Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP
Law School: New York University
Clients: Rockpoint Group, Pacific Coast Capital Partners LLC and Wachovia Corp.
Jesse Sharf describes his entrance into the legal profession as the "classic son of an immigrant story." His father, an Israeli immigrant, hadn't gone to college, or even finished high school, but encouraged his children to attend college and seek out professional careers.
"Law struck me as interesting," he said. "I wasn't necessarily happy early on, but I'm happy about it today."
Once in practice, Sharf said he became interested in real estate because the projects looked more interesting and more tangible.
"I just fell into it. And I discovered I was good at it and enjoyed working for that subset of clients," he said.
Sharf's legal philosophy is four-fold: set your ego aside, figure out what the client wants, understand the perspectives of all of the different parties and accomplish those goals in a manner that makes the other side want to do business with you in the future.
For that reason, Sharf said that some of his greatest career moments have been securing clients that once sat across the table from him.
When he's not at work, Sharf spends time with his family and dogs, enjoys boogie boarding and hanging out on the beach, reading about politics, and watching the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
"I really don't take myself too seriously," he said.
Emily Bryson York
DLA Piper US LLP
Clients: Caruso Affiliated, IDS Real Estate Group and M & H; Realty Partners.
Most Interesting Matter: Acquiring the water rights for an entire Nevada town.
Most Challenging Matter: All of our entitlement projects are enormously challenging. Our clients don't need us for the easy stuff.
Best Career Moment: When the City Council approves our project. Next best is when the judge decides in our favor in the cases brought against the project.
My Colleagues Don't Know: I was once simultaneously employed as an engineer and a professional model. When I was a professional model, I modeled for President Nixon's wife.
Goodwin Procter LLP
Clients: Anschutz Entertainment Group, AEW Capital Management LP and Westfield Group.
Reason I'm a Lawyer: I view attorneys as progressive change-makers and thought leaders, with an opportunity and obligation to do both.
Most Challenging Matter: Serving as public/private development counsel for Anschutz Entertainment Group on the LA Live project. We developed a new financing tool the Community Taxing District to legally authorize the city to return taxes produced by new development to its source. This new financing vehicle not only helped to bridge the financial gap on LA Live, but is now available to be deployed for other transformative urban projects such as the Grand Avenue renaissance and the resurgence of Hollywood.
My Colleagues Don't Know: I played in a rock group that came in third behind Linda Ronstadt and the Stone Ponies in a Battle of the Bands.
DLA Piper US LLP
Clients: Wachovia Corp., Nestle USA Inc. and International Creative Management Inc.
Reason I'm a Lawyer: Being a lawyer is one of the few professions where what you know and how you execute is much more important than who you know.
Most Interesting Matters: Fair market rental rate disputes.
Most Challenging Matters: Arbitration of operating expense disputes.
Best Career Moment: When I am called on as an expert witness by other major law firms.
My Colleagues Don't Know: I enjoy sitting through rain delays at baseball games.
Latham & Watkins LLP
Clients: NBC Universal and Playa Vista
Reason I'm a Lawyer: I enjoy working through complicated issues.
Most Challenging Matters: Often the issues for non-profits are the most challenging. I have worked on projects involving camps for blind children, churches, schools and temples and all are very difficult and very rewarding.
If I Weren't an Attorney: I'd be biking across the country.
Anton (Tony) Natsis
Allen Matkins Leck Gamble Mallory & Natsis LLP
Clients: Blackstone Real Estate, Equity Office Properties and CarrAmerica Realty.
Why I'm an attorney: I enjoy problem solving, negotiating and reaching solutions that benefit people in a competitive atmosphere.
Most interesting matter: Assisting Blackstone Real Estate in connection with their $40 billion acquisition of Equity Office Properties. The structure and strategy of the initial bidding by Blackstone and subsequent resale of over half of EOP to various other buyers was time sensitive and required significant strategy.
Something colleagues don't know about me: I memorized the entire 500 page Major League Baseball Encyclopedia (1973 Ed.) when I was a sophomore in high school (hey - one of my friends said I couldn't do - so I did it).
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
Clients: Los Angeles Unified School District, SBE Entertainment Group and DirecTV Group Inc.
Reason I'm a Lawyer: Since I was 7 years old, I've always been fascinated by the small print in contracts and I wanted to help people understand its meaning.
Most Challenging Matter: Representing SBE Entertainment in its acquisition and corresponding redevelopment and repositioning of the Sahara Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
Best Career Moment: My best career moment was being asked and entrusted by my fellow partners to chair Pillsbury and fully integrate the firm on a national level.
My Colleagues Don't Know: My house was once the set for a TV sitcom pilot.
Cox Castle & Nicholson LLP
Clients: Maguire Properties Inc, Thomas Properties Group Inc. and Cyburt Hall Partners LLC.
Reason I'm a Lawyer: Challenging and interesting work with leading business innovators. And I couldn't decide on anything else.
Most Interesting Moment: Acquisition of ARCO Plaza in downtown Los Angeles for TPG/CalSTRS LLC.
Most Challenging Matter: The financing of the Maguire Properties initial public offering.
My Colleagues Don't Know: Law is only my second job, after raising three boys with my wife.
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