Real Estate Partner Peter Kline Featured in Law360's Dealmakers Q&A Series

September 2014

Peter was recently featured in a Q&A on Law360, highlighting his significant experience and expertise in complex commercial real estate transactions. Read the profile here (subscription required) and below. 

Dealmakers Q&A: Miller Morton's Peter Kline

Law360, New York (September 18, 2014, 12:15 PM ET) – A partner at Miller Morton Caillat & Nevis LLP in San Jose, California, Peter Kline’s practice focuses on all aspects of complex commercial real estate transactions. With nearly 40 years of experience, he advises clients on acquisitions, dispositions, real estate financing, joint venture development, leasing transactions and land use issues. Actively involved in his industry and community, Kline is co-chairman of the Professional Brokers’ Forum in San Jose, serves as chairman of the trustees of the Builders Exchange of Santa Clara County Scholarship Fund and is the director of the Boys & Girls Club of Silicon Valley.

As a participant in Law360's Q&A series with dealmaking movers and shakers, Peter Kline shared his perspective on five questions:

Q: What’s the most challenging deal you’ve worked on, and why?

A: I’ve found that oftentimes the small deals prove to be the most difficult. I recently worked on the sale of a pending development project for 10 coastal estate lots. In addition to the standard due diligence evaluations required, the deal involved multiple moving people and parts — lenders on both the purchase and sale side, governmental agencies exercising jurisdiction, cross easements with neighboring properties and conservation issues, to name a few. Ultimately, no one rolled over but the parties worked in concert to get the deal closed effectively and efficiently.

Q: What aspects of regulation affecting your practice are in need of reform, and why?

A: There are too many “cooks” in the development process, and thus, “streamlining” has been a mantra for quite some time. When I began practicing — after quill pens and at the dawn of word processing — you could simply call up the assigned planning director and get a fairly good idea as to whether or not your project was reasonable. Today, parties involved in a development are looking at a complex, multiyear process, often without strong assurances that the ball will ultimately make it across the goal line. Clearer guidelines and less room for arbitrary decisions from the governmental agencies would help.

Q: What upcoming trends or under-the-radar areas of deal activity do you anticipate, and why?

A: The market is definitely experiencing an increase in private equity deals. This is in large part due to the fact that private capital can react more quickly than traditional lenders, which tends to speed up the process — a goal all sides can get on board with. It is often a two-edged sword, especially if the equity partner is not involved from the beginning. In that case, counsel may need to suggest underwriting the deal twice — once for the developer and again for the equity partner.

Q: What advice would you give an aspiring dealmaker?

A: Don’t lose the forest for the trees. It is easy to get involved in the intricacies of the deal and lose sight of the project as a whole. Always focus first on the desired outcome, and then figure out the steps you need to take to get there.

Q: Outside your firm, name a dealmaker who has impressed you, and tell us why.

A: Mathew Wyman at Cox Castle & Nicholson doesn’t let his ego get in the way of the deal. He is results-oriented, focusing on finding solutions that are consistent with the parties’ objectives rather than just raising problems.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the firm, its clients, or Portfolio Media Inc., or any of its or their respective affiliates. This article is for general information purposes and is not intended to be and should not be taken as legal advice. 

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