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Mr. Etnire is active in land use and environmental issues; joins Venable two weeks after opening of new Northern California office


San Francisco, CA (October 31, 2013) – Quickly adding to its newly launched San Francisco office, Venable LLP announced that experienced California real estate and land use attorney Geoffrey C. Etnire has joined the office as Of Counsel.  He arrives from the firm of Nossaman LLP in San Francisco.

For more than 25 years, Mr. Etnire has represented developers, landowners, and investors in the acquisition, sale, and leasing of real estate, with a particular emphasis on guiding clients through the process of obtaining government approvals. Widely-recognized as an experienced project advocate, Mr. Etnire has resolved environmental, subdivision, and development issues throughout California. He has been particularly successful in obtaining CEQA and environmental approvals for development projects.

His recent work has included gaining approvals for numerous developments throughout Northern California; negotiating infrastructure agreements among developers acquisition and regulatory approval for a 540,000 square-foot mall; representation of a major refinery in seeking CEQA approvals; disposition of real estate assets for a major newspaper chain; and negotiating a multi-party settlement agreement to allow the construction of a professional sports stadium.

Mr. Etnire joins Venable, just as the firm opens its San Francisco office.  Located on Market Street downtown, it is the firm’s second in California, along with Los Angeles.  An American Lawyer Global 100 firm with more than 600 lawyers, Venable is a relationship-driven firm that is well-known for a broad sweep of top-ranked practices, including legislative and regulatory with particular strength in privacy and data protection, advertising and marketing and healthcare; intellectual property; technology transactions and outsourcing; corporate; real estate; and labor & employment – all of which will be on display as the new Northern California practice continues to grow.  With its extensive presence in Washington DC, the firm expects to play a key role helping Bay Area clients interface with the Federal Government.

Mr. Etnire joins Thomas E. Wallerstein, a prominent Bay Area litigator, whose practice focuses on high-stakes commercial, employment and intellectual property matters.  The new office also includes Partner-in-Charge James E. Nelson, a leading technology transactions and outsourcing attorney in the firm’s corporate practice, along with corporate attorney Arthur E. Cirulnick and Michelle Ontiveros Gross, another technology transactions and outsourcing attorney.

In coming to Venable, Mr. Etnire joins one of the country’s leading real estate practices. The firm has worked on numerous multi-state deals, representing the largest investment management firms, pension funds and other institutional investors, fund advisors, developers, corporate property owners, and private equity investors in their real estate matters.  Venable has long had a dominant practice advising publicly held real estate investment trusts – the firm consistently ranks among the leaders in REIT representations, given the majority of REITs are governed by Maryland corporate law.

“Geoff’s arrival is an immediate boost to the expansion of our new office,” Mr. Nelson said.  “He adds important experience helping real estate stakeholders navigate the challenging terrain of land use issues, helping ensure they are environmentally compliant in development matters.  This is just the start of further growth for us in the Northern California market as we develop a full-service practice here for Bay Area clients and other firm clients with needs in the Bay Area.”

Mr. Etnire said:  “Venable has one of the nation’s pre-eminent real estate groups, handling major transactional matters, as well as bankruptcy, financing, litigation and environmental compliance on both a national and state level.  The firm has an outstanding set of lawyers who understand the full scope of issues facing developers and landowners.  I’m excited about taking my place in this dynamic practice and am looking forward to helping build Venable’s brand in Northern California.”

Mr. Etnire received his J.D. from Stanford and his B.S. from the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School.


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Note: Venable is an American Lawyer Global 100 law firm serving clients globally. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with offices in California, Delaware, Maryland, New York and Virginia, Venable LLP lawyers and legislative advisors serve the needs of our domestic and global clients in all areas of corporate and business law, complex litigation, intellectual property, regulatory, and government affairs around the globe.