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 >>
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 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 >>
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.
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 >>
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 >>
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.
David C. Smith
Land Use, Natural Resources, Regulatory Counseling
David Smith represents individual land development and conservation companies as well as the industry at large in a broad array of land use, entitlement and regulatory contexts. His areas of legal expertise include land use and entitlement laws and regulations at all jurisdictional levels, especially climate change (e.g., SB 375 and AB 32), water supply (SB 211 and SB 610), the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Water Act, the California Environmental Quality Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, and California’s Planning and Zoning law. Read More >>
water supply, storm water quality and regulation, and anti-growth litigation. Mr. Smith has also lectured throughout the nation, including the University of California, Berkeley’s Boalt Hall, UCLA, the University of Southern California, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Conservation Training Center.Mr. Smith received his B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1988, and his J.D. (magna cum laude) from Pepperdine University in 1995. Additionally, Mr. Smith served as a judicial extern for the California Supreme Court.Mr. Smith resides in Southern California with his wife and three children.
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 >>