Mike’s real estate experience includes structuring, negotiating and documenting real estate purchase and sale agreements, negotiating joint venture and partnership agreements, assignments, development and subdivision agreements, due diligence and feasibility, resolving title exceptions, addressing environmental and regulatory issues, NDAs and confidentiality agreements, reciprocal use, easement and operation agreements, letters of intent, asset purchase agreements and leases.
Mike’s real estate transactional and land use practice grew out of his longstanding involvement in the building and commercial real estate industries. Mike’s clients have included land developers, regional and national hospitality and hotel companies, homebuilders, general contractors, and property owners.
Mike’s land use practice includes work with clients in their pursuit of subdivision and parcel map approvals, land use entitlements and other legal approvals from local governments in Northern California. This work can begin when a client conceives of a project, carries along with the processing of applications, environmental impact and CEQA review, subdivision maps and other entitlements and permits, and on to the construction and sale of an improved project. Mike works with his client’s development team, consultants and engineers and then with city/county staff and elected leaders in an effort to bring projects together. Mike’s experience has taught him that the achievement of his clients’ land use objectives requires an understanding and appreciation of the local community’s challenges and goals, and a strong and persistent effort to find a true “win, win” outcome, working together with the stakeholders.
In addition to his client service, Mike has served the industry on Bay Area regional and California statewide boards and committees. Mike has also served in appointed roles in local government, including city and county government task forces and commissions, and has experience representing public entities including cities and special districts.
University of California, Berkeley – School of Law
JD, Law School, 1982
Drawing on more than 35 years of law firm experience, Mike’s practice focuses on California business and real estate transactions and related entity formation and joint venture structuring. In addition, Mike has deep experience in all forms of dispute resolution. Mike takes a collaborative approach, viewing his role as a problem solver, strategic thinker and strong advocate for his clients and their interests. Mike serves as the firm’s Managing Partner, having served in that role in two larger law firms prior to founding Brown, Gee & Wenger LLP in 2011.
Real Estate and Land Use:
Corporate and Entity Work:
Leadership; Recognition; Community and Industry Service
Mike is an elected member and an appointed Advisor for the Restatement of Property Law project of the American Law Institute (ALI).
In addition, Mike has been recognized by his peers as a “Northern California Super Lawyer” in real estate for each of the fifteen years (2004 through 2017) in which this professional distinction has been bestowed.
Mike is active in the Building Industry. Having served as an officer and past chairperson, Mike currently serves as a Lifetime Member of the Board of Trustees of the California Homebuilding Foundation. Mike served on the Government Affairs and Legal Action Committees of the California Building Industry Association and on the Regional Board of Directors of the Building Industry of Northern California (now the BIA of the Bay Area.)
Mike served on the City of Concord’s Redevelopment Advisory Commission and on Redwood City’s Inner Harbor Visioning Task Force. Mike served as Vice-Chair and officer of the East Bay Economic Development Alliance, and currently serves the EDA as Co-Chair of its Membership Committee. Within the EDA, Mike works with elected and administrative leaders of Alameda and Contra Costa Counties and 33 East Bay cities.
Mike’s community involvement has included leadership roles in the Bay Area Leadership Foundation, the Contra Costa County Bar Association, the Diablo Valley College Foundation and other organizations.
(925) 943-5000 Work
Mike’s practice includes entity formation and advising business clients and owners in the ongoing operations of their legal entities, including LLCs, closely-held corporations and limited partnerships. The practice includes entity formation, including consideration of the type of entity and tax considerations, in collaboration with his client’s tax advisors and accountants, and the drafting and amendment of operating agreements, by laws, articles of incorporation and organization, partnership and joint venture agreements.
Mike assists business clients in qualifying to do business in California and elsewhere in the United States.
Litigation and Dispute Resolution
Mike continues to handle and advise clients in litigation and dispute resolution, including the pursuit or defense of actions for specific performance, construction issues, risk management including liability insurance coverage and a wide variety of business disputes.
Mike has extensive experience in litigation, arbitration and mediation, where he is a strong client advocate focused on the deal that can be made, knowing that clients seek solutions and problem solvers to avoid bogging down in expensive and often impractical litigation that serves neither side’s long term interests.
Mike has handled numerous jury trials, arbitrations, and mediations as a client advocate, and has also served as an Arbitrator and Mediator in real estate, construction and business disputes.
Experience and Education
Prior to co-founding Brown, Gee & Wenger LLP, Mike was a partner at Morgan Miller Blair in Walnut Creek (1995-2011), serving as the firm’s Managing Partner and as Chair of its Real Estate Department.
Mike was a partner at Bronson, Bronson & McKinnon (1986-1994), managing the firm’s Walnut Creek office.
Mike began his law practice at Howrey & Simon in Washington D.C. (1982-85), and worked for Brown & Finney in San Francisco (1985-86).
University of California, San Diego
B.A., Political Science, 1979
University of California, Berkeley – School of Law (Boalt Hall)
JD, Law School, 1982
Christopher J Gonzalez