With one of the largest and most diverse real estate and development practices in California, Sheppard Mullin represents developers, builders, major landowners, lenders and local agencies on every aspect of development.

Our range of expertise and practical experience includes:

  • Site evaluation and acquisition
  • Entity formation, including equity and debt financing
  • Environmental and regulatory due diligence
  • Land use entitlements and related litigation
  • Development agreements with public agencies
  • Wetlands and endangered species permitting including Section 404 permits, Lake and Streambed Alteration Agreements, Biological Opinions and Habitat Conservation Plans
  • Section 401 water quality certifications and waste discharge requirements
  • Subdivision map approvals
  • CEQA and NEPA environmental documentation and defense
  • Contracts with architects, engineers, consultants, and contractors
  • California Department of Real Estate requirements
  • Real estate purchase and contract litigation
  • Construction defect litigation

We have represented clients in many types of residential developments, including:

  • Master planned and resort communities
  • Active adult communities and senior housing
  • Urban infill mixed-use
  • Affordable housing
  • Redevelopment
  • Coastal and urban waterfront development
  • “Brownfield” and industrial site reuse
  • Military base reuse and closure (“BRAC”) projects

Sheppard Mullin’s real estate lawyers function as an integrated team. With over 75 real estate, land use and environmental attorneys located throughout California, Sheppard Mullin offers significant depth for representing clients. The breadth of our firm’s capabilities and the distribution of the attorneys possessing those capabilities throughout the firm give us an exceptional ability to serve our clients’ needs in the real estate field. Our lawyers bring concrete and cost-effective advice in connection with any issue facing our clients. We pride ourselves on our practical problem solving approach.


Our attorneys have advised on almost every form of military base clean-up and reuse and the associated privatization process, including project finance, utilities regulation, government contracting and public/private joint ventures. We have demonstrated our ability to negotiate with military agencies to obtain the necessary clean-up by the federal government and/or the economic resources for clean-up by local reuse authorities for our clients.


As part of Sheppard Mullin’s Real Estate Development practice, our attorneys have negotiated and drafted documents relating to the construction, management, financing and operation of real estate projects, including grading and other improvement contracts, contracts with architects, engineers and other consultants, contracts with governmental agencies concerning the entitlement and improvement of projects, agreements with other developers and owners concerning matters of mutual interest, covenants, conditions and restrictions, easement agreements and management agreements. We counsel clients on how to structure public financing of infrastructure improvements, including conventional assessment and facilities improvements districts, as well as Mello Roos special tax districts and tax increment financing mechanisms.