Jim is co-founder and principal of Paragon Commercial Group where he focuses on corporate strategy, acquisitions and capital structuring. Jim’s background in development, law and capital markets has contributed to Paragon’s steady growth and reputation as one of the preeminent retail development firms in California.Jim is formerly a real estate and finance attorney with Latham & Watkins LLP where he represented developers, equity providers and lenders in capital structuring, acquisitions, dispositions, leasing and entitlements. In addition, Jim’s practice included the representation of institutional clients including Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs and Deutche Bank in the acquisition, financing and development of master planned communities throughout the United States.Upon leaving Latham & Watkins LLP, Jim joined the Los Angeles office of Regency Centers where he managed ground-up development and repositioning of retail community and neighborhood centers in Southern California. In addition to quarterbacking the entitlement, underwriting, construction and leasing teams, Jim spearheaded transaction structuring and anchor tenant leasing for his projects.Jim is a vice-chairman of the Urban Land Institute's Small Scale Development Council, a guest lecturer at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law, a board member of the Southern Methodist University Folsom Institute for Real Estate, and an Executive Board Member of the USC Gould School of Law Real Estate Law and Business Forum. Most recently, Jim was awarded the Urban Land Institute’s prestigious distinction of being one of the “Top 40 Under 40” land use and real estate professionals in the United States. Jim is a native of Southern California, graduated from the University of Virginia Law School and is qualified to practice law before the California bar.