Press Releases

Five Attorney Land Use & Government Advocacy Group Joins Sheppard Mullin Los Angeles

Partner Jerry Neuman Leads Team; Further Expands Firm's Dominant Real Estate Practice

November 4, 2009

Jerold B. Neuman and Michael J. Kiely have joined the Los Angeles/Downtown office of Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP as partners in the firm's Real Estate, Land Use and Environmental practice group.  Neuman and Kiely will be joined by a team of three associates: Alfred Fraijo, Jr., Claudia Gutiérrez and Phillip M. Tate.  The group most recently practiced together with Allen Matkins in Los Angeles, where Neuman chaired the firm's Land Use and Government Relations practice group. 

"With Jerry, Mike and the group joining us, we continue to grow key practices like Land Use and Government Advocacy.  The team's knowledge and expertise will significantly enhance and expand our real estate practice, as well as other practice areas where clients either have real estate needs, seek to obtain government support or are subject to government regulation," said Guy Halgren, chairman of the firm. 

"I look forward to growing the firm's California land use practice, specifically in Los Angeles," Neuman said.  "Sheppard Mullin is a top-notch firm with an impressive real estate group and broad base of other practice areas.  I am thrilled to be practicing on such a strong platform with the firm's great lawyers throughout the state."

"Jerry is considered to be one of the pre-eminent land use and government law attorneys in Los Angeles.  He and the team are an excellent addition to the firm's Real Estate practice group, which now includes more than 70 attorneys firmwide," commented Domenic Drago, co-chair of the firm's Real Estate, Land Use and Environmental practice group.  "They bring an incredible collective background, which includes ground-breaking land use matters and government advocacy." 

Neuman's practice is focused on governmental, land use, real estate, environmental, administrative, and public finance law.  The services he provides range from managing the entire entitlement process, including overseeing technical consultants and presiding as primary negotiator with governmental agencies, to reviewing previously negotiated entitlement documentation with a view towards identifying problem areas which may affect the timing of the project's development.  As Neuman recognizes the need to find ways of both expediting the process and obtaining governmental assistance to enhance projects; he has been a key player in negotiating incentive packages with government agencies who are seeking to increase their business community and related work force.  

Neuman is and has been the lead negotiator and project coordinator for many of Southern California's most important real estate projects and governmental procurements, including the Millennium Partners', Capitol Records proposed 1.2 million square foot development, the multi-module retail/entertainment center at Hollywood and Highland, the Walt Disney Company's Grand Central Terminal Corporate Campus, the 110 acre Burbank Empire Center, the Airbus A380 airport readiness program and Scottish Powers renewable energy placement efforts. 

Kiely's legal practice has spanned all areas of real estate, including finance, development, and land use.  He has extensive experience in representing developers, sellers and buyers, investors and promoters, lenders and real estate joint ventures, with a particular emphasis on projects involving the intersection of private real estate development and government.  Kiely's lending practice has included the representation of dozens of borrowers in construction loans and permanent financing from private funds, pensions and governmental lenders.  His practice includes a substantial public/private emphasis, including redevelopment, relocation, mixed-use and transit-oriented development projects, and public finance, including tax increment financing, Section 108 loans, Community Development Block Grants, Economic Development Initiative grants, Brownfield Economic Development Initiative grants, Mello Roos bond financing and parking, lease and other types of revenue bonds.  

Kiely's representative development matters include the Hollywood & Highland Project (including the Kodak Theater), the Walt Disney Company's Grand Central Terminal Project in Glendale, the Del Mar Station mixed use transit-oriented development in Pasadena, the Blossom Plaza mixed use transit-oriented development in Chinatown, and the Los Angeles County Department of Social Services building in South Los Angeles.  Kiely recently completed $114 million of Market Tax Credits financings for projects ranging from Pacoima to South Los Angeles and a $40 million financing of the Autumn Terrace Affordable Housing Project in San Marcos. 

Neuman received a J.D. from Columbia University School of Law in 1987 and an undergraduate degree from University of Arizona in 1984.  Kiely received a J.D. from UCLA Law School in 1989 and an undergraduate degree, cum laude, from Georgetown University in 1986.

Neuman is currently appointed to the State of California's Economic Strategy Panel in which he currently holds the longest standing seat and was selected by Mayor Villaraigosa to the Mixed-Income Housing Technical Advisory Committee for the City of Los Angeles.

In addition to the Neuman/Kiely team, Sheppard Mullin's Real Estate, Land Use and Environmental practice group has seen a significant number of lateral attorneys join the firm in recent years.  Six months ago, partner Pam Westhoff joined the firm's Los Angeles/Downtown office with one associate from DLA Piper in Los Angeles.  Last year, Real Estate partners Geoff Willis and Deborah Rosenthal joined the firm's Orange County office as part of a team of eight attorneys. In 2007, a San Francisco-based group of five attorneys led by partners Judy Davidoff and Art Friedman joined Sheppard Mullin.

Sheppard Mullin has more than 200 attorneys based in its Los Angeles offices.  The firm's Real Estate, Land Use and Environmental practice group includes more than 70 attorneys firmwide. 

Also today, Robert S. Friedman has joined the New York office of Sheppard Mullin as a partner in the firm's Business Trial practice group and will serve as head of the firm’s litigation practice in New York.  Friedman most recently practiced at Kelley Drye & Warren LLP in New York. 

About Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP

Sheppard Mullin is a full service AmLaw 100 firm with 550 attorneys in 11 offices located in the United States and Asia.  Since 1927, companies have turned to Sheppard Mullin to handle corporate and technology matters, high stakes litigation and complex financial transactions.  In the U.S., the firm's clients include more than half of the Fortune 100.  For more information, please visit