Michael Levinson, Partner

Michael S. Levinson is a partner in the Cooley Business department. He joined the Firm in 2006 and is resident in the San Diego office.

Mr. Levinson specializes in real estate and business law, with an emphasis on funds, investments and complex joint venture arrangements. He has extensive experience with acquisitions, dispositions and leasing of real estate and related enterprises. In the past five years, Mr. Levinson has handled hundreds of acquisitions and dispositions, ranging from a $500+ million hospitality transaction to more than $1 billion worth of office building transactions, as well as smaller industrial, multi-family and commercial transactions that range from $5 million to $50 million. His clients range from family-owned real estate developers to leading edge private equity and opportunity funds.

From 2010 - 2014, Mr. Levinson was recognized by Southern California Super Lawyers magazine in the category of Real Estate.

Representative transactions and clients include:

  • Disposition of the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego for $570 million to Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc. This transaction was recognized by ALIS (the Americas Lodging Investment Summit) as the 2012 Single-Asset Transaction of the Year.
  • Acquisition of the U-T San Diego, San Diego's leading daily newspaper.
  • JSM Acquisition, L.P. and the San Diego Padres Major League Baseball franchise.
  • Representation of a real estate fund in connection with its assemblage, for more than $1 billion, of a national portfolio of 40 office buildings encompassing more than 6 million square feet.
  • Sales during 2010 and 2011 by a private family of a portfolio of landmark office buildings in San Francisco, including the Charles Schwab Headquarters at 211 Main Street.
  • Sale by a private investor to San Diego State University of a portfolio of five apartment buildings for student housing.

Mr. Levinson graduated with Distinction from Stanford University and received his law degree from Stanford Law School (Order of the Coif), where he was Senior Projects Editor of the Stanford Law Review. He clerked for the Hon. William A. Norris of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals prior to practicing law in New York with Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and in San Diego with Solomon Ward Seidenwurm & Smith, where he was a partner in the real estate and business departments. He is admitted to practice law in California.

From 1991 to 2001, Mr. Levinson was a senior executive with Marika, a San Diego-based women's athletic apparel manufacturer. He held the positions of General Counsel, VP-Business Development, Chief Operating Officer and then President for the last six years.

Mr. Levinson is a native of San Diego. He serves on the Finance Committee of the Jewish Community Foundation of San Diego and has served on the Executive Committee and the Board of Trustees of the La Jolla Playhouse. He is a past-director of Jewish Family Service of San Diego, a past-Chairman of the United Jewish Federation Annual Campaign, and a past-Treasurer and board member of Congregation Beth El in La Jolla.

He is also a member of the Firm's Pro Bono Committee.


  • Stanford Law School
    JD, Order of the Coif
  • Stanford University
    BA Economics, With distinction

Bar Admissions

  • California
San Diego
4401 Eastgate Mall
San Diego, California 92121-1909

Phone: +1 858 550 6021
Fax: +1 858 550 6420
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