Jonathan Sears

Partner

Overview

Jonathan provides strategic advice to clients in structuring complex finance and commercial real estate transactions. As chief finance and real estate counsel to several publicly held REITs, he has closed more than $3 billion in debt, equity and other finance transactions since 2018.  Jonathan advises developers, owners, sponsors, and institutional investors in obtaining credit facilities, construction and mortgage loans, and other types of financing for real estate projects and investments throughout the United States.

Market Knowledge And Depth Of Experience In Finance

Clients value Jonathan's reputation as a creative dealmaker and seek his market knowledge and experience with lenders, loan syndicators, servicers, and their counsel to successfully complete their finance transactions. He often helps clients evaluate loan applications and term sheets and assists them in structuring, negotiating, documenting, and consummating complex real estate finance transactions of all kinds.

Expertise With Structured Finance, Servicers, And Work-Outs 

Jonathan has in-depth knowledge and understanding of conduit and mezzanine loans, preferred equity and other types of structured finance transactions, having represented a wide range of clients in such transactions through several real estate cycles. He understands the special requirements of rating agencies and loan servicers and how to effectively represent clients in loan assumptions, loan modifications, defeasance transactions, and loan servicing issues. He is also sought out for advice in structuring and documenting successful work-outs of troubled real estate projects and in connection with loan and servicing disputes, loan modifications, deed-in-lieu transactions, discounted payoffs, foreclosures, receivership, and related litigation.

Broad Experience In Sophisticated Transactions

Jonathan has broad experience in sophisticated real estate and business transactions. He is a seasoned real estate lawyer who often represents commercial developers, owners, and investors in the acquisition, development, construction, leasing, and sale of commercial real estate of all kinds. He is experienced advising real estate companies engaging in initial public offerings and joint ventures and has represented numerous REITs, commingled funds, pension funds, investment companies, institutional investors, commercial developers, and entrepreneurs in connection with their diverse real estate businesses, investments, and transactions.

Representative
Matters

Represented a developer group in obtaining a large syndicated bank loan to construct a commercial office corporate headquarters and mixed use complex in San Francisco, California, and in consummating a securitized loan as permanent takeout financing after substantial completion.

Represented a public REIT in closing over $2 billion of commercial finance transactions since 2018.

Represented numerous public and private companies in structuring and implementing interest rate hedging strategies for their commercial debt portfolios.

Represented a public REIT in obtaining a $580M syndicated loan to finance the acquisition of a $1.34 billion commercial real estate portfolio.

Represented a public company in financing numerous R&D projects throughout the United States, including a $200 million syndicated credit facility to construct an R&D project in New England and a $55 million and $36 million syndicated credit facilities to construct R&D projects in Northern California.

Represented a joint venture investor in connection with a $121 million credit facility to construct a mixed-use development in Santa Monica, California.

Represented a commercial developer in obtaining a $27.5 million credit facility to construct a build-to-suit office development in Silicon Valley and subsequent permanent takeout financing.

Represented a commercial developer in securing credit facilities to construct new shopping centers and retail projects in California, Texas and New Jersey.

Represented a client in connection with the replacement of a $75 million direct pay letter of credit facility.

Represented an operating company in the formation of a joint venture to acquire and reposition a $200 million distressed office building in San Francisco, California.

Publications &
Speaking Engagements

Recent Publications

Updates Author & Editor, "Chapter 10: Workouts of Problem Loans," California Mortgages, Deeds of Trust, and Foreclosure Litigation, 4th edition, The California Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB), 2010-2011

Awards &
Affiliations

Awards & Recognition

  • Best Lawyers in America - Real Estate Law, 2018 - 2021
  • Recommended Attorney, Real Estate, Legal 500 USA, 2018
  • Southern California Super Lawyers,  2008-2020
  • Press mention in the Daily Journal (Dealmakers) for financing a $1.34 billion commercial real estate portfolio acquisition, March 29, 2016
  • Press mention in the Daily Journal for the bankruptcy approved acquisition of Wilshire/Bundy Plaza, October 28, 2010
  • Listed as a leading practitioner in real estate transactions and finance by The Legal 500 United States,  2007
  • Profiled by the Daily Journal as a leading real estate practitioner in "Top Southern California Law Firms," November 13, 2006

Professional Affiliations

  • California Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB), Real Property Advisory Committee, 2010-2013
  • London School of Economics Global Real Estate Group, Los Angeles Chapter Leader, 2009-2013
  • UCLA Real Estate Alumni Group (REAG), Mentor
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association

PRACTICE AREAS

Bar and Court Admissions

  • State Bar of California

Education

  • J.D., University of California, Los Angeles School of Law, 1989
  • B.A., University of California, San Diego, 1984, cum laude, phi beta kappa