Michael Hamilton is the Chair of O'Melveny's Project Development & Real Estate Practice. Michael advises clients in real estate, finance, and corporate restructuring transactions, and is nationally recognized for his borrower-side finance practice, representing numerous borrowers in loans of all shapes and sizes across the nation. During 20+ years of practice, Michael has originated hundreds of loans on behalf of borrowers in excess of US$125 billion. Michael also represents corporate and institutional owners of large property portfolios, and is highly experienced in crafting unconventional solutions for challenged assets, such as environmentally contaminated properties.
Prior to practicing law, Michael was an environmental geologist. He worked with a national consulting firm in the assessment of environmental contamination and the design of remediation systems.
Honors & Awards
- Recommended in Real Estate by Who’s Who Legal (2022)
- Chambers USA recognized him as a well-regarded real estate practitioner and market sources stated he "really thinks deeply about the consequences and is detail-oriented". Rated by Chambers 2013 to present
- In 2020, Michael was recognized as a NLJ Trailblazer in Real Estate Law by The National Law Journal.
- In 2012, The Legal 500 United States recognized him for his real estate practice and called him a "risen star"
- Since 2012, Michael has been listed in the "Who's Who of International Lawyers"
- In 2008, The Daily Journal named him one of Los Angeles' Top 20 Under 40 Lawyers
- In 2008, Institutional Investors News named him one of its 20 Rising Stars of Real Estate
- In 2007, Michael was lead counsel in the "Deal of the Year" as selected by Institutional Investor News and Real Estate Forum
- In 2007, Selected as "Young Lawyer of the Year" by the Los Angeles County Bar Real Property Division
- University of Oregon, J.D.
- Rice University, M.A., Geology and Geophysics
- Hamilton College, B.A., Geology
- Los Angeles County Bar Association
- California State Bar Association
- American Bar Association
- Former Member, Board of Directors, Theodore Payne Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to the preservation and use of California native plants
- Board Member and Fellow, American College of Real Estate Lawyers, a highly selective group of leading real estate lawyers in the United States
- Former Member, Board of Directors, Heritage Housing Partners, a 501(c)(3) organization involved in the preservation, restoration and re-use (for affordable housing purposes) of historically-important residential structures in Southern California
- Faculty Member, American Law Institute and American Bar Association, Annual Conference on Modern Real Estate Transactions (2007 – present)
- Faculty Member, American Law Institute and American Bar Association, Annual Conference on Real Estate Financing Documentation (2007 – present)
- Faculty Member, American Law Institute and American Bar Association, Annual Conference on Banking and Finance (2007, 2008)
- Adjunct Faculty Member, University of Southern California School of Law (2007)
- Adjunct Faculty Member, Pepperdine University School of Law (2006)
- Faculty Member, Practising Law Institute, Annual Conference on Commercial Real Estate Financing (2004 – 2007)
- Co-author, “Real estate in a world of disruption, innovation and rapid technological change,” Who's Who Legal: Real Estate (November 2018)
- Co-author, “Lenders' New Rules - Basel III & the Impact on High-Volatility CRE,” Commercial Property Executive (November 2015)
- “Let the Seller Beware - The 'Fraud by Omission' Exception to Caveat Emptor,” Commercial Property Executive (August 2015)
- “Caveat Emptor (Kinda) - When As-is Clauses Are Not “As Is”,” Commercial Property Executive (May 2015)
- “No Free Pass - How to Keep from Falling into Brownfield Development Traps,” Commercial Property Executive (February 2015)
- Co-author, “First Rights - Navigating the Hazards of ROFOs and ROFRs,” Commercial Property Executive (November 2014)
- “A Marriage of Words - What it Means to Indemnify, Defend and Hold Harmless,” Commercial Property Executive (August 2014)
- “Signed, Sealed, Delivered - Pros and Cons of Assigning Contracts to a Third Party,” Commercial Property Executive (May 2014)
- “All Appropriate Inquiry - New EPA Standard for Phase I Environmental Site Assessments,” Commercial Property Executive (February 2014)
- “Test Your Knowledge Of Property Transfers - Do You Know What's Restricted and the Implications for Non-Recourse Carveouts?,” Commercial Property Executive (November 2013)
- Co-author, “The Mysterious Reg AB - Understanding the SEC's ABS Reporting Requirements,” Commercial Property Executive (August 2013)
- Co-author, “Do Not Delay - Latest Enforceable Carveouts Guaranty Decision Reiterates Liability,” Commercial Property Executive (May 2013)
- “Lesson Learned - Why a Completion Guaranty Does Not Guarantee Completion,” Commercial Property Executive (February 2013)
- “LIBOR: London, If Bad, Over/understate the Rate - While Substitute Reference Rates Exist, Better Solutions Are Needed,” Commercial Property Executive (November 2012)
- “Construction Warning: Changes Ahead - Basel III Promises Greater Scrutiny, Leading to Increased Expense for Lenders, Borrowers,” Commercial Property Executive (August 2012)
- “Liability Trigger - Should Insolvency Be Cause for Recourse?,"” Commercial Property Executive (May 2012)
- “Foreclose and File? - Buyers of Mezzanine Loans May Be Liable for Mortgage Debt,” Commercial Property Executive (February 2012)
- Contributing Author, Madison, Dwyer and Bender, “The Law of Real Estate Finance (West),” Ch. 17 (regarding California Real Estate Finance Law)
- Co-Author and Presenter, “Considerations in Drafting Partnerships and LLC Agreements: Equity and Preferred Equity Basics,” National Association of Industrial and Office Properties, Los Angeles Section Continuing Education (2006)
- Co-Author and Presenter, “Purchase and Sale: Understanding Why the Documents Say What They Say: Practical Implications of Legal-Ease,” National Association of Industrial and Office Properties, Los Angeles Section Continuing Education (2006)