Michael Levinson

Senior Counsel
Full contact info

About Michael

Michael S. 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, Michael 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.

Representative transactions and clients include:

  • Seven-year, 160,000-square-foot office lease for Renovate America at Rancho Vista Corporate Center in San Diego. According to the San Diego Business Journal, the lease is one of the city’s largest by square footage for 2016 and 2017.
  • Representation of a confidential client in connection with the largest office lease in Los Angeles County for 2016.
  • Sale of ZELTIQ Aesthetics, Inc. for $2.5 billion to Allergan plc.
  • 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.

Michael 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, Michael 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.

Michael 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 Cooley's Pro Bono Committee.


Stanford Law School
JD, Order of the Coif

Stanford University
BA, Economics, with distinction

Rankings & accolades

Super Lawyers Magazine: Real Estate (2010-2019)

Southern California Magazine: Real Estate

Legal 500: Real Estate