William Cernius is a partner in the Corporate Department. His general corporate transactional practice and extensive experience focuses on mergers and acquisitions, capital markets, and general corporate and complex securities matters across a wide range of industries. He has been a resident lawyer in each of the San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange County, and London offices.

His broad experience in advising private and public companies regarding the intricacies of the US federal and state securities laws renders Mr. Cernius a frequent lecturer on related topics, including initial public offerings.

Earlier in his career, Mr. Cernius was an investment banker in charge of Morgan, Olmstead, Kennedy & Gardner's venture capital fund.

Mr. Cernius is a member of the Orange County and American Bar Associations. The Legal 500 US guide has on several occasions recognized Mr. Cernius for his work in Real Estate Investment Trusts.

Mr. Cernius has played an important role for both sellers and buyers in strategic and financial planning. His representations include:

  • US$3.1 billion acquisition by Realty Income Corporation of American Realty Capital Trust, Inc.
  • US$4.0 billion merger between Kimco Realty Corporation and Pan Pacific Retail Properties, Inc.
  • US$2.9 billion merger between Health Care Property Investors, Inc. and American Health Properties, Inc.
  • US$1.0 billion merger between British Telecommunications plc and Infonet Services Corporation
  • US$680 million leveraged buy-out acquisition of Irvine Apartment Communities, Inc. by Irvine Company 

His experience also includes participation in hostile acquisition situations including the defense of ARV Assisted Living, Inc. and the acquisition of JCC Holdings, Inc.

Mr. Cernius' extensive representation of both issuers and advisors in virtually all types and sizes of securities-related transactions include:

  • US$50.35 million initial public offering for Landmark Infrastructure Partners LP
  • US$705.9 million initial public offering for American Homes 4 Rent (underwriters’ counsel)
  • US$1.2 billion initial public offering for Infonet Services Corporation (one of the 10 largest Internet IPOs)
  • US$300 million initial public offering for Aames Investment Corporation
  • US$200 million initial public offering for Apollo Residential Mortgage, Inc. 
  • US$160 million Rule 144A common stock offering for NNN Realty Advisors, Inc.
  • US$53 million initial public offering by Sangamo BioSciences, Inc. 

Additionally, he has advised on billions of dollars of bond and preferred stock offerings.


Bar Qualification

  • California


  • JD, University of California, Hastings College of the Law, 1985
  • BA, University of Southern California, 1982