Pircher Hosts 2022 Joint Venture Challenge Competition between UC Berkeley and UCLA

March 2022

Pircher, Nichols & Meeks LLP (Pircher) recently completed its annual Real Estate Joint Venture Challenge (JV Challenge), hosted for the third time as a competition between two California universities. The event brought together law and business students from University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley) and University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in a virtual format on Friday, March 18, 2022 from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time.

The JV Challenge provides students from the law and business schools at each participating university the opportunity to work alongside each other in a competitive environment to solve real estate joint venture issues that may be encountered after graduation. Students worked in small teams to negotiate particular issues based on hypothetical facts and letter of intent provisions, with the UCLA students playing the role of the operating partner and the UC Berkeley students playing the role of the financial partner in the simulated JV. The events concluded with a virtual reception, where winners were announced and awarded cash prizes.

UCLA won the school competition by earning a grand total of 171 points among its competing teams; and UC Berkeley finished the day with 157 points. First place went to the UCLA team comprised of Ben Cherney (MBA candidate), Jacob Lebovic (J.D. candidate), Katherine Meek (J.D. candidate) and Chloe Zack (J.D. candidate). Another UCLA team, comprised of Audrey Jang (J.D. candidate), Ian Levy (J.D. candidate), Mark Lutzker (MBA candidate) and Hannah Schwartz (J.D. candidate), took home second place. Third place went to a UC Berkeley team comprised of Rutuja Deshpande (LMM candidate), Sho Ito (LLM candidate), Meghana Rao (LLM candidate) and David Yang (MBA candidate).

This year, coaching was provided to the teams from both schools beforehand by five Pircher attorneys: Bill Jackson, Richard MacCracken, Ariel Robinson, Michael Scheinberg and Jennifer White. Pircher attorney Steve Carey moderated the competition.

Pircher extends a special thank you to the panel of distinguished industry professionals who judged each team’s performance, all of whom are clients or friends of Pircher: George Carras, Managing Principal, Carras Partners; Olivia John, Founder and CEO, Osso Capital; Marc Perrin, Founder and Managing Partner, The Roxborough Group; and Patti Sinclair, Senior Advisor, Special Projects, Lincoln Property Company.

The Pircher team also recognizes and thanks:

  • The event’s sponsors, Lowell Milken Institute for Business Law and Policy, UCLA Ziman Center for Real Estate (UCLA Ziman) and Berkeley Center for Law and Business (BCLB) for their support of the program;
  • Its school liaisons, Alexandra Faye Diamant, Program Coordinator, BCLB; Adam Sterling, Executive Director, BCLB, and Director of Executive Education, Berkeley Law; Delia Violante, Program Director, BCLB; Mary Ramzy and Ryan Murphy of the UCLA Real Estate Law Association; and Peter Saephanh, Assistant Director of Alumni and Student Programs, UCLA Ziman, for all their help in organizing and coordinating the competition; and
  • Its IT Department members, Ros Sok and Bill Santoro, who helped to ensure this virtual iteration of the JV Challenge ran as smoothly as possible.

The JV Challenge is an integral component of Pircher’s commitment to continuing education and mentorship. Since 2013, Pircher has hosted the JV Challenge at UCLA, and this year marked the seventh year Pircher has led a program for UC Berkeley students. The program continues to provide the unique opportunity for law and business students to be exposed to the niche of complex real estate joint ventures prior to graduation. The JV Challenge allows students to obtain practical negotiating experience as well as network with and learn from industry professionals through interaction with coaches and immediate feedback from judges.