Joy Barrist


Joy A. Barrist provides her clients with a full range of commercial real estate legal services including guidance in the finance, acquisition, sale, lease, and development of complex multimillion-dollar real estate projects. Although the bulk of her practice is in Delaware and Pennsylvania, she also works with clients on projects around the country and internationally. She regularly represents banks and lending institutions, private equity firms, non-profit organizations, investors, developers, owners, management companies, landlords, and tenants.

As a practitioner, her hallmark is exceptional efficiency, based on the simple fact that everyone involved in her deals is seeking the same thing – a completed transaction. Drawing on over two decades of experience, she understands what each side in a transaction needs, and how to deliver for both in order to close a deal, while always advocating for her client’s best interests. She staffs and supervises project teams to handle needed work at the right level and get it – and the project – done.

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Joy consistently represents both lenders and borrowers in various types of commercial real estate financing transactions, including acquisition, development, and construction lending. Her experience also includes CMBS and mezzanine debt transactions, as well as municipal bond transactions. She handles finance and other real estate matters for all asset classes including multifamily, hospitality, office, retail, industrial, mixed-use, medical and education.

Joy represents financial institutions as lead lenders and participants in syndicated loan transactions. Her practice also includes the representation of lenders in workouts, financial restructuring, loan sales and the purchase of loan pool portfolios, as well as amendment and modification of leases in response to a changing economic climate.

Her practice also includes representations with respect to other real estate and general business matters such as easements, lot purchase agreements, sale and purchase of business assets and ownership interests in business entities, the formation of Delaware entities and the rendering of legal opinions in finance and other commercial transactions.

In addition to real estate finance, her experience extends to asset-based finance (including equipment, inventory, and receivables financing), working capital lines of credit and various other complex commercial loan facilities.

Joy is known for taking an exceptionally pragmatic, actionable approach to her role. Her clients appreciate her direct, to-the-point perspective, and her consistent focus on doing everything she can to both protect her clients’ interests and ensure that a transaction is completed.

She is actively involved in a number of community organizations in and around Wilmington, Delaware, including I Am My Sister’s Keeper, The Teen Warehouse, Inc., Jumpstart Wilmington, REACH Riverside and the Kingswood Community Center. In addition, she is the vice practice group leader of the firm's Transactions and Corporate Counseling Group as well as chair of the firm's Women's Initiative.

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Representative Matters

  • Represented a Delaware-based pharmaceutical company in connection with the acquisition of two iconic office buildings in downtown Wilmington, Delaware.
  • Represented borrower/owner in 3 simultaneous Freddie Mac refinances of four multifamily properties located in Delaware, with aggregate financing in the amount of $92,000,000.
  • Represented the lead lender in a $67,500,000 syndicated acquisition and construction facility for a historic building in Wilmington, Delaware.
  • Represented non-profit community organization in connection with a component of a $100 Million redevelopment project in Wilmington, Delaware.
  • Represented an independent private school on a $46,000,000 DEDA Revenue Bond project in Delaware.
  • Represented private equity group on a $12,000,000 renovation loan for various properties located outside of Detroit, Michigan.
  • Represented a non-profit company in connection with the purchase of a conservation easement on property located in Delaware.
  • Represented business owner in the sale of 21 franchised restaurant locations in various States for approximately $24,000,000.
  • Represented borrower/owner/developer on the acquisition and financing of a retail center located in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, with a $30,000,000 purchase price.
  • Represented lender on a $36,500,000 multi-facility loan transaction for the development of a multifamily project in Chester Springs, Pennsylvania.
  • Represented lead lender on a $52,000,000 syndicated transaction for the redevelopment of a former laboratory site into an innovation and science park located in Delaware.
  • Represented seller on the $14,000,000 sale of a retail/office property located in Pennsylvania.
  • Represented lender on a $8,000,000 multi-purpose revolving line of credit; $4,000,000 equipment line of credit; $13,000,000 term loan made to 14 entities, secured by 13 properties located in various jurisdictions, including the United States Virgin Islands, various IP properties and other assets.
  • Represented private equity firm in connection with the acquisition and financing of various retail, residential and hospitality projects throughout the United States, many involving CMBS financing.
  • Represented lender on a $15,400,000 commercial mortgage loan for refinance of a franchised hotel located in Rockaway, New Jersey.
  • Represented Japanese company in the acquisition of 181-acre industrial site in Pasadena, Texas.
  • Represented lender on a $22,260,000 construction loan for the construction of a residential apartment complex located in Vero Beach, Florida.
  • Represented real estate investment/development company in negotiating a lot purchase agreement with a national homebuilder valued at approximately $17,000,000.
  • Represented private equity group on various real estate loans ($10,600,000) and mezzanine loans ($16,000,000) to refinance debt and provide capital improvements and tenant improvements for property located in New York, New York.
  • Represented lender on a $23,653,194 construction to permanent loan and a $1,326,000 land loan for construction of a residential apartment complex located in New Castle, Delaware.
  • Represented lender on a $39,500,000 syndicated construction to permanent loan for a residential project located in Coral Springs, Florida.
  • Represented lender on an amendment of a $30,700,000 construction loan for a residential apartment construction project in New Castle, Delaware.

Professional Activities & Recognition

Honors & Recognitions

Listed in Chambers USA (2014 – present)

Ranked in The Best Lawyers in America® in Real Estate Law, Land Use and Zoning Law, and Commercial Finance Law in Delaware, 2018 - present

Ranked in Delaware Business Times, Top 40 Business Professionals Under 40 in the State of Delaware 2015

Ranked in the American Society of Legal Advocates, Top 40 Corporate Lawyers Under 40 in the State of Delaware for 2013


Fellow, American College of Mortgage Attorneys, 2015 – present; Delaware State Chair, January 2017 – December 2022; Co-Chair, Membership, Engagement and Development Committee, January 2023 – present

Fellow, American Bar Foundation, May 2019

American Bar Association: Chair, Mortgage Lending Committee, Real Property Trust & Estates Section of the American Bar Association, 2018 – 2020; vice-chair, 2014 – 2018

Member, Delaware Commercial Real Estate Women; vice-president January 2017 – January 2019; president January 2019 – December 2022; past president January 2023 – January 2024

Board Member, MidCoast Community Bank, September 2017 – April 2020 (bank sold)

Regional Board Member, First Citizens Community Bank, April 2020 – present

Member, Committee of 100, 2005 – present; Auction Committee, May 2020 – present

Member, Delaware Executive Leadership Team, American Heart Association; 2025 Delaware Heart Ball Chair

Delaware Council Member, Urban Land Institute, January 2022 – present

Delaware Bar Association

Pennsylvania Bar Association

Philadelphia Bar Association

Delaware Bankers Association

Loan Review Committee, West End Neighborhood House


Villanova University School of Law, J.D., 2001

Bar & Court Admissions

Bar Admissions

  • Delaware
  • Pennsylvania


Firm News

Speaking Engagements

Joy in the News

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