Real Estate attorney Sandra Brower has been on both sides of complex and often high-profile cases at one time or another.
Though her primary expertise is in eminent domain, Ms. Brower’s practice includes all areas of real estate law, including land use and planning, environmental, contract disputes, broker liability, construction defects, homeowners associations, title and boundary disputes, and title insurance matters.
“I’ve represented both property owners as well as condemning agencies in eminent domain cases, and because of this, I am able to anticipate the direction of a case and develop a winning strategy.”
Ms. Brower, a Partner at HFM, earned her reputation as a legal expert in the field of real estate litigation through a long career of winning cases, including several landmark cases that resulted in published appellate opinions. In 2010, San Diego Gas and Electric began acquiring land for the 117-mile Sunrise Powerlink Transmission project through Eastern San Diego County and Imperial County. Representing property owners along the line, she was able to obtain favorable settlements for the property owners being affected by the eminent domain proceedings. One client was initially offered $2.1 million for their vacant land, but through a last-minute settlement she obtained $8.2 million for the same property.
In a landmark deal for Petco Park, she represented several property and business owners in the Redevelopment Agency of the City of San Diego’s eminent domain actions to acquire land for San Diego’s premier ballpark, including the largest property owner in the stadium’s footprint. Once all of the acquisitions were made, Ms. Brower had obtained the highest price per square foot for that client. She has also successfully represented condemning agencies, including the San Diego Community College District in acquiring two blocks downtown for the expansion of its City College campus, and the San Diego Unified School District in over 100 eminent domain actions to acquire properties for over 20 new school sites.
Through an approach that employs both tenacity and cooperation, Ms. Brower has formed lasting relationships with her clients. “I pick and choose my cases so that I can fully dedicate myself to my clients’ cause. My clients know when they give me their business, everything will be taken care of.” She feels strongly that the success of a case is built on mutual trust and respect, as well as clear and constant communication. No matter the size and type of client, she feels the relationship is paramount. “I have represented every type of client at one time or another. There is no ideal client, only an ideal relationship.”
In addition, Ms. Brower has frequently appeared before city and county administrative boards, tried lengthy and complex cases in both state and federal courts, and appeared before the California and United States Supreme Courts. Her client list is as varied as her legal experience and includes public agencies, corporations, small businesses, developers, and individuals.
Ms. Brower was both the moderator and speaker for CEB’s “Annual Review of Real Property Law” programs between 2003 and 2017 which included a panel of expert real property practitioners. She also spoke at the San Diego County Bar Association on Recent Developments in Real Estate in 2017 and 2018, the California State Bar Conference in 2017 on Top California Real Property Law Cases, several years at CLE International programs on Eminent Domain, and the San Diego County Law Library’s MCLE program “2013 Highlights in Real Estate Law,” presenting a program on significant published real estate cases.
Prior to joining HFM, Ms. Brower was a shareholder at Sullivan Hill Lewin Rez & Engel, and a named partner at Wertz McDade Wallace Moot & Ms. Brower. She also served as an attorney for San Diego County, representing the County, special districts, and the Department of Planning and Land Use in litigation and real estate matters. In her free time, she enjoys body surfing, swimming, and hiking.