United States: Richard C. Mendelson To Join Piper Rudnick
Last Updated: March 29 2004

Top Real Estate Lawyers Join Los Angeles Office

Los Angeles, CA, March 22, 2004 - Piper Rudnick LLP, a leading national law firm, announced today that prominent real estate lawyer Richard C. Mendelson will join the firm as a partner. Also scheduled to join Piper Rudnick is Claudio R. Chavez as a partner, and one associate. The team comes to Piper Rudnick from the Los Angeles office of Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe.

This addition is the latest in a series of strategic growth moves for Piper Rudnick’s real estate group in the California market. Jay Epstien, chair of the national Real Estate group, commented, "The real estate group in Los Angeles is one of the fastest growing segments nationally. We have added real depth and knowledge in that office, beginning with Pam Westhoff and Linda Bozung, and ending most recently with Mike Meyer and his team. Rich brings us real estate finance experience that rounds out our offerings in Los Angeles."

"Nationally," he continued, "the group’s strategy is to grow by adding first tier, marquis names and practices in our offices throughout the United States.

Jeffrey A. Rosenfeld<, managing partner of the Los Angeles office, said, "We continue to focus like a laser on growing this office to meet our client’s needs. The more talent we add, the more we find clients who need our services in this region."

Richard Mendelson noted that the firm’s national reputation in real estate and its strong support of the practice was a major factor in his decision to move. "Nationally, Piper Rudnick’s real estate group represents many of the leading companies in the industry. We share certain clients in common already, and I look forward to being able to offer them, and my other clients, the benefits of a premier group of lawyers across the country."

Additional highlights of the firm’s recent national growth include:

  • A concentrated period of expansion for the real estate group, marked by the addition of over 50 lawyers since January 2003, beginning with the substantial group from Hill & Barlow in Boston, a group in New York led by Martin Polevoy, the addition of Stephen Cowan and Caryl Welborn in San Francisco, and the rapid growth of the Los Angeles real estate practice.
  • Formation of a strategic alliance with former Defense Secretary William S. Cohen’s international consulting firm, The Cohen Group.
  • The merger with legal and consulting firm Verner Liipfert Bernhard McPherson and Hand, which brought former Senator and Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell and former Michigan Governor and Ambassador to Canada Jim Blanchard to its partner roster.
  • The addition of former Congressman and House Majority Leader Dick Armey.
  • The opening of a San Francisco office earlier this year with the addition of 32 lawyers from Steinhart & Falconer.

About the New Attorneys

Richard C. Mendelson is experienced in acquisitions, joint ventures, and financing transactions, as well as in workouts and restructurings. He represents both domestic and international banks and other financial institutions, insurance companies, pension funds, and major developers in all aspects of commercial and residential property.

He received a J.D., cum laude, in 1978 from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where he served as Associate Editor of the Law Review, and earned his A.B. from Rutgers College in 1975.

Claudio C. Chavez focuses on commercial real estate transactions for financial institutions and other companies, including: commercial real estate secured transactions; purchases and sales of office buildings, shopping centers, hotels, industrial properties, apartment buildings and vacant land; permanent, construction and securitized mortgage loans; CC&Rs, easements, title, land use and survey matters; and low income housing tax credit financings.

He earned his J.D. in 1993 from University of California, Berkeley Boalt Hall and his B.A. in Economics in 1988 from Pitzer College. In addition to his law firm experience, he served in the private sector as Assistant Vice President and Legal Counsel for the Weyerhaeuser Mortgage Company.

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