Cox, Castle & Nicholson LLP Promotes Powerhouse Attorneys In 2018

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LOS ANGELES – Jan 8, 2018Cox, Castle & Nicholson LLP, one of the preeminent full-service law firms focused on real estate in the United States, proudly announces the promotion to partner of powerhouse senior counsels Andrea Saunders Rifenbark and Elizabeth A. Willes, effective Jan. 1, 2018. Rifenbark’s and Willes’ deep-rooted experience with joint ventures and other complex real estate transactions enhances the firm’s commercial real estate and institutional investment practices during a dynamic and durable economic growth cycle.

“Andrea and Elizabeth both add a wealth of knowledge that has significantly enhanced the firm’s institutional investment practice, and their contributions have been invaluable to clients,” said Mario Camara, senior partner on Cox, Castle & Nicholson’s Executive Committee. “For 50 years, Cox Castle has been committed to advancing attorneys of all backgrounds toward the path to partnership for their exemplary leadership, quality legal counsel and meaningful business results. Andrea’s and Elizabeth’s accomplishments speak volumes and will continue to enrich an industry that boasts fundamental market strength and demand.”    

Rifenbark began her career at Cox, Castle & Nicholson as a summer associate 15 years ago. Today her institutional investment practice focuses on acquisitions and dispositions as well as domestic and international joint ventures and financial transactions for pension funds and other institutional clients. During her tenure, Rifenbark has worked on many high-stakes matters, including the recent acquisition of a $610 million office park for one of the largest U.S. public pension funds. She also recently represented a group of foreign pension funds in the formation of a $600 million joint venture to acquire, develop and operate student housing projects near major universities throughout the United States. Rifenbark is a nine-time Southern California Super Lawyers Rising Star, a 2017 Southern California Super Lawyer, an Up-and-Coming 50 Women Southern California Rising Star and she was recognized as one of “Five Associates to Watch” by the Daily Journal. She is a member of NAIOP Commercial Real Estate Development Association’s SoCal Chapter and National Multifamily Housing Council.

“From a summer and first-year associate to now a partner at the firm, it has been a privilege to grow my practice, form lasting client relationships, and serve as lead counsel on complex international joint ventures at one of the country’s most distinguished real estate firms,” said Rifenbark.

Willes joined Cox, Castle & Nicholson in 2014 as a senior counsel with more than 20 years of experience in commercial real estate law. She represents real estate owners, investors and developers during all phases of the acquisition, development, management, leasing, financing and disposition of retail, residential (including multi-family and student housing), office and industrial properties.  A significant amount of her current practice focuses on the representation of institutional investors and public pension funds in complex joint ventures and fund investment transactions involving hundreds of millions of dollars in commitments. With experience representing operators, developers and investors, Willes’ balanced perspective helps clients achieve successful venture formation in an efficient manner.

Willes recently represented a student housing developer in the initial acquisition and joint venture with a local developer of land for redevelopment, and a subsequent joint venture with a New York-based hedge fund for development ,of a 1,039-bed, $193 million high-rise student housing project in San Jose, California. Her representative clients include San Diego-based Brixton Capital and Westcore Properties and El Segundo-based Griffin Capital Company, LLC. Willes is a member of the California Bar Association’s Real Property Section, an Advisory Board Member of Surfrider Foundation, San Diego Chapter, and the President of the Myanmar-Burma Children's Hope Fund.

“As one of the most recognized California law firms focused on real estate with practice areas that touch nearly every aspect of the real estate ecosystem and more, Cox Castle has allowed me to expand my practice in dynamic ways that consistently add value for clients,” added Willes.  

About Cox, Castle & Nicholson LLP

Cox, Castle & Nicholson LLP delivers strategic legal counsel and services to developers, public agencies, energy companies, lenders, investors, joint ventures, pension funds, landlords, tenants, corporations, high net-worth individuals and others in the management of their complex real estate, business and litigation challenges. Founded in 1968, the firm has more than 130 attorneys in offices in Los Angeles, Orange County and San Francisco. For more information, visit www.coxcastle.com. Follow the firm on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.   

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