Marc Stice

Marc Stice

Real Estate, Joint Ventures, Project Finance

Prior to forming Stice & Block LLP, Marc spent more than fifteen years as in-house counsel for a regional homebuilder, serving as the company’s Vice President and General Counsel. In this capacity, Marc played an integral role in the company’s planning, land acquisition, development and construction activities. This experience allows Marc to bring a uniquely business-oriented approach to his clients’ matters. Marc’s practice involves all aspects of the real estate development process, from the initial acquisition of the project property through delivery and warranty of the finished product, including Acquisition/Disposition, Entity Formation, Project Finance, Land Use and Permitting, Sales, Risk Management and Warranty and Workout and Restructuring. Read More >>

Prior to forming Stice & Block, LLP, Marc spent more than fifteen years as in-house counsel for a regional homebuilder, serving as the company’s Vice President and General Counsel. In this capacity, Marc played an integral role in the company’s planning, land acquisition, development and construction activities. This experience allows Marc to bring a uniquely business-oriented approach to his clients’ matters. Further, Marc’s experience in managing the legal affairs of a business allows him to deliver services in a cost-effective and results-oriented manner.Marc’s practice involves all aspects of the real estate development process, from the initial acquisition of the project property through delivery and warranty of the finished product, including:Acquisition/Disposition: The purchase and sale of all types of real property, including, single units, unimproved parcels, entitled or improved lots and improved property such as office building and commercial centers;Entity Formation: The structure, formation and operation of joint venture and project entities, including limited liability companies, partnerships and incentive development management agreements;Financing: The structure, negotiation and documentation of all forms of secured and unsecured debt financings for all types of commercial real estate, including acquisition and development loans, permanent and bridge loans, construction loans, conduit loans, ground lease financing, and mezzanine financing;

Land Use and Permitting: Acquisition of land-use entitlements, including discretionary approvals such as CEQA review, General Plan and zoning amendments and tentative maps from local agencies and regulatory permits from regional, state and federal agencies;

Sales: Structure of homeowner association documents, acquisition of public reports from the Department of Real Estate and the preparation and issuance of sales documents; Risk Management and Warranty: Structure of project insurance policies, including Owner Controlled (Wrap) policies and preparation of warranty documents and dispute resolution; and Workout and Restructuring: Development and implementation of work-outs, restructuring and foreclosure relating to real estate investments of all types, including the enforcement of remedies under related agreements.

Marc graduated from the University of California Santa Barbara in 1993 and received his law degree from Pepperdine University with honors in 1996.

Stuart Block

Stuart I. Block

Environmental Law, Redevelopment, Urban Infill

Stuart’s practice focuses on environmental law, particularly brownfields and urban redevelopment. Stuart provides strategy and counsel to developers, manufacturers, municipalities, property owners, trade groups and high technology companies. His areas of expertise include real estate due diligence, property transactions, redevelopment, site cleanup, project permitting and environmental litigation. Prior to forming Stice & Block LLP, Stuart spent more than 20 years at two of California’s most respected environmental and real estate specialty law firms. In 2018, Stuart was recognized by Best Lawyers as Lawyer of the Year in Environmental Law for the region including Oakland, California. Read More >>

Stuart has worked on hundreds of contaminated sites, including former industrial facilities, landfills, rail yards, commercial nurseries, dry cleaners, gas stations and former military bases. Stuart also has extensive experience representing clients in connection with California’s Proposition 65.

In addition to his site-specific work, Stuart is active in legislative efforts to facilitate urban redevelopment and was intimately involved in the drafting and approval of the California Land Reuse and Revitalization Act (CLRRA), California Health & Safety Code § 25395.60 et seq.

Stuart has served as an elected member of the Executive Committees of both the Environmental Law Section of the State Bar of California and the Bar Association of San Francisco. He is a past Chair of the Barristers Committee on Environment and Real Estate Law and has served on the Government Affairs Committee of the Building Industry Association of the Bay Area. In addition, Stuart was appointed by the Director of the California Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) to serve as a member of DTSC’s Brownfield Revitalization Advisory Group.

Stuart graduated from the UCLA School of Law (J.D. 1992), where he served as Articles Editor of the UCLA Journal of Environmental Law and Policy. He received a B.A. in Human Biology from Stanford University with honors in 1989. Stuart also served as a judicial extern to the Honorable Harry Hupp of the United States District Court for the Central District of California. Stuart was an associate then a partner with Beveridge & Diamond LLP from 1992 to 2000 and a partner with Cox, Castle & Nicholson LLP from 2000 to 2013.

Stuart’s published articles include: “Environmental Issues in Retail Leasing,” Retail Leasing (2007), California Continuing Education of the Bar; “Environmental hazards: it’s buyer beware or pay a hefty price later – 10 steps you can take to protect yourself in a deal,” East Bay Business Times, Nov. 2005; “The Polanco Act: Unlocking Property Value in Urban Areas,” Builder Digest, Dec 2000; “The Legal Framework for Brownfield Redevelopments in California: A Practical Guide for Sellers and Other Potentially Responsible Parties,” California Environmental Law & Remediation Reporter, June 1999, with J. Hernandez and E. Lake.

Stuart has been recognized by Best Lawyers every year since 2011, and has been selected a Northern California Super Lawyer every year from 2007 through 2018.

Matthew Berrien

Matthew Berrien

Real Estate, Commercial Transactions

Matthew Berrien provides clients knowledgeable representation and practical advice in real estate and business matters.

In practice since 1998, Matt advises and represents companies and individuals in a wide array of real estate and business transactions. He represents sellers and purchasers in the acquisition and sale of commercial property, developers securing land use entitlements, lenders and borrowers structuring financing transactions, and landlords and tenants negotiating office, industrial and retail leases. He also assists companies and individuals forming and operating business entities and joint ventures. Read More >>

Mr. Berrien’s experience includes the acquisition of vacant land, residential lots, retail centers, office and industrial buildings, agricultural property and former military base property. He has negotiated office, industrial, retail, billboard and cell tower lease transactions within and outside California, representing individuals and companies, both public and private. He left private practice in 2007 to become the assistant general counsel of a land development and home building company in Northern California with mixed-use, in-fill, and large suburban residential development projects within the San Francisco bay area and Sacramento valley. As assistant general counsel, Mr. Berrien was responsible for land use matters, purchase and sale transactions, construction contracting, financing transactions, and office, retail and residential leasing transactions. He returned to private practice in 2010 and counts his former employer among his current clients.Mr. Berrien is admitted to practice in California and Colorado. He is a member of the Real Property Law and Business Law sections of the State Bar of California, and has lectured at legal education seminars on office, industrial and retail leasing. He received his law degree from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law.

Lauren Boro

Lauren Boro

Real Estate and Project Finance

Lauren brings to Stice & Block, LLP over 25 years of transactional practice dedicated to real estate development and project finance in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her experience is deep and varied, having served as general counsel for Sares Regis Group of Northern California (a private multi-family and commercial developer) the Northern California division of KB Home (a public homebuilder) and Hearthstone (a real estate investor and pension fund advisor). These roles, combined with her years of large law firm practice, influence Lauren’s disciplined, yet business-minded and practical approach to solving problems and making and closing deals. Read More >>

Lauren represents developers, builders and investors in the acquisition, sale, development and financing of projects across all product types, including:

Acquisitions and Dispositions: All aspects of the purchase and sale of improved and unimproved residential, commercial and industrial real property, including purchase and sale agreements, due diligence and title review.

Joint Ventures: Formation, structuring and negotiation of joint venture relationships, representing private and institutional developers and investors.

Project Finance: Commercial secured lending, including construction, acquisition and development and permanent loans.

Public/Private Partnerships: Negotiation of relationships with public entities, including Disposition and Development Agreements and Exclusive Negotiation Agreements.

Residential For-Sale and Warranty Programs: Purchase and sale, warranty and insurance programs (e.g. “wrap-ups”) in connection with the sale of single-family and condominium communities.

Commercial, Industrial and Retail Leasing: Office, industrial, R&D and retail leasing, including build-to-suit transactions.

General Real Estate Matters: General real estate matters, including drafting and negotiation of construction contracts, affordable housing agreements, development management agreements, consulting contracts, easements, listing agreements and telecommunications agreements.

Unconventional Financings: Alternative financing structures such as land banking, synthetic leases and master leases.

Lauren received her J.D. from the New York University School of Law (1992) and B.A. from UC Berkeley with honors (1989). She serves as a member of the ULI Urban Plan Committee and for many years served as a board member of the Hillsborough Schools Foundation.

Jennifer R. Jeffers

Jennifer R. Jeffers

Land Use, Redevelopment, Environmental Law

Jennifer’s practice spans all facets of land use and environmental law, from initial project conception through formal administrative review and approval. She advises private, non-profit, and public-sector clients on a variety of matters related to the development of commercial, residential, and mixed-use projects. Her areas of expertise include environmental due diligence, environmental review, permitting, project entitlement, and real estate transactions. Representative projects include development of corporate campuses, multifamily/mixed-use projects, major hospital and medical office facilities, transit-oriented developments, and railway operations/infrastructure. Read More >>

She has particular experience advising clients on complex permitting, zoning, environmental liability, and regulatory issues, arising from a broad range of local, state and federal laws and regulations affecting land use development. Jennifer has deep expertise in California planning and zoning laws, the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the California Subdivision Map Act, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the state and federal Endangered Species Acts (ESA), the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), the federal Clean Water Act, and California’s Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act.

Her practice extends to proceedings before local governments, including city councils and planning commissions, and county boards of supervisors, as well as administrative and adjudicatory proceedings before local, state and federal regulatory agencies.

Jennifer graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, with a J.D. and Certificate of Environmental Law from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), and a M.S. in Environmental Science, Policy, and Management. During law school, she served as an executive editor of the Ecology Law Quarterly and a research assistant for the Law of the Sea Institute. She earned a B.A. in Environmental, Population, and Organismic Biology, with honors, from the University of Colorado Boulder.

Prior to practicing law, Jennifer directed Conservation International’s Regional Marine Strategies program in Washington, D.C., where she provided management strategies, technical support, and analyses of marine biodiversity conversation practices to regional programs, local and national governments, and public institutions in 11 countries worldwide.

Before joining Stice & Block, Jennifer was a senior attorney in the Environment & Energy Practice Group at Morrison & Foerster, LLP in San Francisco.

Nicole M. Martin

Nicole M. Martin

Senior Associate
Environmental Law, Land Use

Nicole M. Martin is a Senior Associate at Stice & Block LLP. Nicole advises clients in connection with environmental and land use issues in real estate acquisition, development and management. Nicole also represents clients in regulatory enforcement actions and private litigation under federal, state and local environmental and land use laws, including the California Environmental Quality Act, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), and California’s Hazardous Waste Control Law. Read More >>

Nicole obtained her J.D., cum laude, in 2009 from UC Hastings College of the Law, where she served as Editor-in-Chief for the Hastings West-Northwest Journal of Environmental Law and Policy. Nicole received a B.S. in Biology (Ecology, Behavior and Evolution) and a B.A. in Economics from UC San Diego in 1998. Nicole also holds a Master of Environmental Management from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, which she earned in 2000.Before becoming an attorney, Nicole spent approximately two years as an environmental consultant and more than three years as a project manager for a San Francisco-based non-profit organization, where she negotiated and secured countywide permits and approvals from federal, state, and local regulatory agencies for voluntary restoration projects on private lands. Prior to joining Stice & Block, Nicole was an associate with Barg Coffin Lewis & Trapp.

Nicole’s published articles include: “Ruling Complicated Use of CEQA’s Categorical Exemptions,” Daily Journal (March 2015), with Donald Sobelman, “Federal Preemption May Be The Key For Calif. Railroads,” Law360 (Nov. 2014), with Donald Sobelman,“Beach Access Case Nowhere Near Done,” Daily Journal (Oct. 2014), with John Barg, “Best Practices for Maintaining Corporate Separateness,” Corporate Counsel (June 2014), with Steven Lewis, “SB 743: Tinkering with CEQA For the Future,” Daily Journal (Jan. 2014), with Donald Sobelman, and “A Powerful New Tool for Brownfield Cleanup,” Daily Journal (Oct. 2013), with Chris Jensen.

Kathy Kimura-Barnes

Kathy Kimura-Barnes

Senior Paralegal

Kathy has spent more than 15 years working as a real estate paralegal, both in-house and with outside counsel. Her work includes extensive experience with real estate transactions, including the acquisition and sale of all types of real property, including unimproved parcels, entitled and improved lots and fully developed property. Read More >>

Kathy has spent more than 15 years working as a real estate house paralegal, both in-house and with outside counsel. She has extensive experience with real estate transactions, including the acquisition and sale of all types of real property, from unimproved, unentitled dirt, to fully developed property.Kathy manages the formation of project entities and the maintenance of corporate records, resolutions and authorizations. Kathy also frequently acts as the liaison between clients, escrow/title officers and lenders and lender’s counsel for secured financings.Kathy obtained her B.S. and Paralegal Certificate from San Francisco State University and is a Notary Public.