Legal Services, Sullivan Law


Leo represents developers and land owners in the development, leasing and financing of biotech, office, shopping center, industrial, commercial, and apartment projects. He has worked on biotech facilities in San Diego and Seattle; internet data centers in Irvine and Los Angeles; shopping centers in San Diego and Palm Desert; apartment projects in San Diego and Anaheim; transit-oriented apartment, office and hotel projects in San Francisco’s East Bay; and dozens of office, industrial, commercial and retail projects in San Diego County and throughout California.  He routinely assists clients with land use and entitlements, construction, leases, complex financing arrangements, troubled loans and guaranties, and real estate workouts. He was named by San Diego Magazine as one of the top five real estate attorneys in San Diego.


Leo has structured mergers and acquisitions for industrial, distribution and service companies in California, Arizona, Colorado and other states, with deals ranging from millions to tens of millions of dollars. He organizes and administers partnerships, corporations, and limited liability companies for limited liability and financing purposes. He assists family-owned and entrepreneurial companies with their day-to-day legal needs, and, relying on his experience in estate planning and taxation, with their long-range planning to pass management and ownership to the next generation.


Leo has handled dozens of non-jury trials and evidentiary hearings in superior, probate and bankruptcy courts and has taken appeals through the state and federal systems. In cyclical downturns he spends considerable time defending developers and guarantors in loan default litigation and representing parties in Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases.  He has extensive experience in will contests and trust litigation, regularly represents clients in mediations and arbitrations, and serves as an expert witness in real estate and business cases.


Leo has represented a broad range of political clients on both sides of the aisle for over thirty years, including a number of San Diego elected officials, and is the only San Diego member of the California Political Attorneys Association. He has represented real estate projects subject to local voter approval, state-wide initiatives qualifying for the ballot, and the San Diego City Clerk and individual candidates in ballot access litigation. Leo also represents office holders and government employees in compliance matters with the California Fair Political Practices Commission and the San Diego Ethics Commission.


Leo has served as an arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association for twenty-five years in more than sixty real estate, business and trust disputes. Cases involve property valuations, real estate development, loan defaults, easements, title insurance, partnership dissolutions, shareholder disputes, fraud, and breach of contract. He is a member of the American Arbitration Association Commercial Panel and Large and Complex Panel.