Allen Matkins Elects Jessica Chu, Steven Farenbaugh, Rachel Sanders, Maxwell Shapiro, and Derek Weisbender to PartnershipPosted by On


LOS ANGELES–()–Allen Matkins, a California-based full service real estate and business law firm, announced today that Jessica Chu, Steven M. Farenbaugh, Rachel M. Sanders, Maxwell B. Shapiro, and Derek G. Weisbender have been elected to the firm partnership, effective July 1, 2021. Jessica is a tax and joint venture attorney, Steve is a real estate transactional attorney, Rachel is a litigation attorney, and Max is a real estate transactional attorney, all residing in the firm’s Los Angeles office; Derek is a construction and real estate attorney in the firm’s Orange County office.

“This year’s new partner class is a reflection of our firm’s commitment to providing younger attorneys with a platform and the resources needed to grow as professionals and individuals,” says Jeffrey Patterson, managing partner of Allen Matkins. “Jessica, Steve, Rachel, Max, and Derek each exemplify the culture of entrepreneurism and client service Allen Matkins instills in its attorneys. Congratulations to all of them on this well-deserved honor.”

Jessica Chu

Jessica’s practice focuses on structuring, negotiating and documenting complex joint ventures and business transactions for equity investors, financial institutions, developers, and others. She has counseled clients regarding joint ventures and transactions covering a broad range of real property types, including undeveloped land, industrial, master-planned communities, hotels and resorts, commercial office, retail projects, shopping centers, and mixed-use projects. Jessica assists clients in all phases of joint ventures, including formation, operation, restructuring, partner disputes, and wind-down.

In addition, Jessica has experience in a broad range of income taxation matters relating to real estate transactions, including debt and equity restructurings, 1031 transactions, and divestitures. She also advises clients on California real property and transfer tax issues.

Steven Farenbaugh

Steve’s practice focuses on acquisitions and dispositions of commercial office, industrial and retail properties, and leasing transactions, in which he represents landlords and tenants in office, retail, industrial, medical, shopping center, and mixed-use real estate projects across the West Coast. Steve has a knack for finding simple solutions to complex problems, a skill he uses in counseling his clients on all facets of real estate law.

Steve began his legal career as a judicial extern for the Honorable Brian J. Back, Ventura County Superior Court, and then as a summer intern at Allen Matkins. In 2019, Steve was named “Outstanding Young Lawyer” by the Los Angeles County Bar Association.

Rachel Sanders

Rachel’s business litigation practice includes representing landlords, purchasers, sellers, and developers in commercial real estate matters, particularly in landlord/tenant disputes, and she has extensive experience prosecuting and defending large-scale contract and partnership lawsuits. She has provided customized training to clients on a number of topics, including website and premises liability pertaining to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the impact of cannabis laws and regulations on property owners, lenders, and landlords.

Earlier in her career, Rachel was an attorney with the Alliance for Children’s Rights in the NextStep Program, where she represented children in foster care and participated in legislative and systemic responses to the needs of youth aging out of the foster care system. She is co-chair of the Allen Matkins Pro Bono Committee as well as a member of the Los Angeles office’s Community Outreach Committee. She serves on the Los Angeles County Bar Association Real Property Section’s Executive Committee and is a member of the Cannabis Section.

Maxwell Shapiro

Max’s work includes complex acquisitions and dispositions and commercial leasing for clients ranging from institutional real estate investors to small companies and individuals. Max has particular expertise in build-to-suit purchase agreements and large portfolio transactions. In addition, Max represents both landlords and tenants in office, recreational, retail, industrial, medical, shopping center and mixed-use projects in California, Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Texas, and other parts of the United States.

He began his legal career as a Judicial Extern for the Honorable Berle M. Schiller, United States District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and also participated in the Summer Associate program at Allen Matkins. Max’s community involvement includes serving on the firm’s Community Outreach Committee and participating in the Los Angeles Food Bank’s Food from the Bar program.

Derek Weisbender

Derek has negotiated design, construction, and other development agreements for some of the highest-profile projects in the United States, Canada, and South America, with values well in excess of fifteen billion dollars, including multiple cutting-edge developments valued at more than one billion dollars each. He advises end-users and developers on all types of projects, including office buildings, data centers, industrial and medical facilities, mixed-use, and infrastructure, and draws upon his prior experience as a construction and real estate litigator. He also has significant experience in negotiating, documenting, and closing complex commercial real estate acquisitions and dispositions, and commercial leases, for office, industrial, and retail properties.


Allen Matkins, founded in 1977, is a California-based law firm with more than 200 attorneys in four major metropolitan areas of California: Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego and San Francisco. The firm’s areas of focus include real estate, construction, land use, environmental, and natural resources; corporate and securities, real estate and commercial finance, bankruptcy, restructurings and creditors’ rights, joint ventures, and tax; labor and employment; and trials, litigation, risk management, and alternative dispute resolution in all of these areas. For more information about Allen Matkins please visit


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