Clients rely on Michael J. Whitton as trusted outside general counsel, turning to him for advice on legal and business issues. His unique and diverse practice consists of handling complex real estate transactional matters as well as providing litigation strategy.
Mike is well regarded for his ability to provide his clients with strategic insight throughout their business life cycles. As both a transactional lawyer and a trusted advisor on litigation strategy, Mike offers clients holistic advice that considers their broader business goals, risks and opportunities.
Mike advises and counsels public and private companies, real estate investment trusts, and lending and financial institutions on sophisticated and complex real estate matters throughout the country.
His clients call on him for assistance with a range of matters, including the formation and termination of large-scale joint ventures, portfolio acquisitions, real estate development, private equity investments, strategic alliances, and debt and equity financing and restructuring.
Mike has a national reputation as a go-to advisor in transactions involving golf courses/country clubs, marinas, hotels and other resort properties in the hospitality sector, as well as in deals that involve business with significant real estate assets, such as automobile dealerships and service stations, self-storage businesses, manufacturing and power plants, and port storage and ship loading facilities.
Many of Mike’s clients call on him to supervise their most complex litigation matters. He builds effective and efficient teams, manages cases and budgets, participates in trials and, as needed, develops settlement strategies and leads mediation and settlement conferences.
Representative Matters :
- Represented a diversified and vertically integrated construction company in a public-private partnership that covered the design, construction, financing, maintenance and operations of a fiber-optic network consisting of more than 3,000 miles of fiber-optic cable with multiple redundant loops, valued at $275 million.
- Handled work related to an extensive, three-party fiber-optic infrastructure project with a major social media company, utilizing one of North America’s largest railroad right-of-ways between two major U.S. cities.
- Helping the chief executive officers of three international companies form a new entity, negotiating multiparty agreements for the purchase of steel from a new mill in Asia as well as the exclusive brokering to other international purchasers/consumers.
- Handled the purchase of a 221-guest-room hotel on Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, including the negotiation of branding and management agreements.
- Served as lead counsel for Arnold Palmer Golf Management in the development of a number of golf courses and country clubs in partnership with nationally recognized universities.
Professional and Community Involvement :
- Member, Advisory Board, Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate Policy (2017-present)
- Board of Trustees, California Western School of Law (2014-present)
- Board of Directors, St. Augustine High School (2016-present)
- Member and Former Board Member, Century Club of San Diego (2006-present)
- Board of Directors, Notre Dame Alumni Club of San Diego (2000-2010)
- Advisory Board of Governors, Lomas Santa Fe Country Club (2007-2010)
- Notre Dame Law School, J.D., 1992
- University of Notre Dame, B.B.A., 1989
BAR ADMISSIONS : California
COURT ADMISSIONS :
- U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California
Rate : $$$