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About me

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.


Languages spoken: Spanish

Practice areas


  1. Real Estate: 50%
    16 years
  2. Tax: 50%
    16 years



Free consultation (15 minutes)

Payment types:


Attorney endorsements

2 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

  • Alicia Simone James

    Mr. Metz is very knowledgeable. An asset to the Avvo community.


    Alicia James Tax Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

  • Ronald Brian Roteman

    Lafe is a very well respected and experienced commercial real estate and tax lawyer and active in the community. Highly recommended.


    Ronald Roteman Bankruptcy and debt Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

Contact info

Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC

One Oxford Centre
301 Grant Street, 20th Floor
Pittsburgh, PA, 15219-1412


We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Best LawyerBest Lawyers2014
AV Peer Review RatingMartindale-Hubbell2013
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
Chair of Real Estate GroupBuchanan Ingersoll & Rooney2012 - Present
ShareholderBuchanan Ingersoll & Rooney2009 - 2012
AssociateBuchanan Ingersoll & Rooney2005 - 2009
AssociateWolf Block2000 - 2004
Association namePosition nameDuration
Allegheny County Bar Association, Real Property SectionMember2009 - Present
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
Pennsylvania Wind Farm DevelopmentWind farm operational
PILOT Agreement for University Sports ComplexFinalized PILOT Agreement
50 Bank Branch Sale-LeasebackN/A
See all legal cases 
Publication nameTitleDate
Buchanan Ingersoll WebsiteAllegheny County Property Tax Reassessment Appeal Deadline Looms for Pittsburgh2012
Buchanan Ingersoll WebsiteUse of the 2012 Allegheny County Property Reassessments Delayed Until 2013; Appeal Deadline Still Looms2012
Buchanan Ingersoll WebsiteClean and Green Amendment Preserves Most Real Estate Tax Benefits for Land Leased for Wind Power Generation2011
Buchanan Ingersoll WebsitePennsylvania Considers Over-Broad Amendments to Realty Transfer Tax Regulations2011
Buchanan Ingersoll WebsitePennsylvania Department of Revenue Issues Draft Tax Bulletin Clarifying Transfer Tax and Personal Income Tax Treatment of Oil and Gas Transactions2011
Buchanan Ingersoll WebsiteCountywide Real Estate Tax Reassessment in Allegheny County to Concentrate on City of Pittsburgh First2011
Buchanan Ingersoll WebsiteProposed Transfer Tax Amendments Narrow Lease Exception for Renewal Terms2011
Buchanan Ingersoll WebsitePennsylvania Supreme Court Rules Allegheny County's 2002 Base Year Real Estate Tax System Unconstitutional2009
Buchanan Ingersoll WebsiteRuling on Base Year Real Estate Taxing System has Statewide Implications for Pennsylvania2007
Buchanan Ingersoll WebsitePennsylvania Amends Realty Transfer Tax Regulations2007
Buchanan Ingersoll WebsiteAllegheny County to Perform Triennial Re-evaluations of Exempt Properties' Continued Qualification for Real Estate Tax Exemption2007
Buchanan Ingersoll WebsiteOwner May Seek to Have Property Assessed at the Lower of its 2002 Base or 2006 Fair Market Value2006
BNA Corporate Practice SeriesDoing Business in States other than the State of Incorporation - Pennsylvania Chapter2006
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
New York University School of LawTaxationLL.M - Master of Laws2000
University of Pennsylvania Law SchoolLawJD - Juris Doctor1999
Cornell Law SchoolEconomicsBA - Bachelor of Arts1994
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
Day on Real EstateMaking Sense of Realty Transfer Tax2013
Penn State Greater Allegheny Continuing Education CPA ProgramTax Update2012
NAIOPAllegheny County Tax Reassessment and Appeals2012
Day on Real EstateRealty Transfer Tax Update2012
CMAA/HFTP Annual MeetingAllegheny County Reassessment and Tax Appeals2012
CCAC Accountant/Attorney Continuing Education SeminarProposed Changes to Lease Accounting Rules2011
Allegheny County Bar Association, Real Property SectionPennsylvania Transfer Tax Update2011
CCAC Accountant/Attorney Continuing Education SeminarPennsylvania Choice of Entity2009
Taxes Affecting Real Estate TransactionsPA's New Realty Transfer Tax Law2008
Pennsylvania Day on Real EstatePennsylvania Choice of Entity2008
Allegheny County Bar Association, Taxation SectionPennsylvania Real Estate Tax Appeals2008
Allegheny County Bar Association, Real Property SectionPennsylvania Tax Update2008
National Business InstituteLLC Update2006
National Business InstituteLLC Update2004
George Harris & AssociatesState and Local Tax Developments2004
National Business InstituteLLC Update2003