Mike has 30 years of business and real estate law experience, including state and federal court litigation and arbitrations, real estate purchase and sale transactions, land use advocacy and work as an outside general counsel. He has represented business and public entity clients in diverse matters and industries, including commercial real estate, homebuilding, brokerage and leasing, construction, technology, hospitality (hotel and motel), and food and beverage. Mike’s litigation experience informs his client advice and his work on purchase and sale and other real estate transactions. His knowledge and practical experience with handling and resolving disputes also informs his work as an outside general counsel and his approach to risk management in its broadest sense. Mike combines his extensive substantive real estate and business law knowledge with a single-minded focus on achieving his client’s goals, “making the deal” that works. The “deal” can come in a “traditional” transaction or it can come together by resolving a dispute before or after litigation has commenced where necessary to protect his client’s position.
Mike is a problem solver, strategic thinker and strong advocate for his clients and their positions, focused on addressing his client’s goals and partnering with his client to achieve them. Mike combines the creativity of the entrepreneur with the judgment of an experienced professional.
Mike serves as the firm’s Managing Partner, having co-founded Brown, Church & Gee LLP and opened offices in both Walnut Creek and Silicon Valley. Mike and his partners have implemented a number of fresh approaches to better serve clients. The firm’s practice areas include litigation, real estate and land use, employment, intellectual property, and corporate law.
- Morgan Miller Blair (Walnut Creek) (1995-2011)
Served as the firm’s Managing Partner; as Chair of the Litigation Department; and as the firm’s General Counsel.
- Bronson, Bronson & McKinnon (San Francisco and Walnut Creek) (1986-1994)
General Partner in the firm’s Real Estate Litigation practice and as Managing Partner of the firm’s Walnut Creek office.
- Howrey & Simon (Washington D.C.) (1982-1985)
Associate attorney handling national business litigation for Fortune 50 companies.
Leadership and Community Involvement:
Mike is active in business and community organizations. As a natural part of his real estate and construction practice, Mike has long been active in the homebuilding industry, and currently serves as the Vice-Chair of the California Homebuilding Foundation and as a member of the Government Affairs policy committee of the California Building Industry Association.
Mike has also worked with corporate and local government leaders in the East Bay and provided leadership as an officer of the East Bay Economic Development Alliance. Mike has been an officer since 2004 and currently serves as the Immediate Past Vice Chair, working with elected and staff leaders of Alameda and Contra Costa Counties and the 33 cities in the East Bay, the East Bay’s universities and national laboratories, as well as the business leaders from many of the East Bay’s largest corporations and employers, working on public policy, land use and business climate issues.
In Silicon Valley and with a global reach, Mike has been actively pursuing a number of initiatives, including leadership in the nonprofit Business Beyond Borders, Inc. which is working to build global connections for businesses around the world and in the Bay Area. Mike has taken on clients based overseas and has experience handling international disputes addressed in California courts and through commercial arbitration.
Mike’s community involvement has included leadership in the Bay Area Leadership Foundation, the Contra Costa County Bar Association, the Diablo Valley College Foundation and other organizations.
Mike is an elected member of the American Law Institute (ALI). In addition, Mike has been recognized by his peers as a “Northern California Super Lawyer” in each of the ten years (2004 through 2013) in which this professional distinction has been bestowed.
University of California, Berkeley – School of Law
JD, Law School, 1979 – 1982
University of California, San Diego
B.A., Political Science, 1975 – 1979