Leo Jacobs seems to be everywhere. These days, when the bankruptcy lawyer isn’t in the courtroom, or jetting off to St. Tropez, you can find him gracing the pages of glossy magazines and on the TV screen—and getting awards.

Impact Wealth Magazine

Impact Wealth Magazine profiled Leo Jacobs in late February, seeing this legend stand out in New York City’s real estate scene out not only as a legal heavyweight but also as a beacon of hope for those navigating the treacherous waters of financial and personal turmoil.
Described by many as a ‘Debtors’ psychiatrist’ and ‘distressed real estate surgeon,’ Jacobs’ approach to law goes beyond mere legalities.
«It is not only about putting clients in a better financial position,» Leo told Impact Wealth Magazine’s Hollie McKay. «It is about harvesting and nurturing them, giving them my undivided attention, and getting them into a much better mental and physical state.»
In his words, «I sell the dream to get back onto the top of the mountain no matter how tough it is. It is a Rocky movie; it is a story of second chances.»

While his sharp wit and straight-shooting demeanor have earned him a reputation as a formidable attorney, it is his holistic dedication to his clients’ mental health that truly sets him apart. According to Leo, «Nobody is talking about it, but I am going to because this is how these debtors, developers feel. The majority of them are men, and they are suffering from their past business decisions.»
Leo stresses, «Our secret sauce is negotiation (tact), arbitration (privately settle disputes), mediation (create a meeting of the minds) coupled with speed at execution. Instead of fighting against the adversaries, we make our adversaries our counterparties who work together to solve the common problem of their client and our client.'»
Jacobs’ philosophy is deeply rooted in understanding his clients’ motivations and helping them navigate through challenges, often fueled by negative emotions. Leo elaborates, «First, you have to understand what motivates the client. Each client is motivated by different things. Some are motivated by G-d. Some are motivated by women. Some are motivated by ego, or their families or by the embarrassment (of failure).»

Outside of his legal practice, Jacobs devotes himself to community service, providing pro bono representation and supporting organizations like AIPAC and the Bukharian Law Association.
«Hashem, family, community, friendship and self-love,» Leo added, shedding light on the pillars he lives by. «When you break bones in your body, those bones heal back stronger. And that is the goal with my clients. We don’t always get second chances in life. But I bring the underdog back. I give debtors and developers a second chance, a second wind.»


On March 25, Leo Jacobs provided expert commentary on commercial litigation and bankruptcy in relation to Trump’s hush money case. He addressed fundamental questions aimed at clarifying the matter for the general public. For instance, Jacobs elaborated on the procedural aspects of how a judge could access property or bank accounts, distinguishing between personal and real property.
The complexity arises from Trump’s ownership of numerous properties through a network of LLCs, alongside mortgages and creditors with claims to consider. «It’s complicated,» remarked another expert.
When asked by the CNN host about preferences between personal and real property, Jacobs emphasized the importance of assessing the financial assets involved. Depending on the amount of money in bank accounts, the strategy could involve pursuing real property or personal property, contingent upon existing liens. Jacobs highlighted ongoing analysis at the Attorney General’s office.
Regarding the timeline for obtaining information, Jacobs anticipated significant developments by the end of the day.
«I would say we’re going to know a lot. The deadline is today to put the bond up. And if there’s a failure to put up that bond, Donald Trump is going to have to move quite swiftly in getting protective order,» said Leo.
(Trump did in fact secure $175 million bond in New York civil fraud case.)

Bankruptcy Attorney of the Year

At this year’s Real Estate Development (RED) Awards, held on March 17, 2024, Leo Jacobs was recognized as bankruptcy lawyer of the year, showcasing the pinnacle of excellence in the dynamic realm of real estate development.
Coordinated by the talented Selman Yalcin, the awards ceremony highlighted the outstanding achievements of individuals who are shaping the future of real estate development. Joining Leo Jacobs in the spotlight were other esteemed award winners, including Lev Mavashev, Thomas Donovan, Eric Brody, Christopher Okada, and Chany Roaen.
Each of these individuals has demonstrated excellence in their respective areas, reflecting the diversity and innovation present in the real estate industry.

Mazel tov to everyone, and especially Leo!

By Erin Levi