GEORGE FATHEREE advises clients in large and complex real estate transactions. He also advises professional sports teams, artists, museums, and other arts and cultural institutions across a range of issues and transactions. His clients value his commercial approach, pragmatic advice, market perspective, collaborative style, creative problem solving, and ability to execute time-sensitive transactions. George has experience in a broad range of commercial real estate transactions, including joint ventures, fund formations, financings, acquisitions and dispositions, leasing and real estate M&A with a focus on hospitality, industrial, multifamily, entertainment venues, sports arenas, casinos, and energy deals.
George led a team of lawyers in securing the return of Bruce’s Beach to the descendants of Willa and Charles Bruce, in a precedent-setting case that saw land returned to a Black family nearly a century after it had been taken by the city of Manhattan Beach as a result of racial animus. George developed and implemented a strategy that involved advising on statewide legislation to enable the transfer, conducting genealogical research, determining the proper appraisal methodology, helping defend litigation brought to stop the return of the property, analyzing federal tax treatment and, ultimately, negotiating the terms of the return of the property and the lease back to the county. His leadership of the team led to Sidley winning the award for “Innovation in Equity and Racial Justice” at the 2022 Financial Times Innovative Lawyers Awards North America. George was also named to the Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion list in the 2022 Los Angeles Times in recognition of his work on behalf of the Bruce family, as well as for his representation of the Black Owned and Operated Community Land Trust, in its acquisition of a retail complex in Leimert Park, fighting gentrification in the historically Black neighborhood in Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles Business Journal included George on the 2022 “Thriving in Their 40s,” list recognizing exceptional business leaders in Southern California. The Daily Journal also named George to their 2022 “Top 100” list of lawyers whose legal work has changed the law, an industry, or society.
He received the 2020 “California Lawyer Attorney of the Year” award from the Daily Journal in recognition of his representation of the J. Paul Getty Trust in acquiring the photography archives of Ebony and Jet magazines. George has been selected for inclusion in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business in the California Real Estate category (2018–2022). He was named one of Real Estate Forum’s “Top 50 Real Estate Professionals Under 40” (2015) and an “Outstanding Young Lawyer” by the Los Angeles County Bar Association (2017).
Prior to his legal career, George was the chief operating officer of the California Charter Schools Association, an education reform nonprofit. He also developed substantial business experience as a management consultant with McKinsey & Company and Booz Allen Hamilton, and co-founded the internet company govWorks.com, for which he was named one of Silicon Alley’s “Top 25 Minority Entrepreneurs” (1999).
George earned his J.D., cum laude, from Loyola Law School and is a Fritz B. Burns Scholar and a member of Alpha Sigma Nu. He received an A.B., cum laude, from Harvard University where he studied government and religion.