Kathleen Smalley

Kathleen Smalley

Kathleen Smalley is a Partner in the Los Angeles office of Locke Lord LLP where her practice includes sophisticated real estate transactions and disputes, complex corporate transactions, corporate and family business governance, and on matters relating to family wealth. Formerly a law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, and with 17 years of experience as general counsel for major national and international real estate companies, she acts as outside general counsel on high-stakes litigation with a particular emphasis on litigation concerning complex transactions.

Kathy has extensive background in repositioning distressed real estate and in real estate finance and development. Her experience in debt workouts and bankruptcy is deep, including the day-to-day executive responsibility for the reorganization in bankruptcy and recapitalization of a national portfolio of properties with differing equity structures and cross-collateralized mortgages.

For family-owned businesses, Kathy has represented founder-entrepreneurs through a variety of transitions. These major changes might include design of relationships with non-family professional management, transition to a new generation of family leaders, or transition to public ownership.
Kathy's experience includes corporate governance matters ranging from internal investigations to design of internal governance and compliance systems. As a trustee of the California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS), she chaired the Board governance committee and served on the Investment Committee (with jurisdiction over governance issues in portfolio companies) and on the Audit Committee.

Kathy spent twelve years in the Trammell Crow organization, including service as the General Counsel of Trammell Crow Company and as General Counsel of Crow Holdings (representing holdings of members of the Trammell Crow family), and five years as the Senior Vice President, Corporate Operations and General Counsel of Catellus Development Corporation (NYSE: CDX). Before going into law firm practice, Kathy split her time between consulting and serving as the Associate Director of the Ziman Center for Real Estate at UCLA. She has taught semester-long courses on Real Estate Transactions at Harvard, Yale, Stanford, and UCLA Law Schools and a seminar at Harvard Law School on the Problems of Corporate Counsel.

Additionally, Kathy serves on the Executive Committee of the Board of iCivics, a nonprofit founded by Sandra Day O'Connor, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a Fellow of the British-American Project, and a past chairman of the Visiting Committee of Harvard Law School. She served as the Fundraising Chair for Celebration 50, marking the fiftieth anniversary of the admission of women to Harvard Law School. She is a member of the American Law Institute and serves on the Advisory Committee of the American Law Institute's Restatement of the Law - Torts: Liability for Economic Loss. She is a member of the American College of Mortgage Attorneys.

Kathy received her J.D. from Harvard Law School and her B.A. in Economics from Rice University.