Attorney at Law Magazine recently sat down with Hunter Faulkner to discuss his new position with Jimerson Birr as partner on the firm’s real estate team.
AALM: What drew you to Jimerson Birr? What are you most looking forward to in your new role?
HF: Jimerson Birr is a growing law firm with an excellent reputation in Florida. The firm has been recognized as one of the Best Law Firms in America in the area of real estate for the last two years. They understand the real estate market like few other firms. They also have the resources and support to improve and diversify my real estate law practice. Beyond successfully litigating matters related to real estate development, sales and leasing, they have completed hundreds of real estate transactions through the years. I look forward to expanding the scope of services that I’m able to provide, working with new clients who are leaders in northeast Florida real estate development, and being a part of the firm’s continued service expansion in this sector, which will initially include high-end residential closings.
AALM: What drew you to the practice of law in general and to real estate in particular?
HF: I always believed that becoming an attorney would be a great career for helping people. I was specifically drawn to real estate because it is exciting to work with clients to aid in their vision for the development of a piece of property.
AALM: COVID has affected most business operations and greatly disrupted the commercial and residential real estate markets. How has this shifted your outlook and approach to your practice?
HF: The COVID-19 pandemic has taught me that you can never anticipate what the next nationwide or worldwide crisis will be or when it will occur. As an attorney, that means that I’m required to adapt quickly to how clients are approaching new transactions. Providing my clients with creative solutions to complex problems is something I strive to do on a daily basis.
AALM: How does your experience in the U.S. Navy influence your career?
HF: My service in the U.S. Navy trained me how to adapt to high pressure scenarios to calmly solve the problems in front of me. I’ve worked to include this as part of my legal practice. I believe it also reinforced my service-oriented mindset and personal determination.
AALM: Tell us one of the most important lessons you’ve learned over your career.
HF: As a young lawyer, you always strive to provide fast, efficient results for your client. While this is the goal for all attorneys, I’ve learned it is more important to slow down and ensure that you’re completing all of the necessary research on an issue before issuing an opinion. I learned the hard way early in my career that moving too fast and not examining all sides of an issue can come back to haunt you.
AALM: Tell us about any mentors you’ve worked with through your career and the best advice they shared with you.
HF: Baron Bartlett mentored me through the first five years of my real estate practice. He always emphasized that in transactional real estate, what separates the average attorneys from the good attorneys is understanding what it takes to get a deal closed. Often, buyers and sellers disagree throughout the transaction, but if you can negotiate and be creative enough to get the deal closed, everyone can walk away content at the end of the day.
AALM: What are some of your personal career goals? What’s the next milestone you’re looking to achieve?
HF: Jimerson Birr has successfully represented developers, investors, landowners, builders, lenders, property managers, commercial tenants, and other entities connected with the real estate sector for years. They have built their reputation on being well-prepared, effective and results-driven. I am looking forward to building upon that as I grow my own practice here and become more involved in the future development of northeast Florida.
AALM: Tell us a little about your life outside the office.
HF: My wife and I live in Ponte Vedra Beach with our young son, Taylor. In our off time — which is fairly limited these days — we enjoy spending time at the beach as a family and traveling to the mountains for some skiing and hiking.