LOS ANGELES–LAWFUEL – Law Announcements –Seyfarth Shaw LLP, one of America’s leading full-service law firms, today announced that the firm’s Los Angeles office has significantly deepened its Business Services Group with the addition of a team of nine real estate and corporate and finance attorneys. Shirley E. Curfman and Harumi Hata join the firm as partners in the Corporate & Finance Practice Group; along with Real Estate Practice Group Partners Amadeo F. Cantu, Jr.; J. Dean Heller and Robert M. Johnson. Four associates are anticipated to join the group on Monday, October 6. All of the attorneys were previously practicing in the Los Angeles office of Sonnenschein, Nath & Rosenthal LLP.
“Seyfarth Shaw has long planned to build out its business services capabilities in Southern California, and the addition of this talented group of attorneys helps us to further realize this aspect of our strategic vision for the firm,” said J. Stephen Poor, Chair and Managing Partner of Seyfarth Shaw. “Our new colleagues deepen our real estate bench and add a corporate and finance component to our work that we hadn’t had locally.”
“The addition of our new colleagues in Los Angeles complements the strong real estate and corporate and finance practices we have built across the country,” said Edward J. Karlin, Chair of Seyfarth Shaw’s Business Services Group. “Dean, Robert, and Amadeo’s practices deepen our bench in real estate; while Shirley and Harumi’s work provides us with a strong foundation for our corporate and finance practice in Southern California.”
“Our new colleagues are long on talent, embrace our core values and share our commitment to a team-based approach to providing service to clients,” said Kenwood C. Youmans, Managing Partner of the firm’s Los Angeles office. “Furthermore, they will be a delight to work with and they bring with them precisely the skills and practice mix that both complement what we provide nationally and supplement what we provide locally.”
“I know I speak for my colleagues by saying that we believe we have found a home at a law firm that shares our passion for providing best-in-class legal services to our clients and places a high value on team work,” said Curfman.
Corporate & Finance
Curfman practices extensively in all aspects of corporate and securities law, including mergers and acquisitions, secured lending, securitizations, structured finance and other financing transactions. Hata has extensive experience in representing domestic and foreign national and multinational companies (including European and Japanese clients) in business structuring, corporate and commercial transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, securitizations, and lending and financing arrangements, and she serves many of these clients as outside general counsel.
Cantu represents various investment advisors and pension and investment funds in connection with their investments in hotels, office buildings and industrial projects. Heller’s practice represents a number of large pension funds, investment funds and fund investment managers in connection with their investments in all kinds of real estate, from world-class hotels to landmark office towers to commercial and industrial real estate portfolios. Johnson specializes in commercial real estate and has substantial experience in representing owners and investors in all aspects of acquiring, leasing, and developing commercial property throughout the Western United States.
Seyfarth Shaw’s Los Angeles Office
Seyfarth Shaw opened its office in Los Angeles in 1973 with two partners from its Chicago office. It has grown both in breadth and depth since then. It now has approximately 100 lawyers with expertise in business transactions, intellectual property, commercial litigation, employee benefits, international and employment law. Indigenous growth predictably will accelerate fueled by the office’s well-deserved reputation in handling complex employment litigation matters. Further growth will occur through continuing to hire skilled practitioners to strengthen the office’s multi-disciplinary practice.
Cantu graduated with his B.A. from Rice University, and he earned his J.D. from the University of California at Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law. He is admitted to practice law in California and Texas. He has extensive experience with the sale and purchase of hotels. Over the last three years alone, he handled the acquisition of ten hotels with a total value of more than $500,000,000 located in California, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Texas and Washington. Cantu also handled the financing for three of these hotels. Earlier this year, he handled the sale of a $350,000,000 hotel located in California. Cantu also represents both institutional landlords and corporate tenants of office buildings and industrial projects. In addition, Cantu also represents financial institutions in connection with commercial mortgage loans and secured and unsecured loans to high net worth individuals.
Curfman graduated from Azusa Pacific University with a B.A. (magna cum laude). She received her J.D. from U.C.L.A. School of Law. Curfman is admitted to the state bars of California and Colorado. She is an executive member of the Moot Court Board. She has represented buyers and sellers of asset portfolios and handled major asset securitizations and stock transactions. Curfman has also represented issuers, credit enhancers, trustees and investment bankers in tax-exempt and taxable financings, both public offerings and private placements, and represents lenders and borrowers in bank financings and issuances of letters of credit, including work-out negotiations. Additionally, she advises companies on regulatory issues relating to finance companies, investment companies, insurance holding companies, and reporting companies under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
Hata is an alumna of Loyola Marymount University, where she received her B.A. with a major in International Political Economy and Business and a minor in Spanish. She received her J.D. from Loyola Law School, where she received the Alumni of the Year Award in 2007. Hata is admitted to practice law in California. She serves as an officer of the Executive Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Business and Corporations Law Section and is also the chair of its Pro Bono and Community Affairs Subcommittee. Hata advises multi-national clients with respect to strategic alliances, internal company management and operations, and business affairs, including providing advice in connection with the expansion of the operations and the establishment and management of subsidiaries and affiliates in the U.S. and abroad. During her more than 22 years of practice, Hata has represented regulated entities, including insurance companies, in connection with the acquisition and disposition of assets located in the U.S. and abroad and regulatory aspects relating to such transactions. Hata has also represented foreign entities in the establishment and management of U.S. operations, including structuring and tax planning coordination and advice with respect to cross-border operations and business activities. Fluent in Japanese, Hata has a thorough understanding of Japanese business practices and protocol, which aid her in the representation of Japan-based clients in the U.S., as well as non-Japan based clients in connection with their investments and other transactions in Japan.
Heller received his B.A. (magna cum laude) from Duke University and earned his LL.B. (cum laude) from Yale Law School. Heller is admitted to practice law in California. Heller represents a number of large pension funds, investment funds, foreign banks and fund investment managers in connection with their investments in all kinds of real estate, from world-class hotels to landmark office towers to commercial and industrial real estate portfolios. He also represents both lenders and borrowers in mortgage and mezzanine debt financings. Heller represented foreign banks and U.S. pension fund managers in the acquisition of over half a billion dollars in mezzanine and “B” piece debt obligations, including (A) $55 million “B” note secured by five-star hotel and beach and golf resort in San Diego County, California, (B) $40 million mezzanine loan indirectly secured by office high rise in downtown Chicago, (C) $65 million mezzanine loan indirectly secured by 16-hotel portfolio and (D) $63 million mezzanine loan secured by multi-tower high-rise apartment project in Manhattan. Heller also has had over 20 years experience in real estate workouts, including representing the real estate lending subsidiary of one of the nation’s leading banks in working out its southern California troubled mortgage loans during the 1991–1995 real estate downturn.
Johnson is an alumnus of Hamilton College, where he received his B.A. (cum laude) and he received a M.Phil. from Oxford University. He earned his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law. He is admitted to the state bars of California, Illinois and Missouri. Johnson specializes in commercial real estate and has substantial experience in representing owners and investors in all aspects of acquiring, leasing, and developing commercial property throughout the Western United States. His primary emphasis is in leasing high rise office space and in developing, constructing and entitling LEED-certified state-of-the-art industrial facilities for institutional-grade clients. Johnson also focuses on real estate finance, with special emphasis in construction lending, term financing and energy-related project financing (cogeneration and hydro-electric facilities). He routinely advises his clients on matters involving land use and zoning and has broad NEPA and CEQA experience, having represented private clients and municipalities in Southern California in review and approval of discretionary commercial projects. Johnson has special expertise in developing industrial and commercial projects on Tribal lands, associated with NEPA compliance, construction, Tribal sovereign immunity, and Tribal governance. Johnson is also experienced in negotiating and enforcing easements and rights-of-way over Tribal and non-Tribal lands.
About Seyfarth Shaw
Seyfarth Shaw has over 750 attorneys located in nine offices throughout the United States including Chicago; New York; Boston; Washington, D.C.; Atlanta; Houston; Los Angeles; San Francisco and Sacramento; as well as Brussels, Belgium. The firm provides a broad range of legal services in the areas of labor and employment, employee benefits, litigation and business services. Seyfarth Shaw’s practice reflects virtually every industry and segment of the country’s business and social fabric. Clients include over 300 of the Fortune 500 companies, financial institutions, newspapers and other media, hotels, health care organizations, airlines and railroads. The firm also represents a number of federal, state, and local governmental and educational entities. For more information, please visit www.seyfarth.com.