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Ellen Berkowitz

Ellen Berkowitz provides strategic, legal, business, and political advice to clients involved in the development of real property throughout California. She represents clients before government agencies in connection with land use approvals and compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), as well as related litigation arising from project challenges under land use regulations. Ellen is recognized for her ability to fully understand the unique business and political interests impacting her clients’ development projects, and use that knowledge to navigate the often competing interests of her clients, the community and the governing authorities. Her pragmatic approach has resulted in numerous approvals for some of the most complex and controversial land use projects in California.

Ellen also has a wide-ranging background in governmental advocacy. She represents clients in connection with local government contracting issues, compliance with governmental regulations, and political reform for a variety of sectors including airport concessions, billboards, energy, advertising, pipeline franchises, restaurants, health facilities, and sports and entertainment venues.


  • Affordable and workforce housing
  • California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)
  • Condominium and mixed-use developments
  • Economic development and incentives
  • Environmental and natural resources policy and regulation
  • Government contracts
  • Health care real estate
  • Industrial leasing and development
  • Infill and transit-oriented developments
  • Land use and development
  • Land use litigation
  • Local government advocacy
  • Master-planned communities and subdivisions



  • Representation of numerous mixed-use and residential developers, including condominium, multi-family housing, affordable housing, senior housing, historic preservation, urban infill and adaptive re-use projects, resulting in the development of thousands of housing units throughout California.°
  • Representation of international big box retail developer, including due diligence for acquisition and siting, land use entitlements, litigation, political strategy and compliance with California Environmental Quality, resulting in the development of millions of square feet of additional stores throughout California.°
  • Representation related to redevelopment and preservation of land use entitlements for large distressed asset portfolio throughout California.°
  • Representation of State Senator in connection with amicus filings before California Court of Appeal related to challenges to multi-billion dollar State of California High Speed Rail Project.°
  • Representation of concessionaires seeking government contracts with airport and local municipalities, including contracts related to duty free shopping facilities, foreign currency exchange services, media and advertising services and luxury terminals; representation includes preparation of responses to requests for proposals, bid protests, contract negotiation and legislative advocacy.°
  • Representation of developers of shopping centers; health-related, educational and financial institutions; alternative energy providers; hospitality, advertising, automotive industries.°
  • Representation of developers of industrial properties, including large logistics and distribution centers in Southern California.°
  • Representation of privately owned 120-acre Southern California cemetery, including land use entitlements for vertical expansion, neighbor complaints, regulatory compliance review, and political strategy and advocacy.°

°The above representations were handled by Ms. Berkowitz prior to her joining Greenberg Traurig, LLP.

  • Legal Intern, U.S. Department of Justice, Organized Crime and Racketeering Strike Force, 1989
  • Judicial Extern, Hon. Laughlin E. Waters, U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, 1987


  • Listed, The Best Lawyers in America, “Land Use and Zoning Law,” 2018-2021
  • Team Member, Chambers USA Award for Excellence, Real Estate, 2018
  • Listed, The Legal 500 United States, "Real estate - Land Use/Zoning"
  • Listed, Daily Journal, “Top 25 Land Use Attorneys in California”
  • Listed, Global Law Experts, “Real Estate Development Attorney of the Year in California”
  • Listed, “Southern California’s Most Influential Women in Real Estate”
  • Listed, Los Angeles magazine, “Women Leaders in the Law”
  • Listed, Super Lawyers magazine, Southern California Super Lawyers, 2004-2006, 2008-2020
    • Top Women Attorneys in Southern California, 2019-2020
  • Listed, American Lawyer Media and Martindale-Hubbell
    • “Top Lawyer in Environmental”
    • “Top Rated Lawyer in Land Use & Zoning”
    • “Top Lawyer in Real Estate”
  • Listed, Fortune magazine, “Women Leaders in the Law”
  • Rated, AV Preeminent® 5.0 out of 5.0

°AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell DistinguishedSM and Martindale-Hubbell NotableSM are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell® certification procedures, standards and policies.

  • Past Vice President, Greek Theater Advisory Committee
  • Member, Chairman’s Circle, Los Angeles Business Council (LABC)
  • Founding Member and Secretary, LABC Institute
  • Past President, California Women’s Law Center


  • 法務博士, Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, 1989
    • Production Editor, Loyola Law Review
    • Order of the Coif
    • Recipient, National Association of Women Lawyers – Outstanding Woman Law Graduate Award
    • Fritz Burns Scholar
  • 学士号, cum laude, Brandeis University
  • カリフォルニア州