association
  • "Busted Developments and Other Troubles," New Hampshire Bar Association
  • "Issues in Leasing Commercial Properties," New Hampshire Bar Association
  • "Property Law," New Hampshire Municipal Association

Community Involvement

  • Member of the Town of Bedford, New Hampshire Planning Board, 2007 - present.
  • Vice Chair of 2010 Town of Bedford, New Hampshire Master Plan Committee
  • Commissioner from the Town of Bedford to the Southern New Hampshire Planning Commission (SNHPC) (2008 - present), a regional planning commission, currently Chair & member of Executive Committee (2009 - present) and Secretary (2011 - 2013) , vice chair (2013-2015).
  • Chair of the SNHPC Regional Master Plan Committee (2010 - present)
  • Founder and member of the New Hampshire Pro Bono Home Rescue Team
  • Accredited Member of the Congress for the New Urbanism


Get in touch

        Services & Industries

        Banking & Commercial Finance

        Business Finance

        Construction & Land Use Advocacy

        Environmental

        Real Estate

        Real Estate Development

        Real Estate for Businesses

        Bar Admissions

        Massachusetts

        New Hampshire

        Tennessee

        Education

        University of Tennessee College of Law, JD, 1976

        University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, BS, magna cum laude, 1973

        Awards & Affiliations

        Karen McGinley Super Lawyers

        Karen McGinley was selected to the 2016 New England Super Lawyers list.

        Selected by her peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2017 in the fields of Land Use and Zoning Law and Real Estate Law.

        Selected by her peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2016 in the fields of Land Use and Zoning Law and Real Estate Law.

        Named "Manchester Lawyer of the Year" for 2014 in the area of Land Use and Zoning Law by Best Lawyers in America®.

        Named by her peers in the New Hampshire Bar and listed in Business New Hampshire Magazine, as the Best Real Estate Attorney in New Hampshire in 2012.

        Recognized since 2007 as one of the Best Lawyers in America in Real Estate Law and in Land Use and Zoning Law by Woodward & White's Best Lawyers in America®.

        BV® "Distinguished" Rating by Martindale-Hubbell.

        Recognized and ranked in Chambers USA since 2011 as one of America's leading attorneys in Real Estate.


        American Bar Association

        New Hampshire Bar Association

        American Land Title Association

        Accredited member of the Congress of New Urbanism

        New Hampshire Bar Association Ethics Committee, member (elected position).

        New Hampshire Bar Association IOLTA Grants Committee (NHBA elected position), 2010 - present

        Founder and participant in Pro Bono Home Rescue Team (which assists clients who are at risk of losing their homes), 2008 - 2012.


        In 2010, the New Hampshire Bar Association awarded a team led by Attorney McGinley its "Innovative Project 2010" award for their work on the Home Rescue team. The award read in part:  "With the sharp rise in foreclosures over the last two years, the Pro Bono Program began receiving more and more calls for help from desperate homeowners.  She took on one such Pro Bono case and saw an opportunity to recruit other non-litigators.  With assistance from NH Supreme Court Associate Justice James Duggan and the Pro Bono staff, the Home Rescue Team has so far recruited more than 46 volunteer attorneys, and the number of clients helped has doubled in the past year.  We celebrate the innovative methods of the Home Rescue Team and the dedication of the volunteer attorneys who are helping many families hold onto their homes throughout New Hampshire.

         

        "Attorney McGinley, unsolicited and because she decided that the need must be there, called the NHBA Pro Bono office in November 2008 to volunteer her services to assist pro bono clients through the NHBA.  After taking her first pro bono that same day for a homeowner facing foreclosure, Attorney McGinley personally recruited other real estate attorneys from 12 other New Hampshire law firms as volunteers to accept such cases for NHBA Pro Bono and she presented the list to the Pro Bono coordinator at the NHBA.  This group became the nucleus of the Home Rescue Team so-named by McGinley."