Helping businesses
on the path to a
sustainable economy

Green Business

Many individuals care deeply about personal and family health and the sustainable future of the earth and human society. These consumers want to combine their purchasing power with their environmental, social and personal values. Businesses that recognize and respond to this market demand can combine economic success with responsible action.

Businesses on the path to a sustainable economy travel light and appreciate efficiency and hard work. They value good relationships with others and the planet, and want to do business in a better way. I want to help those businesses succeed.

About

I’ve been a California lawyer, focused on business and real estate transactions, for over 32 years. I’ve been a solo practitioner, a partner in Bay Area law firms, and a general counsel at a large corporation. I offer my clients many years of experience in negotiating and writing contracts, closing transactions, and pragmatically dealing with operational and transactional issues and problems. I most appreciate clients with robust social and environmental aspirations, and a good sense of humor.

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About

Bruce

My Law Practice

I’ve represented clients in a very broad mix of matters, in hundreds of real estate and business transactions cumulatively worth several billion dollars. I enjoy business and real property acquisitions and sales transactions, real estate and green building projects, and land use and other public permit matters. I’ve advised on intellectual property protection projects and disputes, estate planning and succession strategies, human resources issues, aviation sales and operations, and litigation strategy and management.

I’m intensively involved in the legal and business affairs of Clif Bar & Company, the well-known maker of energy bars and other great-tasting and nutritious foods and drinks, where for many years I have served as general counsel, secretary and director. This experience gives me an in- house perspective on the operating and legal challenges faced by a successful and fast-growing business.

I also serve as the co-trustee of non-Clif Bar related trusts with nearly $100 million in assets. For many years I also have been a mediator and arbitrator on the Alameda County Alternative Dispute Resolution Panel.

Aside from my Clif Bar and co-trustee duties, my law practice is limited to carefully chosen clients who engage me for targeted strategic projects related to legal problem-solving, business growth, and social and environmental ethics.

I’m always interested in the road less traveled, in representing the interesting client with quirky and seemingly intractable legal and business problems, in developing lasting professional and personal relationships, and in finding ethical solutions to business and legal problems.

I’ve been a pilot since 1983 and own a turboprop aircraft, which I use in my legal practice for clients throughout the Western United States. If there is a fit, I can come to you.

My Background and Education

I grew up in Southern California, where I was the student body president of Newport Harbor High School in Newport Beach, and also the student member of the California State Board of Education.

I’ve been active in environmental organizations and issues since the 1960s. In the early 1970s, (before I attended college) I spent four fire seasons as a US Forest Service firefighter based in Southern California, where I learned first-hand about the forces of nature. I fought more than 70 wildfires throughout the Western United States, on “hot-shot” crews, fire trucks and helicopters.

My interest in the interactions of human activity and the natural world continued in college in the 1970s. In 1979 I received my bachelors degree in Earth Sciences and Environmental Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz. I worked my way through college as a law clerk in the Santa Cruz District Attorneys Office, and also as a criminal justice planner for Santa Cruz County.

In 1982 I received my Juris Doctor degree from Berkeley Law at the University of California, Berkeley (formerly Boalt Hall School of Law). While in law school I worked for the National Park Service in Yellowstone National Park (as a geologist), and also for the Pacific Gas and Electric Company law department, with a focus on geothermal energy.

I started my legal career in a mid-sized San Francisco law firm, was in-house at a real estate developer for a time, and then started my own law practice, with a focus on San Francisco real estate and land use. In the mid-1990s I spent two years in the corporate department at the San Francisco office of a large New York-based firm, and then joined the mid-sized Oakland law firm of Wendel, Rosen, Black & Dean LLP as a business, real estate and land use partner, where I spent the next 12 years.

In the mid-1990s I began to represent a small energy bar company called Clif Bar. Clif Bar taught me a lot about the business case for sustainability, and how to be successful by doing business with strong social and environmental values. I began to represent more and more like-minded persons and companies.

With long experience in real estate, I became interested in green building. I became (I’m told) the first lawyer in California, and among the first lawyers in the United States, to become a LEED® Accredited Professional, an accreditation issued by the United States Green Building Council. As a LEED® AP, I understand green building practices and principles; am familiar with LEED® requirements, resources, and processes; and have the knowledge and skill necessary to participate in the design process, support and encourage integrated design, and streamline the LEED® application and certification process.

I’ve been an aviation enthusiast for most of my life, and a pilot since 1983. I am a special deputy sheriff for the City and County of San Francisco, where in the 1990s I served as the Commander of the San Francisco Sheriffs Air Squadron. I own a Cessna turboprop aircraft.

I have served on the boards of the following organizations:

  • The Volunteer Center of San Francisco, 1997-2000
  • The American Red Cross Alameda County, 1997-2005
  • The Northern California Solar Energy Association, 2008-2010

When not working or flying, I like to golf, ski, surf, bike, and backpack in the high Sierra, all with my family and friends. I also love to read about United States, world and ancient history.

Green Business

In 2002, inspired by Clif Bar, I had the idea of trying to make Wendel Rosen the first green- certified law firm in the world, while creating a green business practice group. I recruited other like-minded lawyers and became a founding member and first head of the Green Business Practice Group at Wendel, Rosen.

I also served as the Co-chair of the California State Bar’s Task Force on Sustainable Practice. The recommendations of the Task Force were adopted by the State Bar Board of Governors in September 2008.

I am most interested in representing and helping green business clients.

Representative Work

I’ve been a real estate and general business lawyer for over 30 years. I’ve handled thousands of contracts and transactions worth billions of dollars. Here are a few of the most notable of those transactions.

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Representative Work

California Supreme Court Relocation

In the early 1990s I represented the California Supreme Court and the Administrative Office of the Courts in their temporary (10 year) relocation to Marathon Plaza in San Francisco following the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. This relocation included a lease transaction with a substantial tenant improvement construction contract. At the request of the Chief Justice of California, I also represented the California judiciary on other real estate and contract matters throughout the State of California.

Clif Bar & Company

I am intensively involved in the legal and business affairs of Clif Bar & Company, the well- known maker of energy bars and other great-tasting and nutritious foods and drinks, where for many years I’ve served as general counsel, secretary and director. This gives me an in- house perspective on the operating and legal challenges faced by a successful and fast-growing business.

Clif Bar Reorganization 2OOO

“My attorney Bruce Lymburn guided me through many difficult moments in the process and finessed me through a volatile period. At every fork in the road. Bruce gave me the perspective that I needed and the legal counsel that allowed me to save the company.” *

Gary Erickson, Raising the Bar: The Story of Clif Bar Inc., Jossey Bass 2004.

Clif Bar Headquarters

I was Clif Bar’s project manager for the design and construction of its award-winning Emeryville headquarters. The 115,000 sf headquarters received LEED Platinum certification in 2012. I negotiated and documented the real estate transaction, was responsible for the architect and contractor interview and selection process, and was responsible for all elements of project design, construction, facility relocation, furniture, and financing.

A Tour of Clif Bar’s New Headquarters: Part 1

A Tour of Clif Bar’s New Headquarters: Part 2

A Tour of Clif Bar’s New Headquarters: Part 3

In 2012 the University of California, Berkeley’s Center for the Built Environment awarded Clif Bar its prestigious Livable Building Award for the Clif Bar headquarters.

SFPUC Real Estate

For many years I represented the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) in the negotiation of real estate transactions. In 1995 the SFPUC, which administers thousands of acres of land and rights-of-way and hundreds of leases and land use permits in connection with the operation of the Hetch Hetchy water system, asked me to review its real estate operations. I identified a substantial number of leases and properties throughout the San Francisco Bay Area that presented immediate opportunities for revenue enhancement, and then negotiated dozens of transactions relating to those properties. Through these efforts, I helped obtain millions of dollars of increased lease and sale revenues for San Francisco.

Bernal Property Development

The SFPUC also asked me to be the lead negotiator in its 500-acre mixed-use Bernal Property development project in Pleasanton, California. For the last two years of that project, I acted as the project manager, and under my leadership land use entitlements were obtained and the property was sold. The Bernal Property transaction was named a Real Estate Deal of the Year for 2000 by the San Francisco Business Times.

*this testimonial or endorsement does not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter.

Publications and Awards

Here are a few of my most notable publications & awards.

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Publications and Awards

Publications

Ten Things You Don’t Know About Clif Bar General Counsel Bruce Lymburn”, Legal by the Bay, January 22, 2015

“Legally Green: Lower the Environmental Impact of Your Law Department”, Association of Corporate Counsel Annual Meeting, October 22, 2008

“It’s Not Easy Being Green... Or is It?” panelist, Legaltech West Conference, June 26, 2008

“Green Building – Through the Eyes of the Legal, Finance, Development and Insurance Industries”, conference co-chair, CLE International, February 21-22, 2008

“How to Keep Your Green Building Green”, panelist, U.S. Green Building Council, Northern California Chapter, October 12, 2007

“Green Law: A Leadership Challenge”, panelist, American Lawyer Media Conference, June 20, 2007

“Telecommunications”, Office Leasing: Drafting and Negotiating the Lease, Continuing Education of the Bar, 1997.

“Green Building – Through the Eyes of the Legal, Finance, Development and Insurance Industries”, First Annual CLE International Green Building Conference, February 21-22, 2008, Conference Co-Chair

“How Green is My Practice?” California State Bar Environmental Law Conference, speaker: Bruce Lymburn, October 20, 2007

“Going Green, the Legal and Business Aspects”, Alameda County Bar Association, speaker, October 11, 2007

“Alameda County Green Business Program 10th Anniversary”, Bay Area Green Business Program, speakers, April 2007

“Green Law: Leading the Evolution”, Author: Bruce Lymburn, Law Technology News, April 2007

Awards

From 2004 through 2007 I was recognized as a Northern California “Super Lawyer” in the category of Real Estate law by Law & Politics (as seen in San Francisco Magazine), 2004-2007 In 2000 I was elected to membership in Lambda Alpha International, an honorary land economics society.

In 2011 the San Francisco Business Times nominated me as “Best Bay Area Private Company General Counsel.”

In 2012 the California Daily Journal (the state’s leading legal newspaper) named me as one of California’s 20 best general counsel.

Contact

50 Wyngaard Ave.
Piedmont, CA 94611
Tel: 510.604.4811
Fax: 510.295.2682
bruce@brucelymburnlaw.com

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