Murphy McMillan

1400 Wells Fargo Tower
420 20th Street North
Birmingham, Alabama 35203
T: 205.244.3825
F: 205.488.3825


Murphy McMillan, shareholder in the Firm's Birmingham office, helps clients on myriad issues related to commercial real estate development, financing, acquisition, disposition and leasing transactions, including alternative financing structures, such as public-private partnerships (public incentive financing) and New Market Tax Credits. He currently spends a great deal of his time helping private equity firms, investment advisors and pension funds acquire commercial real estate, including structuring joint ventures. Mr. McMillan is outside counsel to an international property management firm, which is one of the largest multi-family property managers in the United States. He regularly assists foreign and domestic buyers in multi-family acquisitions throughout the Southeast. Having been a principal in a real estate development firm, Mr. McMillan has a keen understanding of both the legal and business issues with which his clients are faced.  

Recent Representative Matters

Acquisition and Development

  • Currently assisting a multi-billion dollar private equity investor in monetizing real property holdings, including harvesting assets acquired during distress cycle and developing retained real property for commercial purposes.
  • Ongoing assistance to an institutional investment advisor in acquiring multi-family properties, totaling approximately $100 million in investment over the last year.
  • Work for coastal resort owner in re-purposing an area of resort property for a "town center" retail development, including negotiation of construction agreements, leasing retail space and structuring operating formats for entertainment amenities.
  • Representation of entrepreneurial developer of numerous "necessity retail" shopping centers on power center outparcels, ranging in size from 5,000-30,000 square feet, including acquisition, financing and leasing to regional and national in-line tenants.
  • Recently helped clients redevelop several large (400,000+ square feet) shopping centers, including additional land acquisition, amendment of restrictive covenants, road vacation, leasing and negotiating public incentives.
  • Advise clients, including a Fortune 1000 life insurance company, on the creation of investment vehicles to pursue acquisition and development opportunities.

Retail Leasing

  • Help national, regional and local landlords negotiate retail leases with tenants.
  • Regularly advise national junior anchor in negotiating retail leases.

Alternative Financing Matters

Mr. McMillan also routinely advises clients on alternative financing structures.

  • Structuring construction and development loan, including New Market Tax Credit and Historic Tax Credit monetization components for the re-development of an historic downtown building.
  • Negotiating public private partnership to finance $30 million of infrastructure improvements for a retail center through a $20 million community development district (CDD) bond issue and a $10 million tax increment financing (TIF) reimbursement program.
  • Helped a publicly-traded REIT structure and negotiate a public private partnership to fund $20 million of infrastructure improvements for a lifestyle center development.
  • Assisted publicly-traded REIT in structuring and negotiating public-private partnerships with a municipality and county to finance $20.5 million in infrastructure improvements for a 450,000 square foot retail development.

Health Care

Mr. McMillan's work in the public-private partnership arena has also lead him into assisting clients in structuring financing for and development of health care projects.

  • Assistance to private operator in securing opportunity to develop a rural hospital and negotiation of financing and alternative financing structures, including public incentives.

Publications & Speaking Engagements

Mr. McMillan frequently writes and speaks, nationally and locally, on a number of topics related to his practice, including:

Commercial Real Estate Development and Leasing Issues

Public-Private Partnerships

  • Speaker/Moderator – "Public Private Partnerships," a quarterly webinar series sponsored by the ICSC Alliance Program and the Economic Development Association of Alabama (January 2010 – present)
  • Speaker – "Public-Private Partnerships in Retail Developments," 2009 ICSC GulfSouth Idea Exchange, New Orleans, Louisiana (January 2009)

Distressed Acquisitions  

  • Speaker – "Acquisition and Development Issues in the Current Real Estate Market," sponsored by the Cumberland School of Law, "Trends in Commercial Real Estate Law 2011" program (November 18, 2011)
  • Co-presenter – "Acquisition, Bankruptcy and Tax Considerations in Distressed Asset Purchases," TerraLex's International Real Estate Practice Group, Washington, D.C. (October 2, 2010); Institute of Management Accountants, Birmingham, Alabama (September 28, 2010); American Bar Association Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA (August 8, 2010) 
  • Speaker – "Zen and the Art of Distressed Acquisitions," sponsored by the Alabama CCIM Chapter, Birmingham, Alabama (December 2009)

Professional Honors & Activities

  • Listed in Alabama Super Lawyers in Real Estate (2011 and 2012)
  • Listed since 2012 in Chambers USA: America's Leading Business Lawyers in Real Estate 
  • Fellow – American Bar Foundation
  • Member – ISCS Alliance Advisory subcommittee, responsible for providing guidance and direction for the ISCS Alliance Program  
  • Co-founder – Alabama Retail Alliance, a non-profit organization formed to promote best practices in economic development through public-private partnerships in retail developments in Alabama
  • Member – American Bar Association (Section of Real Estate Probate and Trust Law; Government Incentives Committee; Vice Chair, Retail Leasing Committee of the Real Property, Probate and Trust Section)
  • Associate Member – International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)
  • Member – Alabama Bar Association
  • Member – Birmingham Bar Association
  • Birmingham Business Journal "Top 40 Under 40," Class of 2000
  • Board of Directors – Alabama Farmer's Trust
  • Recipient – National Multiple Sclerosis Society's 2001 "Leadership Award"
  • Board of Directors – Easter Seals of the Birmingham Area (Chairman, 2003 – 2005)
  • Member – Monday Morning Quarterback Club, Crippled Childrens' Foundation
  • Member – Economic Development Association of Alabama


  • Alabama, 1995


  • University of Alabama School of Law, J.D., 1995
  • Washington & Lee University, B.A., 1990

Murphy and his wife, Beth, have two children, El (age 13) and John (age 8).