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Nicole Sahagen Schiff

Nicole Sahagen Schiff

Of Counsel


  • Real Estate
  • Commercial Lease Law
  • Real Estate Finance

WSG Practice Industries


California, U.S.A.


Nicole Sahagen Schiff is Chair of both the Retail Leasing and Development Industry Specialty and Leasing practice groups. She is also a member of the firm’s Pro Bono Committee. Ms. Schiff represents buyers, sellers, lenders, developers and tenants in all aspects of the acquisition, financing, development, leasing and disposition of retail, office, industrial, and medical-use properties.

Ms. Schiff has extensive experience drafting, reviewing and negotiating retail, office and industrial leases, purchase and sale agreements for improved and unimproved real estate, development agreements, reciprocal easement agreements, restrictive covenants, and CC&Rs. Nationally, she has represented landlords and tenants in all types of retail, industrial, office and medical office building leases, and in all aspects of the leasing process, including the negotiation of leases, work letters, extension agreements, termination and work out agreements, SNDAs, estoppel certificates and related documents. Ms. Schiff also has significant experience drafting, reviewing and negotiating lease assignment and assumption agreements, tenant improvement work agreements, signage rights, permitted transfers, renewals, lease guarantees, subleases, nondisturbance agreements, and landlord consents.

Ms. Schiff handles all aspects of real estate due diligence, including review of title reports, negotiation of title insurance policies, and analysis of ALTA surveys and environmental site assessments. She represents lender clients in connection with foreclosures related to troubled projects, REOs, deeds of trust, assignments of rents, and cross-collateralizations of real estate collateral.

Prior to joining Buchalter, Ms. Schiff was in-house counsel at a national restaurant company where she conducted due diligence and negotiated space leases, ground leases, purchase and sale agreements, general contractor contracts, access agreements, and other real estate and construction contracts for the opening of over 125 new locations. During her tenure, Ms. Schiff managed the company’s real estate forms review project and negotiated more ground leases than any other in-house or outside counsel. As Lead Real Estate Attorney, she was responsible for assigning, and assisting senior management with overseeing, all of the legal department’s real estate transactions in the Western U.S. Ms. Schiff was also responsible for managing outside counsel.

Professional Honors and Affiliations

  • Super Lawyers Rising Star  (2013 – 2016)
  • Elected General Counsel to the 2012 & 2011 Board of Directors for Commercial Real Estate Women – Los Angeles (CREW-LA)
  • Recipient of the 2011 CREW “Woman on the Rise” Award
  • Vice Chair of the Steering Committee for the Los Angeles County Bar Association (LACBA) Leasing and Development Section
  • Member of the Board of Directors for the Children’s Music Fund, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide musical instruments and music therapy to children and young adults with chronic and life altering illnesses, and support research on the effects of music therapy
  • Member, International Council of Shopping Centers
  • Member, Urban Land Institute
  • Member, Armenian Bar Association, for which she has served on the Grants Committee
  • Member, Buchalter Pro Bono Committee

Bar Admissions

  • California


  • Boston College Law School
  • New York University
  • Georgetown University
Areas of Practice

Commercial Lease Law | Real Estate | Real Estate Finance

Professional Career

Significant Accomplishments

  • Represented a national pharmacy chain in its excess property portfolio sales across the U.S.
  • Represented major skincare brand in lease transaction involving a 45,000 square foot office space for their corporate headquarters.
  • Negotiated real estate and construction contracts and performed due diligence for the opening of more than 125 new Panda Restaurant Group locations.
  • Negotiated over 40 ground and space lease transactions and acquisitions as part of a national bank’s expansion of its branch network.
  • Represented shopping center landlords in lease transactions with national restaurant chains and retailers.
  • Represented buyer in the acquisition of a downtown Los Angeles hospital from sellers who were involved in a Medicare and Medi-Cal fraud scheme in violation of the False Claims Act. The transaction amount was eight figures.
  • Represented seller in the sale of a hotel on Flamingo Boulevard. in the heart of Las Vegas. The sale price was eight figures.
  • Managed all leasing legal matters for receivers with office and retail portfolios consisting of hundreds of thousands of square feet in California and Nevada.
  • Reviewed and analyzed complex lease portfolios for a national health care REIT.


  • Buchalter COVID-19 Client Alert: Excusing Contractual Performance in Real Estate Agreements in the Age of COVID
  • Buchalter Client Alert: Impact of COVID-19 on Real Estate Transactions
  • Warning: Warranties Can Survive Close of Escrow Even When You Think They Won’t

WSG's members are independent firms and are not affiliated in the joint practice of professional services. Each member exercises its own individual judgments on all client matters.

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