WILLIE R. BARNES
Willie R. Barnes is a partner in the firm's Los Angeles office, and a member of the of the Corporate & Securities and Real Estate Practice Groups.
In January, 1975, the Governor of California appointed Mr. Barnes Commissioner of the Department of Corporations (DOC). As Commissioner of the DOC, Mr. Barnes was in charge of the regulatory agency responsible for administering California's Corporate Securities Law, the Franchise Investment Law, the Commodity Law, the Health Care Service Plan Act and other laws regulating specified financial institutions, including credit unions, industrial loan companies, consumer finance lenders and commercial finance lenders. He served in that capacity until his resignation to enter the private practice of law in April 1979. In addition to a general corporate and securities practice (including acquisitions and other business combinations and public and limited offering of securities), Mr. Barnes has extensive experience in the investment company, investment adviser and broker-dealer areas including the representation of clients before the Securities and Exchange Commission and the California Department of Corporations. Mr. Barnes also represents and counsels non-profit organizations and provides advice on the organization and structuring of real estate investments, trusts and roll-ups related thereto. He also represents clients in the franchise, healthcare, financial institution and partnership areas. In addition, he provides corporate and administrative advice to clients and their professionals on issues before the California legislature and certain administrative agencies.
Mr. Barnes is a frequent lecturer, speaker and author on corporate and securities matters. As a member of the California Senate Commission on Corporate Governance, Shareholder Rights and Securities Transactions, he had been actively involved in corporate governance issues. As a member of the Ad hoc Committee on Corporate Governance of the Business Law Section of the California State Bar, Mr. Barnes participated in the development of the changes to the California General Corporation Law relating to indemnification of corporate agents and limitation on liability of directors enacted into law in 1987. As a former State securities regulator, he continues to be active in the North American Securities Administrators Association.
Heavily involved in other professional and community activities, Mr. Barnes chaired the Leveraged Real Estate Task Force of the Institute of Financial Planners from 1985-1986, and served as a Director of Public Counsel from 1988-1990. He served as Vice President of the UCLA Law Alumni Association, 1972-1973, and as a member of its Board of Directors, 1971-1973. He was General Counsel and a Director of the UCLA Alumni Association from 1984 to 1986.
During 1991, Mr. Barnes served as a member of the Independent Commission on the Los Angeles Police Department (the "Christopher Commission"), the commission appointed to conduct a comprehensive investigation into the use of excessive force by the Los Angeles Police Department and related issues. He is the recipient of numerous professional awards, including UCLA Law Alumni of the Year (1976) and Resolutions of Commendation from the California Assembly and Senate (1979). In 1983, he was awarded the designation "Specialist in Real Estate Securities" by the Real Estate Securities and Syndication Institute. Mr. Barnes has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America for the last 21 years.