Richard E. Norris

Of Counsel

“Some lawyers concentrate on discouraging their clients from doing anything involving risk. My approach is to solve problems. My clients are smart business leaders who know where they want to go – my job is to get them there.”

Richard E. Norris

Of Counsel

2033 North Main Street, Suite 800, Walnut Creek, CA 94596
T: 925.952.5421 F: 925.930.6620


Business, transactional and corporate concerns are the practice focus of Richard E. Norris, a founding partner of the firm. His clients include real estate developers, investors, landowners, financial institutions, mortgage bankers and waste management companies.

Trusted Stewardship in Public-Private Partnerships and Political Arenas

Known for his success in gaining discretionary government approval for his clients’ projects, Rick counsels parties in public-private partnerships (PPP). He regularly secures entitlements, rates and other client goals, overcoming objections in highly politicized arenas. Rick also structures transactions to support these PPP arrangements.

Shaping Real Estate and Financial Transactions Shaping California

In real estate and financial services transactions, Rick contributes his practical perspective while negotiating sales and acquisitions, public approvals, workouts, distressed property deals and restructurings.

In one recent transaction, Rick was instrumental in the reinvigoration of a Contra Costa healthcare facility by restructuring its partnership with the county health care system. For a real estate developer, Rick guided his client’s negotiation and purchase of a foreclosed residential development from a bank to a $200,000,000 plus project in California’s Central Valley. The 425-home project is one of the first major new projects in the region to break ground in the post “housing collapse” economy.

Counseling Lenders, Borrowers and Bond Projects

Rick is experienced representing both lenders and borrowers, and achieves workable results by using skills gained from each side of the negotiation table. He also serves as bond counsel to underwriters and borrowers and has handled the bond financing of a YMCA, affordable housing projects, solid waste facility projects and healthcare entities.

Committed to Community Enhancement and Excellence

Rick is a long-time and active member in community and arts organizations in Contra Costa and the East Bay.

Rick Norris’s representative transaction matters include:

Real Estate and Discretionary Approval

  • Planned Community Development - Negotiated and developed the agreements for a 3,000-unit residential and one-million-square foot, commercial planned community ultimately balancing the interests of the developer, the municipality, and the community.
  • Residential Subdivision - Resolved multiple issues triggered when his client, the US subsidiary of a multinational, publicly-traded developer, was, was presented with changing business strategies by its parent. His client needed to develop a quick and economically efficient exit strategy from a near fully entitled proposed 500-lot subdivision. With the client’s permission, Rick secured a new purchaser, another Archer Norris client, the deal closed on time, potential penalties if there was a delay in closing were avoided, and the business needs of both developers were met.
  • Property Development Approval - Facilitation of the public approval process for a residential subdivision on unimproved land alongside San Francisco Bay for a major landowner and developer. Rick’s strategy of establishing and leveraging interim entitlements into the final approval succeeded, even in the face of stiff community opposition. The arduous process required extensive meetings with elected leaders, state and local bureaucrats, neighbors and organized environmental opposition.
  • Prevent Airport Closure - Represented local business interests, including the largest owners of commercial and office space in the region, when county officials and competing developers attempted to close a local airport. Rick identified significant contractual, public policy and legal arguments against the closing of the airport. In the process, he met and communicated with members of U.S. Congress and representatives of federal agencies, appeared before the County Board of Supervisors and coordinated the work of citizens’ groups supporting the airport. The county ultimately abandoned its efforts and the airport remains open.

Business Transactions

  • Family-Owned Business Sale - Represented the owners of a family-held regional solid waste company in a transaction exceeding $100 million. The negotiations culminated in the sale of the company to a publicly-traded corporation. Rick helped determine the terms of sale, select an investment banker and guide the bidding process. He conducted a range of necessary transaction counsel including complex due diligence and sale documentation, negotiated purchase terms including holdbacks and indemnities, and structured agreements with third parties including public agencies and employees.
  • Waste Management PPP - Negotiated a comprehensive, multijurisdictional public-private agreement for the establishment and operation of a major solid waste facility, as well as bond financing to construct the facility.
  • Mortgage Bank Asset Sale - Coordinated asset sale of a large mortgage bank/brokerage to a public corporation for cash and securities and positioned the sellers for significant market growth. This transaction necessitated a thorough understanding of the mortgage and brokerage business and careful attention to the incentive structure of the agreement.

Industries

  • Waste Management
  • Real Estate
  • Transportation
  • Construction
  • Financial Services

 

Overview

Business, transactional and corporate concerns are the practice focus of Richard E. Norris, a founding partner of the firm. His clients include real estate developers, investors, landowners, financial institutions, mortgage bankers and waste management companies.

Trusted Stewardship in Public-Private Partnerships and Political Arenas

Known for his success in gaining discretionary government approval for his clients’ projects, Rick counsels parties in public-private partnerships (PPP). He regularly secures entitlements, rates and other client goals, overcoming objections in highly politicized arenas. Rick also structures transactions to support these PPP arrangements.

Shaping Real Estate and Financial Transactions Shaping California

In real estate and financial services transactions, Rick contributes his practical perspective while negotiating sales and acquisitions, public approvals, workouts, distressed property deals and restructurings.

In one recent transaction, Rick was instrumental in the reinvigoration of a Contra Costa healthcare facility by restructuring its partnership with the county health care system. For a real estate developer, Rick guided his client’s negotiation and purchase of a foreclosed residential development from a bank to a $200,000,000 plus project in California’s Central Valley. The 425-home project is one of the first major new projects in the region to break ground in the post “housing collapse” economy.

Counseling Lenders, Borrowers and Bond Projects

Rick is experienced representing both lenders and borrowers, and achieves workable results by using skills gained from each side of the negotiation table. He also serves as bond counsel to underwriters and borrowers and has handled the bond financing of a YMCA, affordable housing projects, solid waste facility projects and healthcare entities.

Committed to Community Enhancement and Excellence

Rick is a long-time and active member in community and arts organizations in Contra Costa and the East Bay.

Experience

Rick Norris’s representative transaction matters include:

Real Estate and Discretionary Approval

  • Planned Community Development - Negotiated and developed the agreements for a 3,000-unit residential and one-million-square foot, commercial planned community ultimately balancing the interests of the developer, the municipality, and the community.
  • Residential Subdivision - Resolved multiple issues triggered when his client, the US subsidiary of a multinational, publicly-traded developer, was, was presented with changing business strategies by its parent. His client needed to develop a quick and economically efficient exit strategy from a near fully entitled proposed 500-lot subdivision. With the client’s permission, Rick secured a new purchaser, another Archer Norris client, the deal closed on time, potential penalties if there was a delay in closing were avoided, and the business needs of both developers were met.
  • Property Development Approval - Facilitation of the public approval process for a residential subdivision on unimproved land alongside San Francisco Bay for a major landowner and developer. Rick’s strategy of establishing and leveraging interim entitlements into the final approval succeeded, even in the face of stiff community opposition. The arduous process required extensive meetings with elected leaders, state and local bureaucrats, neighbors and organized environmental opposition.
  • Prevent Airport Closure - Represented local business interests, including the largest owners of commercial and office space in the region, when county officials and competing developers attempted to close a local airport. Rick identified significant contractual, public policy and legal arguments against the closing of the airport. In the process, he met and communicated with members of U.S. Congress and representatives of federal agencies, appeared before the County Board of Supervisors and coordinated the work of citizens’ groups supporting the airport. The county ultimately abandoned its efforts and the airport remains open.

Business Transactions

  • Family-Owned Business Sale - Represented the owners of a family-held regional solid waste company in a transaction exceeding $100 million. The negotiations culminated in the sale of the company to a publicly-traded corporation. Rick helped determine the terms of sale, select an investment banker and guide the bidding process. He conducted a range of necessary transaction counsel including complex due diligence and sale documentation, negotiated purchase terms including holdbacks and indemnities, and structured agreements with third parties including public agencies and employees.
  • Waste Management PPP - Negotiated a comprehensive, multijurisdictional public-private agreement for the establishment and operation of a major solid waste facility, as well as bond financing to construct the facility.
  • Mortgage Bank Asset Sale - Coordinated asset sale of a large mortgage bank/brokerage to a public corporation for cash and securities and positioned the sellers for significant market growth. This transaction necessitated a thorough understanding of the mortgage and brokerage business and careful attention to the incentive structure of the agreement.

Industries

  • Waste Management
  • Real Estate
  • Transportation
  • Construction
  • Financial Services

 

News & Publications


Education

  • University of California, Hastings College of the Law, J.D., 1977
  • University of California, Los Angeles, B.A., cum laude, 1974

Admission

  • State Bar of California, 1977

Memberships

  • Richmond Arts Center Endowment, Chair
  • California Shakespeare Theatre, Board of Directors