Justin X. Thompson - Real Estate - Nixon Peabody LLP

Justin X. Thompson

Justin X. Thompson is a partner advising commercial and industrial developers, investors, lenders and property owners on all aspects of real estate transactions— including financing, development, leasing (including ground leasing), workouts and loan restructurings, land exchanges, sale-leasebacks, property management arrangements and joint ventures.

What do you focus on?

I represent clients across the spectrum of the real estate industry, from acquisition, financing and development to leasing and disposition. I have also handled an extensive number of loan restructuring and broken development projects—working with investors, lenders and developers to reposition assets and deploy resources in a manner that facilitates the best outcome under trying circumstances. Projects I have worked on have ranged from industrial, health care and student housing to mixed-use, commercial and office buildings.

Development, Lending, Workouts, Restructuring and Redeployment

I have a special place in my heart for development work (including acquisition and construction financing) and the attendant complexities that it brings. As a veteran of the last downturn, I am no stranger to the nuances of workouts and loan restructurings and the need for creativity when it comes to revisiting transactions in trying times to make them viable. I am particularly passionate about the need to redeploy and reuse real estate for purposes that are in line with and responsive to the current economic climate and our clients’ objectives and I seek to work with stakeholders to achieve that goal in an efficient and thoughtful manner.

Health Care

Despite the pandemic and related challenges, health care remains an area of strong growth. The increased prevalence of smaller, more strategically located, urgent care facilities and medical service providers in shopping plazas has further fueled this already burgeoning sector of the real estate market. As the medical requirements of older generations continue to increase and consumption habits and preferences of younger generations continue to evolve, the need for creative and viable health care real estate options will only increase in the coming years.

Technology and Real Estate

While real estate is undoubtedly a late adopter of technology, there can be no denying the impact that technology is poised to have on the market in the coming years. With the impending introduction of autonomous vehicles and drones, there is almost no aspect of the real estate industry that will remain untouched by the technological advancements introduced over the coming decade. Closing processes and procedures will be forced to evolve, development and financing practices will streamline (or be abandoned altogether) and the very notion of what comprises highest and best use (a guiding principle of real estate use) will be redefined. From a legal standpoint, technology will usher in a host of previously unknown considerations to be addressed. By anticipating these considerations, we are better able to advise our clients on likely impacts and opportunities.

Subdivision/Condominium Work

The acute need for strategically located real property necessitates creative solutions for supply. Subdivision and development of land and airspace in denser or more desirable areas provide a key means of filling this need. In my career, I have acquired hands-on experience with the pitfalls and peculiarities of the subdivision process, (including California’s Subdivision Map Act), airspace subdivisions and condominium structures of ownership. This experience has allowed me to help clients identify and act on opportunities. I have successfully applied this skillset in industrial, office, retail, healthcare, and higher education projects to help clients maximize their return on real estate assets.

What do you see on the horizon?

These are uncertain times and our world is poised to change in some profound ways in response to the pandemic and related impacts. Real estate will always be essential to how we function as a community and society, however, recent world events, when coupled with the advent and adoption of autonomous vehicles, drones and other proptech make it a virtual certainty that we will see fundamental changes in best practices, highest and best use and deployment of our real estate resources. Early awareness of the coming changes and their pending impact on the real estate industry sets us apart from our competition and allows us to most effectively advise our clients.

Representative matters

  • Represented foreign developer with respect to financing, development, subdivision and related aspects of a complex mixed-use trophy asset development in a major metropolitan center.
  • Represented publicly traded health care company concerning exercise, diligence and documentation of key extension and option rights contained in several facilities leases in three state area.
  • Represented developer with respect to development, subdivision and refinancing (post-FDIC seizure of lender) of signature hotel resort development.

Publications and Presentations

  • Co-presenter, “Scoring Sustainability Goals,” Select LA Investment Summit, Los Angeles, CA, October 21, 2021
  • Co-presenter, “Commercial Real Estate Financing: Origination Issues,” Practising Law Institute, Virtual presentation, October 8, 2021
  • Co-presenter, “The Loan Closing Process in Commercial Real Estate Financing,” Practising Law Institute, Virtual presentation, October 8, 2021
  • Co-presenter, “Restructuring Commercial Real Estate Loans 2021 – Key Considerations,” Practising Law Institute, Virtual presentation, May 26, 2021
  • Speaker, “PLI's Restructuring Commercial Real Estate Leases Program,” Practicing Law Institute™, Webinar, January 25, 2021
  • Speaker, “Clearing Key Legal Hurdles of the LA Last Mile,” CoMotion LA Mobility Festival, Los Angeles, CA, November 15, 2019
  • Moderator, “Finding Efficiencies Through Sustainability & C-PACE,” CRE Finance Council (CREFC), Los Angeles, CA, May 23, 2019
  • Speaker, “Next Wave Infrastructure—Working with Infratech Startups,” 2018 CDFA California Financing Roundtable Conference, Los Angeles, CA, September 18, 2018
  • Speaker, “Urban Freight or Urban Fright? Getting Logistics Right in the Future City,” LACoMotion, Los Angeles, CA, November 16, 2017
  • Moderator, “How Los Angeles is Planning for Autonomous Vehicles,” California Technology Council, Los Angeles, CA, September 27, 2017
  • Moderator, “EB-5 Financing & Economics Impact,” Silicon Dragon LA 2017, Pasadena, CA, July, 26, 2017
  • Speaker, “Updating Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for CRE Applications,” California Technology Council (CTC), Mountain View, CA, May 16, 2017
  • Moderator, “Foreign Investment,” Biznow’s Capital Markets and Foreign Investment Program, Los Angeles, CA, March 16, 2017
  • Speaker, “Real estate and finance: The what, where, and how of technology’s impact,” Nixon Peabody Annual MCLE Seminar, Los Angeles, January 18, 2017
  • Speaker, “Carmageddon: The Impending Impact of Driverless Cars,” 11th Annual California MCLE Super Seminar—Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, January 21, 2016
  • Moderator, “Crowdfunding—Unlocking a New Source of Financing for Hotels,” iGlobal Forum’s 4th Global Hospitality Leaders Summit, New York, New York, November 12, 2014
  • Quoted, “Real estate practices feeling the aftermath of slow recessionary hiring,” Daily Journal, October 17, 2014
  • Co-author, “When Negotiating Your JV, Watch For…” GlobeSt.com, August 12, 2014
  • Co-author, “When Litigation Strikes, Is the Jury Friend or Foe?” GlobeSt.com, April 2014
  • Quoted, “Real Estate Forecast Good News for Lawyers,” Daily Journal, April 2014

Nixon Peabody expands LA Corporate group with of counsel

Law360 | September 21, 2021

This article spotlights the arrival of Los Angeles Corporate counsel Jean Yu as a member of the firm’s Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation team. Los Angeles office managing partner Justin Thompson is also quoted on the firm’s continued growth on the West Coast.

Drone delivery is the next big thing but could face legal challenges

Spectrum News | July 15, 2021

Los Angeles office managing partner Justin Thompson, of the Affordable Housing & Real Estate group, is quoted throughout this article discussing some of the legal hurdles and general challenges companies could face as they plan to roll out drone delivery.

Commercial real estate: strategies and updates

Los Angeles Times | March 22, 2021

Los Angeles office managing partner Justin Thompson, of the Affordable Housing & Real Estate group, participated in a virtual roundtable discussion on COVID-19’s impact on commercial real estate, market-driving trends, and what’s on the horizon for the industry.

Three Steps to Real Estate Recovery

Pacific Coast Business Times | May 29, 2020

Los Angeles office managing partner and Affordable Housing & Real Estate partner Justin Thompson wrote this article about how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted commercial real estate and steps that the industry can take towards recovery.

Industry experts Barrack, Penner sound off on the coronavirus crisis

Commercial Observer | March 28, 2020

Los Angeles office managing partner Justin Thompson, of the Affordable Housing and Real Estate practice group, says there is no modern comparison to California’s blanket moratorium on evictions during the coronavirus crisis.

California ramps up tenant protections as state shuts down

Commercial Observer | March 20, 2020

Los Angeles office managing partner Justin Thompson, of the Affordable Housing and Real Estate practice group, talks about California’s proposed moratorium on commercial evictions. Justin notes that tenants who do not pay their rent may face negative contractual consequences even they are not evicted.


Justin X. Thompson


Los Angeles

Phone: 213-629-6142

Fax: 213-629-6001

Louis D. Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville, J.D., Regional Editor and Member of Journal of Law and Education

The University of Texas at Austin, B.B.A.



  • Board Member, NAIOP SoCal, Community Relations Committee
  • Board Member, Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC)
  • Board Member, USC CSULB METRANS Transportation Center
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