Amy H. Wells



Amy is the co-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 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 make her highly effective in accomplishing her client's investment goals.

Structuring Complex Real Estate Investment Deals

Amy has extensive experience in all types of real estate and private equity transactions, particularly 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, including acquisitions and dispositions, as well as property related transactions such as leasing, financing, construction, and management agreements on all property types.

Advisor To Public Pension Funds

Amy works extensively with public pension funds 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 of its 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, advisory relationships, acquisitions, dispositions, lending, leasing, and other investment activities. Her clients include many of the largest state sponsored retirement systems as well as many city and county retirement systems.


Implemented 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.

Consolidated a large institutional investor's entire core multi-family apartment portfolio under a single partner, documenting a $205 million commitment to the venture. The new venture included 57 apartment communities with 14,674 units in 13 states with a net asset value of approximately $1.8 billion.

Restructured an institutional investor's ownership and advancing a new $135 million commitment to a joint venture acquiring infill-located grocery- and drug store-anchored shopping centers nationwide. The assets were valued at $723.3 million. The venture owns 17 California shopping centers.

Negotiated separate account advisory agreements for multiple state 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 in the formation and maintenance of a separate investment vehicle capitalized with $500 million, and its subsequent investments in an emerging markets investment program in residential, office, retail, and industrial real estate investments in diverse locations such as China, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Perú, and Uruguay, which included the review and negotiation of the partnership agreement, side letter, subscription agreement, and documentation provided to lenders to the fund.

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.

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 a public pension fund in its $175 million investment in the multi-billion dollar PRISA a commingled separate account sponsored by The Prudential Insurance Company of America.

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.

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Advised a large public fund in the formation of three joint ventures and the concurrent acquisition of 71 industrial properties in 16 states valued at $800 million, including coordinating the assumption of existing debt, the release and reconveyance of other debt, environmental, title, survey, and contract review and coordination of local counsel in each of the 16 states where the property was located.

Publications &
Speaking Engagements

Recent Publications

Recent Speaking Engagements

Podcast, Shop Talk: Amy Wells On New SEC regulations

Presents legal skills and educational programs to in-house counsel at the firm's public pension fund clients, and at trade group forums, such as the National Association of Public Pension Attorneys

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, 2012-2018

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


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