Practice Areas & Industries: Hill, Farrer & Burrill LLP


Group Profile Lawyers in this Group Offices Locations for this Group

Practice/Industry Group Overview

Since its founding, Hill Farrer & Burrill LLP has been recognized for its expertise in advising clients on a broad range of real estate issues. The transactional real estate practice of Hill Farrer is primarily investment-based, involving the representation of investors, landowners and commercial users in financings, acquisitions, dispositions, development, leasing, land use and environmental matters. The firm's real estate lawyers regularly advise clients in the areas of land use, zoning, condemnation, environmental contamination and contractual disputes. Our real estate department clients include banking institutions, railroads, governmental agencies and private developers, as well as public and private corporations, partnerships, limited liability entities and individuals involved in a wide variety of businesses.

The firm's real estate attorneys have represented both lenders and borrowers in all aspects of financing office buildings, industrial and warehouse facilities, retail centers and multi-family housing developments. Such representation includes the negotiation and drafting of loan commitments and loan documents, negotiation and issuance of legal opinions, the performance of legal due diligence, including the review and analysis of title, leasing and environmental matters, and the resolution of a variety of issues that arise during the financing process. Hill Farrer real estate attorneys have substantial experience dealing with issues arising out of the stringent requirements for the structure of borrowers, including special purpose entities and bankruptcy remote provisions. Hill Farrer's real estate attorneys have substantial expertise and experience in the restructure of loans and other real estate investments, as well as the exercise of the remedies of secured creditors in the context of receiverships, judicial and nonjudicial foreclosure actions, deeds in lieu of foreclosure and bankruptcies.

In addition, Hill Farrer’s real estate attorneys regularly advise clients on such diverse matters as the acquisition and disposition of real estate assets, leasing and land use issues. Many of the transactions handled for the firm's investment clients include issues involving property contaminated by hazardous materials. Transactions are often structured in a tax advantaged manner, including tax deferred exchanges and complex ownership structures.

Hill Farrer attorneys have, for many years, represented clients with projects in redevelopment areas and as partners with redevelopment agencies. We have experience drafting and negotiating a wide variety of agreements with such agencies, including development agreements and a wide variety of agreements providing development incentives for investors and developers working with such agencies. The firm's attorneys have developed expertise in the statutory authority that underlies the redevelopment process in California, as well as familiarity with all aspects of the exercise by these agencies of their powers, including eminent domain, to meet their affirmative public obligations. While each project has unique characteristics, certain fundamental laws, principles and strategies govern the redevelopment process. The firm's experience has led it to be considered well regarded in this field.

Representative Matters

  • Long term represention of a family with a substantial interest in a portfolio of commercial real property with a gross value of half a billion dollars, advising them with respect to acquisitions and divestitures as well as a current reorganization of the portfolio management structure.
  • Negotiated and drafted leases and subleases for multi-tenant commercial/industrial properties.
  • Represented manufacturing company in connection with potential condemnation of real property by City Redevelopment Agency; negotiated and drafted complicated long-term ground sublease on replacement property.
  • Represented the seller in complex negotiations for the sale of commercial property to the City of Santa Monica under threat of eminent domain. The site was the planned station for the Expo Line, a light rail line currently under construction in the Los Angeles County Metro Rail System.
  • Drafted and negotiated a development agreement with the City of Anaheim, which provided for the development of a mixed use site, including office, retail, hotel and apartment components.
  • Negotiated and handled the closing of a sale of two commercial properties among co-owners previously adverse to each other in litigation.
  • Negotiated a purchase agreement and handled the closing of the sale of commercial property under threat of condemnation, among multiple Taiwanese individuals, as sellers, and the school district, as buyer.