Paul S. Rutter
(310) 393-4000
Awards & Honors

Paul S. Rutter

My goal is to provide the highest level of advice and legal services to every client and to achieve the client's goals in the most efficient way possible. I treasure the long-term relationships I have developed with many clients.

Paul S. Rutter is Of Counsel to Gilchrist & Rutter. Mr. Rutter co-founded the firm in 1983 and practiced law until 2006, at which time he joined a publicly held REIT client as an EVP. After working as an Executive Vice President and then as Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel in two different publicly held real estate companies between 2006 and 2014, after the merger of his company into another REIT, Mr. Rutter returned to his law practice in 2014. He combines his legal and business experience to provide clients with a unique perspective on the real estate industry and the practical and legal aspects of deals. Mr. Rutter represents clients on both real estate and general business transactions, including development, financing, leasing, acquisition and disposition of commercial, hotel, mixed use and industrial properties as well as business formation, private equity investments and general business transactions.

Mr. Rutter's practice includes the formation, structuring and documentation of numerous business organizations involved in the ownership, financing, management and development of real estate and other businesses, joint venture agreements with private equity funds, pension funds and other institutional capital, negotiation and documentation of several million square feet of leases, ground leases, development and management agreements, and consulting agreements for projects ranging from small local projects to large scale projects involving several million square feet; representation of both borrowers and lenders on several billion dollars of real estate loans, including construction, bridge and permanent loans and CMBS facilities; reciprocal easement agreements and CC&Rs for mixed-use and multi-phase projects; negotiation of construction, architectural and engineering services agreements for several million square feet of retail, office and hotel projects; development agreements and owner participation agreements with local governmental agencies; secured and unsecured loan workouts; and debt restructurings.

Representative clients have included Maguire Properties Group; Thomas Properties Group, Inc.; CommonWealth Partners, LLC; Buchanan Street Partners; J.P. Morgan Investment Management, Inc.; McCarthy Cook Company; Archon Group LP, the Grand Avenue Joint Powers Authority (a JPA formed by the County of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Redevelopment Agency) and a regional transportation authority. Representative deals include the development, financing and leasing of US Bank Tower, Gas Company Tower and Wells Fargo Center in Los Angeles, the acquisition of several million feet of office space in Los Angeles and Orange County, the disposition of 50 acres of entitled land in El Segundo, the acquisition and sale of several office buildings in Texas, Virginia, and Philadelphia, the creation of a joint venture with a public pension fund for the acquisition of commercial real estate, the development of hotels in Pasadena, Dallas and San Diego; the acquisition of a large portfolio of properties in California and Colorado; the acquisition of Playa Vista in Los Angeles; the negotiation of a $100,000,000 bank line of credit for a public REIT, the negotiation of a ground lease and development agreement for a large scale hotel, retail, condominium and apartment complex and negotiation and drafting of infrastructure funding agreements.

Mr. Rutter is the author of several articles, has spoken at many seminars and has been consulted as an expert witness in matters involving real estate valuation, and disputes involving real estate transactions. Mr. Rutter has been selected as one of Southern California’s Super Lawyers for many years.


Leasing. Negotiated and documented office, industrial and retail leases for major urban and suburban projects in California, Texas, New Mexico and Pennsylvania with many Fortune 500 companies, national law and accounting firms, motion picture studios, advertising firms, financial services companies, restaurants and retail stores. Several office lease transactions involved more than 500,000 square feet of headquarters space; some lease transactions involved more than 750,000 square feet of space. Negotiated several long-term ground leases for commercial projects on behalf of both lessors and lessees.

Real Estate Ventures. Structure and document limited liability companies, limited partnerships and joint ventures to acquire, develop and own real estate projects. Deals have included equity investments by Fortune 500 companies in build-to-suit projects, equity ventures between pension funds and developers, formation of real estate investment funds between individual and institutional investors, and joint ventures for multi-state portfolios.

Financings. Regularly represent borrowers in pre-development, construction and permanent financing for projects ranging from small commercial centers to multiphase high-rise and suburban campus office developments and hotels. These deals include over $2 billion of financings, including securitized loans. Loans over the past few years have included revolving loans, asset-based financings, acquisition and construction loans, and both senior and mezzanine loans on projects in Southern California, Northern California, Washington, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, Utah and Pennsylvania. Practice includes representation of lenders in senior and mezzanine debt financing on real estate in California.  Represent banks and private lenders in construction and permanent loans in commercial real estate.

Acquisitions and Dispositions. Negotiated and documented the acquisition and disposition of office, retail, hotel, multi-family and industrial properties and development sites in California, Washington, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Texas.

Complex Commercial Projects. Handled all legal aspects of site acquisition, entitlement, development, financing and leasing of large mixed-use complexes with office, retail and, in some cases, hotel facilities, including preparation of development agreements, reciprocal easement agreements, CC&Rs, hotel management agreements and ground leases.

Build-To-Suit Deals. Represent developers of build-to-suit projects with large users, and negotiate and document all aspects of such projects, including development agreements, space leases, financing and partnership agreements with investors, and construction and design agreements.

Operating Company Acquisitions. Handle acquisitions of operating companies through both stock and asset purchases; advise clients regarding entity structures and general corporate matters. 

Classes/Seminars Taught

Served on expert panel discussing key issues affecting the commercial real estate market in Los Angeles and trends shaping the market in the future.  (Los Angeles Vanderbilt Chapter) March 2017

Presented a talk at the 5th Annual Investiture ceremony of the University of California, Los Angeles Real Estate Law Association on receiving award as “Alumnus of the Year” - April 2015

Co-Chair, 43rd Annual Crocker Symposium, November 2014, "Constructive Disruption," a program co-sponsored by the Los Angeles County Bar Association and the Ziman Center for Real Estate

Speaker, panel on Los Angeles Real Estate Trends, Bisnow, Los Angeles, CA - 2008

Speaker, Symposium on Real Estate Law and Business, USC Gould School of Law - 2008

Speaker, "Contentious Legal Provisions in Today's Lease Market," November 2003, Los Angeles County Bar Association - Continuing Legal Education

Real Estate Conference Group - Real Estate 2003 Conference, January 21, 2003 - Beverly Hills, California

Speaker, "Office Leasing Strategies for a Changing Economy," October 2002, Institute of Real Estate Management

Speaker, "Developing Carrier Performance Guarantees," August 2000, AccessCom 2000 West, Broadband Building & Commerce, Irvine, California

Speaker, "Twenty Financial and Legal Issues for Landlords, Owners and Tenants," The Real Estate Summit, Building Owners and Managers Association, Los Angeles, CA

Speaker, panelist on Legal Issues, The Real Estate Summit, Building Owners and Managers Association, Los Angeles, CA

Speaker, "The Intersection Between Telecommunications and Real Estate: Turning Copper into Gold," The Institute for Real Estate Management, Los Angeles, CA

Speaker, "Purchase and Sale Agreements - The Basics and What's New," Los Angeles County Bar Association

Conference Chairman, "Confronting Tomorrow's Challenges Facing Corporate Real Estate," Fifth Annual Conference of International Association of Attorneys and Executives in Corporate Real Estate, Dallas, TX, April, 1996

Speaker, "Landlord/Tenant Issues Relating to Steel Frame Buildings After the Northridge Earthquake," The State Bar of California, Section of Real Property Law, Landlord/Tenant Subsection

Speaker, "Earthquakes, Floods and Other Castastrophes," ICSC 1994 U.S. Shopping Center Law Conference, Orlando, FL

Speaker, "The Steel Frame Issue," Los Angeles Building Owners and Managers Association

Speaker, "Information Superhighway," Women in Commercial Real Estate, Los Angeles, CA

Panel, "Corporate Downsizing and Exit Strategies in Leasing," Third Annual Conference of International Association of Attorneys and Executives in Corporate Real Estate, Chicago, IL, April, 1994

Speaker, "Tenant Improvements From Top to Bottom (Inside Tips on How to Effectively Manage a TI)," Los Angeles Building Owners and Managers Association

Speaker, "Real Estate Litigation Program," California Judges Association and The Rutter Group, San Diego

Panel, "Issues in Management and Operations of Commercial Real Property," Seventh Annual Real Property Practice Institute, Continuing Education of the Bar, Los Angeles and San Francisco

Published Works

"Crowdfunding Is Causing Creative Disruption to Real Estate Transactions," UCLA Economic Letter, UCLA Ziman Center for Real Estate and the UCLA Anderson Forecast, October 2014

Commercial Lease Real Estate Operating Expense and Property Tax Provisions: Converting Words into Savings” (Co-Author), ACC Docket, November 2010

"Future Tax Consequences in Marital Property Dissolutions," UCLA Law Review, 1978

"Elective Procedures: Tenants and Buyers Benefit from an Understanding of Basic Future Rights," (Co-Author), California Real Estate Journal, Vol. 9, No. 9, September, 1999

"The Intersections Between Real Estate and Telecommunications: Turning Copper into Gold," Real Estate Issues Journal, The Counselors of Real Estate, Fall, 1999

"Options, Rights of First Refusal, Rights of First Negotiation and Rights of First Offer: A Guide Through the Maze," (Co-Author), Corporate Real Estate and the Law, Summer, 1999


See all

Paul S. Rutter Elected Fellow of the prestigious American College of Real Estate Lawyers (ACREL), Cl...

ACREL is "the premier organization of U.S. real estate lawyers. Admission is by invitation only after a rigorous screening process. ACREL... Read more

Posted 05/22/2017

Gilchrist & Rutter Announces Our 2017 Super Lawyers

Gilchrist & Rutter is pleased to announce that eight of its attorneys have been named 2017 Southern California Super Lawyers: Thomas ... Read more

Posted 05/22/2017

Paul Rutter Featured On Commercial Real Estate Panel sponsored by the Los Angeles Vanderbilt Chapter

On March 14, 2017 Paul Rutter served on an expert panel discussing key issues affecting the commercial real estate market in Los Angeles ... Read more

Posted 05/22/2017

Crowdfunding Is Causing Creative Disruption to Real Estate Transactions

Real estate transactions are quickly evolving through the use of crowdfunding technology. Traditional sources of debt and equity face dis... Read more

Posted 05/22/2017

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