Our Team

Partner

Practice: Like other members of the firm, I handle a wide range of real estate transactional work. Some of the highlights of my practice are described below.

Mixed Use Urban Development: I particularly enjoy working on complex, mixed use developments, both because of the intellectual challenge involved and because they fit with my interests in architecture and urban planning. Mixed use projects often involve condominium structures of various kinds, which are a particular interest of mine.

Ownership and Debt Structuring: Significant real estate development usually involves active and passive investors. Working out the arrangements between these parties calls for both technical skills and tact.

Negotiating Business Solutions to Disputes: Some of my most rewarding work has been in the context of resolving bitter partnership and family disputes over the partition of property and money. These matters call for patience, empathy and humor.

Special Opportunities: The real estate world abounds in unusual opportunities: wetland sites, workout situations, contaminated sites, they all provide opportunities as well as challenges. I have been fortunate in having clients who have the creativity to see the opportunity, and have enjoyed the challenge of turning that opportunity into success.

Background:

Real Property Law Group, PLLC 2001-present

Tousley Brain Stephens, PLLC 1985 to 2001, Real Estate Department. Former Managing Partner

J.D., Hastings College of Law, 1985

M.A., Department of City and Regional Planning, University of California, Berkeley, 1985

B.A., History, University of Massachusetts, 1979

Vince DePillis is licensed to practice in the State of Washington

Contact information:
Vince DePillis, Partner
Real Property Law Group, PLLC
1326 5th Avenue, Suite 654
Seattle, Washington 98101
Direct: 206.909.5655
Fax: 206.625.0376
Email: vdepillis@rp-lawgroup.com

Vince DePillis – Resume

Vince DePillis – vCard

Partner

Practice: I have an business undergraduate degree- and worked in business for 10 years before attending law school. I have been a lawyer since 1991; I spent my first 7 years in practice as a litigator, sorting out bad deals and representing clients in the federal, state and bankruptcy courts. These experiences influence my approach to our clients’ deals and problems: I am a member of each client’s business team; my job is to craft the deal or the workout in a way which minimizes disputes, while I remain cognizant of the business forces influencing the client’s decisions and help attain a sound business result. At the same time, I appreciate the need for a careful, meticulous eye for the intricacies of the law, and I devour each line in a contract or lease as if I were reading a mystery story looking for clues.

Practice Style: I enjoy working on complex, real estate and personal property transactions, financings, leasing and workouts. I draw on my business background to assist our clients with all phases of their projects: due diligence, acquisition, financing, leasing, sale and troubled properties matters. My clients include both buyers and sellers, lenders and borrowers, developers and contractors, landlords and tenants, creditors and debtors.

Professional Interests: I enjoy working with professional legal organizations, such as the American Bar Association, to improve the ethical and professional development of lawyers and create opportunities for lawyers to give back to the community. I served on the ABA’s Board of Governors from 2007-2010, where I chaired its Investments Subcommittee (and continue serving on the subcommittee), and now chair the ABA Standing Committee on Publishing Oversight. I am also on the Board of Editors for both the ABA Journal and the ABA GP Solo Magazine, and past Editor-in-Chief of the ABA’s Magazine Business Law Today. I am the past chair of ABA Business Law Section’s Commercial Financial Services Real Estate Financing Subcommittee.

In August, 2011 the ABA President recognized me for my work with pro bono projects by presenting me with the ABA Presidential Pro Bono Publico Citation. In April, 2013 the ABA Business Law Section presented me with the 2013 Jean Allard Glass Cutter Award, which recognized me as the 2013 woman business lawyer of the year.

I am the immediate past National Chair of the American Bar Foundation Fellows and a special advisor to the Foundation’s Board of Directors (serving on its research, finance and investments committees). I am a fellow of the American College of Commercial Finance Lawyers and former regent, a member of the American Law Institute and the co-editor of Real Estate Closing Deskbook (3d ed), (2012). Finally, in 2013 the Governor of Kentucky commissioned me as a ‘Kentucky Colonel.’

Background:

Real Property Law Group, PLLC 2001-present

Tousley Brain Stephens, PLLC (Seattle)1998-2001, Commercial Real Estate Department

Graham & James/Riddell Williams (Seattle)1991 to 1998, Commerical Bankruptcy, Real Estate and Litigation Departments

J.D., with honors, University of Washington, 1991 (Moot Court Honor Board; Order of the Barristers)

B.S., Business Management & Industrial Relations, 1988, summa cum laude, Seton Hall University

Kathleen Hopkins is licensed to practice in the State of Washington

Contact information:
Kathleen Hopkins, partner
Real Property Law Group, PLLC
1326 5th Avenue, Suite 654
Seattle, Washington 98101
Direct: 206.625.0404
Fax: 206.625.0404
Email: khopkins@rp-lawgroup.com

Kathleen Hopkins – Resume

Kathleen Hopkins – vCard

Partner

Practice: Over the last 17 years, my law practice has developed to serve clients active in real estate, hospitality and business. Having worked closely with business owners and general counsel over many years, I understand our clients need to make prompt and well informed business decisions based on trust and confidence in my analysis of the pertinent issues. I use my market knowledge, communication skills and experience working on a variety of high profile, complex projects to advocate for clients, close transactions and achieve fair results.

Real Estate: My primary practice is commercial real estate transactions, including retail, office and industrial leasing, acquisitions, dispositions, real estate finance, real estate development, transit-oriented development, design professional services agreements, and construction contracts.

Hospitality/Business: Further, I assist hospitality and business clients with corporate formation and governance, limited liability company operating agreements, management agreements, franchise agreements, master services agreements, vendor contracts, and liquor licensing.

Construction: Over many years, I have represented owners, developers, design professionals, general contractors, subcontractors and suppliers in a wide variety of construction claims. This construction litigation experience has assisted in preparing and negotiating comprehensive construction contracts, master subcontractor agreements, architect agreements, engineering contracts and other construction project documents.

Representative Transactions:

  • Assisted large technology company in many corporate campus activities, including negotiating leases and vendor agreements with retailers, restaurants and specialty food vendors, advising on food and beverage regulatory issues and preparing operational agreements with businesses such as AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, Compass USA, Wolfgang Puck and others
  • Represented Nordstrom in retail lease negotiations in several shopping centers and mixed use projects
  • Negotiated hotel acquisition, financing, franchise and management agreements on behalf of hotel owners and developers
  • Represented online retailer in leasing over 1,500,000 square feet of office space and fulfillment facilities
  • Prepared corporate merger and governance documents for the Washington Restaurant Association and Washington Lodging Association to become the unified Washington Hospitality Association
  • Represented regional healthcare provider in securing over 250,000 square feet of office space and urgent care facilities in downtown high-rise buildings
  • Drafted construction contracts and design professional service agreements for Aegis Living, ABKJ, developers, regional healthcare provider, outdoor recreational equipment retailer and other clients
  • Closed the acquisition and financing of hotel properties, assisted living facilities, multifamily buildings, single-family residential plats and vacant land
  • Restructured financing arrangements and leases in workout conditions for a wide variety of clients in retail, office, industrial    and agricultural contexts
  • Advised the Washington Hospitality Association and its members on a variety of restaurant, liquor and hospitality issues

Background:

Cairncross & Hempelmann, P.S., Principal, Real Estate Practice Chair, Retail Hotel Restaurant Industry Leader

Carney Badley Spellman, P.S., Associate, Real Estate, Construction, Litigation

University of Washington School of Law, J.D., 1999

University of Washington, B.A., with Honors, 1996

Washington State Bar Association, Member

Best Lawyers Award Recipient, U.S. News & World Report

Super Lawyers Award Recipient, Super Lawyers Magazine

Sandip Soli is licensed to practice in the State of Washington

Contact information:
Sandip Soli, Partner
Real Property Law Group, PLLC
1326 5th Avenue, Suite 654
Seattle, Washington 98101
Direct: 206.625.0049
Fax: 206.625.0376
Email: ssoli@rp-lawgroup.com

Sandip Soli – Resume

Sandip Soli – vCard

Paralegal

As a paralegal, I provide direct support to the Real Property Law Group team on various aspects of the commercial real estate transaction. With several years of experience in assisting attorneys with real estate and corporate matters, it is my goal to provide efficient, responsive, and thoughtful service to clients.

Background:

Cairncross & Hempelmann, P.S. 2008 to 2015 Legal Assistant
B.A., Law, Societies and Justice, University of Washington, 2008
B.S., Public Health, University of Washington, 2008

 

Contact information:
Caroline Louie, Paralegal
Real Property Law Group, PLLC
1326 5th Avenue, Suite 654
Seattle, Washington 98101
Direct: 206.625.0048
Fax: 206.625.0376
Email: clouie@rp-lawgroup.com

Caroline Louie-Resume

Caroline Louie – vCard

Office Manager

Office Manager

Loretta Otero is the firm’s Office Manager where she ensures the daily operations run smoothly. Loretta brings over 20 years of administrative experience in Office Management, Human Resources, Accounting, and Records and Information Management. She assists in the development and implementation of firm policies and procedures. She manages and oversees the administration of HR policies, payroll, accounts payable, accounts receivable and financial reports; essentially overseeing every aspect of the finance department. Formerly, Loretta worked with Tousley Brain Stephens PLLC where she worked 11 years and found her passion in accounting. She attended Griffin Business College where her studies focused on Business Administration Management.

 

Contact information:
Loretta Otero, Office Manager
Real Property Law Group, PLLC
1326 5th Avenue, Suite 654
Seattle, Washington 98101
Direct: 206.452.1247
Fax: 206.625.0376
Email: lotero@rp-lawgroup.com

Loretta Otero – vCard

Partner

Practice: My practice over the last 20 years has been focused on real estate acquisitions and dispositions, commercial leasing, real estate development, finance, real estate management and other operational issues. My clients have included entrepreneurs, investors, pension funds and corporate owners of real estate. I have negotiated in excess of 5 million square feet of office, industrial, warehouse, retail leases, and build-to-suit lease transactions for both landlords and tenants and have negotiated and closed acquisitions and dispositions in excess of $800 million worth of real estate with transactions ranging in size from $1 million to over $68 million.

Practice Style: My primary goal is to become a trusted advisor to my clients through clear communication, good listening skills, responsiveness and the consistent exercise of good business judgment and discretion. I constantly seek value-add propositions in-line with the goals of my clients and bring to every new deal substantial experience and knowledge gained throughout my career to provide the most market-sensitive, efficient and practical advice possible.

 

Representative Transactions:

  • Represented institutional landlord in connection with a build-to-suit lease transaction with Subaru of America for over 400,000 square feet
  • Represented local online retailer in connection with a build-to-suit warehouse facility in Reno, NV
  • Represented a national homebuilder in connection with the negotiation and acquisition of over 40 properties in a 10 month period
  • Represented developer of mixed use project in connection with negotiating anchor grocery store lease critical for obtaining financing and investor commitments to fund construction
  • Represented institutional landlord in connection with a warehouse lease for Amazon
  • Represented landlord in connection with the lease for a new Tom Douglas restaurant serving as the anchor retail tenant in a mixed use project
  • Represented landlord in connection with a 50,000 square foot lease with Wells Fargo N.A. in less than two weeks including requirement to obtain the ground lessor’s approval
  • Represented owners and landlords in deals with numerous Fortune 100 and other repeat players and sophisticated parties such as Chrysler, Fort James Corporation, Colgate-Palmolive, IKEA, T-Mobile, Icebreaker, Panda Express, Netflix, Mission Foods, Ernst & Young, University of Phoenix, DeVry, Metzler Real Estate, Washington Capital Management, Bentall Kennedy, Trammell Crow Company

 

Background:
Seattle University School of Law, J.D. 1994
Oakland University, B.A. 1990
Member, Oregon State Bar since 2008
Member, Urban Land Institute
A/V rated by Martindale Hubbell Law Directory
Seattle’s Top Lawyers by Seattle Met Magazine for 2010
Seattle’s Top Lawyers by Seattle Magazine for 2003

Staci Snyder is licensed to practice in the State of Washington and State of Oregon

Contact information:
Staci Snyder, Partner
Real Property Law Group, PLLC
1326 5th Avenue, Suite 654
Seattle, Washington 98101
Direct: 206.972.4980
Fax: 206.625.0376
Email: ssnyder@rp-lawgroup.com

Staci Snyder – Resume

Staci Snyder – vCard

Attorney

Practice: My practice is focused on real estate acquisitions and dispositions, finance, commercial leasing and real estate development. My work has ranged from handling the specialized facility needs of bio-tech tenants to the challenges posed by contaminated sites and large construction projects.

Practice Style: As Assistant General Counsel at Sabey Corporation I collaborated with a team of talented architects, engineers and construction professionals to find creative and practical ways to turn real estate problems into opportunities. My goal is to help my clients achieve their objectives through careful listening, team-work, responsiveness, creative problem-solving and practical legal solutions.

 

 

 

Background:

Sax and MacIver (Merged into Karr Tuttle Campbell). Associate 1985 – 1986

Karr, Tuttle, Koch, Campbell. Associate 1986 – 1989

Sabey Corporation. Assistant General Counsel 1989 – 1996.

J.D., The George Washington University School of Law, 1984.

L.L.M., Federal Taxation, The George Washington University School of Law, 1985.

B.A., Gonzaga University, 1979

Member, Washington State Bar

Catherine Torlai is licensed to practice in the State of Washington

Contact information:
Catherine Torlai, Partner
Real Property Law Group, PLLC
1326 5th Avenue, Suite 654
Seattle, Washington 98101
Direct: 206.625.1616
Fax: 206.625.0376
Email: ctorlai@rp-lawgroup.com

Catherine Torlai Resume

Catherine Torlai – vCard

Partner

Practice: I have focused my practice in the area of commercial real estate law for over 14 years. In that time, my practice has provided comprehensive legal representation to my clients in connection with development, leasing, acquisitions and dispositions of property, and finance. In the last couple of years, I have particularly enjoyed preparing and negotiating numerous commercial leases whether office, retail, or industrial. My clients include buyers, sellers, landlords, tenants and developers. Many of the leases I review and negotiate involve properties with potential environmental contamination issues. My expertise in advising clients with regard to specific issues relating to use of real property in their industry such as banking, restaurants, and those involving environmental related issues such as due diligence, indemnification, insurance, and environmental assessment reports is a core component of my practice. I work hard to provide efficient, practical and responsive legal services.

 

 

Education and Memberships:

Willamette University College of Law, cum laude, Dean’s Honor List, 2001

University of Portland, cum laude, 1998

Washington State Bar, member since 2006

Oregon State Bar, member since 2001 (inactive)

Licensed to practice in the State of Washington

 

Previous Practice At:

Cairncross and Hempelmann PS, Seattle, Washington Of Counsel 2012-2014

The York Law Firm PLLC, Seattle, Washington Sole Member 2009-2012

Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, Seattle, Washington Associate 2006-2009

 

Activities Outside The Law Office Include:

– Make-A-Wish, Alaska and Washington Chapter, Corporate Counsel Position, 2014-2016

– Make-A-Wish, Alaska and Washington Chapter, Corporate Council Chairperson, 2015-2016

– Walk-For-Wishes Team Captain, 2012-1015

– Ice Hockey Player, Defenseman

Contact information:
Heidi York, Partner
Real Property Law Group, PLLC
1326 5th Avenue, Suite 654
Seattle, Washington 98101
Direct: 206.457.2516
Fax: 206.625.0376
Email: hyork@rp-lawgroup.com

Heidi York – Resume

Heidi York – vCard