WASHINGTON, D.C. – Womble Bond Dickinson (US) is excited to announce the launch of its Opportunity Zone practice team, an outgrowth of the firm’s award-winning Impact Business Group. The multi-disciplinary team serves investors, fund managers and businesses involved with Opportunity Zones, a new federal program enacted as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 and intended to promote investment in underserved communities. 

Opportunity Zones are designed to drive investment to, and generate social impact within, federally designated underserved areas through the sale of capital assets and reinvestment of capital gains proceeds into certified investment funds (called Opportunity Funds) focused on community revitalization efforts.  Opportunity Funds may make qualified investments into, among other things, real estate, start-up companies, and operating businesses. Investors will receive capital gains deferrals and possibly capital gains exclusions based on the length of time that their investments remain in the Opportunity Fund.

It is anticipated that by the end of 2018, the US Treasury Department will issue initial program guidance and clarification for the Opportunity Zone Program, with final guidance expected in 2019.  

Pam Rothenberg, who leads the Opportunity Zone team and the Impact Business Group, believes that early movers can capitalize on the possibilities offered by Opportunity Zones. “First-movers, including fund managers, real estate investors, developers, and asset managers, are best positioned to take advantage of the tax and business benefits of the Act, while also achieving investment return and generating significant social impact within Opportunity Zones.”

“Combining the power of our national legal platform with the resources offered by our Impact Business Group enables us to bring together all the tools needed to drive impactful investments in Opportunity Zones,” said Mark Newberg, the firm’s Director of Impact Strategies.

Rothenberg, Newberg, and the team work with clients on every aspect of Opportunity Zones, Opportunity Funds, and Opportunity Businesses including fund formation and management, investments in Opportunity Zones, ongoing regulatory compliance, and impact measurement strategies, metrics, and reporting.