Mr. Berger is regarded as an "exceptional" real estate lawyer and is valued for his "technical expertise in dealing with compex real estate debt issues."Chambers USA 2013

Don Berger

Los Angeles
  • 355 South Grand Avenue
  • Los Angeles, CA 90071-1560
  • USA

Don Berger is a partner in the Finance Department of Latham & Watkins' Los Angeles office.  Mr. Berger's practice primarily involves the representation of clients in the following areas:

  • Real property financing, acquisition, development, entitlement, construction and leasing
  • Real estate workout and restructuring transactions

Mr. Berger also counsels property owners, developers, financial institutions and industrial companies regarding development and land use issues. He has worked extensively with local, state and federal governmental agencies in connection with the siting, entitlement and permitting of major real estate development and industrial projects.  Areas in which Mr. Berger has developed substantial expertise include:

  • California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)
  • Endangered species issues  
  • Redevelopment and re-use of large agriculture and industrial properties
  • Vesting of entitlements, including the establishment and transfer of development rights

Mr. Berger is listed in the 2010 Best Lawyers in America survey in the Real Estate Law category. In addition, he is recognized as a leading real estate attorney in the 2011 and 2008 Chambers USA legal guide.

A list of Mr. Berger’s publications includes:

  • Environmental Aspects of Real Estate Transactions (Chapter Author, American Bar Association, 2003)
  • Saved by Development, Arje Press, 1997 (Chapter Author)
  • Air Quality and Land Use Regulation, Land Use & Environment Forum, Winter 1994
  • Putting Transfer of Development Rights to Work in California, Solano Press, 1993 (Chapter Author and Editor)

Mr. Berger's recent banking and real estate representations include:

  • Administrative agents in two mortgage loans totaling US$900 million to affiliates of General Growth Properties, and ongoing representation in conjunction with pending GGP Chapter 11 cases
  • Agent banks in the US$2.35 billion syndicated revolving and term financing of the acquisition of LNR Property Corporation
  • Asset manager and investor in formation of various joint ventures to acquire US$2.3 billion real estate loan portfolio
  • Fortune 500 company in the redevelopment, re-entitlement and disposition of 240 acre, 300 acre, and 2500 acre properties including conversion of industrial and agricultural uses to mixed use retail, entertainment, office and industrial park and development and implementation of property sales programs, including competitive bidding process
  • Lenders in the US$2.475 billion CMBS financing of four casinos owned by affiliates of Station Casinos, Inc.
  • Mezzanine lender in conveyance in lieu of foreclosure of condominium project in Portland Oregon, including modification of senior loan documents, formation of joint venture limited liability company as new equity holder, and subsequent bankruptcy of a member of the joint venture
  • Major industrial company in all aspects of the permitting, development and environmental compliance of five major industrial facilities throughout California, including comprehensive land use and real estate due diligence for site selection programs and negotiation of redevelopment reimbursement and owner participation agreements
  • Multiple financial institutions in over two-dozen competitive bid, acquisition and disposition transactions involving more than US$2 billion of properties and real estate-secured loans,
    including raw land, hotel and resort properties, health care facilities, and office and industrial projects