Biglaw, Fabulosity, Lawyerly Lairs, Partner Issues, Politics, Real Estate

Lawyerly Lairs: Former Partner Purchases Holbrooke’s Home

The Beresford, at 211 Central Park West.

Renowned diplomat Richard Holbrooke, who came very close to becoming Secretary of State, passed away in December 2010. His wife, noted journalist Kati Marton, recently sold the magnificent apartment they shared at the Beresford, the legendary prewar co-op on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.

Over the years, as noted in the building’s Wikipedia entry, the Beresford has been called home by such celebrities as “comedian Jerry Seinfeld, singer Diana Ross, tennis player John McEnroe, Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit, actor Tony Randall, and musician Laura Nyro.” (I was going to say that Nyro’s publicist must be a Wikipedia admin, but it seems that Nyro passed away back in 1997.)

UPDATE (1/16/2013, 11:45 AM): We just heard from a longtime Beresford resident who advises us that Diana Ross never lived in the building (although the Diana Ross Playground is across the street).

Now the Beresford will be graced by a former Biglaw partner, who bought Holbrooke’s home for an eight-figure sum. Sharing an elevator with Jerry Seinfeld will be….

The late Richard Holbrooke.

Marvin Rosen and his wife, Janet Rosen. The Rosens just bought Holbrooke and Marton’s former residence for what the New York Observer describes as “the bargain price of $11 million.”

And that’s not completely sarcastic. Marton initially listed the apartment for $14.7 million, in August 2011, and then reduced it to $13.5 million. Prices for trophy apartments like this one have a certain arbitrariness to them, so it’s harder to say that a particular price is a good deal or a ripoff, but there’s no disputing that this is an amazing apartment. Marton originally bought it back in the 1990s with her then-husband, fellow journalist Peter Jennings. When they divorced (partly because Jennings apparently didn’t support her journalism career), she kept the place.

Now let’s learn more about Marvin Rosen, the new owner. As noted in this handy capsule bio from Forbes, based on Rosen’s time with Fusion Telecommunications International, Inc.:

Mr. Rosen co-founded the Company in 1997. He has served as the Chairman of our Board of Directors since November 2004, Chairman of our Executive Committee since September 1999, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors from December 1998 to November 2004 and has been a member of our Board since March 1998. He served as our Chief Executive Officer from April 2000 until March 2006. In 1983 he joined the international law firm of Greenberg Traurig as a Partner specializing as a Corporate Securities Lawyer active in many Public Offerings and Private Placements. He remained an active practicing lawyer until 2000. At that point he became inactive and remained of Counsel until early 2009. Mr. Rosen was Finance Chairman for the Democratic National Committee from September 1995 until January 1997.

Yes, that’s right; Rosen was DNC finance chair. As noted by the New York Times, he “was responsible for designing the machine that raised $120 million and helped to insure President Clinton’s re-election” (although that also generated some controversy and legal woes for Rosen). So this apartment has Clinton all over it: it was once owned by a diplomat who worked for Bill Clinton (and hosted dinners for Hillary Clinton there), and it’s now owned by a fundraiser who helped President Clinton get re-elected.

Even though Rosen presumably earned much of his fortune through his business dealings, his pedigree as a legal eagle is worth noting. As noted in this Businessweek bio, he’s a graduate of UVA (college), the Dickinson School of Law (L.L.B.), and NYU (L.L.M. in Corporations). And that’s on top of his decades spent at Greenberg Traurig.

Not too shabby — which is true of Rosen’s new home as well. Let’s take a look….

(hidden for your protection)

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