I rolled west out of Oklahoma many years ago (son of a Lutheran preacher), educated myself and adventured over a ten-year span, with segments in California, Oregon, Alaska, Michigan, and Europe, and eventually chose Seattle to grow my roots. My work at HCMP has spanned 30 years. I am now one of the grey heads here, but I bring abundant energy and considerable experience to every task I take on. My work includes real estate and commercial lending, formation and restructuring of partnerships and LLCs, and all kinds of real estate transactions, many involving large scale residential developments. I represent lenders and institutional investors who operate throughout the country, and assist them in creation of multi-tier investment funds, joint ventures with pension plans, loan document design, volume loan document production and closings, loan participations and syndication, and workouts and foreclosures. I also assist non-profits in connection with tax-exempt financing of public projects.
I have a high volume practice and enjoy being a generalist. I value the relationships of trust and reliance that I have developed with clients with whom I have worked for many years. I achieve results with the same skills used by any other successful professional -- careful analysis of issues, good listening, creative consideration of alternatives, reasoned selection of solutions and strategies, well organized plain English documentation, attention to the psychology underlying a business transaction, skillful persuasion when necessary, and quick response and implementation. I work hard and am adept at systems. I can be lightning fast when needed and I keep my clients informed and involved. Although I operate in the role of a lawyer, I often feel more like a business consultant. I am honored to work with a very talented and dedicated group of lawyers in our real estate and lending group.
Rising from bed and driving downtown at 2:00 a.m., because I saw a way to avoid a lawsuit that would paralyze a major project for years. A multi-tier partnership had owned about 1,200 acres of developable property in the San Francisco Bay Area for more than 10 years, utilizing a convertible loan from certain sub-tier investors to get through a down cycle. As the date for conversion of the debt to equity approached, certain investors who faced dilution filed a motion for a restraining order, jeopardizing the $30 million refinancing planned to close two days later. I went home in the evening, almost resigned to years of paralyzing litigation. But in fitful sleep, I came upon an idea. By 5:00 a.m., my carefully pitched demand and threat of counterclaim had reached the troublemakers in London, with a promise that a proposed resolution would follow. By 10:00 a.m., they received my detailed proposal for escrow and standstill. By the lunch hour, we reached agreement and the TRO hearing, scheduled for 1:30 p.m., was cancelled. The property subsequently sold for about $150 million. Having litigated cases for a number of years, I knew how things would get out of control if I allowed litigation to start with so many parties involved.
Representing a Fortune 500 public company in negotiating and documenting joint venture and financing terms for a $250 million paper recycling facility in the Midwest, and then doing it again when a second facility was built. I subsequently assisted the same client in forming a different joint venture to market a new optical scanning technology for sorting recovered paper and fiber.
Hearing from my lender clients the compliments they receive from their borrowers on our loan documents and their experience with our law firm as we document and close their loans. Some of their borrowers have called our documents "easy to work with" and "the best of all they have seen" and have characterized our services as "helpful" and "efficient." We understand our client's business goals and attempt to adopt a style that will advance those goals.
Professional and Civic Involvement
King County Bar Association (Real Property, Probate & Trust Section)
Washington State Bar Association (Real Property, Probate & Trust Section)
Pro Bono Representation for domestic abuse shelter, affordable housing, and non-profit schools
Articles and Presentations
Speaker and Moderator, "A Lender's Exercise Regime: Working Out Every Day," Lorman Education Services, January 2009
Speaker, "Can't We All Just Get Along? The Impact of Master Community Developer Covenants on Builder Financing," Hillis Clark Martin & Peterson, P.S., 2003
Speaker, "Debtor/Creditor Workouts" American Bar Association Forum on Affordable Housing and Community Development Law, 1994
Frequent speaker on topics relating to real estate lending at numerous informal lunch seminars with banks and lenders.
Honors / Awards / Unique Recognition
Repeatedly recognized as one of the "Super Lawyers" by Washington Law & Politics, a local legal and professional publication.
J.D. University of Michigan Law School, 1980
Order of the Coif
B.A., Stanford University, cum laude, 1974
Washington State Courts
I am maximizing time with my kids as they leave the nest and learn to fly on their own. I play lots of soccer -- year round -- I could play every day without getting bored. I ski, hike, and kayak whitewater rivers, and have some property near Leavenworth which is our base for some of these activities. I had lots of jobs as a kid, including construction jobs, and I like to build things. I am an adventuresome traveler, a good photographer, and have been to some very remote and exotic places.
Hillis Clark Martin & Peterson P.S. 1221 Second Avenue, Suite 500 | Seattle, Washington 98101 | P: 206.623.1745 | F: 206.623.7789