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Former general counsel to international hospitality and real estate development  company rejoins nationally recognized practices


San Francisco, CA – September 17, 2014 – Continuing its growth and expansion in its San Francisco office, Venable LLP announced this week that Brandt U. Mori has rejoined the firm as Counsel in its nationally recognized Corporate and Hospitality Groups. Mr. Mori spent the past three years as general counsel at sbe, a global hospitality and real estate development company.

At sbe, Mr. Mori managed the company’s team of in-house and external attorneys and handled all legal aspects of the company’s acquisition, development, financing, management, operation, sale and brand licensing of hotels, condo-hotels, branded residences, mixed-use projects, restaurants, and nightlife venues both domestically and internationally. His work included advising on complex business and real estate acquisition, sale and financing transactions; domestic and international joint ventures, management agreements, development agreements and brand/trademark license agreements; celebrity chef consulting and license agreements; office and retail leases, including restaurant and nightclub/bar leases; private investment offerings and investor relations and general commercial agreements. Mr. Mori also worked closely with senior management and other internal business units to address a broad scope of operations related issues, including beverage law compliance and other regulatory and licensing compliance, privacy, employment/human resources, executive employment agreements, advertising and marketing, customer relations/liability, venue openings and closures, and litigation. Mr. Mori also managed sbe’s extensive intellectual property portfolio.

Prior to joining sbe, Mr. Mori spent four years as a Los Angeles-based associate in Venable’s Corporate Group, which Legal 500 recently ranked in Tier 1 for M&A: Middle-Market (Sub-$500m), advising clients in a wide range of business and real estate transactions. He had a particular emphasis on mergers and acquisitions; complex commercial financings; the formation and structuring of new businesses; joint ventures; product manufacturing, distribution and licensing; general corporate representation and the negotiation and drafting of complex commercial agreements.

In his second stint with Venable, Mr. Mori’s primary focus will be expansion of the firm’s West Coast Hospitality practice while leveraging his extensive corporate experience. He will also continue his relationship with sbe, serving as the company’s Outside General Counsel. Opened nearly a year ago, Mr. Mori joins a growing San Francisco office which added litigators Jessica L Grant and Angel A. Garganta earlier this year.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Brandt back to the Venable family after an accomplished period with a growing hospitality and real estate development company,” said James E. Nelson, Partner-in-Charge of Venable’s San Francisco office. “Between his time serving as in-house counsel and private practice, Brandt has developed a unique blend of experience that clients find refreshing and valuable. He understands the challenges they face from different perspectives and how best to help them navigate and overcome these challenges.”

“Venable has always felt like home, and I am delighted to rejoin my old friends and colleagues,” said Mr. Mori. “I experienced the exciting growth of Venable’s Los Angeles office during my four years there, and I’m excited to help Venable continue to build its reputation and presence in San Francisco and along the West Coast. I’m also looking forward to drawing on the “client side” perspective that I have gained over the last three years at sbe to offer first class service and valuable legal guidance to all of my clients. I am tremendously appreciative of the wonderful relationships that I have with the sbe team, and I am excited to be able to continue my great relationship with sbe at this next stage of my career.”

Mr. Mori earned his J.D. from the University of Southern California, Gould School of Law and an M.B.T. from the University of Southern California Leventhal School of Accounting in 2006 and a B.A., cum laude, from the University of California at Los Angeles in 2003.

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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.  For more, visit www.venable.com.