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The lateral hires establish Venable’s West Coast Real Estate Practice


Los Angeles (March 26, 2012) – Leading law firm Venable LLP announced today that three Real Estate partners – Mitch Evall and Andrew Schmerzler from Weissmann Wolff Bergman Coleman Grodin & Evall LLP (WWBCGE) and Valentin Aguilar II from Manatt, Phelps & Phillips LLP (Manatt) – have joined the firm to spearhead the growth of Venable’s newly established West Coast Real Estate Practice.  The experienced team joins Venable’s well-established national Real Estate Group, which includes more than 40 attorneys.

“These attorneys have a solid reputation for representing high-profile clients on complex real estate and corporate matters throughout California and beyond – they are a major addition to our Los Angeles team,” said Douglas Emhoff, Partner-in-Charge of Venable’s Los Angeles office.  “All three partners are well-regarded for their expertise and industry knowledge.”

Mr. Evall, who is leaving his position as Managing Partner at WWBCGE said his decision to join Venable was based on “the great combination of an established firm with a terrific reputation and a national platform, along with the entrepreneurial opportunity to lead the launch of the firm’s West Coast Real Estate Practice.”  

Mr. Evall focuses his practice on real estate and has extensive experience in acquisitions and dispositions, leasing, financing, and development.  His clients have included a number of major motion picture studios, theatre chains, investment banks, real property developers and retailers.  He has been involved in a number of high-profile corporate relocations, as well as the start-up and wind-down of numerous national businesses.  Additionally, Mr. Evall has consulted on sizable projects in New York and throughout the southwest and western United States.  Mr. Evall is the Chairman of the Board of the Los Angeles-based charitable organization United Friends of the Children

Joining him from WWBCGE is Mr. Schmerzler, a Real Estate and Corporate partner.  His Real Estate practice has an emphasis on the acquisition, disposition, financing and leasing of shopping centers, office buildings, movie theatres, multi-family residential developments, amusement parks, restaurants and industrial locations for institutional and individual clients.  Mr. Schmerzler’s corporate practice focuses on counseling private and public companies in diverse industries, with an emphasis on the entertainment industry.  He has significant experience in mergers and acquisitions, complex joint ventures, partnerships and strategic alliances, equity and debt financing transactions, and employment and consulting agreements. 

Mr. Aguilar represents private and institutional investors and lenders in real estate matters across all asset types in California and throughout the United States, with emphasis on (i) structuring joint ventures, (ii) workouts and the enforcement of lender remedies for distressed loans, including those which involve obligors in bankruptcy, and (iii) the acquisition, financing and disposition of real property and debt instruments in individual and portfolio transactions.  “I look forward to working with Messrs. Evall and Schmerzler and our other colleagues within the collaborative Venable platform to better serve my clients’ needs and to further expand Venable’s real estate presence on the West Coast,” said Aguilar.

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About Venable LLP
As an American Lawyer top 100 global law firm, Venable’s attorneys practice in all areas of corporate and business law, complex litigation, intellectual property and government affairs. Venable serves corporate, institutional, governmental, nonprofit and individual clients throughout the U.S. and around the world from its headquarters in Washington, DC and offices in California, Maryland, New York and Virginia.