Lynn Williams

Senior Vice President, Cushman Realty Corp.

Claim to Fame: Negotiating a 2 million-square-foot consolidation of Drexel Burnham Lambert's headquarters in New York

Until 1985, Lynn Williams was just another L.A. real estate lawyer, handling routine loans and foreclosures. But her career took a sharp and lucrative turn after she was recruited by John Cushman, president and chief executive of Cushman Realty Corp.

As his executive assistant, one of Williams' first deals was negotiating a 2 million-square-foot consolidation of Drexel Burnham Lambert Inc.'s offices in New York.

"This was a far cry from doing loan documents until 2 in the morning," she recalls. "With an opportunity like that, my entrepreneurial spirit went crazy."

In her years with Cushman, Williams has become one of L.A.'s top commercial brokers, concluding lease transactions involving more than 12 million square feet of space and handling consulting work for 5 million more.

Her clients include Logicon Inc. (425,000 square feet in six cities); Parsons Corp. (more than 1 million square feet in 11 cities); and Colgate-Palmolive Co., which she helped market and lease a 34-acre mixed-use development in New Jersey.

She is especially proud of her work with some of L.A.'s top-tier law firms. On behalf of Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker, she handled leases involving more than 500,000 square feet of space in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and other cities. For O'Melveny & Myers she leased 250,000 square feet in downtown Los Angeles, Century City, Newark, N.J., and Washington, D.C.

"She understands leases from the perspective of both a lawyer and a tenant," said Anton Natsis, a real estate lawyer who has done numerous deals with Williams. "A lot of brokers can't do that. Her clients have an incredible comfort level with her. She's more like a part of their real estate department than like a broker they've hired."

Robert A. Ortiz, national director of brokerage services at Cushman, said Williams was recruited after people in the business told John Cushman that her talent and energy would make her a success in real estate.

"She is in a league of her own," Ortiz said. "She is extremely competitive and works very hard. She wants to be the best and is always on the cutting edge of what's going on."

That's reflected in the fact that every year she serves as a regent at a company training program known as Cushman University, where employees learn about new industry trends.

Rebecca Kuzins

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