Prior to joining Cozen O’Connor, Paul co-founded Gilchrist & Rutter in 1983 and practiced law until 2006, at which time he joined a publicly held REIT client as an executive vice president. After working as an executive vice president and then as co-chief operating officer and general counsel in two publicly held real estate companies from 2006-2014, and the merger of his company into another publicly held REIT, Paul returned to his law practice in January 2014. He combines his legal and business experience to provide clients with a unique perspective on the real estate industry and the practical and legal aspects of deals. Paul represents clients in both real estate and general business transactions, including development, financing, leasing, acquisition, and disposition of office, hotel, retail, mixed-use, and industrial properties as well as business formation, private equity investments, and general business transactions.
Paul’s practice includes the formation, structuring, and documentation of business organizations involved in the ownership, financing, management, and development of real estate and operating businesses, joint ventures with private equity funds, pension funds, and other institutional capital, negotiation, and documentation of several million square feet of office, retail, and industrial leases, ground leases, development and management agreements, and consulting agreements for projects ranging from small local developments to large-scale projects involving several million square feet; representation of both borrowers and lenders on several billion dollars of real estate loans, including construction, bridge and permanent loans, and CMBS facilities; reciprocal easement agreements and CC&Rs for mixed-use and multi-phase projects; negotiation of construction, architectural, and engineering services agreements for several million square feet of retail, office, and hotel projects; development agreements and owner participation agreements with local governmental agencies; secured and unsecured loan workouts and restructuring.
Representative clients have included Maguire Properties Group, Thomas Properties Group, Inc., CommonWealth Partners, LLC, Buchanan Street Partners, J.P. Morgan Investment Management, Inc., McCarthy Cook & Co., Archon Group LP, the Los Angeles Grand Avenue Authority (a JPA formed by the County of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles CRA), and a regional transportation authority. Representative deals include the development, financing and leasing of US Bank Tower, Gas Company Tower, and Wells Fargo Center in Los Angeles; the acquisition of several million feet of office space in Los Angeles and Orange County; the disposition of 50 acres of entitled land in El Segundo; the acquisition and sale of several office buildings in Texas, Virginia, and Philadelphia; the creation of a joint venture with a public pension fund for the acquisition of commercial real estate, the development of hotels in Pasadena, Dallas, and San Diego; the acquisition of a large portfolio of properties in California and Colorado; the negotiation of a $100 million bank line of credit for a public REIT; the negotiation of a ground lease and development agreement for a large-scale hotel, retail, condominium, and apartment complex; and negotiation and drafting of infrastructure funding agreements.
Paul is the author of several articles, has spoken at many seminars, and has been consulted as an expert witness in matters involving real estate valuation and disputes involving real estate transactions. He has been widely recognized for his work on behalf of the real estate industry. Among his many recognitions, Paul was named a Urban Development Lawyer of the Year in 2019 by Century City Bar Association and in 2019 and 2020 was named to the LA 500 by the Los Angeles Business Journal for being among the region’s most influential leaders. He was also selected as a Leaders in Law Awards Nominee in 2018 by the Los Angeles Business Journal and has been selected as a Southern California Super Lawyer for many years. Paul is rated by Martindale-Hubbell® as AV Preeminent, the “highest possible rating in both legal ability and ethical standards.”
Paul received his bachelor’s degree, magna cum laude, from the University of California, Los Angeles where he was on the Dean’s List and a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Pi Gamma Mu. He received his law degree from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law where he was topic and comment editor of the UCLA Law Review and a member of Order of the Coif.