DLA Piper’s John Whitaker features in list of top 50 development lawyers

John Whitaker, a partner in DLA Piper’s real-estate practice in Los Angeles, has been named to the Daily Journal’s 2014 list of Top Development, Land Use and Municipal Infrastructure Lawyers.

The list recognises the top 50 attorneys in California whose work in the real-estate development sector has had an impact on projects that are helping to shape the transformation of cities.

The Daily Journal highlighted Whitaker’s lead role in representing Shanghai’s Greenland Holdings Group in its $150m (£90m) acquisition of the 25,600m² downtown Los Angeles Metropolis site as part of the real-estate development company’s planned $1bn development project.

The property, purchased from the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, has been cited as being the largest investment by a Chinese real-estate developer in the US.

Whitaker practises in the areas of sale, acquisition and development of real property, including transfers of excess density/floor area rights and negotiation of agreements with redevelopment agencies before their dissolution as of 1 February 2012.

His clients include domestic and foreign developers of major downtown Los Angeles and outlying projects and domestic and foreign investors in major office buildings, shopping centres, hotels, residential and resort properties. He also assists financial institutions and other lenders in connection with real-estate loan workout issues, including assistance with real property foreclosures and receivership proceedings and disposition of their real-estate assets.