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Richard M. Zelman

Vice President and Co-Managing Director

Two Datran Center - Suite 2000
9130 South Dadeland Boulevard
Miami FL 33156
Phone: (305) 371-8797
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Richard M. Zelman is a Founding Director of Sacher, Zelman and has practiced law in Miami, Florida since 1974.  Currently, he manages the Financial Services Group. Mr. Zelman received his undergraduate degree from Cornell University magna cum laude with a B.A. in both History and Government in 1971, and graduated in 1974 from Harvard Law School, cum laude.

Mr. Zelman has been a frequent lecturer at bank and lending conferences and legal education seminars. During the past twenty-eight years, he has been an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Miami Law School, where he taught a course entitled, "Real Estate Planning" in the graduate program in Real Property Finance and Development.

Mr. Zelman's client base is comprised of institutional mortgage lenders, banks, and individual investors and developers. He has particular expertise in advising lenders and borrowers in loan restructurings and work-outs and is widely recognized for finding creative, practical solutions for his clients involved in complex real estate projects. Among his many accomplishments, he successfully negotiated the resolution of the The Cadillac Fairview Corporation's high-rise condominium project liabilities in Florida.

He regularly represents clients in single and multi-unit commercial and residential loan transactions, land development, zoning, financing, and the formation of domestic and foreign corporations related to financial transactions.

In recent years, Mr. Zelman's practice has extensively focused on representing financial clients regarding compliance with regulatory matters, often providing unique cost-effective solutions to state and federal regulatory requirements. He often advises banks on maintaining positive relationships with the Florida Department of Banking, the FDIC and other regulatory agencies.

Mr. Zelman is a member of several professional organizations, including the American Bar Association, The Florida Bar, and the Dade County Bar Association. He is a Trustee of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, Past Chairman of the Florida International University "President's Council," and both the General Counsel and a member of the Executive Committee of the Florida International Bankers Association.

Mr. Zelman has been consistently recognized and listed as a “Top Lawyer” by the South Florida Legal Guide, Florida Super Lawyers, and the Bar Registry of Preeminent Lawyers.

Married, and the father of two, Mr. Zelman is an avid cyclist.

Areas of Practice:

  • Banking & Finance Law
  • Business & Commercial Law
  • Commercial Leasing
  • Commercial Real Estate
  • Community Redevelopment
  • Construction Contracts
  • Construction Law
  • Construction Liens
  • Contracts
  • Conveyancing
  • Debtor/Creditor
  • Joint Ventures
  • Landlord & Tenant
  • Loan Workouts
  • Mergers, Acquisitions & Divestitures
  • Mortgages & Foreclosures
  • Real Estate Law
  • Residential Real Estate
  • Secured Transactions
  • Title Insurance
  • Uniform Commercial Code
  • Venture Capital

Bar Admissions:

  • Florida, 1974


  • Harvard University Law School, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1974, J.D.
  • Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, 1971, B.A., Magna Cum Laude
    Major: History & Government

Classes/Seminars Taught:

  • Adjunct Professor, Real Estate Development and Finance, University of Miami School of Law, 1984 - Present

Honors and Awards

Martindale               Legal Guide


Professional Associations and Memberships:

  • Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, 1995 - Present
  • Miami-Dade County International Trade Consortium
  • Executive Committee, Florida International Bankers Association

Pro Bono Activities:

  • American Jewish Committee, National Domestic Policy Commission
  • Florida International University, Council of 100 Trustee, Fmr. Chairman, 1992 - Present


  • Phi Sigma Delta
  • Alpha Epsilon Pi