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Spotlight
    Jim Rishwaim speaks at 2011 Pepperdine University School of Law commencement ceremony

    Professionals

    James M. Rishwain, Jr.

    James M. Rishwain, Jr.
    Firm Chair

    T: +1.213.488.7111 F: +1.213.608.3737
    Email  |  Download vCard  | 
    T: +1.415.983.1809 F: +1.415.983.1200

    Jim Rishwain, an accomplished real estate partner, is a preeminent legal adviser to global market leaders, Fortune 100 companies and corporate boards. For 10 years, he has served as Pillsbury’s global chair and CEO, and he returns to his real estate practice full-time in 2017.

    Jim offers strategic counsel to global developers, investors, lenders and property owners who set the pace in their industries. Leveraging his deep knowledge of capital markets and real estate, he advises on investments and acquisitions, development, finance, joint ventures, leasing, exchanges, multifamily tax-exempt bond transactions, syndications and REITs.

    Professional Highlights

    • Pillsbury’s global chair from 2006 to 2016, guiding the law firm’s strategic global expansion, strengthening client relationships and reinforcing a forward-thinking, collaborative culture.
    • Honored as a California Lawyer of the Year and winner of Deal of the Year award for real estate transactions.
    • Recipient of the 2016 Robert Morrison Community Service Award from CASA of Los Angeles for his ongoing philanthropy and commitment to the organization. He chairs the nonprofit’s board of directors.

    Representative Experience

    • Leads the team representing SBE Entertainment/SBE Hotel Group in various investment and development projects, including the acquisition, financing and equity investment negotiations for the Beverly Hills Le Meridien Hotel.
    • Serves as the Los Angeles Unified School District’s lead counsel, handling matters related to its $1 billion facilities development, one of the largest ongoing public improvement projects in the U.S.
    • Represented CommonWealth Partners and its affiliate, Fifth Street Properties, in a $1.5 billion sale of a portfolio of Class A office buildings in Southern California, Colorado, Texas and Arizona.
    • Secured the $800 million acquisition and financing, and the multibillion-dollar redevelopment, of Las Vegas’ renowned Sahara Hotel & Casino for SBE Hotel Group.
    Honors & Awards
    • Chambers USA, Real Estate—California (2005-2015)
    • Legal 500 US, Real Estate (2008-2009, 2011-2012, 2016)
    • Best Lawyers in America, Real Estate Law (10+ years)
    • PLC Which Lawyer?, Real Estate—Los Angeles (2010-2012)
    • Los Angeles Business Journal Nonprofit and Corporate Citizenship Award Nominee (2014, 2015, 2016)
    • CASA of Los Angeles’ Robert Morrison Community Service Award (2016)
    • Distinguished Alumni of the Year, Pepperdine University School of Law (2011)
    • CEO Diversity Leadership Award, Diversity Best Practices (2009)
    • Managing Partner A-List, Los Angeles Daily Journal (2009)
    • Who's Who in LA Law, Leadership and Real Estate, Los Angeles Business Journal (2007)
    • California Lawyer Attorneys of the Year (CLAY) Award, Transactional Law (2004)
    • Real Estate Deal of the Year, Los Angeles Daily Journal
    Board Memberships and Community Service
    • Board member of CASA of Los Angeles and of the National CASA Association, organizations dedicated to serving foster children in the courts
    • Board Member of Los Angeles Sports & Entertainment Commission
    • Board of Experts and President's Circle for the International Real Estate Trade Organization
    • Board Member of Orogenesis, a next-generation venture firm
    • Advisory Board of Best Lawyers/US News & World Report
    • WILEF (Women in Law Empowerment Forum) Leadership Council
    • The Jonathan Club
    • American Bar Association
    • State of California Bar Association
    • Los Angeles County Bar Association

    Publications

    • 10 Rules for Effective Law Firm Committees, Bloomberg Big Law Business, August 2016
    • What’s Next for Pillsbury, Bloomberg Big Law Business, May 2015
    • Leveraging 145 Years of Experience, Forbes, March 2015
    • Authored case study “Reservoir of trust – Build trust and confidence in your leadership” for Leadership in Law Firms: An Expert Guide, published by Ark Group in association with Managing Partner.
    • Interviewed for “Learning From Law Firm Leaders,” a book written by Susan Manch and Michelle Nash, ABA Book Publishing, October 2012.
    Admissions
    State of California
    Education
    J.D., Pepperdine University School of Law, 1984
    cum laude, Moot Court Honor Board; Note and Comment Editor, Pepperdine Law Review
    B.A., University of California, Los Angeles, 1981
    with honors

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