Business lawyer and trusted adviser Sal LaViña, the firm's Real Estate department chair, closes complex transactions and provides strategic advice to his many successful clients. With more than three decades of experience, Sal serves as a battle-tested leader who listens attentively and executes swiftly client objectives, whether closing a multistate marquee deal or a fixing a local problem.
Clients turn to Sal for guidance with their deal ventures and he has closed or supervised transactions totaling nearly $15 billion dollars over the past decade. He is a skilled negotiator and communicator, and has deep experience in virtually all areas of real estate, including acquisitions and sales, joint ventures, multifamily transactions, 1031 exchanges, real estate fund formation, development and construction, public-private and multistate matters.
In the corporate realm, Sal focuses on capital raising, fund formation, syndications and private placements, infrastructure, mid-market mergers and acquisitions, and stock and asset transactions. Sal also counsels clients on workouts, crisis management, business “divorces” and negotiations, and investor and LLC disputes. He is an invited guest speaker throughout the business community on real estate, finance, forecasting and business development topics.
Prior to joining Barnes & Thornburg, Sal led law firms and businesses alike. After law school, he spent several years at O’Melveny & Myers, followed by serving as managing partner in a business law firm, as well as general counsel and a partner in a real estate development company. He is a licensed California broker and works on his own deals. Sal knows, from first-hand experience, the pressures clients face running a business and brings this sensitivity to his practice at every turn.
Prior to the law, Sal worked as a reporter for the Los Angeles Daily Journal. This experience taught him early on to be concise, and writing headlines back then taught him to articulate bottom lines today for clients. Sal remains dedicated to meeting even the tightest deadlines while processing complicated information under pressure.
Sal is dedicated to giving back to the communities where he lives and works. He walks the walk, and exemplifies his belief that service is at the heart of being a well-rounded lawyer.
Professional and Community Involvement
Former board member and general counsel, UCLA Alumni Association
Board member, UCLA Ziman Center for Real Estate, a joint center of UCLA Anderson Business School and UCLA School of Law
Member, UCLA Real Estate Alumni Group
Member, Wooden Athletic Fund Coaches Roundtable Member, UCLA Foundation Campaign of Champions Participant, Interview With a Bruin and Alumni Mentor, UCLA
Lecturer/educator, UCLA Extension courses on business and real estate law
Member, Columbia University Alumni Association
Lifetime member, American Mensa
Member, Latino Leaders Network
Board member, The Village Family Services Former board member, Para Los Niños
Serves on additional nonprofit boards that focus on helping underserved children in the communities where he grew up
Community redevelopment, representing several cities in South Los Angeles
Former chief of staff, Operation Hope, which focused on rebuilding businesses in South Central Los Angeles
L.A. Times Los Angeles & Orange Counties Business Commercial Real Estate Magazine Commercial Real Estate Visionaries: Professional Services Advisors, 2021
Los Angeles Business Journal Influential Minority Attorneys, 2019
Southern California Super Lawyers, 2017-2019