Over the past year, Davis Polk has worked closely with the Brooklyn Public Library as it expands its community reach with the establishment of an innovative cultural hub, the L10 Arts and Cultural Center, set to open in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. In addition to a new library branch, the space will house outposts for four other prominent Brooklyn public institutions, offering gallery and performance space, cinemas and rehearsal studios.

Restructuring partner Adam Shpeen has led our advisory work for the Library regarding its partnerships with Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts and 651 ARTS. We advised the Library on real estate and corporate governance matters, such as the negotiation and establishment of an operating agreement with the other institutions, which governs how they will use the space as well as share common costs and building services. Adam also developed a close relationship with the Library’s General Counsel, Chloe Wasserman, who has involved the Davis Polk team in additional projects, including the review of an investment management agreement.

Among the lawyers on this team are a first, second and fourth-year associate. “Working on pro bono matters, and with the Brooklyn Public Library in particular, has been an invaluable training experience,” second-year Restructuring associate Kate Somers said. “As a junior associate, I’ve especially appreciated the opportunity to develop my corporate drafting skills, to actively participate on calls with the client and with the other legal teams involved, and to work collaboratively with the Davis Polk team. Aside from the fantastic skill development it provides, pro bono work has also been extremely rewarding. These engagements, whether they’re large-scale projects like the L10 Center or pro bono clinics that last a few hours, have a very real, very positive impact.”

We will continue to foster this community relationship with the Brooklyn Public Library, with the hope of becoming a go-to adviser and resource for its many legal needs in the realms of real estate, corporate governance, employee matters, IP, tax and beyond. Regarding his work with the Library, Adam said, “I live in Brooklyn and have three young kids who use the Library’s services. I feel a sense of attachment to the institution and find it rewarding to help a local organization that I walk past daily.”