Andrea Saunders Rifenbark



Andrea understands her clients and their goals whether they are pension funds or other sophisticated institutional clients. Her practice touches on numerous facets of the commercial real estate industry, including acquisitions, dispositions, joint ventures, leasing, commingled funds, subscription financing, conventional real estate financing, loan modifications and workouts, foreclosures, loan assumptions, entity selection and formation, investment advisory agreements, easements, broker agreements, land development, and property management.  

Understanding The Perspective Of Institutional Clients

Since Andrea was a first-year attorney, she has primarily represented institutional investors. As a result, she understands their perceptions, anticipates their concerns, and can articulate their positions and implement their guidelines and procedures. Clients routinely call on Andrea not only to provide sound advice on complex legal matters but to help them formulate risk minimization and other strategies in light of particular business and internal policy concerns.

Acquisitions And Dispositions

Andrea can efficiently structure, negotiate, and document all types of real estate acquisitions and dispositions, including office, industrial, multifamily, retail, mixed-use, and residential properties. She handles all aspects of purchase and sale transactions, including in-depth title and survey and other due diligence review and analysis, transfer tax planning, loan assumptions, and 1031 exchanges. She frequently oversees the acquisition and disposition of portfolios of assets, as well as individual properties, and has worked on transactions involving assets in virtually every state. Andrea also has experience in the purchase and sale of ground leased properties and of membership and partnership interests, as well as in analyzing investments in other co-investment vehicles.

Joint Ventures

In her practice, Andrea analyzes, structures, negotiates, and documents a wide range of joint venture transactions, including those relating to the acquisition, ownership and development of all types of real estate assets, such as office buildings, student housing, medical facilities, raw land, and shopping centers. She has been heavily involved in joint ventures in domestic as well as international markets, such as Brazil, Canada, China, and Mexico. Andrea also stays regularly involved in modifications to joint venture documents including developing, implementing, and documenting workouts and restructures, and enforcing buy/sell provisions and other remedies. Andrea offers a broad knowledge of other pooled real estate investments, including commingled funds.

Financing Transactions

Andrea also negotiates and documents subscription financing transactions and all types of conventional real estate financing. She has represented both borrowers and lenders in straight mortgage and construction loans as well as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans, syndicated loans and seller financing transactions. She has helped clients with the sale and purchase of loans, loan modifications and restructures, discounted payoffs, and enforcement of remedies (including foreclosures and deeds-in-lieu of foreclosure).

Advising Clients From A To Z

Andrea's extensive knowledge and savvy benefit a broad range of sophisticated commercial real estate transactions, from entity selection and formation, to due diligence review, to the negotiation and documentation of complex business, economic, and legal concepts. She considers all perspectives of a transaction – the legal, practical and client's unique view – to devise the most effective and efficient strategy to successfully negotiate and complete transactions, and to help her clients meet all of their real estate needs.


Represented one of the largest U.S. pension funds in the sale of a $48 million portfolio of office buildings in Santa Clara County and San Diego County.

Represented a multi-family real estate investor in the sale of a $43 million residential property in Santa Barbara County and implementation of related 1031 exchange.

Represented a pension fund in the indirect acquisition of a retail development parcel in Maryland and negotiated a related investment agreement, contribution and assignment of interest agreements, property management agreement, and development services agreement. Also conducted all title and environmental due diligence.

Represented a pension fund in the sale of a $170 million apartment and retail complex in Santa Monica, California, which included the negotiation of an assumption and release agreement in connection with the buyer's assumption of the existing financing.

Represented a pension fund in the negotiation of a joint venture with a residential developer to invest in undeveloped land in Canada.

Represented a pension fund in the restructuring of a joint venture that invests in medical office buildings throughout the United States.

Represented a pension fund in obtaining a $55 million loan secured by an office building in Orange County.

Represented the lender in the sale of two construction loans secured by a housing development in Los Angeles County.

Represented the lender in the deed in lieu of foreclosure conveyance of a multi-family property in San Joaquin County.

Publications &
Speaking Engagements


Awards &

Awards & Recognition

  • Southern California Super Lawyers, 2018
  • Up-and-Coming 50: Women Southern CA Rising Stars, 2017
  • Up-and Coming 100: Southern CA Super Lawyers, 2017 
  • Selected as one of the Daily Journal's "Top 20 Under 40," February 27, 2013
  • Super Lawyers Top Women Attorneys in Southern California, 2013
  • Southern California Super Lawyers Rising Stars, 2009-2018
  • Selected as one of the top "30 under 30" commercial real estate professionals by the Real Estate Southern California Magazine, 2007

Professional Affiliations

  • National Multi Housing Council (NMHC)

Bar and Court Admissions

  • State Bar of California


  • J.D., University of California, Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall), 2003
  • B.S., University of California, Davis, 2000, highest honors