Attorneys

Experience

Joey Strength is a partner at HunterMaclean, practicing primarily in real estate and development law, estates and trusts, and business transactions. He is a trusted advisor for his clients, which range from individuals to publicly traded companies, and provides them quality legal representation and advice across a broad range of areas. Joey seeks to learn about and understand his clients’ personal and business needs and find creative solutions to their legal problems.

Joey represents large and small corporate clients in a broad range of industries, as well as individual clients in connection with their estate planning and real estate administration. He is a connector, bringing in other HunterMaclean attorneys when needed to assist clients with a wide variety of legal needs.

Joey regularly represents buyers and sellers in structuring, negotiating, and consummating commercial and residential real estate transactions; advises developers in connection with site selection, due diligence, contract negotiation, zoning and land use regulation, property acquisition, closing, and subdivision and condominium development; represents borrowers and lenders in secured transactions; represents landlords and tenants in leasing transactions; guides clients through conservation projects and like-kind real estate exchanges; and represents property owners in ad valorem tax appeals. Joey’s broad real estate experience includes residential, commercial, mixed-use, resort, timber, office, retail, shopping center, hotel, and hospitality projects. He has served as an escrow agent and issued title insurance in hundreds of transactions involving more than one billion dollars in coverage.

Joey is a proponent of the Opportunity Zone legislation that was included in the 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act and has represented HunterMaclean in a national working group of attorneys, accountants, developers, and others who have collaborated to provide input in the regulatory process. He is currently working with a number of clients who are considering how they might benefit from the program and enjoys sharing about the program with others.

Joey has a long history of community service. He is serving or has served on the boards of the United Way of the Coastal Empire, the Brunswick Downtown Development Authority, the Golden Isles Youth Orchestra, the United Way of Coastal Georgia, the City of Brunswick Audit Committee, St. Simons Land Trust, St. Marks Towers, and Frederica Academy. He has served as a Trustee of St. Simons Presbyterian Church. Joey has also taught as an adjunct instructor at Coastal Georgia Community College (now the College of Coastal Georgia) in the areas of real estate law and paralegal studies.

Joey has achieved the highest possible Martindale-Hubbell peer review rating (AV/5.0) and has been recognized by the St. Simons Land Trust for his support of conservation efforts on St. Simons Island and by the Golden Isles Association of Realtors for his exceptional work within the real estate community.

Joey attended the University of Alabama, where he graduated from the College of Arts and Sciences, with Phi Beta Kappa distinction, and the School of Law, with honors. Upon graduation from the College of Arts and Sciences, Joey was awarded the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Medallion, the University of Alabama’s premier senior award. Following graduation from law school, he entered the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps and was assigned to Fort Hood, Texas, where he served as a legal assistance attorney, military prosecutor, and a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Texas.

He is a member of the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Georgia, the State Bar of Alabama, and the American Land Title Association.

Joey is married to Rev. Deanie Strength, and they have two children.

Representative Engagements

  • Issued title insurance and served as escrow agent on over 500 transactions, involving more than one billion dollars in title insurance coverage
  • Served as local counsel for estate planning and estate administration related transactions involving properties on Sea Island, St. Simons Island, and coastal Georgia
  • Represented buyers or sellers in negotiation and closing of the largest residential transactions on Sea Island over the past decade
  • Represented nonprofit land trust in negotiation, due diligence, and drafting of conservation easement related to the purchase of Cannon’s Point on St. Simons Island, one of the most significant conservation projects in the United States in 2012
  • Represented a public company in the purchase of 15,000 +/- acre timberland and development land
  • Represented a public company in the sale of 5,000 +/- acre timberland tract
  • Represented Fortune 400 company in the negotiation, due diligence, and purchase of 90 acre industrial site, including negotiation of a tax abatement with local development authority and county, and negotiation of leases
  • Represented corporate purchaser in the purchase of 700 acre multi-use tract in Savannah, Georgia, including an operating sand mine
  • Represented individual purchaser in the purchase of 10,000 acre quail plantation and club in south Georgia
  • Represented individual seller in the sale of 2,000 acre quail plantation and retreat in south Georgia and north Florida
  • Represented seller in closing of sale of 20,000 +/- acre timber and recreational tract in Glynn County and Camden County, Georgia
  • Represented group of family members in the consolidation, preparation for sale, and negotiation of sale of 17,000 +/- acre timber and development land
  • Member of legal team representing Sea Island Company in the sale of the Cloister Hotel, the Lodge, and all of its related real estate assets
  • Represented buyer in the negotiation of a purchase contract, and carrying out of related due diligence, related to the purchase of a 40,000 +/- square foot office building, and renegotiation of leases
  • Represented buyer in the negotiation, due diligence, and closing of 72,000 +/- square foot office building, including negotiation and assignment of leases
  • Represented buyer in the closing of 100,000 +/- square foot shopping center, including negotiation and assignment of leases
  • Represented buyer in negotiation of purchase contract and selection of outside counsel on behalf of purchaser for acquisition of a 20,000 +/- acre tract in Arkansas and Louisiana
  • Represented buyer in the negotiation, due diligence, and closing of 300 + unit apartment complex, including the negotiation and assignment of leases
  • Represented lenders or borrowers in hundreds of residential and commercial loan closings, with loans ranging from several hundred thousand to over 40 million dollars
  • Represented lender in selection of outside counsel and closing of loan involving properties and assets in Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, and Colorado
  • Represented lender in selection of outside counsel and negotiation of loan involving properties in South Carolina and Georgia
  • Represented lender in connection with negotiation and closing of asset-based loan for international manufacturer
  • Represented senior housing nonprofit borrower in the negotiation and closing of a HUD loan
  • Represented subordinate lender in connection with closing of senior loan and related intercreditor agreement for 100 lot subdivision and resort property
  • Represented developers of dozens of residential and commercial subdivisions in Coastal Georgia
  • Represented individuals and corporate developers in the organization of special purpose entities to carry out business and real estate activities
  • Served as local counsel for developers registering properties under the Interstate Land Sales Act
  • Served as counsel to real estate developers and brokerage companies in connection with real estate brokerage laws, and contracts
  • Represented numerous property owners in connection with land use and zoning ordinance analysis, rezoning actions, site plan approvals, development approvals, and variances
  • Represented numerous property owners in connection with ad valorem tax appeals

Recognition

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Georgia Trend Legal Elite

Georgia Trend Magazine Legal Elite: 2016-2017

Georgia Trend Magazine’s annual listing of Georgia’s top attorneys, selected by their peers. The list includes eight practice areas: business law; personal injury litigation; criminal law; labor and employment; taxes, estates and trusts; bankruptcy and creditors’ rights; family law; and general practice/trial law.

Martindale-Hubbell: AV Rated

The Martindale-Hubbell® PEER REVIEW RATINGS™ are an objective indicator of a lawyer’s high ethical standards and professional ability, generated from evaluations of lawyers by other members of the bar and the judiciary in the United States and Canada.

St. Simons Land Trust: Dorothy Gilbert Award

The award is given to individuals who have contributed significantly to the mission of the St. Simons Land Trust. The award is named for Dorothy Gilbert, who donated the property that is now the John Gilbert Nature Trail.

Golden Isles Association of Realtors: Extra Mile Award

This award recognizes the Affiliate member who has gone the extra mile for a single closing


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Publications & Presentations

Publications

Brunswick's New Opportunity Zone

Joseph F. Strength discusses how the new Opportunity Zone Program could benefit the Glynn County area in his article for the June 2018 issue of Elegant Island Living.

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New Opportunity Zones Designed to Spur Economic Development

The U.S. Treasury Department has approved Governor Nathan Deal’s nomination of portions of Savannah and surrounding areas as Opportunity Zones. Attorney Joey Strength explains what this means for businesses in his article for Business in Savannah.

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Rethinking the Real Estate Buying Process

HunterMaclean attorney Joey Strength offers practical advice to real estate buyers in this article for Business in Savannah.

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Legal Checklist for Short-Term Rental Owners

Online rental services like Airbnb and VRBO.com are becoming more and more popular. HunterMaclean partner Joey Strength discusses the legal side of short-term vacation rentals in this article for BiS.

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News

Nine HunterMaclean Attorneys Honored as 2017 Georgia Trend Legal Elite

HunterMaclean is honored to announce that nine attorneys were recently recognized as 2017 Legal Elite by Georgia Trend.

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Elegant Island Living: Celebrating 15 Years in Brunswick

HunterMaclean’s Brunswick office opened 15 years ago. Elegant Island Living sits down with the Brunswick attorneys for a reflective Q&A about this important milestone.

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HunterMaclean Attorneys Honored as 2016 Georgia Trend Legal Elite

Eight HunterMaclean attorneys were recognized as 2016 Legal Elite by Georgia Trend. Georgia Trend’s Legal Elite is compiled by attorneys submitting their nominations through the publication’s website.

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HunterMaclean Critical Issues Forum Highlights Entrepreneurship Ecosystems

The 2016 Critical Issues Forum on Entrepreneurship Ecosystems took place on September 29 at the College of Coastal Georgia. Business and community leaders heard speakers offer perspectives on developing entrepreneurship in Brunswick and the Golden Isles.

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Savannah CEO: Growth Year for HunterMaclean

HunterMaclean had an unusual number of awards, events, and attorney announcements in 2015, particularly as the year wrapped up. Savannah CEO interviewed the firm’s managing partner, Frank Macgill, to find out more.

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