Douglas M. Champion

Mr. Champion is a senior associate in the Los Angeles office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, where he is a member of the firm’s Real Estate Department.

Mr. Champion represents real estate developers, investment banks, and other clients in the energy, entertainment, and education sectors in a broad range of matters, including the negotiation and processing of land use approvals; the purchase, sale and leasing of commercial, mixed-use and multi-family assets; the development of solar and wind energy projects; REO portfolio management and disposition; and the origination and restructuring of mortgage debt. As part of the team serving as outside general counsel to the Tejon Ranch Conservancy, Mr. Champion also has significant expertise in the negotiation and administration of conservation easements and related issues of range-land conservation.

Significant Representations and Transactions:

Represented MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company (a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway) in real estate and land use matters related to the acquisition and financing of the 550 MW Topaz Solar Farm project. According to Project Finance, this was the largest renewables bond financing ever, and was named the 2012 North American Solar Deal of the Year.
Represents Madison Square Garden Company in its acquisition and renovation of the Forum in Inglewood, California, including the successful conclusion of negotiations for an $18 million subsidy from the City of Inglewood, permitting in connection with a multi-million dollar renovation as a premier concert venue, and negotiation of long-term lease rights for overflow parking.
Represents the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM) as general outside counsel, responsible for ongoing negotiations with CRA/LA-DLA, as successor to the Community Redevelopment Agency of Los Angeles, regarding issues related to FIDM’s current downtown campus and proposed expansion campus; the preparation and negotiation of lease and license agreements and amendments at all of FIDM’s California campuses; advising on landlord/tenant disputes and issues arising under reciprocal easement agreements; and negotiating with contractors, third-party vendors and municipal agencies.
Represented Tejon Ranch Conservancy in its negotiations with the California Wildlife Conservation Board for state funding of the purchase of perpetual conservation easements across 62,000 acres of significant wildlife habitat on the Tejon Ranch, creating one of the largest conservation easements in California.
Represented various subsidiaries of Lehman Brothers as land use counsel in its bankruptcy restructuring of multiple housing developments throughout Southern California.
Represented UBS Real Estate Investments in the workout of a $400 million loan portfolio, including negotiation of deeds-in-lieu of foreclosure, restructuring of existing debt, and disposition and strategic management of 51 multi-family residential and hotel properties.
Represented an equity partner in joint venture acquiring a multi-asset portfolio in Arizona, including review of land use approvals and related water rights.
Represented Clinica Oscar A. Romero, Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, and New Heights Charter School in the negotiation of major lease amendments.

Mr. Champion is co-chair of the firm's Los Angeles-Area Diversity Committee, and also serves on the firm’s Hiring Committee. In the Summer of 2011, he served as co-coordinator of the Los Angeles Summer Associate Program. Mr. Champion was selected for Southern California Rising Stars in 2009, 2013, and 2014 by Law and Politics magazine, and is the recipient of the firm’s 2011 Frank Wheat Award for Pro Bono Deal Team of the Year. In July 2013, Mr. Champion was named one of the 40 Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40 by the National LGBT Bar Association.
Mr. Champion earned his law degree in 2006 from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, summa cum laude, in 2001 from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Champion was a management consultant with the Dallas office of McKinsey & Company, focusing on the retail and consumer packaged goods sectors.

Good to know

Areas of Practice 1) Real Estate and 2) Land Use and Development
Law School The University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, J.D. 2006
Admitted Year 2006
Education Southern Methodist University, B.A., 2001
Bar Member / Association California State Bar Association
Most recent firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
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