Amy H. Wells



Amy is the lead partner of Cox, Castle & Nicholson's Institutional Investor Team, and has more than thirty years of experience representing institutional investors in all aspects of complex real estate, infrastructure and private equity investments. She is well versed in the issues that are of particular concern to institutional investors. Her knowledge of current market terms makes her highly effective in accomplishing her client's investment goals.

Structuring Complex Transactions

Amy has extensive experience in all types of real estate, infrastructure and private equity transactions, and understands current market terms and opportunities.  She is particularly adept at structuring, documenting, and negotiating strategic relationships such as joint ventures and commingled funds, as well as fiduciary relationships between institutional investors and their consultants and advisors. She is highly sophisticated in multi-state and multi-property transactions, property related transactions such as leasing, financing, construction, and management agreements on all property types and international investments by United States public pension funds.

Advisor To Public Pension Funds

Amy works extensively with State, City and County public pension funds across the United States on their investment activities, and is experienced in working with in-house counsel, investment committees and boards, as well as the outside consultants and advisors frequently used by public pension funds in their investment activities. She understands the relationship between the investor, in-house counsel, its advisors, consultants, and outside counsel, and works efficiently and effectively with the investor and all the various service providers. Known for her business acumen and effective legal advice, Amy has structured, documented, and negotiated hundreds of real estate and private equity transactions for public pension funds, including joint ventures, commingled funds, private equity arrangements, infrastructure investments, advisory relationships, acquisitions, dispositions, lending, leasing, and other investment activities. Her experience extends to international investments, and she has worked with international counsel to document international transactions in the most efficient manner for United States investors.


Structured and negotiated an infrastructure joint venture with an initial State public pension fund commitment of $300 million and the opportunity to expand that commitment, with a purpose of creating value through making direct investments into both domestic and international infrastructure assets and companies, with an initial proposed investment in a French telecom business, and follow on work reviewing requirements related to those investments, including providing “equity commitment letters” and other structuring devises in connection with the transactions.

Structured and negotiated the investment by a State public pension fund’s $400 million investment in a joint venture with a Japanese based partner, focused on value-add strategies office, multifamily, retail and industrial property types in Japan, including negotiating subscription financing arrangements with an overseas lender.

Structured and negotiated a State public pension fund’s $600 million CAD investment in a programmatic industrial joint venture in Canada, focusing on both core and opportunistic industrial opportunities as well as speculative construction and build to suit opportunities in the greater Toranto area. This transaction included engaging and coordinating with Canadian counsel regarding various tax and structuring aspects of the transaction.

Negotiating and documented a State public pension fund’s $600 million investment with a vertically integrated operating company investing primarily in office product across the United States, including negotiating asset, property and construction management and leasing agreements.

Handled the increase by $300 million of capital allocated to an office property focused joint venture between a State public pension fund and its US partner investing across the United States, and the concurrent transfer of certain pre-exiting assets from another State joint venture into the new relationship.

Negotiated a City pension fund investment in in a proposed “green” investment structure focusing on the acquisition, development, renovation, redevelopment, and financing of real estate projects located in five boroughs of New York, which investments have a commitment to sustainability by incorporation of transit-oriented development along regional commuter lines, and focus on workforce housing and commercial developments.

Negotiated and documented a State pension fund’s $300 million investment in a new programmatic joint venture with a strategy to entitle and develop mixed-use real estate projects in in-fill locations in the San Francisco Bay Area of California.

Structured and negotiated the Real Estate Strategic Plan for a large California pension fund, including negotiating the relationships between the fund and partners in the core investment areas of industrial, retail, multi-family, and office.

Negotiated separate account advisory agreements for multiple public pension funds as well as an endowment fund with its third party advisors who will manage portions of the fund's investment portfolio. Often engaged to update advisory agreements for public funds, as their prior contracts expire or they engage new advisors.

Represented an institutional investor's interests in the unwinding of a joint venture, resulting in the division of more than 60 properties valued in excess of $1 billion dollars, the formation of three joint ventures and the concurrent acquisition of 32 industrial properties in California, valued at $558 million dollars, together with the assumption of two loans totaling more than $170 million dollars, the release and reconveyance of other debt, environmental, title, survey and contract review, and modification of the advisory agreement with the pension fund's advisor to address the new properties.

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Represented an institutional investor in its $500 million investment, and concurrent $900,000 co-investment, in a large, open ended commingled fund investing in domestic and international infrastructure investments, including airports, ports, renewable power, and energy facilities.

Represented institutional investors in its $175 million investment in a multi-billion dollar an open-ended real estate co-investment vehicle investing in equity real estate investments in the United States.

Represented three U.S. institutional investors in connection with conversion of their investments in two commingled funds that owned approximately 150 assets located in Mexico by converting into a Mexican REIT, and handling their shares in the resulting $600 million dollar public offering.

Awards &

Awards & Recognition

  • Inducted into the Real Estate Forum's Women of Influence Hall of Fame
  • Named by the Daily Journal as one of California's Top Women Lawyers
  • Recognized as one of the Daily Journal's Top 100 Lawyers
  • Selected as one of the top attorneys in Los Angeles Business Journal's "Who's Who in Law: Angelenos to Know in Real Estate Law" 
  • Los Angeles Magazine's "Top Women Lawyers of Southern California"
  • ALM Real Estate Forum's Women of Influence
  • Daily Journal's "California’s Top Women Lawyers"
  • Identified as one of Real Estate Forum’s Women of Influence
  • Selected as one of the “Outstanding Women” in Real Estate in the September issue of the National Real Estate Investor Magazine
  • Honored as a Women of Influence in Southern California by the Real Estate Southern California Magazine
  • National Real Estate Investor Magazine's "Outstanding Women in Real Estate"
  • Real Estate Southern California Magazine's "Women of Influence in Southern California"
  • One of Real Estate Southern California Magazine's Top 40 Southern California professionals
  • Southern California Super Lawyers 2004, 2012-2020

Professional Affiliations

  • Pension Real Estate Association
  • National Association of Public Pension Attorneys
  • National Multi Housing Council
  • USC Lusk Center for Real Estate, Board Member


Amy Wells Inducted Into The Real Estate Forum "Women of Influence Hall of Fame"

Amy Wells was inducted into The Real Estate Forum "Women of Influence Hall of Fame" More»

Bar Admissions

  • State Bar of California
  • State Bar of Texas


  • J.D., University of California, Los Angeles School of Law, 1988
  • B.A., Occidental College, 1978, cum laude