Real Estate Transactions

Berliner Cohen’s real estate attorneys have been advising clients for over forty years. We began by representing some of Silicon Valley’s earliest developers with the development of concrete tilt-up buildings. Over the years, our real estate practice has grown, matured and evolved into one of the largest transactional real estate groups in Northern California. Our group has been involved in thousands of projects, both locally, the Central Valley, and throughout California, such as Santana Row and the San Jose Fairmont Hotel in San Jose, the Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles and the Paseo Nuevo Center in Santa Barbara. 

Today, we represent a wide variety of sophisticated real estate clients, including some of Silicon Valley’s largest and most active developers, technology companies, multinational corporations, housing developers, construction lenders, individual owners and investors, and nonprofit corporations. 

We provide advice to clients in real estate matters ranging from the most complex to the routine, including:

  • Complex, multistate, multi-property acquisitions
  • Disposition and loan transactions
  • Development, purchase and sale of corporate campuses and commercial, retail, residential and industrial properties
  • Subdivision development
  • Tax-deferred exchanges
  • Space leasing of research and development, office, retail and industrial properties
  • Ground leasing
  • Agricultural leases
  • Redevelopment projects
  • Construction
  • Permanent financing, loan workouts and settlements

In collaboration with our colleagues in Berliner Cohen’s corporate, tax and land use groups, we also counsel clients on entity structuring and formation, tax issues and land use matters.


Experience and Expertise
Berliner Cohen’s transactional real estate practice offers its clients a highly experienced group of lawyers. Our attorneys have an average of over twenty-three years experience in transactional real estate practice. Experience breeds expertise. We draw on our vast experience to provide innovative and practical solutions to our clients’ real estate issues. 

The size of our real estate group also allows for tremendous flexibility in staffing of client matters. We can assemble a team of experienced attorneys to handle a complex single matter or a team of lawyers to handle multiple leasing, financing, acquisition or disposition matters. Our depth also allows us to staff projects with attorneys at the appropriate experience level to allow for cost efficiency.

We understand that responsiveness is one of the paramount concerns of our clients. Our clients can expect that they will receive personal attention and that their matters will be handled by experienced counsel who can efficiently analyze, resolve and address their real estate issues.

In our real estate financing practice, we represent commercial and residential developers as borrowers as well as real property secured lenders, including large institutional lenders and mortgage companies. For our lender clients, we assist in structuring loan transactions, reviewing title and land use approvals, and documenting loans and loan modifications. 

We provide advice to our developer-borrower clients in connection with acquisition loans, construction financing, “mini-perm” and permanent financing and real property secured lines of credit from a variety of lending institutions, for all types of real estate investments, including residential, office, research and development, retail, mixed use and hotel projects, and for single asset as well as portfolio financings.

Berliner Cohen’s transactional real estate attorneys have broad experience and expertise in structuring, documenting and negotiating agreements for the acquisition or disposition of real property, including multi-property portfolios, office buildings, corporate campuses, retail shopping centers, raw land or infill properties for residential development, research and development, and industrial buildings and office condominiums. 

We provide advice in this area to developers, high tech companies, multinational corporations, pension fund advisors, condominium developers and individual owners and investors. 

We counsel clients on a broad range of issues related to the acquisition or disposition of real property, such as tax-deferred exchanges, environmental issues, due diligence issues, title matters, and land use and entitlement matters.  We provide meticulous attention to document drafting and detail so that issues are resolved in the early stages of a transaction and transactions proceed to a smooth closing.

Berliner Cohen represents both landlords and tenants in a variety of leasing matters involving research and development, office, retail, industrial and warehouse properties.  We provide leasing advice to developers, Silicon Valley technology companies, pension fund advisors, commercial property owners and investors, and nonprofit entities. 

Our leasing practice includes the structuring, documentation and negotiation of leases and related ancillary agreements, such as subleases, tenant improvement agreements, lease guaranties, property management agreements and licenses. We also advise clients on property management issues. In collaboration with Berliner Cohen’s litigation group, we counsel clients in leasing matters involving bankruptcy, unlawful detainer and eviction proceedings. 

For more information, please contact Sam Farb at, or Steve Casad
Merced and Modesto: please contact Kevin Kelley,

Real Estate Transactions



Berliner Cohen Sponsor of NAIOP Hall of Fame Dinner

Berliner Cohen Sponsors Business Journal’s Structures Awards

NAIOP Silicon Valley Event Sponsor

Berliner’s Peggy Springgay Honored as 2010 Business Journal Woman of Influence

Berliner Cohen Attorney Advises in Southern Cal Development Deal

Sam Farb, Berliner Cohen Attorney, Serves on NAIOP Silicon Valley Board

Berliner Cohen Attorneys Will Appear in Super Lawyers Business Edition

Berliner Cohen Attorneys Featured in Super Lawyers Business Edition

Harry Lopez Presents Brokerage Award at Business Journal Structures Awards

Harry Lopez Quoted in Business Journal’s “Moffett Tower ‘Gamble’ a Boost for Sunnyvale”

Berliner Cohen Sponsors 2012 ASVB Awards Banquet

Hugh Isola, Real Estate Attorney, Retires from Berliner Cohen

2013 Super Lawyers Recognizes Thirteen Berliner Cohen Attorneys

Best Lawyers in America Names Berliner Cohen Partners to 2014 List

2014 Super Lawyers Recognizes 14 Berliner Cohen Attorneys

Harry Lopez, Berliner Cohen Attorney, Becomes Reading Partners Board Member

2015 Super Lawyers Recognizes 11 Berliner Cohen Attorneys

Best Lawyers in America Names Berliner Cohen Partners to 2017 List

2016 Super Lawyers Recognizes 9 Outstanding Berliner Cohen Attorneys

Berliner Cohen Welcomes New Real Estate Associate John Whisman

Six Berliner Cohen Attorneys Listed as 2018 Best Lawyers in America®

Seven Outstanding Berliner Cohen Attorneys Recognized by Northern California Super Lawyers

Berliner Cohen Represented Sellers in Sale of North San Jose Campus

Berliner Cohen Recognized in U.S. News - Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” Rankings


SCCBA Presents Green Building Seminar

ULI South Bay Holds “San Jose 2020”

ULI South Bay Presents Mixed Use Program and Tour

ULI South Bay “Proforma” Workshop and Holiday Reception

Silicon Valley Brokers Hold Annual Awards Banquet

Berliner Cohen Sponsors NAIOP Developer Hall Of Fame Dinner

Berliner Cohen Sponsors NAIOP Annual Barbeque

NAIOP Presents Commercial Real Estate Developers Luncheon

Berliner Cohen Sponsors NAIOP Annual Hall of Fame Dinner

Harry Lopez Presents “Leasing Strategies” at Peninsula Investment Forum

Berliner Cohen Sponsors ASVB Awards Dinner

Berliner Cohen Sponsors ASVB Awards Dinner

Berliner Cohen sponsors Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area March Madness Fundraiser

Beat the Heat with Berliner Cohen at ASVB Annual Golf Event

Harry Lopez Speaks To Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA)

Berliner Cohen Sponsors Activity Hole at ASVB Annual Golf Tournament

Berliner Cohen Sponsors NAIOP Silicon Valley 2016 Annual BBQ