Elizabeth Watson




Elizabeth Watson is a partner in the Real Estate Group at Los Angeles-based law firm Greenberg Glusker.  One of the few LEED accredited attorneys in California, Ms. Watson’s practice encompasses transactional matters, including sales and acquisitions, leasing, financing, entity structuring and title issues, with special expertise in the land use arena.  On a day-to-day basis, the firm’s entrepreneurial clients rely on her to navigate a broad range of issues involving governmental agencies and the legislative and regulatory process which require an in-depth understanding of the public sector.  

Ms. Watson’s strategic advice and experience extends to agency enforcement actions, eminent domain, the Coastal Commission, Caltrans, utilities, organized community opposition, ballot box battles, threatened litigation, Air Quality Management Districts, Water Quality Boards,  historic preservation, property disputes, sustainability standards, entitlements management, excessive fees and exactions, code requirements, permit revocation actions and overreaching governmental requirements.  She has guided high-profile development projects of all types through the zoning, planning, entitlements and CEQA labyrinth.  Additionally, she is frequently quoted in business publications from the Wall Street Journal to Globe Street on land use and real estate topics.  

Land Use Experience

  • Represented The Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation in obtaining approval from the City of Los Angeles for a museum in a single-family residential area
  • Represented Monrovia Nursery Company in obtaining approval of a 1200-unit subdivision, overcoming a series of ballot box battles and litigation challenges
  • Obtained subdivision approvals for a controversial residential project in settlement of federal court litigation under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act
  • Obtained approvals for affordable housing projects, most recently in Ventura and Palm Desert, California
  • Obtained approvals for a private high school campus on the Ambassador Auditorium property in Pasadena, California

Environmental Experience

  • Represented the Los Angeles Coliseum Commission regarding various regulatory matters, including the California Environmental Quality Act
  • Obtained City and Coastal Commission approvals for a mixed-use hotel and retail project in Manhattan Beach, California

Speaking Engagements

  • Speaker, “What You Must Know About AB 1103 & SB 1186,” AIR Education
  • Moderator, San Fernando Valley Economic Summit
  • Guest lecturer, California State University Northridge, Real Estate Graduate Program
  • Moderator, Benjamin Crocker Symposium

Professional Affiliations

  • Member, Board of Directors, Lambda Alpha International
  • Member, US Green Building Council - Los Angeles
  • Member, Urban Land Institute
  • Member, Westside Urban Forum