Martin Gold

Martin Gold


Martin E. Gold is an Adjunct Professor of Law at Columbia Law School, the highest appointment level for part-time professors.  He is also an Adjunct Professor in the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (since 1989) where he has taught several courses.  He was an associate at the law firm of Debevoise & Plimpton. He then founded, and became the head of, the Economic Development Division of the NYC Law Department (1978 to 1985) and also served as Director of Corporate Law for New York City.  As the City’s chief corporate lawyer, he supervised City transactions and negotiated projects that included South Street Seaport, the Portman-Marriott Hotel, Theater Row, and the 42nd Street-Times Square Project.  While in office, he was the recipient of grant awards from the Rockefeller Bros. Foundation and The Fund for the City of New York.

In 1985 he joined Sidley Austin LLP, one of the largest law firms in the world.  He served as partner and as senior counsel until 2018.  His practice focused on real estate (especially development, acquisitions, financing, leasing, and infrastructure projects.)  He represented the State of New York in the development of Roosevelt Island north and Columbia University in the development of the Audubon Biomedical Research Park, Shapiro Hall, the State Psychiatric Institute Building, the Mailman School of Public Health, and aspects of the new Manhattanville campus.  He has been counsel in the development of four airport terminals in New York City, including Delta’s Terminal 4 at JFK (which utilized a team of 30 Sidley lawyers) and LaGuardia airport.  He advised Puerto Rico on three co-generation power plants, three private prison complexes, a water treatment facility and new facilities at the San Juan airport. He was counsel to the New York Library system on the conversion of the vacant 900,000 sq. ft.  B. Altman Department Store into a condominium solely for not-for profits.  The Library purchased a 400,000 sq. ft. unit and built-out the Science and Business Library.  Similarly, he represented the City and County of Durham, N.C.  in a complex that combined a publicly financed and operated civic center with a privately financed and operated hotel in one building.

Mr. Gold graduated from Cornell University where he was senior class president and class marshal.  He thereafter received a Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School and a Master of Public Administration degree from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.  He is the author of approximately twenty articles, most of them in law or economic journals (including law reviews at Columbia, Harvard, Fordham, Virginia, and Stanford), and the book Law and Social Change: A Study of Land Reform in Sri Lanka, written while on Ford Foundation grants and having a foreword by Gunnar Myrdal.  He is the recipient of five pens used by New York State governors in signing laws that he drafted. He has lectured at numerous universities and before the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the National Conference of State Legislatures, and at several programs of the U.S. Justice Department.  Mr. Gold has been listed annually in Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers in America, Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in the World (since 1985) and several times in The Legal 500.  He is an elected Fellow of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers (ACREL), the national academy and highest achievement in the field.  In 2017 he was included in the first group honored by the Marquis Who’s Who Board for “Lifetime Achievement”.

He has travelled through all 50 U.S. states and in the summer of 2018 he taught law at the University of New South Wales Law School, in Sydney, making Australia the 109th he has visited.

Real Estate Development