It is with great sadness that we mourn the death of retired partner Edith Perez, who passed away Saturday, July 20. With astounding contributions to both the firm and Los Angeles at large, Edith will long be remembered as a lawyer of prodigious talent and a tireless advocate for her community.
Edith joined Latham as an associate in the Finance Department in 1984, where she quickly established herself as a key member of the practice. Over the years, she established a diverse practice spanning real estate, land use, M&A, and financing matters. She received numerous awards and was frequently recognized on notable industry lists throughout her illustrious career.
Our thoughts are with Edith’s loved ones during this difficult time.
Edith Perez retired from Partnership on January 1, 2011. She was with Latham & Watkins for more than 25 years and was a partner in the Finance Department in the Los Angeles office.
Ms. Perez represented clients in financing, real estate, land use, mergers and acquisitions, and general corporate transactions. She was lead counsel on a broad range of those transactions, including acquisitions, dispositions, joint ventures and other partnerships, as well as real estate developments and leasing matters. Ms. Perez also represented numerous lenders and borrowers in real and personal property secured acquisition, construction and permanent financings, as well as asset-based financings. In addition, Ms. Perez handled a variety of loan workouts, conveyances in lieu of foreclosure and non-judicial foreclosures. Ms. Perez represented major landlords and tenants in connection with the negotiation and documentation of office, industrial, retail, and performing arts space leases, as well as ground leases. The foregoing transactions involved a variety of industries and included office, hotel and resort, healthcare, telecommunications, aerospace, affordable housing, shopping center, and performing arts projects, and in many instances, were multi-state and multi-property transactions. Ms. Perez is the author of these articles: "Leasehold Mortgagee Protections in Ground Leases" published in Commercial Real Estate Financing 2004 by the Practising Law Institute; and "Removing Barriers" (How the Americans with Disabilities Act Affects Real Estate Transactions) published in the California Real Estate Law Journal (April 1996).
After her summer clerkship with Latham in 1980, Ms. Perez was a visiting attorney in (1) Rio de Janeiro, Brazil at the law firm of Sergio Augusto Malta Advogados and (2) Mexico City, Mexico at the law firm of Pablo Martinez Cano y Asociados. While at each of these firms, Ms. Perez was involved in a number of international transactions, such as the licensing of American technology, and the registration of intellectual property for American corporate clients and the formation of joint ventures with American partners. At Latham, Ms. Perez represented various Mexican clients, including Acciones Bursatiles Somex, S.A. and Banco Somex. Additionally, Ms. Perez was lead counsel on the transactional component of the privatization of the Nicaraguan telephone company.
Ms. Perez is active in civic organizations. She currently serves on the boards of the California Minority Counsel Program and the National Recreation Foundation (for youth at-risk). She is also a member of the American Bar Association, California State Bar Association and Los Angeles County Bar Association.
Ms. Perez served on the four member 2004 Policy Owners' Examining Committee of the Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company. She also served as President of the Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners (1997-1999) and as the Vice President of the Los Angeles Board of Recreation and Parks Commissioners (1994-1995). Additionally, she served on the US Department of Defense's Advisory Committee on Women in the (military) Services (DACOWITS), the boards of the Center for the Study of Los Angeles of Loyola Marymount University, Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership Foundation, National Conference of Christians and Jews (Los Angeles Region), Community Enhancement Corporation (for affordable housing), Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, American Red Cross and Oakwood School. Ms. Perez also served on the Board of Regents for Loyola Marymount University, Advisory Council on Equal Opportunity to the CEO of Southern California Edison and the California Governor's Task Force on Diversity and Outreach.
Ms. Perez has been featured in numerous publications, including:
- One of the female-nominees "Making a Difference and Leading by Example," Los Angeles Business Journal (May 8, 2006 and May 12, 2008)
- One of two lead attorneys providing land use and related legal services to the company operating and renovating the Los Angeles Theatre Center, Los Angeles Daily Journal (December 28, 2006)
- One of "37 Southern Californians (strivers/underdogs) Who Beat the Odds and Made it Big," Los Angeles Times (November 12, 2006)
- "One of the Two Top Achievers" in Who's Who Women Lawyers in Los Angeles County, Los Angeles Business Journal (February 9, 1998)
- "50 Who's Who in Law in Los Angeles County," Los Angeles Business Journal (February 10, 1997)
- Latham & Watkins' high profile partners, The Wall Street Journal (December 4, 1996)
- "25 Up-and-Coming Attorneys Who Are Making a Difference in California," Los Angeles Daily Journal (July 25, 1994)
- "100 Most Influential Hispanics in the US," Hispanic Business Magazine (October 1, 1996)
Ms. Perez has received several awards, including:
2009 Woman of the Year for the 58th Assembly District
2007 Marco Firebaugh Legacy Award from the Latino Theater Company
1999 Twice a Citizen Award from the Los Angeles Police Reserve Foundation
1998 Legal Services Award from the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF)
1998 Women of Achievement (Deborah) Award from the Anti-Defamation League
1998 Community Commitment Award from the California Latino Civil Rights Network
1997 Redesigning Policing Award from the National Center for Women & Policing
1996 BUDDY Award (Bringing Up Daughters Differently) from the New York-based NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund