PRACTICEI returned to the private practice of law in 2006 after 13 years in the corporate environment, both as a lawyer and as leader of various business units. My practice includes all areas of advice to retail clients, particularly in the real estate area, with emphasis on dealing with mall landlords and tenancy issues in malls, development of ground up properties, and establishing and managing an efficient retail development system.
LEGAL PRACTICEI have a general real estate and business practice, with emphasis on retail leasing, development and dispute resolution related to real estate.
Much of my current work focuses on representing retail chains, including the following:
Representative Retail Clients
CORPORATE EXPERIENCEI worked for Starbucks Coffee Company for thirteen years, beginning in 1993 as a leasing attorney. I was promoted to senior leasing attorney and then to director of leasing for the Starbucks legal department. In my role as director of real estate leasing, I helped prepare the legal support system for Starbucks explosive store growth, and I led the leasing group in the development of forms, standards, and the outsourcing of lease negotiation. I also handled all issues related to the Starbucks "store licensing" group, pursuant to which Starbucks allows other institutions to run Starbucks stores in select locations.
In 1998, Starbucks offered me the chance to move to the business side, and I continued in various business capacities until I left the Company in August 2006 to return to private practice. On the business side, I initially focused strictly on real estate relationships with companies such as Wells Fargo Bank, ("Magic") Johnson Development Company, REI, and Chapters Books, the largest Canadian bookstore at that time. In 1999, Starbucks formed a separate unit that focused on the licensed business, and I headed efforts to establish pricing, development systems and sales teams for that organization. In addition to advising and then supervising the sales teams in the eastern United States, I handled the development of deals with Target Corporation, Intrawest Resorts, Universal Studios, and many colleges and universities. I also headed the project team that allowed Starbucks to enter into business in Quebec through a franchisee.
I shifted my focus away from licensing and back to real estate in 2003 when Starbucks asked me to spearhead a development initiative in malls (based on research that I had developed). What began as one area of responsibility grew to five different disciplines. First, in malls, the team I managed increased the mall store development rate from an average of 16 a year to roughly 55 annually, and under my supervision, the company revamped its approach to mall development and solidified its relationships with the major landlords. I also chaired a national group of tenants that works on issues with mall landlords.
In addition to my responsibilities with malls, I took over the development of the Starbucks land acquisition and ground lease program. This program began in 2004 and grew in a short while to a pipeline of nearly 200 stores at the time I left Starbucks. I also continued to supervise real estate relationships with outside companies and landlords, including DDR, Regency, and Chase Manhattan Bank.
In addition to the mall alliance and land development responsibilities, my team and I initiated a centralized preferred development program, which will be rolled out in 2007. Finally, I led separate project teams for two asset acquisition deals, including a group of stores purchased from Peaberry, in Denver, and a group of roughly 60 stores purchased from Barnie's Coffee and Tea, in Florida, a deal that I brought to Starbucks.
Retail Roll-Out I have led or contributed to Starbucks programs that allowed a company to expand from a "standing start" to rapidly accelerating growth. I have established or led such programs for street-front leasing, mall leasing, alliance development, and franchise networks.
Training I frequently provide training in any area related to store development processes, including lease negotiation, sales and deal negotiation, site selection, and proforma analysis.
LAW FIRM EXPERIENCEIn joining Opus Law Group, I have returned to my original profession, practicing law. After completing my federal appeals court clerkship in 1983, I practiced at private law firms in Seattle for the next ten years and developed a general transactional real estate practice, while also handling construction arbitrations and general business matters for several outside clients.
During this period, my practice included all aspects of real estate law, ranging from complex development and lending transactions to sophisticated ground leases, space leases, and condominium arrangements. I also handled litigation with a real estate connection, ranging from multi-state litigation for American Savings Bank to local arbitrations, foreclosures and boundary disputes.
My representative clients were varied. Some of these clients included SHRG (now HRG), the largest non-profit housing developer in Washington, Centex Homes, one of the largest home builders in America, the Sabey Companies, Muzak, Millisat (a private cable television company), and a number of condominium developers. I led the real estate aspects of many financing arrangements, ranging from a local savings bank ($20 million) to the Chugach Electrical Cooperative ($500 million). I also handled general corporate work, including work related to proposed IPO's, a series of acquisitions around the United States for Millisat, and various asset acquisition projects for other clients around the greater Seattle area.
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