United States: Two Distinguished Real Estate Attorneys Join Piper Rudnick's Growing San Francisco Office
Last Updated: March 17 2004

Addition of Stephen A. Cowan and Caryl B. Welborn Extends Piper Rudnick’s Growing Real Estate Practice in California

San Francisco, MARCH 15, 2004 -- Piper Rudnick LLP, a leading national law firm, announced today that prominent real estate attorneys Stephen A. Cowan and Caryl B. Welborn are joining the firm’s San Francisco office. Mr. Cowan will head the Firm’s West Coast real estate practice. For many years Mr. Cowan had been the partner in charge of the San Francisco office of O’Melveny & Myers and head of their real estate department in San Francisco. Ms. Welborn, who had previously been a senior partner in the real estate department at Morrison & Foerster, returns to a large firm setting after eight years of heading a boutique real estate practice.

Mr. Cowan and Ms. Welborn are two of the most renowned real estate attorneys in the Bay Area and are well known nationally. Mr. Cowan’s real estate practice covers a broad range of commercial real estate and finance matters, with particular emphasis on real estate finance, workouts, bankruptcies and real estate fund formations. Ms. Welborn’s real estate practice includes all types of commercial real estate transactions with particular emphasis on acquisitions, dispositions, debt financing and joint venture structuring.

"We are thrilled to add Steve Cowan and Caryl Welborn to our team of talented attorneys in San Francisco," said Robb Scott, managing partner of Piper’s San Francisco office. "These individuals possess extraordinary real estate prowess that will complement and enhance the Firm’s national real estate practice. Adding attorneys of their stature demonstrates Piper’s commitment to the real estate practice and to California."

"I have been urging them to practice together for many years. Steve Cowan and Caryl Welborn are two of the most capable, business oriented and practical lawyers I have ever worked with. I am delighted that they will finally be working together as partners with a firm of such high quality and resources," said Kenneth A. Baber, President and CEO of Maier Siebel Baber, a division of U.S. Trust Company, N.A.

"Steve Cowan is one of the best practical real estate and bankruptcy lawyers I have worked with over the last 30 years. He is very client oriented and can easily handle the most complex transactions with focused intensity and creativity, He has been and will remain our "go to guy" for the truly important, high risk transactional work." said Harry N. Mixon, Vice President and Regional Counsel for the Prudential Insurance Company of America.

When asked why he is joining Piper Rudnick, Stephen Cowan responded, "Piper Rudnick’s real estate and finance practice is among the strongest and most established in the nation. The firm offers extensive and sophisticated resources that enable its lawyers to provide excellent cost effective service to clients. I am excited to work with so many outstanding lawyers who are focused on building the best real estate and finance group in the country. "

"After being away from a large firm for eight years, I am looking forward to the broader scope of clients and sophisticated matters available to a firm with Piper Rudnick’s extensive practice areas and capabilities," said Caryl Welborn. "Many of the finest real estate lawyers I know are with Piper Rudnick and the firm is uniquely committed to our practice area; this makes the firm the clear choice for me."

Expanding San Francisco Office, California Real Estate Practice

Today’s news of Mr. Cowan and Ms. Welborn comes on the heels of last week’s Piper Rudnick announcement of the arrivals of prominent San Francisco litigator Shand Stephens and attorneys Margaret Lund Parker and Elliot Hudson from Aon Corporation. In January, the firm entered the San Francisco market by merging with Steinhart & Falconer, a San Francisco-based law firm of 32 attorneys.

Demonstrating Piper Rudnick’s commitment to its West Coast real estate practice, in addition to Mr. Cowan and Ms. Welborn in San Francisco, Piper Rudnick recently attracted other top real estate attorneys in Los Angeles, including Michael Meyer, John Whitaker, Marshall Taylor, John Duffy and Jackie Park from Pillsbury Winthrop. These new additions join real estate partners Pamela Westhoff, Linda Bozung and Howard Parelskin in their Los Angeles office.

About the New Attorneys

Stephen Cowan is a highly regarded real estate attorney based in San Francisco with a national practice. He was previously a partner with O’Melveny & Myers. Cowan has nearly 34 years’ experience in a wide variety of commercial real estate transactions, including real estate acquisitions, dispositions, finance, bankruptcy, workouts, fund formations, joint ventures, REIT transactions, capital market transactions, credit bond transactions, construction and permanent loans, agricultural and timber finance and development, non-real estate single and multi-lender revolving credit and term loan agreements, and restructuring of U.S. real estate portfolios with complex intercreditor issues and configuration of bankruptcy remote vehicles.

He served as the Chair of the American Bar Association Real Property, Probate and Trust Section, 1995-6, Founder of the California State Bar Real Property Section in 1979, Initial Charter member and member of the Board of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers, and member of the Anglo American Real Property Institute and Lambda Alpha. He is listed in The Best Lawyers in America. He is a frequent lecturer and author in the field of real estate and bankruptcy matters.

Some of his transactions include:

  • Sale of the Embarcadero Center ($1.2 billion) in San Francisco
  • Construction financing for a gaming casino in Macau ($140 million)
  • Restructure of a mezzanine loan hotel portfolio ($350 million)
  • Disposition of an $80 million shopping center through a downREIT to a $4 billion public REIT
  • Sale of Delta Towers, a $500 million office complex in Century City, CA
  • Financing of the Pebble Beach golf course ($250 million)
  • Mr. Cowan received his B.A. (1965) and M.B.A. (1966) from University of California, Berkeley and his J.D. (1969) from Harvard.

Caryl Welborn has practiced law for nearly 28 years, with a national practice focusing on all types of commercial real estate transactions, including extensive work in partnership and limited liability company structuring, construction and permanent financing, acquisitions, dispositions and joint ventures, ground lease and alternative financing vehicles, leasing, development, debt and equity restructurings and workouts. She also currently sits on the board of directors of AMB Property Corporation (NYSE: AMB), an industrial REIT with over $5 billion of real estate assets, where she has been active for seven years, including as Chair of its Audit Committee.

Ms. Welborn is an author and a frequent lecturer at national real estate conferences and seminars on a wide variety of topics. Before running her own practice for the past 8 years, Ms. Welborn was a partner at Morrison & Foerster in its Real Estate Practice Group, where she held a number of leadership positions. A long-time member of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers, she served on its Board of Governors for many years and as president in 2001. She is a member of the Anglo American Real Property Institute and Lambda Alpha. She is listed in The Best Lawyers in America. Ms. Welborn chaired the Partnerships, Joint Ventures and Other Investment Vehicles Section of the American Bar Association Real Property, Probate and Trust Section. She received her A.B. (1972) from Stanford University and her J.D. (1976) from the University of California at Los Angeles.

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