Harry O'Brien Profiled in California Real Estate Journal

Harry O’Brien was featured in the June issue of California Real Estate Journal, “Beyond the Business Card.”  O’Brien was the recent recipient of California Real Estate Journal’s Deal Maker of the Year, and California Lawyer of the Year (CLAY Award) for his work on the Tejon Ranch Land Use agreement, the largest conservation and land use agreement in California history.

New Trio of Managing Partners Follow Harry O’Brien
After a five year tenure serving as the managing partner of Coblentz, Patch, Duffy and Bass, Harry O’Brien has transitioned the role to partners Jeffrey Knowles, Danna Kozerski, and Alan Gennis. O’Brien has provided excellent leadership for the firm and will be focusing on the increasing demands of his real estate practice. During O’Brien’s tenure as managing partner at Coblentz, Patch, Duffy & Bass (CPDB), the firm continued its long-term commitment to excellence and its dedication to providing innovative, sophisticated service in all of its practice areas.

From 2003 to 2008, the firm experienced tremendous growth. In 2003, the firm had 53 attorneys — 33 partners and special counsel — and was just settling in to its new Ferry Building location. Today, the firm’s number of lawyers is 71. In addition to overseeing the firm’s 33 percent growth, O’Brien has been at the firm’s helm during the approval and construction of landmark real estate projects such as the brand new California Academy of Sciences, the successful resolution of major litigation cases, and the expansion of the firm’s practice groups, most recently adding prominent attorney John Anderson to the firm’s advertising and intellectual property practices.

In the past five years, CPDB has been consistently recognized as a go-to firm for all of its practice areas, with the selection of CPDB attorneys for numerous awards and honors, including the California Attorney of the Year Award and the Chambers and Best Lawyers in America lists.

Case Highlights: 2003-2008

  • CPDB was lead counsel for the $488 million rebuilt California Academy of Sciences, a Platinum LEED certified and state-of-the-art green building facility in Golden Gate Park.
  • CPDB was counsel for the development of the Westfield San Francisco Centre, a 1.5 million-sq.-ft. retail center with 235,000 sq. ft. of office space. The project involved over 10 years of planning and prevailing in a legal challenge. Pamela Duffy and O’Brien led the CPDB team in paving the way for the landmark development.
  • CPDB successfully represented eBay Inc. in its acquisition of a two million square foot corporate campus in North San Jose.
  • CPDB represented Catellus Development Corporation regarding the buildout of its 300-acre mixed use Mission Bay Project in San Francisco.
  • CPDB successfully defended a Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter and prevailed on summary judgment and on appeal to the 9th Circuit on a breach of contract claim.
  • CPDB successfully defended a Big Five accounting firm in a $1.1 billion lawsuit alleging fraud in connection with the lease of a football stadium.
  • CPDB successfully defended a Big Five accounting firm in a $70 million securities fraud claim arising from the audit of a beauty supply company. The firm achieved a very favorable settlement on behalf of the client.
  • CPDB handled the development of the world class San Francisco Conservatory of Music’s new location in San Francisco’s Civic Center. The expanded facility opened in 2006.

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