Jack H. Rubens is a partner in the Real Estate, Energy, Land Use & Environmental Practice Group in the firm’s Los Angeles office. He has also served as Chairman of the firm’s Pro Bono Committee.

Areas of Practice

Jack has a diverse land use, land use litigation and real estate transactional practice. Over his more than 35 years at Sheppard Mullin, he has helped urban and retail developers, homebuilders and many other clients secure land use and zoning entitlements for a broad spectrum of residential, mixed-use, commercial, coastal and industrial projects throughout Southern California. Jack is a leading authority on CEQA and has supervised the preparation of numerous EIRs and other CEQA documents. He represents clients on matters involving all aspects of historic preservation law, including rehabilitation tax credits and conservation easements. He has investigated the status of entitlements and undertaken complex land use due diligence on behalf of prospective purchasers and institutional investors and lenders with respect to real property located throughout California.

Jack also is a seasoned land use litigator and has successfully prosecuted and defended numerous land use lawsuits on behalf of developers, property owners and municipalities. Many of those lawsuits have involved CEQA and NEPA claims, as well as takings and other constitutional issues, general plan and zoning consistency, interference with vested rights, Subdivision Map Act claims and historic preservation issues.

Jack has negotiated and drafted the documentation for numerous purchase and sale, real property exchange and donation transactions and a broad range of documentation for residential and commercial projects, including development agreements and easement, infrastructure reimbursement and cost-sharing, signage and parking agreements. He has represented both municipalities and private entities to structure and document complex transactions for the preservation of large tracts of land in Southern California for open space and recreational uses.

Professional Qualifications and Activities

Jack has written and lectured frequently on CEQA and other land use topics, including serving on the faculty for a two-day course on CEQA for California judges. He is a past President of the Los Angeles Conservancy, the largest local historic preservation organization in the United States. He also has represented the Conservancy and other organizations in their efforts to preserve historic structures throughout California, including the Beverly Hills Waterworks, the Ambassador Hotel, the Cathedral of St. Vibiana, Bullocks Wilshire and the Leonis Adobe. He is the principal author of A Preservationist’s Guide to the California Environmental Quality Act, first published in 1988.

Jack has received an AV® Preeminent Peer Rating from Martindale-Hubbell®, the highest rating an attorney can receive for quality of legal service and ethics.

Jack is a registered lobbyist with the City of Los Angeles.



Top Real Estate: Zoning/Land Use, Chambers & Partners

Recognized for Land Use and Zoning Law and Real Estate Law, Best Lawyers, 2021-2024

  • Jack Rubens - Chambers USA 2023




J.D., University of California, Los Angeles, 1982

B.A., University of California, Los Angeles, 1979


  • California
Jump to Page

By scrolling this page, clicking a link or continuing to browse our website, you consent to our use of cookies as described in our Cookie and Advertising Policy. If you do not wish to accept cookies from our website, or would like to stop cookies being stored on your device in the future, you can find out more and adjust your preferences here.