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Bernard Lafayette Metz

Tax Attorney at Pittsburgh, PA

Not yet reviewed

also known as Lafe Metz

  • State Years
    Pennsylvania - PA 24 years
    Ohio - OH 10 years
  • Licensed for 24 years
    State PA
    Acquired 1999
    Active No misconduct found
  • Licensed for 10 years
    State OH
    Acquired 2013
    Inactive No misconduct found

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

About Bernard

Learn Bernard’s areas of practice.

Practice areas
Lafe Metz is the chair of Buchanan’s Real Estate Practice Group. He focuses his practice on commercial real estate transactions, development, finance and leasing, with emphasis on transactional planning to minimize tax consequences. He has extensive experience representing wind farms and other alternative energy clients. Lafe also devotes significant time to representing taxpayers in state and local tax litigation.
In his real estate work, Lafe has recently:

  • Represented the buyer of a $200 million casino.
  • Represented the Sports and Exhibition Authority of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County in the development of CONSOL Energy Center, the new Pittsburgh Penguins Arena, as well as the Cambria Suites Hotel at CONSOL Energy Center.
  • Represented the buyers of $80 million, $40 million and $25 million office buildings in Pittsburgh, downtown and on the North Shore.
  • Represented a nationally recognized bank in the $40 million sale-leaseback of 50 bank branches.
  • Represented the developer of a 52.5 MW wind farm in Somerset County, Pa. with respect to leasing, development and land-use issues.
  • Represented the developer of a 30 MW wind farm in Cambria County, Pa. regarding leasing and title issues, negotiating mutual use agreements with gas and coal companies, and the sale of the project.
  • Represented the developer of significant wind farms in Connecticut, Maryland and Pennsylvania.
  • Negotiated leases on behalf of a fine arts storage company with Harvard University and The Smithsonian Institute.
  • Represented the August Wilson Center in connection with the development of the August Wilson Center for African American Culture in downtown Pittsburgh.
  • Handled land use issues for the expansion of toll roads in Northeast Pennsylvania.
  • Overcame a zoning challenge to reopen a juvenile detention facility in rural Pennsylvania.
  • Handled land use and tax issues in connection with the conversion of a hotel to university dormitories in Western Pennsylvania.
  • Represented the seller of $15 million of Utica gas leases in Ohio.
Among Lafe's recent tax work, he has:

  • Obtained a real estate tax exemption for a $150 million continuing care retirement community in Western Pennsylvania, notwithstanding its entrance fees between $200,000 and $600,000.
  • Represented property owners in property tax appeals for a $200 million casino, $125 million and $95 million office buildings, $35 million apartment complex, $25 million shopping center and $20 million industrial facility, in addition to representing universities, hospitals, airlines, golf courses, social clubs, warehouses and self-storage facilities in tax appeal and tax exemption matters.
  • Obtained a sales and use tax exemption for a large teaching hospital in Philadelphia, which will save several million dollars per year in taxes.
  • Restored a tax exemption for the 100-acre campus of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Western Pennsylvania following its revocation by the county, savings the Sisters $500,000 per year.
  • Won a case of first impression in Pennsylvania in which the trial court upheld Clean & Green preferential real estate tax assessment for tracts of timberland owned by a country club.
  • Represented dozens of Fortune 500 companies in Pennsylvania state and local tax controversies before Pennsylvania courts and administrative boards.
  • Negotiated a PILOT agreement on behalf of a newly renovated, university-owned sports facility and faculty club in Pittsburgh.
  • Negotiated a PILOT agreement on behalf of a university-owned sports complex in Western Pennsylvania that includes multiple hockey rinks, a golf dome, track and field, and fitness center.
  • Supervised a 12-member team that secured $3 million in tax refunds for a major rail company.
  • Obtained more than $1 million in tax penalty abatement in an embezzlement case.
Prior to joining Buchanan, Lafe was a tax associate in a Philadelphia-based law firm, where he conducted hearings before state and local courts and boards; drafted partnership and LLC agreements, tax settlement agreements, tax opinions, proposed legislation, ruling requests and voluntary disclosures; and negotiated tax settlements with the IRS and state and local revenue departments.

In 2004-2005, Lafe studied Spanish in Guatemala, becoming proficient in the language.

Lafe is a past president of Pittsburgh Squash and a past board member of the Allegheny County Library Association.


Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC
One Oxford Centre
301 Grant Street, 20th Floor
Pittsburgh, PA, 15219-1412

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  • Free Consultation 15 minutes
Payment methods


AVVO RATING 9.0 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Chair of Real Estate Group
  • Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney
  • 2012 - Present
  • Shareholder
  • Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney
  • 2009 - 2012
  • Associate
  • Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney
  • 2005 - 2009
  • Associate
  • Wolf Block
  • 2000 - 2004
View all work experience


  • New York University School of Law
  • LL.M - Master of Laws
  • 2000
  • University of Pennsylvania Law School
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 1999
  • Cornell University
  • BA - Bachelor of Arts
  • 1994

Sample of Legal Cases

  • Pennsylvania Wind Farm Development
  • Wind farm operational
  • PILOT Agreement for University Sports Complex
  • Finalized PILOT Agreement
  • 50 Bank Branch Sale-Leaseback
View all legal cases


  • Allegheny County Bar Association, Real Property Section
  • Member
  • 2009 - Present

Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

Honors and Awards

  • Best Lawyer
  • Best Lawyers
  • 2014
  • AV Peer Review Rating
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2013


View all publications

Speaking Engagements

  • Penn State Greater Allegheny Continuing Education CPA Program
  • Tax Update
  • 2012
  • Allegheny County Tax Reassessment and Appeals
  • 2012
  • Day on Real Estate
  • Realty Transfer Tax Update
  • 2012
  • CMAA/HFTP Annual Meeting
  • Allegheny County Reassessment and Tax Appeals
  • 2012
  • CCAC Accountant/Attorney Continuing Education Seminar
  • Proposed Changes to Lease Accounting Rules
  • 2011
  • Allegheny County Bar Association, Real Property Section
  • Pennsylvania Transfer Tax Update
  • 2011
  • CCAC Accountant/Attorney Continuing Education Seminar
  • Pennsylvania Choice of Entity
  • 2009
  • Taxes Affecting Real Estate Transactions
  • PA's New Realty Transfer Tax Law
  • 2008
  • Pennsylvania Day on Real Estate
  • Pennsylvania Choice of Entity
  • 2008
  • Allegheny County Bar Association, Taxation Section
  • Pennsylvania Real Estate Tax Appeals
  • 2008
  • Allegheny County Bar Association, Real Property Section
  • Pennsylvania Tax Update
  • 2008
  • National Business Institute
  • LLC Update
  • 2006
  • National Business Institute
  • LLC Update
  • 2004
  • George Harris & Associates
  • State and Local Tax Developments
  • 2004
  • National Business Institute
  • LLC Update
  • 2003
View all speaking engagements

Attorney endorsements

Received (2)
Given (3)
Endorse Bernard
Tax Attorney | Mar 06
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Mr. Metz is very knowledgeable. An asset to the Avvo community."
Real estate Attorney | Feb 27
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Lafe is a very well respected and experienced commercial real estate and tax lawyer and active in the community. Highly recommended."
Chapter 11 bankruptcy
Debt and lending agreements