Spotlight on Julia Charnyshova

August 20, 2019

Julia Charnyshova joined the firm’s Pittsburgh office in 2008. She grew up as an only child in a small town in Belarus. Today, she lives in Lawrenceville, “the most hipster neighborhood of Pittsburgh.” Her parents, whom she calls “the sweetest,” are both retired and live in Belarus. Her American family includes her best friend and life partner Alejandro, their fluffy cat, and wonderful friends. In her free time, she enjoys yoga and international travel.

Julia focuses her practice on corporate transactions within the hospitality industry. A substantial portion of her practice is devoted to representing large institutional hotel investors as well as individual developers in connection with the ownership and operation of hospitality assets. She assists investment fund clients with transactional matters, including negotiation of purchase and sale agreements; title and due diligence review; negotiation of franchise and management agreements in connection with acquisitions and dispositions of hospitality assets; and franchise and management matters in connection with financing of portfolios of hotels. In addition, Julia handles the drafting and negotiation of management agreements for brand operators and luxury brand operators and represents hotel owners in negotiation of franchise agreements and brand management agreements with major U.S. hotel brands throughout the world.


What led you to pursue a career in law?

The TV series Law and Order. I thought lawyers were very cool, smart, and sharp, and wanted to be like them. I was very interested in criminal law and took many related electives in law school. That was before I discovered the hospitality corporate practice!

What do you enjoy most about your practice?

I love the variety among our clients and matters I get to work on, there is never a dull moment in the hospitality practice!

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Flight attendant. I took a trip to Azerbaijan with my dad when I was little and this was my first time on an airplane. I was overwhelmed with the experience and immediately concluded that flight attendants were the coolest people on earth.

What’s the last TV show you binge-watched?

Breaking Bad.

Who/what inspires you?

All the amazing humans that push the limits, redefine possible, and remain humble. My list of role models is very long and includes world class athletes and entrepreneurs as well as my dear friends that go for that personal best and are not afraid to take a leap of faith to pursue their dreams.

What’s your favorite place?

The island of Kauai is currently at the top of my chart.

What’s your favorite comfort food?

French fries.

Can you tell us about Belarus?

Belarus is a country in Eastern Europe bordering Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Russia, and Ukraine, covering the territory of approximately 207,000 sq. km with a population about 9.5 million. Forests, rivers, and lakes occupy a large territory of Belarus with about 40% of the territory covered by forest – it is a very green land! As is typical for a European country, the history of Belarus dates way back to about the 6th and 8th centuries with migration of the Slavic tribes throughout Eastern Europe. In the course of its history, Belarus went through periods of sovereignty as well as being part of larger political entities such as the Russian Empire and later the Soviet Union. As a result of its rich history, modern Belarus offers plenty of historic landmarks such as churches, monasteries, and castles to visit.

Belarus has two official state languages: Russian and Belarusian, with the majority of the population speaking Russian or a dialect that is a mixture of Russian, Polish, and Ukrainian languages and that varies from location to location within Belarus.

There are five Nobel Laureates from Belarus. Most recently, in 2015, Svetlana Aleksievich received the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Belarus is also very proud of its recent sports achievements. Biathlete Daria Domracheva won three gold medals at the Olympic Games in 2014. For 70 weeks, tennis player Victoria Azarenka was in first place of the WTP ranking, and also earned an Olympic gold medal for Belarus along with another famous Belarusian tennis player, Maxim Mirny. Belarus also has a very strong gymnastics team.

When and why did you move to the USA?

Initially, I first came to the US as part of a student exchange program. I liked it here, and decided to stay and go to law school.


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