Douglas P. Snyder



Deal Oriented Real Estate Expert

Having practiced for over 30 years in the real estate industry, Doug understands the real estate business and knows how to close deals. This experience allows him to analyze quickly each client's unique circumstances and help the client develop a strategy to meet its goals in a cost effective manner. Doug takes a practical business approach to his legal advice, and enjoys working on each deal as a short-term legal and business advisor to the client. While Doug is very experienced in the technical side of drafting and reviewing contracts, due diligence and the like, he will often supervise junior attorneys in these tasks to achieve cost savings for clients. His most effective role is forward structuring of transactions and managing the conflicts that inevitably emerge when the stakes are high and relationships complex.

Representing Commercial Project Stakeholders

Most of Doug's clients are stakeholders in commercial real estate projects, including office buildings, retail centers, industrial buildings, residential projects, or land parcels planned for these uses. He enjoys representing a wide variety of these clients, whether developers, operators, investors, lenders, or others, and across the spectrum from individual entrepreneurs to large institutions. Doug is able to adapt his perspective and style to meet the needs of each particular client. This is the result of close working relationships with so many different clients and real estate projects over the years at Cox, Castle & Nicholson since 1985, and at prior jobs. Doug also has strong relationships with various attorneys and law firms outside California, that rely on him to guide their clients through their investment activity with California real estate projects.

Practicing Through Business Cycles 

When someone asks Doug what is his specialty, the answer depends on where the industry is in the real estate cycle. During the late 1980's Doug was busy helping clients with new development and investment activity, until this came to a halt in the early 1990's when the industry was hard hit – particularly in California – by recession and Doug was called upon to assist clients with workouts and restructuring projects in financial distress. As the economy recovered in the late 1990's and into the next decade, Doug's practice became consumed with complex financing of projects that exploded as Wall Street became the major source of capital for large real estate projects. This capital source ended in late 2007, and the ensuing Great Recession moved Doug into the role of senior advisor for clients seeking to limit losses and legal exposure while restructuring transactions. As of late 2012, Doug is seeing more new investment activity, particularly among institutional investors and entrepreneurs willing to take advantage of attractive opportunities. Doug enjoys the challenge that comes with the natural evolution of business cycles.


Institutional Investors

Represented a public pension fund in connection with the acquisition of a portfolio of office buildings located in Austin, Texas for a purchase price of over $850 million.

Represented a public pension fund in the formation of a platform joint venture with the principals of a real estate development and operating company based on the East Coast. At the time this joint venture was formed, it acquired the primary assets of the development and operating company, and also purchased a portfolio of multi-family projects from an institutional seller that had hired the operating company to manage its projects and was liquidating its position. The new joint venture was formed in 2012 with assets valued at over $800 million.

Developers And Operators

Represented a real estate investor in the sale of two large apartment projects on a marina located in the Los Angeles area to a public company, for a total purchase price of exceeding $270 million. These projects are located on land leased to the client by a local governmental agency, and this transaction requires a complex approval process with this governmental agency.

Represented a real estate company in the acquisition of 9 projects located throughout the desert communities of Southern California with a value of approximately $50 million. These projects were encumbered by loans held by a major bank, and this transaction consisted of the purchase of the loan portfolio from this bank, and the subsequent deeds in lieu of foreclosure for each of the projects completed with the prior developer.

Represented a joint venture between a Southern California developer and a New York based investor based in the acquisition of a master planned golf course community that had been partially completed before going into default with its lender. The price paid by the new ownership group was less than $30 million, for a high profile project in which the prior stakeholders had invested in excess of $100 million.

Represented a real estate company in the refinancing of twin office towers located in West Los Angeles in the amount of approximately $175 million, which financing was provided by a major life insurance company.

Local Counsel

Represented a New York real estate investor that purchased a retail center located in Orange County, for a price of approximately $75 million. This project had significant entitlement and operational issues for the client to resolve, which created the need for sophisticated local real estate counsel for this client.

Ongoing representation of a New York based real estate investor in connection with its investments in California real estate projects, working together with the client's lead counsel based in New York. Representations included the purchase of two large office buildings located in San Francisco in 2010 and 2011.

Publications &
Speaking Engagements

Recent Publications

Awards &

Professional Affiliations

  • UCLA Ziman Center for Real Estate, Board Member, 2012-2013
  • National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (NAREIT)
  • Urban Land Institute (ULI)

Bar Admissions

  • State Bar of California


  • J.D., University of California, Los Angeles School of Law, 1981
  • M.B.A., University of California, Los Angeles, Anderson School of Management, 1981
  • B.A., University of California, Los Angeles, 1976