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Steven Kay is the founding member of San Francisco based law firm, Kay & Merkle, LLP, an eight member firm specializing in real estate and business transactions, and estate planning. Mr. Kay has been representing and advising clients in real estate, business transactions and sports matters for over four decades. Mr. Kay shares office space with former Mayor Willie L. Brown, Jr. since Mr. Brown's exit from public life in 2004, and together they represent clients in San Francisco and throughout the State of California in a myriad of matters including gaming and transportation.

Mr. Kay represented the San Francisco 49ers football team for the period from 1990 through 2007. In addition to contractual and leasing matters, Mr. Kay was integrally involved in the formation of the 1997 stadium plan and stadium bond issue, as well as land use issues involving permits, public hearings, leases, licenses, environmental compliance and financing. Mr. Kay represented Hall of Fame athlete Reggie Jackson for the entire term of his baseball career, as well as Super Bowl Champion coaches Bill Walsh (Hall of Fame), George Seifert and Mike Shanahan. Mr. Kay has represented the Edward J. DeBartolo Corporation, Edward J. DeBartolo individually, and the Oakland Invaders of the United States Football League.

Mr. Kay is engaged in representing entrepreneurs, developers and numerous entities involved in creating, developing and owning improved and unimproved real property. Mr. Kay currently represents Lennar Urban and Five Point Holdings, LLC in their participation in the Hunters Point Shipyard and Candlestick Point developments in San Francisco. Such representation has included acquisition, obtaining entitlements and permits, participating in public hearings and appeals, financing, insurance and operational matters including leases, joint venture agreements, subordination, nondisturbance and estoppel agreements.

Mr. Kay represented the New York Stock Exchange listed Mills Corporation real estate trust in development activities throughout northern California. Such representation included onsite responsibility for all real estate matters involving the creation and potential development of the projects, including with reference to San Francisco, hearings and appeals, and issuance of San Francisco Port approval, negotiation and hearings with the State Lands Commission and the Waterfront Advisory Board, San Francisco Port Commission, and San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

Mr. Kay's advisory roles include:

  • Board of Directors (Secretary) to The Willie L. Brown, Jr. Institute on Politics and Public Service, an independent, non-profit organization providing a forum for non-partisan education, debate and discussion of public policy issues to expand the substantive and technical expertise available to stakeholders from the political, academic, business and scientific communities.
  • Recognized as a special advisor to several government leaders in the City of San Francisco and the State of California, including City of San Francisco Mayor's Office, former Mayor Willie Brown, and many other elected government officials.

Mr. Kay has invested in many start-up/private equity ventures and serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Learner Financial Corporation, owner of Scott Valley Bank in California. He also serves as Trustee for Summit Bank Foundation.

Mr. Kay represents a wide range of entities in all stages of business life from inception through sale, including structuring, acquisition, financing, development, sale and disposition. His practice also includes representation of wineries, hospital organizations, insurance brokerages, and representation of renowned chefs and restaurant owners in the acquisition and development of restaurant properties.

Mr. Kay serves as President and majority owner of Golden Gate Global, the leading EB-5 Immigration Investment Regional Center in the San Francisco Bay Area and Northern California. Golden Gate Global is licensed by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services to help facilitate EB-5 immigrant investment into high-economic impact projects in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Mr. Kay obtained his A.B. from the University of California at Berkeley in 1963 and his LL.B. from USF School of Law in 1966 with admission to the California Bar in 1966. Mr. Kay has been a guest lecturer for the Practicing Law Institute (PLI), has been involved in many charitable organizations, and is a member of the Bar Association of San Francisco, California State Bar Association, and American Bar Association.

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