January 4, 2018 (Walnut Creek, CA) – Miller Starr Regalia (MSR), a preeminent California real estate law firm for more than 50 years, announced today that Ella K. Gower has been named managing shareholder of the firm. Gower, who was a summer intern at MSR in 2005 and joined the firm as an associate in 2006, will also remain chair of the firm’s Common Interest Development practice group.
“It is an honor and privilege to lead a firm that is one of the nation’s most respected real estate law firms,” said Gower, who has been a member of MSR’s Executive Committee over the past year. “As I look to the future, among my goals are to further strengthen and enhance our client relationships and continue to develop and expand our broad array of real estate practice groups at MSR.”
Gower succeeds Anthony M. Leones, who served as managing shareholder for the past six years. Leones, who maintained his practice while serving as managing shareholder, will continue representing his clients in litigation and land use matters, with an emphasis in eminent domain, commercial lease disputes, zoning, planning, local, state and federal real estate related regulatory compliance, and general business and commercial litigation.
“Ella is a home grown success story,” said Leones. “When we formed a committee to identify potential successors, we quickly focused our discussion on Ella. When we interviewed all shareholders about the leadership transition, there was universal enthusiasm for Ella as the person with the right vision and enthusiasm to lead the firm.”
Gower assumed the managing shareholder role on January 1, 2018 after a 6 month transition period during which time she worked very closely with Leones to effect an absolutely seamless transition.
“I believe that Ella will bring her own unique style as the leader of the firm, as well as a fresh outlook that is going to benefit the firm, our lawyers and our clients,” said Leones.
“In the last few years we have added a number of young, smart attorneys and my goal is to help mentor and develop them, since they are the future of this firm, just as I was mentored when I arrived at MSR more than a decade ago,” said Gower.
Gower’s practice focuses on preparing governing documents and related easement and land sharing agreements for residential, commercial and mixed-use developments including high-rise mixed-use condominium projects, mixed use planned developments, master planned communities, senior housing projects and cohousing communities. She is also the co-author of the “Common Interest Developments” chapter of Miller & Starr, California Real Estate 4th, a widely used and judicially cited California real estate law reference work.
In addition to her busy private practice, Gower is a pro bono panel attorney for the AIDS Legal Referral Panel which provides free and low-cost legal services to people living with HIV/AIDS in the San Francisco Bay Area, serves as a pro bono attorney representing unaccompanied minors, and does pro bono work for Habitat for Humanity East Bay/Silicon Valley. She is on the Board of Directors of the Kennedy-King Memorial Scholarship Fund which provides college scholarships to students from minority groups with financial need and who have demonstrated academic success at one of the three community colleges in Contra Costa County. She is also on the Board of Directors of the East Bay Leadership Council. She is a member of the Building Industry Association- Bay Area and California Building Industry Association. Gower received her B.A. from the University of California, Davis, and her J.D. from the University of California, Davis, School of Law.