Maria V. Bernstein

Of Counsel

Overview

Maria Bernstein is of counsel at Foley & Lardner LLP. She has over 20 years of real estate experience in documenting, negotiating, and closing commercial lease, purchase and sale, development, and real estate secured finance deals. Ms. Bernstein’s experience, particularly in lease transactions and with property management, is remarkably broad and deep, including in the area of office, retail, industrial, data, telecommunications, energy, health care, and infrastructure product/industry deals. She represents all size, domestic and multinational companies and clients. She works internationally, running deals primarily for domestic clients in foreign countries and also represents international clients in U.S. ventures. Her high level of Spanish language fluency makes her particularly adept at working with clients and on deals in Latin America.

Prior to joining Foley, Ms. Bernstein’s career included positions in the Los Angeles and San Francisco offices of large law firms, and as in-house managing counsel, corporate counsel, and general counsel for private and publicly traded companies, including Equity Office Properties and Google.

Representative Experience

GROUND LEASE EXPERIENCE

  • Oakland Army Base ground lease for office and retail uses
  • Alameda Naval Base ground leases for industrial and transportation uses
  • NASA Ames site ground lease for corporate, research and development and related office uses
  • Stanford University ground leases for office and retail uses
  • Various shopping center and mixed use leases for wide variety of restaurant and retail uses including build-to-suit space and ground leases as well as tenant build leases

FORM DEVELOPMENT/HIGH-VOLUME DOCUMENT MANAGEMENT IMPLEMENTATION EXPERIENCE

Worked with in house and law firm personnel to develop best of class lease and related forms, (including nondisclosure, SNDA, and other forms) to identify and implement best practices to efficiently manage workload for portfolios of real estate of 13 million square feet in the Silicon Valley, 8.5 million square feet in the East Bay and Sacramento (each of mixed, office, industrial, and retail uses), and 12.5 million square feet of medical office buildings across 26 states. Developed universal forms for global implementation for café services and plug-and-play licensed space in multiple countries.

PROPERTY MANAGEMENT AND SPACE LEASE EXPERIENCE (OFFICE, RETAIL, INDUSTRIAL, TECHNOLOGY, MEDICAL)

Handled thousands of leases, licenses, subleases, SNDAs and other related agreements representing landlords and tenants. Worked with many property management and brokerage agreements.

COMMERCIAL AGREEMENT EXPERIENCE

  • Landlord waivers
  • Subordination, non-disturbance and attornment agreements
  • Confidentiality/Nondisclosure agreements
  • Construction contracts
  • Cell site tower agreements
  • Internet service provider agreements
  • Electric vehicle infrastructure agreements
  • Independent contractor agreements
  • Internet service agreements
  • Content use license agreements
  • Publishing agreements
  • Equipment purchase agreements
  • Broker agreements
  • Subordination and nondisturbance agreements
  • Colocation agreements
  • Easements and use licenses
  • Power Purchase agreements
  • Solar installation agreements

PURCHASE AND SALE AND DEVELOPMENT DEAL EXPERIENCE

Routinely handle purchase and sale deals for sellers and buyers, including documentation and negotiation of purchase contracts and closing documents, and review of title, environmental, contracts, and other due diligence matters. Handled site acquisitions for multiple sites of hundreds of acres for development of data center sites. Drafted and negotiated Development Agreements and CC&Rs.

LOAN AND FINANCE EXPERIENCE

Helped structure, negotiate, and document loan transactions, and perform due diligence (including title work) for and close real estate secured loans for private borrowers and lenders as well as joint venture partners and investors.

PUBLIC/PRIVATE FINANCING EXPERIENCE

Handled real estate aspects of bond financing deals for new energy and health care clients.

DISPUTE RESOLUTION EXPERIENCE

  • Multiple negotiations to settlement of operating expense chargebacks of $200,000 or more
  • Negotiation of settlement of multi-million dollar surrender obligation under lease
  • Negotiation of lien removals and title issues
  • Negotiation of broker disputes including for claims for fees
  • Represented client in mediation proceedings over construction defect issues
  • Negotiation of various lease terminations and restructures

Education

Ms. Bernstein is a graduate of the UC Berkley Boalt Hall School of Law (J.D. 1995), where she was senior production editor for the California Law Review. She earned her undergraduate degree from the University of New Mexico in Spanish and communications (B.A., 1989).

Admissions

Ms. Bernstein is admitted to practice in California.

Languages

Ms. Bernstein is fluent in Spanish.

Community Engagement

Ms. Bernstein has served as the regional vice-president of the Hispanic National Bar Association and has been a supporter of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Bay Area Lawyers of Individual Freedom, Equality California and the Human Rights Campaign, and Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights. Ms. Bernstein also represents clients on a pro bono basis on landlord-tenant, business, immigration  and first amendment matters.

Capabilities