Areas of Focus
Michelle Axon is a real estate attorney who handles lease transactions as well as real property acquisitions and financings. She navigates all facets of lease transactions, including counseling owners of New York City landmarks and helping major brands, national restaurant chains and small businesses open their first locations.
Drawing on personal experience as a small-business owner, Michelle understands the commercial concerns and time pressures her clients face. She brings a commercial focus and sense of urgency to close deals quickly and favorably. Whether she’s drafting complex legal documents or negotiating on her clients’ behalf, Michelle remains focused on the ultimate objectives. Highly organized, collegial and meticulous, she is appreciated by clients and colleagues for her efficient solutions and affable personality.
When clients need answers or a deal to close, Michelle’s practical commercial sense and collaborative approach help them reach their goals. She is a good steward of her clients’ time and resources who keeps transactional objectives and the bottom line front and center.
Before she joined Davis+Gilbert, Michelle practiced at Cleary Gottlieb, where she worked on lender-side finance transactions. She is actively involved in pro bono matters and participates in Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts pro bono clinics.
Providing day to day counsel to an international real estate investment firm owning a Class-A Midtown office building. Representing client in lease negotiations and modifications with prominent investment and financial firms in New York City.
Assisted a real estate private equity fund reposition its shopping centers as a top destination for shoppers in New York. Negotiated leases with Starbucks, Dave & Busters, DMV, Sephora, a sports bar chain and medical offices in New York City and New Jersey.
Helped a major retailer negotiate abatement, deferral and surrender agreements for space throughout the United States and Puerto Rico during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Represented a real estate development company during lease negotiations with a foreign company at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Obtained a letter of credit and closed within five months despite multiple unknowns and potential delays.
Helped a biopharma company offload its lease obligations by subleasing multiple locations in New York and North Carolina.
- New York Law School (J.D., summa cum laude, 2014)
- New York University (B.A., 2009)
- Best Lawyers®* “Ones to Watch” 2023, Real Estate Law
- New York
Member, Davis+Gilbert Associates' Committee
Member, Davis+Gilbert Women's Forum Committee
Member, CREW New York
WX New York Women Executives in Real Estate, scholarship recipient