Norma J. Williams Esq.

Norma J. Williams Esq.

Los Angeles, California

Norma J. Williams is the principal in Williams & Associates, a commercial real estate and business law firm based in Los Angeles, CA. The firm’s national real estate practice focuses on purchase and sale, financing and leasing transactions.  Clients have included financial institutions, high net worth individuals, public agencies, office, industrial and retail shopping center owners, grocery and restaurant chains, entrepreneurs, and others.

Ms. Williams’ representation of real estate buyers and sellers in transactions has encompassed almost every property type including retail sites, office complexes, raw land, multi-family housing, manufacturing facilities, industrial properties and others. The transactions have included purchases and sales, exchanges, options, ground leases and portfolio purchases and sales.

Ms. Williams has represented commercial landlords and tenants in office, retail and industrial lease transactions including originations, leasehold financings, transfers and subleases, renegotiations, workouts and enforcement actions. She has developed lease documentation for projects and has handled lease negotiations for landlords and tenants in a variety of settings.

Ms. Williams has represented numerous institutional lenders in acquisition and development, construction and permanent loans secured by real property including raw land, shopping centers, office buildings, multi-family residential communities, mixed-use facilities and medical buildings. She also has extensive experience in asset-based and mixed collateral loans and loan participations and syndications. She has represented lenders in loan modification and loan workout matters, deeds in lieu of foreclosure and portfolio sales of loans.

In addition to real estate transactions, Ms. Williams practices in areas ancillary areas including entity formation, asset based lending and other areas of business law.

Ms. Williams is a frequent speaker and author, has drafted major legislation and has held leadership positions in local, state and national business and bar associations. She has been Chair of the Real Property Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association, a Board Member and Committee Chair for American College of Mortgage Attorneys, a Member and Advisor to the Executive Committee of the California State Bar Real Property Section and a member of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers. Locally, Ms. Williams has been named a Southern California Super Lawyer for each year from 2006-2018.

Areas of Practice

  • Commercial Real Estate Transactions
  • Business Law Transactions

Bar Admissions

  • California, 1977


  • University of California at Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law, Berkeley, California
    • J.D. - 1977
    • Law Journal: Industrial Relations
  • Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut
    • B.A. magna cum laude - 1974
    • Honors: Phi Beta Kappa
    • Major: American Studies

Published Works

  • “2019 California Laws Affecting Commercial Real Property,” Attorney at Law Magazine (Los Angeles Edition) (Vol. 5, No. 2, 2019)
  • “Priority Of Liens On California Real Property, Part 2: Subordination Agreements,” Points of Interest Magazine (California Mortgage Association, Spring, 2019)
  • “Priority Of Liens On California Real Property, Part 1: General Rules of Priority, Deeds of Trust,” Points of Interest Magazine (California Mortgage Association, Fall, 2018)
  • “2018 California Laws Affecting Commercial Real Property,” Attorney At Law Magazine (Los Angeles Edition)(Vol. 4, No. 1, 2018)
  • “2017 California Laws Affecting California Commercial Real Property,” Attorney At Law Magazine (Los Angeles Edition) (Vol. 3, No. 2, 2017)
  • “Regulation of High Volatility Commercial Real Estate Loans,” Commercial Insight Newsletter, First American Title Insurance Company, Fall 2016
  • “2016 California Laws Affecting Commercial Real Property,” Attorney At Law Magazine (Los Angeles Edition), Vol. 2, No. 2, 2016
  • “Guaranties of Leases,” Attorney At Law Magazine (Los Angeles Edition), Vol. 1, No. 4, 2015
  • “Lenders’ Rights in Real Estate Leases and Rents,” Attorney At Law Magazine (Los Angeles Edition), Vol. 1, No. 3, 2015
  • ‘Real Property Changes in Ownership,” Attorney At Law Magazine (Los Angeles Edition), Vol. 1, No. 2, 2015
  • “Legislative Developments Affecting Commercial Real Property in 2015,” Attorney At Law Magazine (Los Angeles Edition), Premiere, 2015
  • “Using the HUD 108 Loan Guarantee Program for Economic Development,” California Economic Development Journal 5, Volume I, Issue 1, Summer, 2014
  • “Recent Developments In Anti-Money Laundering And Anti-Terrorism Financing And The Effort To Regulate Persons Involved In Real Estate Closings And Settlements,” 2 Bloomberg Corporate Law Journal 593, Fall, 2007
  • Reader Alert: “Uniform Assignment of Rents Act,” The Abstract (American College of Mortgage Attorneys), April, 2005
  • “Assignments of Rents-The Next Generation,” 15 Real Property Journal 27, Winter, 1997
  • ‘Mixed Collateral Foreclosures-New Turns on a Twisted Path,” Real Property Law Reporter 113, California Continuing Education of the Bar, 1996


  • Speaker, Annual Meeting of Bailes and Associates, “Tenants and Their Landlords’ Lenders,” April 26, 2017
  • Panelist and Co-Moderator, "The Public And The Crowd: Financing Transactions With Capital From Multiple Sources," American College Of Mortgage Attorneys 2015 Annual Meeting, October, 2015
  • Panelist and Moderator, "Commercial Real Estate Transactions: A Primer for Practitioners on Documentation, Diligence and Closing," National Bar Association 2015 Annual Convention, July, 2015
  • "Beyond the Bank: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Section 108 Loan Guarantee Program," 34th Annual Training Conference of the California Association for Local Economic Development, April, 2014
  • Moderator and Panelist, "Financing Your Public-Private Deal - 2013 and Beyond," Real Estate Finance Subsection, Real Property Section, Los Angeles County Bar Association, May 2013
  • "Procedural Aspects of Receiverships," California Receivers Forum Loyola IV Symposium, January, 2011
  • "Commercial Real Property Receiverships," California Receivers Forum, Los Angeles- Orange County Chapter, June, 2010
  • "Loan Remedies and Restructuring" - panel in series entitled "Navigating and Sometimes Unwinding Real Estate Transactions In Challenging Economic Times" presented jointly by the Real Property Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association and the American Bar Association Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law, November, 2009
  • City of Los Angeles Industrial Development Authority, “Rights And Remedies In The Defaulted Bond Transaction From The Borrower's Perspective (Emphasizing Right Under Letters Of Credit And Under Guarantys),” September 10, 2009
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association Real Property Section, Finance Subsection, "Fundamentals of Drafting and Negotiating Commercial Real Estate Loan Documentation," June, 2008
  • The Benjamin S. Crocker Symposium on Real Estate Law & Business 2008, "The Patriot Act and Its Offspring - Ethical Issues For Real Estate Attorneys and The Real Estate Industry," April, 2008
  • Practicing Law Institute, "Commercial Real Estate Financing 2008: What Borrowers and Lenders Need to Know Now," San Francisco and New York, February, 2008
  • Panel Moderator, "Federal Tax Incentives for Development," USC Gould School of Law Institute/Los Angeles County Bar Association 2007 Benjamin S. Crocker Symposium on Real Estate Law and Business, April 19, 2007
  • Practicing Law Institute, "Commercial Real Estate Financing 2007: What Borrowers and Lenders Need to Know Now," January, 2007
  • American College of Mortgage Attorneys Annual Meeting, "Legislative Potpourri," October, 2006
  • American College of Mortgage Attorneys Annual Meeting, “Legislative Potpourri,” October, 2005
  • Joint Fall CLE Meeting of ABA Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section and Tax Law Section "Current Developments In Assignment of Rents and Other Issues of Interest Only To Those Who Value Money," September, 2005
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association Real Property Section, Real Estate Finance Subsection - "The Issuance of UCC Opinions In Connection with the Origination of Loans Secured Primarily By Real Estate", May, 2004
  • Urban Land Institute, Urban Marketplace, "Development of an Office Building Under $10,000,000 Under the HUD 108 Loan Program," March, 2003
  • State Bar of California Real Property Section Retreat, "Loan Workouts," April, 2002
  • Crosby, Heafey, Roach & May, in-house MCLE Presentation, "Fundamentals of Real Estate Finance," November, 2001
  • Commercial Real Estate Women (Orange County Chapter), "Pension Fund Involvement in Real Estate," September, 2001
  • Presentation to in-house attorneys at California Federal Bank, "Revised Article 9 for Real Estate and Personal Property Lenders," May, 2001
  • California Statutes of 1989, Chapter 698 (legislation abrogating rule of Taylor v. Bouissiere, 195 Cal. App. 3d 1197 (1987) re leasehold financing), amending 15 sections of the California Civil Code and Code of Civil Procedure
  • Chair of Secured Transactions Law Reform Committee of State Bar Real Property Law Section and thereby lead author for California Statutes of 1996, Chapter 49 containing comprehensive revision of California law on assignment of rents, enacted as Civil Code Section 2938, effective January 1, 1997
  • Observer to Drafting Committee that has drafted a national uniform law on assignment of rents based in large part on the California statute described above. Enacted in Nevada (2007); Utah (2008), New Mexico (2011), model for Texas law adopted in 2011, North Dakota (2013); pending in Massachusetts, 2017
  • Commercial Real Estate Women, National Convention, "Guarantees in Real Estate Finance Transactions," October, 1998

Honors and Awards

  • Norma Williams was selected to receive the inaugural Excellence in Practice Award given by the California Lawyer's Associations Solo and Small Firms Section, February, 2019
  • Norma Williams was appointed as the California State Chair for the American College of Mortgage Attorneys at its 2018 Annual Meeting, October, 2018
  • Commercial Real Estate Women-Los Angeles, Honoree, "Women At The Top," June, 2011
  • Martindale Hubbell Law Directory: AV Rating
  • Southern California Super Lawyers: The Top Attorneys in Southern California (listing under Real Estate), 2006, 2018
  • Real Estate Southern California Magazine: Most Influential Women in Commercial Real Estate, October, 2006 Issue

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Los Angeles County Bar Association, Real Property Section Executive Committee; Chair (2006-2007); First Vice Chair (2005-2006); Treasurer (2004-2005); Secretary (2003-2004); Executive Committee Member (1993); Co-Chair of 2014 Crocker Symposium on Real Estate Law and Business; Chair Emeritus (2007-Present)
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association Trustee July 2007-July 2010
  • State Bar of California, Real Property Section - Executive Committee (1990-1993); Advisor (1993-1994); Advisor Emeritus (1994-1996); Chair, Secured Transactions Law Reform Committee (1993-1996); Finance Subsection Chair (1988-1990)
  • American College of Mortgage Attorneys: California State Chair (2018-Present) Board of Regents (2004-2012); Membership Development Committee Chair/Co-Chair (2013-2018); Business Development Committee Chair/Co-Chair (2007-2013); Legislation Committee Chair/Co-Chair (2005-2007); Designee to Uniform Law Commission Drafting Committee for Uniform Assignment of Rents Law (2003-2005); Elected Member (1997-present)
  • American College of Real Estate Lawyers Elected Member (1997-present)
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association/Women Lawyers Assoc. of Los Angeles Member, Joint Task Force on the Retention and Promotion of Women 2007-2011
  • Commercial Real Estate Women Member 1996) Member, President’s Advisory Committee 2012-2013
  • American Law Institute, November 2015
  • The Chancery Club of Los Angeles, 2011

Past Employment Positions

  • Reed Smith (formerly Crosby, Heafey, Roach & May), Associate Attorney and Of Counsel
  • Arter & Hadden, Of Counsel
  • Hanna & Morton, Partner
  • Wells Fargo Bank (formerly Crocker National Bank), Associate Counsel

Pro Bono Activities

  • Board Member, Los Angeles Children's Chorus, 2007 - 2012
  • Women’s Business Enterprise Council-West, Certification Committee, 2013 - 2016

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Williams & Associates
633 West Fifth Street
26th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90071

Phone: 213-631-9201
Fax: 213-947-1799
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