Joel is one of the leading real estate lawyers in Seattle. Joel has more than 35 years of nationwide experience in complex real estate transactions, land use permit and approvals, and environmental matters. Joel represents large corporate clients and municipal interests in the evaluation, acquisition, development, and disposition of raw land, office buildings, retail centers, and infrastructure projects, as well as industrial and residential properties. He negotiates leases, development agreements, and all other types agreements related to the development, ownership, and use of real property. He has managed and directed numerous environmental and regulatory due diligence investigations and entitlement processes as well as independent cleanups and remedial actions under Washington’s Model Toxics Control Act.

  • Experience
    • Represented in the acquisition of its primary Seattle campus - the transaction that was described in the press as the largest office transaction in the United States in 2012.
    • Represented in the acquisition of the downtown Seattle land for its proposed 3 million square-foot expansion of its corporate headquarters campus.
    • Represented Cascade Water Alliance, a consortium of cities and utility districts, as its real estate counsel in the acquisition and subsequent management of Lake Tapps and the decommissioned Puget Sound Energy’s White River hydroelectric facility for use as a regional municipal water supply project. This work has included negotiation and preparation of acquisition documents, title review, and due diligence evaluation of over one hundred parcels of property, eight miles of canal, a 4.5 square mile lake with 45 miles of shoreline, a diversion dam, lake embankments, and other assets.    
    • Represented the Tacoma Housing Authority as their primary real estate counsel for the development and dispositions of portions of its award winning $225 million New Salishan HOPE VI redevelopment project.    
    • Representation of a major Pacific Northwest regional retailer acting as their development director with responsibility for locating potential sites, preparation of all acquisition documentation and real estate closings, management of project consultant teams, and entitlement processes for nearly 2 million square feet of retail development.
    • Representation of an international REIT in its acquisition to date of nearly one million square-feet of selective properties office/laboratory space in the Seattle area.
    • Representation of Puget Sound Energy in the acquisition of rights to develop wind-powered electric generation facilities. The Hopkins Ridge Wind Project involved acquisition of all property interests, including wind energy leases needed for the development of a 150-megawatt, $200 million power-generating facility on approximately 11,400 acres of land in Columbia County, Washington. The Wild Horse Wind Project involved similar work for a 230-megawatt, $300 million power-generating facility on a 9,710-acre parcel in Kittitas County, Washington.
  • Professional Affiliations

    King County Bar Association

    Pacific Real Estate Institute

  • Awards & Honors
    "Best Lawyers in America" by U.S. News & World Report
    Real Estate Law, 2005-2014
    "Best Lawyers in America" by Best Lawyers
    Real Estate Law, 2005-2020
    "Super Lawyers" by Washington Law & Politics
    Chambers USA
    Real Estate, 2015-2019

    Super Lawyers by Washington Law & Politics, 2001-2013

    Named among the Top 100 Super Lawyers, 2012-2013

    Listed in the Top 40 Real Estate Attorneys, 2009

    "Top Business Lawyer," Seattle Business Monthly

    February 2007

    "Best Lawyers in Seattle," Seattle Metropolitan Magazine

  • Bar & Court Admissions
    Washington State Bar
    Former Chair, Environmental and Land Use Section
    Real Property, Probate and Trust Section
    California State Bar
  • Government Service
  • News & Presentations
  • Thought Leadership

Areas of Focus


University of California, Hastings College of the Law J.D., 1979
Order of the Coif

University of California at Berkeley B.S., summa cum laude, 1976