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Paul S. Rutter

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Phone: 310-393-4000
  Paul S. Rutter

Practice Areas

Real Estate

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Paul S. Rutter is Of Counsel to Gilchrist & Rutter. Mr. Rutter co-founded the firm in 1983. After working as an Executive Vice President and as a Chief Operating Officer in two different publicly held real estate companies over the past 8 years, Mr. Rutter returned to his practice in 2014. He combines his legal and business experience to provide clients with a unique perspective on the real estate industry and the practical and legal aspects of deals. Mr. Rutter represents clients on both real estate and general business transactions, including development, financing, leasing, acquisition and disposition of commercial, hotel, mixed use and industrial properties as well as business formation, private equity investments and general business transactions.

Mr. Rutter's practice has included the formation, structuring and documentation of numerous business organizations involved in the ownership, financing, management and development of real estate and other businesses, joint venture agreements with private equity funds, pension funds and other institutional capital, negotiation and documentation of several million square feet of leases, development and management agreements, and consulting agreements for projects ranging from small local projects to large scale projects involving several million square feet; representation of both borrowers and lenders on several billion dollars of real estate loans, including construction, bridge and permanent loans and CMBS facilities; reciprocal easement agreements and CC&Rs for mixed-use and multi-phase projects; negotiation of construction, architectural and engineering services agreements for several million square feet of retail, office and hotel projects; development agreements and owner participation agreements with local governmental agencies; secured and unsecured loan workouts; and debt restructurings.

Representative clients include Maguire Properties Group; Thomas Properties Group, Inc.; CommonWealth Partners, LLC; Buchanan Street Partners; J.P. Morgan Investment Management, Inc.; McCarthy Cook Company; Archon Group LP and the Grand Avenue Joint Powers Authority (a JPA formed by the County of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Redevelopment Agency). Representative deals include the development, financing and leasing of US Bank Tower, Gas Company Tower and Wells Fargo Center in Los Angeles, the acquisition of several million feet of office space in Los Angeles and Orange County, the disposition of 50 acres of land in El Segundo, the sale of several office buildings in Texas, Virginia, and Philadelphia, the creation of a joint venture with a public pension fund for the acquisition of commercial real estate, the development of hotels in Pasadena, Dallas and San Diego; the acquisition of a large portfolio of properties in California and Colorado; the acquisition of Playa Vista in Los Angeles; the negotiation of a $100,000,000 bank line of credit for a public REIT, and the negotiation of a ground lease and development agreement for a large scale hotel, retail, condominium and apartment complex.

Mr. Rutter is the author of several articles, has spoken at many seminars and has been consulted as an expert witness in matters involving real estate valuation, and disputes involving real estate transactions. Mr. Rutter has been selected as one of Southern California’s Super Lawyers for many years.



Leasing. Negotiated and documented office, industrial and retail leases for major urban and suburban projects in California, Texas, New Mexico and Pennsylvania with many Fortune 500 companies, national law and accounting firms, motion picture studios, advertising firms, financial services companies, restaurants and retail stores. Several office lease transactions involved more than 500,000 square feet of headquarters space; some lease transactions involved more than 750,000 square feet of space. Negotiated several long-term ground leases for commercial projects on behalf of both lessors and lessees.

Real Estate Ventures. Structure and document limited liability companies, limited partnerships and joint ventures to acquire, develop and own real estate projects. Deals have included equity investments by Fortune 500 companies in build-to-suit projects, equity ventures between pension funds and developers, formation of real estate investment funds between individual and institutional investors, and joint ventures for multi-state portfolios.

Financings. Regularly represent borrowers in pre-development, construction and permanent financing for projects ranging from small commercial centers to multiphase high-rise and suburban campus office developments and hotels. These deals include over $2 billion of financings, including securitized loans. Loans over the past few years have included revolving loans, asset-based financings, acquisition and construction loans, and both senior and mezzanine loans on projects in Southern California, Northern California, Washington, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, Utah and Pennsylvania. Practice includes representation of lenders in senior and mezzanine debt financing on real estate in California.

Acquisitions and Dispositions. Negotiated and documented the acquisition and disposition of office, retail, hotel, multi-family and industrial properties and development sites in California, Washington, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Texas.

Complex Commercial Projects. Handled all legal aspects of site acquisition, entitlement, development, financing and leasing of large mixed-use complexes with office, retail and, in some cases, hotel facilities, including preparation of development agreements, reciprocal easement agreements, CC&Rs, hotel management agreements and ground leases.

Build-To-Suit Deals. Represent developers of build-to-suit projects with large users, and negotiate and document all aspects of such projects, including development agreements, space leases, financing and partnership agreements with investors, and construction and design agreements.

Operating Company Acquisitions. Handle acquisitions of operating companies through both stock and asset purchases; advise clients regarding entity structures and general corporate matters.


Bar Admissions:

California, 1978
U.S. Tax Court, 1979
U.S. Supreme Court, 1984
U.S. Court of Federal Claims, 1984

Professional Associations and Memberships:

Fellow of American College of Real Estate Lawyers- since 2016
Los Angeles County Bar Association, 1978 - Present, Member
Urban Land Institute - Member
Building Owners & Managers Association (BOMA)
Board Member, Political Action Committee; Government Affairs Committee
International Association of Attorneys & Executives in Corporate Real Estate (AECRE), Member, Board of Directors (Chairman 2001-2002)
Los Angeles Conservancy, Board of Directors (2 terms)
Member Board of Advisors - UCLA School of Law
Member Board of the Ziman Center for Real Estate - UCLA


Classes/Seminars Taught:

Served on expert panel discussing key issues affecting the commercial real estate market in Los Angeles and trends shaping the market in the future.  (Los Angeles Vanderbilt Chapter) March 2017

Presented a talk at the 5th Annual Investiture ceremony of the University of California, Los Angeles Real Estate Law Association on receiving award as “Alumnus of the Year” - April 2015

Co-Chair, 43rd Annual Crocker Symposium, November 2014, "Constructive Disruption," a program co-sponsored by the Los Angeles County Bar Association and the Ziman Center for Real Estate

Speaker, panel on Los Angeles Real Estate Trends, Bisnow, Los Angeles, CA - 2008

Speaker, Symposium on Real Estate Law and Business, USC Gould School of Law - 2008

Speaker, "Contentious Legal Provisions in Today's Lease Market," November 2003, Los Angeles County Bar Association - Continuing Legal Education

Real Estate Conference Group - Real Estate 2003 Conference, January 21, 2003 - Beverly Hills, California

Speaker, "Office Leasing Strategies for a Changing Economy," October 2002, Institute of Real Estate Management

Speaker, "Developing Carrier Performance Guarantees," August 2000, AccessCom 2000 West, Broadband Building & Commerce, Irvine, California

Speaker, "Twenty Financial and Legal Issues for Landlords, Owners and Tenants," The Real Estate Summit, Building Owners and Managers Association, Los Angeles, CA

Speaker, panelist on Legal Issues, The Real Estate Summit, Building Owners and Managers Association, Los Angeles, CA

Speaker, "The Intersection Between Telecommunications and Real Estate: Turning Copper into Gold," The Institute for Real Estate Management, Los Angeles, CA

Speaker, "Purchase and Sale Agreements - The Basics and What's New," Los Angeles County Bar Association

Conference Chairman, "Confronting Tomorrow's Challenges Facing Corporate Real Estate," Fifth Annual Conference of International Association of Attorneys and Executives in Corporate Real Estate, Dallas, TX, April, 1996

Speaker, "Landlord/Tenant Issues Relating to Steel Frame Buildings After the Northridge Earthquake," The State Bar of California, Section of Real Property Law, Landlord/Tenant Subsection

Speaker, "Earthquakes, Floods and Other Castastrophes," ICSC 1994 U.S. Shopping Center Law Conference, Orlando, FL

Speaker, "The Steel Frame Issue," Los Angeles Building Owners and Managers Association

Speaker, "Information Superhighway," Women in Commercial Real Estate, Los Angeles, CA

Panel, "Corporate Downsizing and Exit Strategies in Leasing," Third Annual Conference of International Association of Attorneys and Executives in Corporate Real Estate, Chicago, IL, April, 1994

Speaker, "Tenant Improvements From Top to Bottom (Inside Tips on How to Effectively Manage a TI)," Los Angeles Building Owners and Managers Association

Speaker, "Real Estate Litigation Program," California Judges Association and The Rutter Group, San Diego

Panel, "Issues in Management and Operations of Commercial Real Property," Seventh Annual Real Property Practice Institute, Continuing Education of the Bar, Los Angeles and San Francisco

Published Works:

"Crowdfunding Is Causing Creative Disruption to Real Estate Transactions," UCLA Economic Letter, UCLA Ziman Center for Real Estate and the UCLA Anderson Forecast, October 2014

Commercial Lease Real Estate Operating Expense and Property Tax Provisions: Converting Words into Savings” (Co-Author), ACC Docket, November 2010

"Future Tax Consequences in Marital Property Dissolutions," UCLA Law Review, 1978

"Elective Procedures: Tenants and Buyers Benefit from an Understanding of Basic Future Rights," (Co-Author), California Real Estate Journal, Vol. 9, No. 9, September, 1999

"The Intersections Between Real Estate and Telecommunications: Turning Copper into Gold," Real Estate Issues Journal, The Counselors of Real Estate, Fall, 1999

"Options, Rights of First Refusal, Rights of First Negotiation and Rights of First Offer: A Guide Through the Maze," (Co-Author), Corporate Real Estate and the Law, Summer, 1999

Honors and Awards

Elected Fellow of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers (ACREL), Class of 2016

Selected as “Alumnus of the Year” by University of California, Los Angeles Real Estate Law Association - April 2015

Best Lawyers in America, selected by professional research firm of Woodward/White, Inc. (1996-2006)

Listed, Who's Who in Executives and Professionals (2005-2006)

Top 100 Lawyers in Southern California, selected by Los Angeles Magazine (2005)

Super Lawyer in Real Estate Law, Southern California Super Lawyers, selected by Law & Politics Media, Inc., (2017-2015, 2006-2004)

AV Rated, Martindale-Hubbell,

Listed, International Who's Who of Professionals (1997)

Listed, Who's Who in Executives and Professionals (1993-1994)


J.D. (1978), University of California at Los Angeles (Order of the Coif); Topic and Comment Editor, UCLA Law Review

A.B. magna cum laude (1975), University of California, Los Angeles; Dean’s List; Phi Beta Kappa; Pi Gamma Mu


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