Pamela S. Duffy

Partner

Pam Duffy practices in the areas of commercial real estate, land use, and development, with a special expertise in large public and private entity transactions. She has acted as lead counsel for numerous major development projects, including one of the largest rebuilding projects in San Francisco history, the $2.5 billion Sutter Health/California Pacific Medical Center, which includes five campuses and two new hospitals spread across the city.

Pam is renowned for her in-depth understanding of the long-term implications of development requirements and how they affect construction, financing, operation, leasing, and sale of a development project. She is unusually skilled at helping clients find elegant solutions to the challenges that arise in the development of complex public/private projects.

Notable Representations

In addition to California Pacific Medical Center, Pam served as lead counsel for high profile projects and developers that include:

  • The San Francisco 49ers and its affiliates to secure entitlements, lease rights and financing for the new 68,000-seat NFL stadium in Santa Clara
  • 5M, a 1.8-million-square-foot downtown San Francisco mixed-use project of Forest City and Hearst Corporation
  • The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in evaluating a San Francisco site for the proposed $1.5+ billion, 250,000 square foot museum and educational institution
  • The Exploratorium relocation of its internationally renowned museum of science, art and human perception, to a nine-acre, 230,000-square-foot campus
  • Burlingame Point project, a proposed water-oriented, master-planned biotechnology/corporate campus on an 18-acre site along the shores of the San Francisco Bay
  • Farallon Capital Management in connection with its 300-acre San Francisco Mission Bay development project
  • Presidio Landmark, conversion of the Public Health Services Hospital to a LEED Gold certified luxury apartment complex
  • Westfield Shopping Center, Forest City Enterprises’ 1.5-million-square-foot retail and entertainment project
  • eBay Inc.'s major campus expansion in San Jose
  • The 43,000-seat AT&T Park for the San Francisco Giants

Publications & Speaking Engagements

Pam has served as a visiting lecturer at Yale Law School, the Harvard Law School, UCLA Law School, the MIT Graduate School of Urban Planning, Stanford Law School, the Practicing Law Institute, the UC Haas School of Business, the University of Oregon Business School, Southern Methodist University Law School, the Urban Land Institute, the California Building Industry Foundation, and other professional organizations. She is currently teaching an undergraduate seminar in the political science department at UC Berkeley.

Honors & Awards

  • Chambers USA, ranked Tier 1 in land use and real estate law (2003-2017)
  • Best Lawyers San Francisco Lawyer of the Year: Real Estate (2016)
  • National Law Journal Outstanding Women Lawyers (2015)
  • Daily Journal Top 50 Development Lawyers (2014)
  • Best Lawyers San Francisco Lawyer of the Year: Litigation - Land Use & Zoning (2014)
  • San Francisco Business Times Northern California Real Estate Women of Influence, Hall of Fame (2013)
  • Chambers USA, National Real Estate Lawyer of the Year (2013 and 2012), Women in Law Award
  • Daily Journal Top 30 Real Estate Lawyers (2012)
  • Best Lawyers San Francisco Lawyer of the Year (2011 and 2010)
  • Daily Journal Top 100 Lawyers in California (2011 and 2010)
  • San Francisco Business Times 100 Most Influential Women in Bay Area Business (2005-2010); inducted as a Forever Influential Woman (2011)
  • California Real Estate Journal Dealmaker of the Year for her work on the Presidio Landmark, conversion of the Public Health Services Hospital in San Francisco to residential uses (2009)
  • Northern California Real Estate Women of Influence by GlobeSt.com (2009)
  • California Lawyer California Attorney of the Year (CLAY) Award for her work on the Westfield San Francisco Centre (2009)
  • San Francisco Chronicle, Top 25 Lawyers in the San Francisco Bay Area (2003)
  • Daily Journal, Top 12 Land-Use Attorney in California (2002)

In 2003, Pam was recognized as a distinguished alum of Loyola Law School, and in 2014, recognized as one of 50 Inspirational Alumni. Pam has been a chosen member of the Pacific Council on International Policy, the American College of Real Estate Lawyers, Lambda Alpha International, as well as the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area. She holds an AV rating by Martindale-Hubbell and is a member of a select group of women in Martindale-Hubbell's Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers.

For over 20 years, Pam has been ranked as one of The Best Lawyers in America by Best Lawyers, and has been annually listed as a Super Lawyer in Northern California. She is listed in International Who's Who of Real Estate Lawyers, Who's Who Legal: California, and Cambridge Who's Who Registry among Executive and Professional Women.

Professional Activities

Boards of Directors: Pam serves on the board of the National Advisory Council of the Institute of Governmental Studies at U.C. Berkeley. She has previously served on the boards of: Telegraph Hill Neighborhood Center • San Francisco Chapter of Lambda Alpha • The Exploratorium • San Francisco Planning and Urban Research (SPUR) • The City Club • The International Museum of Women Advisory Committee.  Old Mission Dolores Restoration Project • The Margaret Jenkins Dance Co. • United Cerebral Palsy Association of San Francisco • KQED, Inc.

Additionally, she was a member of the San Francisco Mayor's 2015 Housing Working Group, and  a mayoral appointee to the Citizen's Advisory Committee on the Reuse of Treasure Island Naval Base.

Education

Pam graduated with honors from California State University, Los Angeles, in 1970 and earned her law degree, cum laude, from Loyola University, Los Angeles, in 1978. While at Loyola, she was elected to the St. Thomas More Law Honor Society and served as a Lead Articles Editor of the Loyola Law Review.

Case Studies

California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC)

We have extensive experience in advising medical institutions on real estate acquisition, development, and defense of legal challenges to project entitlements. A prime examples of this is our service as lead counsel for Sutter-affiliated California Pacific Medical Center’s $2.7 billion...

Exploratorium

When the Exploratorium, an internationally renowned museum of science, art and human perception, decided to relocate to a nine-acre 330,000 square foot campus on the Embarcadero in San Francisco, they chose Coblentz as lead counsel on all aspects of the development, leasing, subleasing and...

Fairmont

Coblentz represented the Fairmont Hotel chain in a variety of matters concerning its western properties, including labor negotiations, employment disputes and litigation, commercial litigation, leasing, ADA access issues, land use issues, and vendor contracts.

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San Francisco 49ers

The work we’ve done as lead real estate and corporate counsel for the San Francisco 49ers and its affiliates includes large, complex, and seemingly impossible deals: everything from an ownership reorganization to a major real estate and land use project to advising on complex property and...

SoMa Expansion

The South of Market (SoMa) area of San Francisco has exploded in recent years, fueled by the technology sector, and Coblentz has had the privilege of helping many companies entitle projects and secure leases in this vibrant neighborhood. Coblentz counseled Flynn Properties Inc. in its 60,000...