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Joseph G. Howe, III

Joseph G. Howe, III

Senior Counsel

Joe Howe is an experienced tax and business lawyer with a concentration in the representation of real estate investment trusts (REIT) and in structuring funds, complex real estate, partnership, and business transactions in the US and Europe.

In the international area, Mr. Howe has extensive experience in cross-border transactions involving multiple tax systems and joint venturing among parties from multiple countries and the formation of real estate funds with portfolios located in Europe. He worked in the firm's London office for several years on such matters. His practice also includes inbound tax planning, representing foreign investors in acquiring US business and real estate; and planning for acquisitions and business operations in other countries.

Mr. Howe represents REITs (including the conversion of public companies into REITs, the formation of UPREITs and DownREITs and mergers and acquisitions) and representing property owners in transactions with REITs. With the globalization of the REIT structure, he has been active in representing REITs in operations outside the US and exploring the use of foreign REIT structures.

Mr. Howe, a former adjunct professor at American University Law School, is a frequent speaker at the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (NAREIT) and other organizations and a contributor to legal publications as well as serving on the editorial board of Business Entities.


  • Acted as special REIT tax counsel for the formation of US$817 million partnership between a healthcare REIT and an operator to own and operate a portfolio of 38 combination senior housing and care communities using the RIDEA structure for healthcare properties.
  • Acted as special REIT tax counsel in connection with acquisition of a $2.4 billion portfolio of healthcare facilities in 11 states for a healthcare REIT.
  • Structured the acquisition of a portfolio of nursing homes in the United Kingdom by a health care REIT in a transaction that involved the full range of corporate, securities, tax and real estate finance issues.
  • Acted as special REIT Tax Counsel to a publicly traded REIT in its post-bankruptcy emergence transaction.
  • A publicly traded US REIT on cross-border tax planning for the takeover of a publicly traded Canadian REIT.
  • UK-based group on the formation of a Luxembourg holding company structure and roll-up of a portfolio of real estate projects in Germany, Italy, Greece, Austria, and France.
  • A US REIT sponsor on the formation of a REIT to be managed by both a US and Australian sponsor with investments in both the US and Australia and investors from both countries.
  • A US common trust fund with a national portfolio of properties on a roll-up of its portfolio into a private REIT structure in order to provide a tax efficient vehicle for Canadian and Australian pension funds to invest in US real estate.
  • Publicly traded REITs on merger and acquisition transactions, representing both acquiring and acquired REITs.


Chambers USA
REITS: Tax (Nationwide) (2007-2023)
Tax (DC) (2008-2023)
Best Lawyers
Tax Law (2007-2023)
The Legal 500 US
US Taxes: Non-Contentious (2014-2018, 2021-2022)



  • J.D., University of Virginia, 1978
  • M.L.T., Georgetown University, 1982
  • B.A., University of Virginia, 1975


  • District of Columbia
  • Virginia


  • Member, Government Relations Committee and Legislative Subcommittee, National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (NAREIT) (dealing with federal tax legislation and guidance from the US Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service affecting REITs)

  • Member, American Bar Association, Section of Taxation