Misty Sanford is a partner in the Real Estate Department in Willkie Farr & Gallagher’s Los Angeles office, where she serves as Chair, Real Estate – West Coast. Her sophisticated and broad-based real estate transactional practice involves all aspects of real estate, with an emphasis on public/private partnerships (PPPs), complex mixed-use developments, purchase and sale, finance, joint ventures, environmental issues, land use, leasing and workouts, which allows her to assist with the full lifecycle of real estate assets.
Whether leading transformational real estate transactions or creating innovative diversity programs, Misty is a mover and shaker in real estate law and the legal community. Misty’s work includes representation of some of the world’s leading institutional investors, private equity firms, developers, multinational corporations, REITs, foundations, non-profits and individual entrepreneurs. Clients turn to her with their most complex transactions. She regularly advises clients on the risk allocation and due diligence areas of all types of real property developments and transactions.
Her pro bono practice has included representation of park development, homelessness and affordable housing organizations such as Skid Row Housing Trust, the Downtown Women’s Center, T.R.U.S.T. South LA and the Los Angeles River Revitalization Corporation.
Prior to joining Willkie in 2022, Misty was a partner at Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP. She also previously served as a judicial extern for Judge Stephen Reinhardt of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Before attending law school, she worked on environmental justice matters at Environmental Defense Fund.
Actively engaged in community affairs, Misty served as a mayoral appointee to the Board of Recreation and Parks Commissioners, which directly oversees operations, programming and maintenance of over 400 parks and 175 recreation centers within the city, and the City of Los Angeles Environmental Affairs Commission. This public service has helped her develop a keen understanding of local government and the planning process.
She is a member of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers, the premier organization of distinguished U.S. real estate lawyers, where she serves as Chair of the Acquisitions Committee. Among her many accolades, Misty has been recognized by Chambers USA, the Latina Lawyers Bar Association, the Los Angeles Business Journal, Ms. JD and the Mexican American Bar Association.
Misty is a founder and former chair of the board of directors of the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust, a nonprofit that converts blighted parcels of land into neighborhood parks, gardens and community centers. She is also the founder and treasurer of For People of Color, Inc., a nonprofit dedicated to empowering students of color to become attorneys.
Additionally, Misty is a member of the Executive Committee for the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate. The Lusk Center seeks to advance real estate knowledge, inform business practice, and address timely issues that affect the real estate industry, the urban economy, and public policy.