Wednesday, June 28, 2017
Meyers Nave nabs former HUD assistant secretary from Gerard Fox
By Nicolas Sonnenburg
Daily Journal Staff Writer
In an effort to bolster its Los Angeles office, Meyers Nave Riback Silver & Wilson PLC has lured a former Clinton administration official from Gerard Fox Law PC.
Eva Plaza, who will be a part of Meyers Nave’s trial and litigation practice group, has had an extensive career in housing public policy as well as municipality law.
In 1997, Plaza was appointed by President Bill Clinton to serve as the assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. She held the Senate-confirmed position through the end of the Clinton administration in 2001, working on civil rights and Fair Housing Act enforcement.
From HUD, Plaza worked for Philadelphia as chief deputy city solicitor, where she implemented the Neighborhood Transformation Initiative, which helped to redevelop low-income neighborhoods.
Although she will be part of Meyers Nave’s general litigation practice, Plaza expects to focus her work on representing private and public entities in municipalities litigation and transactions, which she said was difficult at Gerard Fox given its emphasis on entertainment law. Specifically, Plaza expects to work on housing issues in her new position.
“Cities have to figure out how to house underserved populations and how to balance commercial housing and public housing,” she said. “Those two are sometimes conflicting goals.”
Plaza will represent private developers and municipal governments and agencies as gentrification continues to be a trend in Los Angeles and its surrounding communities, she said. She added that her experience in government will transfer well to private client matters.
“Private companies have to deal with the cities and government entities,” she said. “I think I’ve gained a lot of experience over the years. My skills are very transferable. I hope to spur more development.”
Before her HUD appointment, Plaza was a deputy assistant attorney general in the torts branch of the U.S. Department of Justice. She had her own practice, the Plaza Law Group, before working at Gerard Fox.
Meyers Nave is trying to build up its Los Angeles office, according to managing principal David W. Skinner. In the last few months, the Los Angeles office added four new partners. With the addition of Plaza, the office is now 12 attorneys strong.
“We are certainly in growth mode in terms of our litigation practice,” Skinner said. “We are actively growing that practice group, particularly on the private sector side.”
Sandy Lechtick, president of the legal recruiting firm Esquire Inc., noted that the Meyers Nave has made a name for itself in Plaza’s areas of expertise.
“They’re a well-managed firm in a definite growth mode,” he said. “In the municipality, environmental, real estate, land use area, they’re apparently getting some momentum.”
Lyndon Parker of JD Search Advisors orchestrated Plaza’s move from Gerard Fox to Meyers Nave.
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