Michelle A.B. Acosta

Senior Counsel


Broad Real Estate Expertise

Michelle brings a depth of real estate knowledge and a team-focused approach to her work with clients.  Prior to joining the firm, Michelle represented individual, institutional, governmental and private sector clients in a variety of commercial real estate matters including acquisitions and dispositions, financings and loans, ground leases, public-private partnerships, construction and architecture contracts, due diligence, and leases.  She has extensive experience drafting and negotiating purchase and sale agreements, easements, service agreements, and miscellaneous real estate-related contracts.  In addition, she has performed and managed due diligence investigations and advised clients on a variety of real estate-related topics including title, survey and local and federal land use topics. 

Real Estate Financing Specialty

Michelle has extensive real estate financing experience from both the lender’s and the borrower’s side.  She has managed deals throughout the United States from term sheet to post-closing, drafted and negotiated loan documents and advised and represented clients modifying loans.  Her prior financing-related clients included portfolio lenders, CMBS lenders, private banking lenders, developers, real estate investment companies, non-profits, and individuals.

Unique Understanding of Developer’s Concerns

Because she has worked on development-related transactions at a variety of stages and because she has an educational background in urban planning, Michelle has a unique understanding of developers’ concerns.  Her clients have included commercial and residential developers acquiring urban in-fill sites and securing or development-related rights (including tie-back and swing over rights) from neighboring property owners.  She has also represented individuals and companies in drafting and negotiating construction and architect contracts and joint development agreements, and is familiar with the most widely used AIA form contracts.  In addition to her legal experience, Michelle served as an Adjunct Instructor of Urban Planning at the USC Price School of Public Policy from 2012 – 2015, where she taught the Master of Planning core course, “The Legal Framework of Planning.”

Publications &
Speaking Engagements


“I Saw The Signage And It Opened Up My Eyes”, co-written with Paul Rohrer, published in the Daily Journal, August 13, 2014.

Awards &

Professional Affiliations

  • Adjunct Instructor of Urban Land Use Planning at the USC Price School of Public Policy, 2012-2015

Bar and Court Admissions

  • State Bar of California


  • Master of Urban Planning, University of Southern California, 2011
  • J.D., Duke University of Law, 2003
  • B.A., University of California, Berkeley, 1999