Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Cairns

J.Thomas Cairns

Attorney, Steckbauer Weinhart, LLP

J. Thomas Cairns advises and represents real estate developers, investors, lenders, brokers, landlords and tenants in sophisticated transactions and high stakes litigation. In over 30 years of practice, he has been developers' counsel on more than 50 major projects, including shopping centers, office and industrial parks, mixed use projects, hotels, condominiums and apartments, handling all aspects of property acquisitions, financing, entitlements, subdivisions, construction, sales and leasing. He has represented both borrowers and lenders in dozens of multimillion dollar financing transactions and has negotiated and documented hundreds of commercial leases. He became a licensed California Real Estate Broker in 1979. In addition, Mr. Cairns represents hotels, restaurants, travel agencies and tour operators. For more than a decade, he acted as outside General Counsel to the world's largest chain of student travel agencies. In 1997, he was inducted into the Academy of Hospitality Industry Attorneys and has served two terms on that organization's Board of Directors. Mr. Cairns' approach to litigation is to seek early, practical and economical resolutions for his clients. Where early resolution cannot be achieved, however, Mr. Cairns can call upon his skills as a veteran trial lawyer, having acted as lead counsel in over 60 bench trials and 14 jury trials to verdict in state, federal and bankruptcy courts. Mr. Cairns believes that his transactional and litigation practices complement one another and that his deep understanding of substantive real estate law gives his clients an advantage in the courtroom against generic litigators, while his experience with how things actually shake out in court helps him to better advise transactional clients on how to avoid pitfalls that may lead them into trouble.

Mr. Cairns can be contacted at 213-229-2868 or jcairns@swesq.com

Coming up in May 2019...

Eco-Friendly Practices: Corporate Social Responsibility

The hotel industry has undertaken a long-term effort to build more responsible and socially conscious businesses. What began with small efforts to reduce waste - such as paperless checkouts and refillable soap dispensers - has evolved into an international movement toward implementing sustainable development practices. In addition to establishing themselves as good corporate citizens, adopting eco-friendly practices is sound business for hotels. According to a recent report from Deloitte, 95% of business travelers believe the hotel industry should be undertaking “green” initiatives, and Millennials are twice as likely to support brands with strong management of environmental and social issues. Given these conclusions, hotels are continuing to innovate in the areas of environmental sustainability. For example, one leading hotel chain has designed special elevators that collect kinetic energy from the moving lift and in the process, they have reduced their energy consumption by 50%  over conventional elevators. Also, they installed an advanced air conditioning system which employs a magnetic mechanical system that makes them more energy efficient. Other hotels are installing Intelligent Building Systems which monitor and control temperatures in rooms, common areas and swimming pools, as well as ventilation and cold water systems. Some hotels are installing Electric Vehicle charging stations, planting rooftop gardens, implementing stringent recycling programs, and insisting on the use of biodegradable materials. Another trend is the creation of Green Teams within a hotel's operation that are tasked to implement earth-friendly practices and manage budgets for green projects. Some hotels have even gone so far as to curtail or eliminate room service, believing that keeping the kitchen open 24/7 isn't terribly sustainable. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to integrate sustainable practices into their operations and how they are benefiting from them.