John R. Engel (Retired)Shareholder

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John R. Engel has more than 50 years experience in most phases of corporate, real estate, commercial and business law, with particular emphasis on transactional work in the areas of corporate mergers and business acquisitions, institutional financing, real estate acquisition and development, securities regulation, organization of partnerships, and joint ventures and commercial contracts.

In addition, his practice emphasizes debt and equity financing, loan workouts, employment law, and common interest real estate developments. He also serves as Sullivan Hill’s general counsel, performing ethics, risk management, and professional responsibility functions.

Mr. Engel began his career as a Wall Street lawyer specializing in acquisitions, mergers, and securities regulation. He has served as an officer in the United States Army, president of his homeowners association, and an adjunct professor of law at California Western School of Law and Western State University College of Law, now Thomas Jefferson School of Law. He currently serves as an arbitrator for the San Diego Superior Court and the American Arbitration Association.

Mr. Engel has an AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rating by Martindale-Hubbell and was named a Top San Diego Lawyer in 2015 – 2022 by San Diego Magazine. Mr. Engel was also selected by his peers for inclusion in the 24th, 25th, 26th, 27th, 28th and 29th edition of Best Lawyers in America® in the field of Real Estate Law.


  • New York University School of Law, J.D., 1965
  • Bucknell University, B.A., 1962





Mr. Engel has lectured for the California Continuing Education of the Bar (Buying and Selling a Business, and Negotiating the Sale of a Business) and for Meritas (Legal and Ethical Obligations of Lawyers, and The Ins and Outs of Complex Commercial Foreclosure Proceedings).


  • “Perfecting & Enforcing a Security Interest in “Realty Paper,”” Business Law News, The State Bar of California, Issue 2, July 2012.
  • “Who’s Really Foreclosing?,” Los Angeles Daily Journal and San Francisco Daily Journal, May 2012.

Representative Matters:

Business Transactions

  • Represents public and private companies in mergers and other business combinations.
  • Represents real property developers and builders in acquiring, developing, financing and disposing of commercial and residential projects.
  • Represents venture parties in structuring and implementing joint ventures and other alliances.
  • Negotiates and documents institutional debt and equity financings.
  • Represents associations and members of common interest developments in matters of governance and operations.
  • Represents issuers and underwriters in registered public offerings of securities.


Mr. Engel is a member of the American Bar Association’s Business Law Section and its Audit Response, Commercial Finance, Uniform Commercial Code, Legal Opinions, and Professional Responsibilities committees. He has served as co-chair of the Commercial Transactions Committee of the California Lawyers Association Business Law Section. He is also a member of the California Lawyers Association Real Property and Business Law Sections, and is a member of the San Diego County Bar Association.

He is admitted to the State Bar of New York, the State Bar of California and the U.S. Tax Court.