LOS ANGELES - Real estate attorney Eli Taban, former associate at Pircher, Nichols & Meeks and in-house counsel at Jade Enterprises, has formed Big Law Partners, an alternative model law firm with full-service transactional real estate expertise.

Inspired by the cost and quality sensitivities of middle-market real estate investment firms, Big Law Partners (www.biglawpartners.com) is able to provide the services of “big law” legal counsel at a fraction of their traditional costs by reinventing traditional law firm structures and practices, according to Taban.

“There is a clear gap in the marketplace for expert but cost-effective legal services,” said Taban.  “Law firms have historically either been too expensive for middle market companies or lacked sufficient expertise and/or bandwidth to meet the transactional needs of clients.  We are solving this problem by delivering what matters most to these clients, namely the services of expert lawyers, while eliminating structural elements of law firms that do not translate into superior substantive work-product, such as trophy office space and extensive non-professional staff.  We are also eliminating certain customary practices of law firms that have long existed at the material expense of dismayed clients, such as billing by quarter-hour or tenth-of-an-hour increments as opposed to by the minute.  As a result, we are able to deliver an unparalleled value proposition to our clients.”

Taban is in the process of assembling a talented team of real estate attorneys, all with major law practice pedigrees and experienced in complex purchase and sale, financing, leasing, development, construction, and joint venture matters.  Joining Taban as the Los Angeles-based alternative model law firm opens its doors are Dean Craig Walker and Herb Meyers, who together bring more than 60 years of practice experience to Big Law Partners, including significant experience at major law firms and as in-house attorneys.  Taban expects to grow the firm to approximately 10 attorneys in 2014.

“We don’t intend to compete with the large established law firms for institutional business. There will always be clientele with excess legal budgets who don’t mind paying for the ‘bells and whistles’ of big law firms,” said Taban.  “We are a solution for those real estate companies that are focused on cost but don’t want to compromise on quality,” he said.   

Taban spent the past five years at Los Angeles-based Jade Enterprises, one of the largest private real estate investment companies in Los Angeles.   While there, Taban was responsible for both business and legal matters, including deal sourcing, structuring, and execution.   He started his legal career at Los Angeles-based Pircher, Nichols & Meeks, where he represented institutional investors and lenders in a wide range of matters, including conduit debt financing and real estate acquisitions and dispositions.   Taban graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles with a BA in Economics.  He earned both his JD and Masters of Real Estate Development from the University of Southern California.

            Walker has diverse real estate expertise, with particularly extensive experience representing lenders in complex financing transactions, including multi-billion dollar revolving credit facilities, inter-creditor agreements and loan workouts.  His prior law firm experience includes transactional real estate work at international law firm O’Melveny & Myers LLP and national law firm Lewis Brisbois, Bisgaard & Smith LLP.  Walker also has substantial in-house experience, having been in-house counsel at Washington Mutual Bank and Coast Federal Bank, where he spent 10 years rising to the position of vice president/assistant general counsel early in his career. Walker has a BA from the University of California at Los Angeles and JD from Southwestern Law School.

            Meyers also has broad real estate expertise, including the representation of major owners/investors, developers and national tenants, with a particular focus on leasing, purchase & sale, and development transactions. He was formerly a senior attorney in the real estate department at Los Angeles-based Glaser, Weil, Fink, Jacobs, Howard, Avchen & Shapiro LLP and prior to that spent nine years as Of Counsel to Pircher, Nichols & Meeks.  While at Glaser, Meyers helped negotiate the construction and design contracts for the 16 million-square-foot CityCenter mixed-use project in Las Vegas on behalf of MGM Mirage.  Meyers received his BA magna cum laude and his JD from the University of California, Los Angeles. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa.