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W. Scott Biel
W. Scott Biel | Partner
Scott is nationally‐recognized as an expert on the legal aspects of structuring and negotiating commercial leases and the acquisition and financing of commercial real estate projects. He works with clients from the initial structuring and engagement of the transaction-advisor team, and in their project site selection and pre-negotiation strategy, through the financing, acquisition, and design and construction of the final project. His clients include owners, managers and tenants of office, medical, retail, industrial and mixed‐use projects, with extensive experience in the unique aspects of research & development (R&D) and manufacturing facilities.
Scott represents clients on both sides of the negotiating table, primarily working with tenants and owner-occupants on the acquisition, financing and development of their real estate assets. He has advised clients in transactions involving millions of square feet of space throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico, and on several large single-tenant and multi-tenant transactions involving regional headquarters, research campuses, and manufacturing facilities in China, India, Europe and Israel, including ground leases of state and municipal-owned properties, tax-incentive leases, joint-development and convertible capital leases, sale-leasebacks and synthetic lease financings.
Scott brings a long-term perspective to the structuring and negotiation of transactions, with a dual focus on clearly allocating contractual rights and obligations and on the “user efficiency” of the final documents, so that clients are comfortable referring to them as an “operating manual” with clear provisions and processes in order to avoid costly errors and time‐consuming disputes under the alternative perception of the documents as “lawyers’ rulebooks”. His structuring and negotiation efforts are focused on providing clear advice and reasoned recommendations to clients based on a pragmatic balancing of the parties’ priorities and expediting completion of the transaction.
In his representation of clients managing or occupying multiple real estate assets, he is proactive in identifying opportunities to reduce the cost of portfolio leasing activities and to increase management efficiencies, such as opportunities to institute standardized agreements for smaller transactions, as well as for outside advisors’ services to be provided at a consistent standard of performance and at competitive rates across multiple markets, and to institute practices for the early identification (and avoidance) of potential violations and disputes, and for expediting the resolution of disputes without litigation… Over the past decade, Scott has worked with a premiere network of local co‐counsel in a number of foreign jurisdictions in developing lease documents that are acceptable for use in a particular market while incorporating provisions consistent with U.S. practice in order to facilitate management efficiency.
- 1,200,000 square foot office, warehouse and distribution facility build‐to‐suit lease in Ontario, California, for the world’s leading video and e‐commerce retailer, structured as an operating lease with a tenant option to convert the operating lease to a capital lease after minimum capital gains holding period.
- 28 acres of land in San Diego ground leased to the U.S. subsidiary of an Irish pharmaceutical company for the tenant’s development of a 450,000‐square foot regional headquarters, consisting of office, pharmaceutical R&D and manufacturing, with warehouse and distribution facilities.
- Over 6,000,000 square feet of build‐to‐suit corporate headquarters office and electronic R&D facilities under multiple leases on 225 acres of land in San Jose, California, involving a leading networking hardware company
- Represented the first developer of internet data centers in its acquisition, development and hosting agreements for multi‐tenant colocation services involving approx. 50 data center facilities in the U.S., Canada and Europe.
- Represented multiple owners and developers of semiconductor fabrication facilities and in related financing of capital equipment to semiconductor manufacturers in the U.S., Japan and Singapore.
- University of Pennsylvania Law School (JD)
- US Naval Academy (BS)
- Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent® Rated
- Selected for The Best Lawyers In America® – Real Estate Law, 2013-2020
- San Diego Magazine’s Top Lawyers in San Diego® –Corporate Facilities Development & Finance, 2019
- San Diego Super Lawyers® Real Estate 2007-19r
- Member of the California State Ba
- Featured in San Diego Business Journal’s Book of Influential Business Leaders
- Co-Author, “Avoiding Surprise Tax Implications for Private Leasehold Interests,” Commercial Property Executive, July 17, 2019.