Andrea Saunders Rifenbark



Andrea Saunders Rifenbark’s practice focuses on the representation of public pension funds and other institutional investors in all areas of their real estate investments, including acquisitions, dispositions, joint ventures, financing, property management, development, and investment advisory agreements.  She has spent her entire career representing institutional investors.  As a result, she understands their perceptions, anticipates their concerns, and implements their guidelines and policies.  Clients routinely call on Andrea not only to provide sound advice on complex legal matters but to help them formulate and execute strategies to address their priorities and goals.

Domestic and International 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, industrial parks, student housing, medical facilities, raw land, retail centers, multi-family and single family housing and mixed use projects, in both domestic and international markets.  She has extensive experience in structuring and implementing joint ventures in domestic as well as international markets, such as Brazil, Canada, Japan, Australia, Luxembourg, Germany, and Poland.  Andrea stays involved in the ongoing business and operations of the joint ventures she has helped establish, including developing, effecting, and documenting joint venture workouts and restructures.  She also drafts and negotiates development management agreements, asset management agreements, and guaranties.

Acquisitions and Dispositions

Andrea efficiently structures, negotiates, and documents 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, and loan assumptions.  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 considerable experience in the purchase and sale of membership and partnership interests and ground leased properties, as well as in analyzing investments in other co-investment vehicles.

Advising Clients From A To Z

Andrea's extensive knowledge benefits a broad range of sophisticated commercial real estate transactions, from entity selection and formation and 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 a California pension fund investor in the negotiation and formation of a joint venture platform of up to 400 million Euros in a series of joint ventures structured as Luxembourg limited liability companies, with a European industrial developer company, to acquire, develop, finance, lease, and operate industrial logistic properties in Central and Eastern Europe.

Structured and negotiated the $600 million investment by an institutional investor in a joint venture with a student housing developer to acquire, develop, lease and operate student housing projects in residential areas that serve colleges or universities throughout the United States. This transaction included negotiating contribution agreements and assignment and assumption of ownership interests relating to the contribution of projects already owned by the developer to the joint venture.

Represented a California pension fund investor in the formation of two joint ventures with an investment management company, each structured as a Delaware statutory trust, with an aggregate commitment by the investor of $700 million, to acquire, renovate, finance, lease, and operate office, multi-family, residential, retail and industrial projects in Japan and Australia.

Represented a large California pension fund in the sale of a $47 million office building located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Represented an institutional investor in a joint venture with a private investment firm to acquire, develop, renovate, refurbish, and operate technology-related value-add real estate projects, primarily projects that have been enhanced with core building system upgrades as required for data storage, computer processing and/or network connection, in the metro areas of major US cities.

Represented a pension fund in the acquisition, financing, and development of a $610 million office park located in Santa Clara, California, which involved the acquisition of membership interests in REIT entities that owned the property, title and survey review, and amendments to existing CC&Rs.

Represented a pension fund in the sale of two commercial properties located in Massachusetts, which sale also involved drafting a lease modification and grant of easement, and preparing documents necessary to assign construction contracts and escrow holdback agreements relating to ongoing work at the properties.

Represented an institutional investor in the formation and negotiation of a joint venture with a local developer to acquire, redevelop, finance, lease, and operate a residential apartment project in Miami, Florida.

Represented a pension fund in the formation of a strategic venture with a Canadian real estate development company to acquire, develop, construct, manage and operate real estate projects in the Province of Alberta, Canada.

Publications &
Speaking Engagements


Awards &

Awards & Recognition

  • Southern California Super Lawyers, 2018
  • Up-and-Coming 50: Women Southern California Rising Stars, 2017-2018
  • Up-and Coming 100: Southern California 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 Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC)
  • NAIOP SoCal Chapter Member

Bar and Court Admissions

  • State Bar of California


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