EB5Investors Magazine is proud to present the Top 25 Immigration Attorneys in the EB-5 industry. Our list is not ranked as each and every one of these attorneys has enormous prestige in this exciting area of immigration law. These individuals were first identified by a poll conducted at our conference, and further evaluated based on their experience in the immigrant investor program, reputation and regard within the community. The rigorous selection process was completed with scrutiny from the magazine’s editorial board and internal staff. The profiles of the Top 25 Immigration Attorneys read as a who’s who in the EB-5 industry. This list is a great resource, not only for potential investors, but also as a reference for others in the legal profession.
This list of top EB-5 legal counsel would not be complete without the leading corporate & securities attorneys who make the whole program possible. These individuals were chosen according to the same criteria as the immigration attorneys, and provide the highest quality legal representation available in the EB-5 industry.
After personally interviewing each of the attorneys on our list, we at the magazine can say with certainty that these individuals are truly leading the pack. The veterans, pioneers, and innovators on this list not only have the technical expertise demanded by the EB-5 community, but they are also genuinely passionate about their field and continuously work toward the betterment of the EB-5 program.
For more information, or to contact any of these attorneys, we invite you to view their listings by clicking their names below.
Edward Beshara, Managing Partner of Beshara P.A. in Orlando, Fla., has over 20 years of experience in immigration law. At the beginning of his career, Ed worked on many of E-2 and L-1 cases and achieved a lot of success. After the EB-5 program was established, Ed began working with clients from Russia, the United Kingdom and China to accomplish their immigration goals through EB-5.
Because Ed has been practicing law long enough to see the field evolve, he has experience with both direct investment and investment through regional centers. Complementing his work with clients, Ed has been involved in a best practices committee that brought together attorneys, developers, regional center creators, brokers and potential investors, to incorporate all the moving parts of this area of immigration law.
Ed would say that he was born to do EB-5 (having the initials E.B. and being born on the 5th certainly help support this). The EB-5 sector allows Ed to draw upon his interest in business immigration to deal with corporate clients, help create jobs and see companies succeed. He has remained passionately involved after so many years because he sees the program as serving a real need—it promotes growth in the United States and issues green cards to hopeful immigrants.
Ed’s veteran status does not keep him from remaining up-to-date with developments in the program. He prides himself on his personal involvement with all his clients and promises to respond to all phone calls within 12 hours. Ed credits part of his success to the very qualified team in his Florida office, for without them he would not be able to be the best at what he does.
For nearly 13 years, Jeff Campion has owned, operated, and managed his own private legal practice, the Law Office of Jeffrey E. Campion, P.A., based in Weston, Fla. His office counsels high net worth and ultra-high net worth individuals who are seeking residency and naturalization in the United States for their families
In addition to providing legal counsel, Jeff began his own regional center, Texas Urban Triangle Regional Center, in 2011. His foray into the regional center world was spurred by his desire to offer foreign investors projects that were worth their investment. He is the CEO of the regional center and manages the center’s various projects.
Jeff’s ability to connect with people sets him apart from the rest. His philosophy is that you cannot adequately represent anyone in immigration without understanding them individually, and the magnitude of their decision to immigrate. He understands how vital and life-changing the process of immigration is to a family that leaves behind everything they know to settle in a new country, with only the hope of a better life. Many of Jeff’s high net worth clients come from Latin American where they are oppressed, persecuted and even kidnapped.
Jeff was drawn to immigration law, and EB-5 in particular, because it allows people to come to the United States where they can be free from persecution and enjoy the freedoms deserved by all. In Jeff’s opinion, the EB-5 program not only offers such an opportunity, but also has the mutual benefit of stimulating the U.S. economy through investments in local businesses. As Jeff says, why not support a program that changes lives and builds American business in the process?
When Robert Divine first got involved with the EB-5 program back in 2003, he actually refused several cases. At the time, there were serious organizational problems within the program and several projects that Robert could not put his faith in. But in 2004 Robert joined the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services and served as Chief Counsel, where he worked toward a better future for EB-5. He played a part in the revamping of the program, with a commitment to getting rid of smoke and mirrors and a focus on re-grounding EB-5 in reality.
Before his current role as an EB-5 immigration attorney at Baker Donelson Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC, Robert worked hard to better the industry. His time at USICS as Chief Counsel, and subsequently as Acting Director and Acting Deputy Director, allowed Robert to do what he felt was the right thing: bring honesty and transparency back into EB-5.
Now when he represents immigrant investors, he knows that the integrity of their investments and the structure of the program are stable. In addition, he is uniquely able to put himself in the shoes of the adjudicator and, as such, provide an application that is both clear and easy for those assessing it to understand and approve.
Robert is a shareholder and leader of his firm’s immigration practice group at their Washington, D.C., and Chattanooga, Tenn. offices. He appreciates EB-5 work for the way it brings together aspects of the entire legal spectrum. For Robert, the program is a chance to broaden his skills and stretch and develop his abilities.
For nearly 30 years Robert Gaffney has been helping individual and corporate clients make the United States their home through family, investment and employment-based immigration. His personal practice, located in San Francisco, Calif. has been specifically involved with EB-5 since the program was first instated in 1990.
His location in Northern California, among a sizeable Asian-American population, drove his interest in Chinese culture. He is fluent in Mandarin Chinese and frequently travels to China to work with potential investors; an estimated 80% of all EB-5 immigrants involved in the program originate from China.
Robert is a California State Bar Certified Specialist in Immigration and Nationality Law, distinguishing him as one of the most experienced and knowledgeable attorneys in California. His wide breath of understanding as a certified specialist, shared among just three percent of all law practitioners in California, makes him an invaluable asset in EB-5 cases. It is his expertise in all of immigration law that makes him such an effective bridge for clients looking to establish a new life in the United States.
Robert is a long-time member of the Association of Asian Studies, a member of the San Francisco-Shanghai Sister City Committee, and he regularly speaks on the U.S. legal system and business practices to business groups and visiting foreign delegations. He has also earned an “AV” rating, the highest rating for integrity and skill possible for attorneys according to Martindale-Hubbell, a trusted legal authority widely recognized for identifying skilled law associates in the United States. Robert enjoys travelling abroad and living in the Bay Area, where there is a wealth of outdoor activities.
Jennifer Hermansky began working on EB-5 cases in 2009, and has since been involved in over 50 regional center projects and hundreds of individual investor petitions. She has devoted her entire practice to EB-5 because she is truly passionate about it, allowing her to gain a complete and thorough understanding of the process.
With her immigration background in employment-based visas, she is intimately familiar with the naturalization process and applies this knowledge to all of her EB-5 cases. Jennifer is an expert in the EB-5 program from start to finish, helping investors from the moment they decide to file until they become U.S. citizens. She brings her wealth of experience in multiple aspects of immigration law to the table for every EB-5 case.
In particular, Jennifer has a unique perspective in the area of regional center development. Because she has worked with so many individual EB-5 petitioners, she knows exactly what potential investors are looking for in a project. With a degree in finance, she enjoys researching individual investors’ source of funds and helping structure regional center projects. She helps establish business plans, economic reports and securities offerings, ensuring that each is EB-5 compliant and attractive in order to appeal to foreign investors. Her involvement in regional centers is continual, and she counsels regional centers in issues of management, staffing and job creation on an ongoing basis.
Jennifer works at the Greenberg Traurig, LLP Philadelphia office and is part of the firm’s EB- 5 immigrant investor team. When she is not working on EB-5 cases, you might find Jennifer golfing or fishing.
David Hirson has been involved with EB-5 cases since the program’s inception in 1990, making him among the most experienced active EB-5 immigration attorneys in the nation. He was present in the U.S. Senate when the EB-5 legislation was originally proposed, and debated and subsequently filed one of the first ever cases for a family from Taiwan. In fact, David filed many of the EB-5 cases that received approval during the first 10 years of the EB-5 program.
David has over 30 years of experience practicing immigration law. He is a Partner at Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy LLP, where he co-manages the firm’s Irvine, Calif. office, which facilitates visa application processing at U.S. Embassies and Consulates across the world. He has been certified by the State Bar of California’s Board of Legal Specialization as a Specialist in Immigration and Nationality Law for over 20 years. As such, David is an expert on EB-5 and an educator within the field.
He regularly travels to China and other countries abroad and has developed relationships with the top providers who source investors for EB-5 projects in each country. Additionally, he attends trade shows, gives lectures to businessmen, human resources Associations and chambers of commerce, and establishes new ties within the EB-community as a whole. He has been published many times and is a leader in the EB-5 community and immigration law as a whole.
David enjoys all kinds of culture and entertainment from Broadway to ballet. He also relishes traveling for work and for pleasure, exploring new places, experiencing new cultures and cuisine; but most of all he loves coming home to his wife their two miniature Maltese dogs.
A veteran EB-5 attorney, Mark Ivener has been working immigrant investor cases since the mid-1990s. His first case came from clients who were looking to come to the United States but were not eligible for other available initiatives. Most of his EB-5 cases, however, have come to him in the past eight years, following the expansion of the Regional Center Pilot Program. He works with high net worth individuals looking to immigrate to the United States
Mark was attracted to the EB-5 program as an option for his clients because of its flexibility. If individuals have the time to wait for the applications to be processed, he considers the end benefits to be limitless. With an EB-5 visa, investors can come to the United States, gain permanent residency, and pursue anything from education to retirement.
Mark is a Founding Partner of Ivener & Fullmer, a global immigration law firm based out of Los Angeles, with offices in Tokyo, Vancouver, and New York. He is the founder of the Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers and the National Consortium of Immigration Law Firms. He has been selected for inclusion in Chambers Global, Chambers U.S.A., the International Who's Who of Corporate Immigration Lawyers, and the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers for Immigration and Naturalization by Martindale-Hubbell Bar Register.
Mark’s signature is his dependability and personal touch. Not only do his clients praise his caring attitude and his dedicated availability, but so do his grandsons. They can always count on his love and support at their basketball, baseball and football games.
Kate Kalmykov is an EB-5 immigration attorney and Of Counsel at the New York City area offices of Greenberg Traurig, LLP, a top ranking international law firm. Kate is an active member in the immigration law community and has been working on EB-5 cases for close to 10 years. Kate recognized the opportunity that the EB-5 program offered to immigrants who did not have the option of getting a visa through family or employment connections.
After that first EB-5 client, Kate has continued her EB-5 work for close to a decade because she finds it to be a fascinating field and is rewarded by helping investors fulfill their dreams. She also finds a certain satisfaction in seeing projects develop from the ground up and in being involved in the process of creating U.S. jobs.
Kate’s clients appreciate the personal attention she pays them, whether they are regional center clients or individual investors. Longtime client Dan Fulop says that working with Kate means more than just hiring someone to get the job done; she becomes a real partner in whatever project she is working on.
When Kate is not working directly with clients she is writing and speaking around the world. In this year alone she has traveled to China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, and Dubai to attend EB-5 events and network in the community. Kate writes for EB5Investors.com, EB-5insights.com and has been quoted in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, among other prominent publications. For the past two years she has been a panelist speaker at Southern California’s EB-5 Conference, this past year as co-chair.
Apart from EB-5, Kate is passionate about raising her two year-old, yoga and boxing.
Recognized as one of the nation’s most influential immigration attorneys, Ron Klasko has focused his practice on immigration law for over 30 years. Ron was recognized by the International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers as being the most well respected immigration corporate attorney in the world. He is one of the founders of Klasko, Rulon, Stock & Seltzer, based in Philadelphia, which consequently is the single largest hub of EB-5 projects in the country. As one of the leading immigration attorneys in the city, Ron says it was only logical for him to jump into EB-5 and start making a difference.
Ron’s true passion is getting involved on the ground floor of projects and making an impact, improving practices and crafting the most creative and effective ways to interpret law. He enjoys finding unique strategies of enacting law to yield the greatest possible benefit for individuals, and as such, he devotes much of his time to speaking, writing, and improving the state of affairs for immigration law and EB-5 specifically.
Ron is currently in his fourth term as Chair of the EB-5 Committee of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, leading advocacy efforts with USCIS to improve the EB-5 program. For the past year he also served as Chair of the Best Practices Committee of IIUSA, the association of EB-5 Regional Centers, working tirelessly with regional centers, developers, securities attorneys and EB-5 professionals to compile the first ever comprehensive list of best practices in the EB-5 industry for regional centers. With his dedication to law making and the program, Ron has led, and will continue to lead the EB-5 program to greatness.
You may already be familiar with Anthony Korda and his personal EB-5 immigration journey from the first issue of our magazine. After navigating the EB-5 process himself, he now helps others do the same. Anthony first became involved with the EB-5 program in 2006 when he and his family emigrated from the United Kingdom after investing in Jay Peak Ski Resort, a project for The Vermont Regional Center. He chose the EB-5 program not only because it allowed his family to realize their dream of living in the United States, but also because he believes in the program’s ability to bring funding, entrepreneurs and great business opportunities to the American economy that would not have otherwise been possible.
His one-of-a-kind insider perspective on the EB-5 program is what makes Anthony such a valuable and coveted attorney. With clients his main focus is on understanding the person behind the application. This means that he focuses on helping find the right project, and managing their expectations. He spent months and months waiting for his status to change on the USCIS website and he intimately understands the frustrations that can come with the EB-5 program. Through managing expectations, Anthony is able to present his clients with an accurate picture of the EB-5 program and exactly what is expected of them in order to be successful.
Anthony became a U.S. citizen this year and currently lives in Florida, where he spends his time kite surfing and boating when he is not working. He is fluent in German and English and his firm Korda, Zitt and Associates has offices in London, Naples, Fla., and Beverly Hills, Calif.
Charles H. Kuck is the Managing Partner of Kuck Immigration Partners LLC, and one of the most highly respected immigration attorneys in the country, as evidenced by his countless industry designations and appointments.
He is a Past President of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, served on the organization’s National Executive Committee, Board of Governors, was Chair of the Atlanta Chapter, and held the position of National Chair of the Young Lawyers Division. He currently serves as the National Secretary for the Academy of Business Immigration Lawyers and was a Founding Fellow of the Academy. Furthermore, Charles has been recognized by the immigration community, receiving the designation of “Super Lawyer” in Atlanta Magazine, and the title of one of the world’s leading business lawyers in Chambers Global, Chambers USA, and Best Lawyers in America.
Despite his prestigious status, Charles says that at the end of the day his practice all comes back to protecting the client. By bringing his immigration law experience into each EB-5 case, he is able to deliver the highest possible benefits to immigrant investors. With deep roots in the program dating back to the early 1990s, Charles understands the essential nature of the program and, as a result, makes sure job creation is his number one priority in any project.
Charles has frequently appeared on NPR, MSNBC, CNBC, FoxNews, and CBS and has been quoted in several prestigious publications, including the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal. When he is not working, he enjoys golf and gardening, which he considers to be his therapy. Charles practices law in the Atlanta, Ga. office of Kuck Immigration Partners, LLC.
Ira Kurzban was retained by one of the first EB-5 Regional Centers to represent individual investors and has since spent the last 20 years involved in the Immigrant Investor Program. That first case became a landmark case for EB-5; Chang v. U.S. was a class action law suit in which Ira went up against USCIS when several immigrant investors’ I-829 petitions were unfairly denied. Today, Kurzban, Kurzban, Weinger, Tetzeli, & Pratt P.A. is the go-to EB-5 litigation firm, handling more than 95% of all federal litigation cases for the investor visa program. Ira has been a partner the law firm’s Miami, Fla. office for over three decades and is the chair of the firm's immigration department.
Ira is one of the most respected and knowledgeable authorities on immigration law, continually educating others on new developments in the field. Most notably, he is the author of Kurzban's Immigration Law Sourcebook, the most widely used one-volume immigration source in the United States. He works tirelessly to maintain up-to-date information for his publication, continuously keeping abreast of new cases and reform issues, and republishing every two years.
Not only does Ira devote his professional life to attaining justice, he also fights for it in his personal life through his involvement with the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti. Through the organization, Ira represents Haitians affected by the worst cholera epidemic in recent history, which was brought into the country by United Nations personnel. Passionate commitment to his fellow man is what makes Ira an impeccable attorney and an exceptional human being.
Linda Lau, who has been working on EB-5 cases since 1992, is considered a pioneer in the EB-5 field. As the President of Global Law Group, headquartered in South Pasadena, Calif., Linda leads a team of dedicate professionals. Originally from Hong Kong, Linda understands the immigration process on a technical and personal level.
Because Linda has a background in social work, she understands that the complexities of immigration often transcend legal issues. The entire staff at Global Law Group is trained to exercise empathy and compassion toward their clients, allowing the practice to handle cases holistically. In addition creating a compassionate environment, Linda also pushes herself and her staff toward 100 percent approval of cases.
Linda’s practice handles investment immigration matters exclusively, allowing the firm to offer a range of services targeted toward EB-5 investors and Regional Centers. Included among Linda’s areas of expertise is the filing of Forms I-924 and I-526, but also compliance review of projects and EB-5 Regional Centers. Global Law Group also operates a representative office in Shanghai.
After practicing law for many years, Linda found it important to give back to the community. The Global Law Group’s Global Dreambuilders Foundation is an integral part of the firm. The Foundation benefits organizations that provide necessary services to women and children in need around the world. Global Dreambuilders Foundation is not just a side project for Linda, she gets her clients involved and hangs up paintings from the children she helps in her office.
Linda’s compassion towards her clients and others around the world, combined with her technical expertise, easily makes her one of the leading EB-5 attorneys in the country.
Martin Lawler has devoted his 30 years of legal practice to immigration law, helping individuals build lives in the United States through visas, passports and more. Working in the firm that his father started, Lawler & Lawler Law Offices, Martin first began working with E-2 investment visas, which paved the way for his entrance into the EB-5 sphere in 1991. Since that first case, Martin has continued to represent individual investors and regional centers because he believes in the viability of the EB-5 program and its positive effects on the American economy. Martin practices in San Francisco.
Recently, Martin was given the opportunity to visit a completed EB-5 Regional Center project that he helped develop and receive USCIS approval. It was a fulfilling experience to see the result of all his hard work, “I saw a room full of young people in front of computer screens. Getting to walk around and seeing the real live job creation was deeply satisfying. I was a part of making those jobs for the kids sitting at those computers.”
An educator in the immigration community, Martin wrote and regularly updates his publication Professionals: A Matter of Degree, a treatise on employment-based green cards. Ira Kurzban, fellow Top 25 EB-5 Attorney and author of the most widely used single-volume immigration source in the United States, says that Martin’s publication “incorporates every significant aspect of immigration law pertaining to business professionals.”
It is Martin’s extensive knowledge and expertise in all of immigration law which makes him an authority in the field and one of the most effective EB-5 attorneys in the business.
Dawn Lurie is a partner at Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP and the leader of the firm’s Business Immigration and Compliance practice, based in their Washington, D.C. office. In Dawn’s capable hands, the full services of Sheppard Mullin work with individual investor clients and project developers on issues of EB-5 compliance, guiding them through the program and helping them navigate their specific immigration path.
Dawn is an asset to her team because she has developed the ability to forecast trends within the EB-5 program and anticipate industry shifts. Her ability to understand what government adjudicators are looking for and stay a step ahead of immigration concerns in the Capital is what helps Dawn accurately advise her clients. For example, she anticipated USCIS’ changes in policies and interpretations and was able to put in the extra time and effort with her clients to ensure approval, rather than cutting corners, leading to a denial down the line.
A real straight shooter, Dawn says she give clients the advice she would want: the truth. The EB-5 program is an extremely complex machine with countless moving parts and Dawn makes sure her clients are aware of the difficult realities they face when beginning a project. By tackling issues straight on and dedicating herself to each case, Dawn is able to continually help clients gain success in the EB-5 program. Dawn knows that success in the program requires more than just luck.
An educator in the field as well, Dawn regularly speaks and writes about immigration compliance matters. Though her professional life keeps her busy, Dawn is devoted to her family, especially her children.
Brandon Meyer is a principal at Meyer Law Group, where he devotes his practice to providing quality legal representation to clients ranging from EB-5 Regional Center operators and individual investors to multinational corporations. He values the freedom he enjoys in operating his own firm, allowing him to hand pick his clients and focus on cases which he feels comfortable and confident devoting his time and efforts to.
Brandon has seen the EB-5 program go through a period of immense growth, and commented on the unfortunate side effects of quick expansion—namely greed, pride and less-than-ideal practices within the industry. With this in mind, Brandon says he sticks to the basics, doing his due diligence on each case he encounters and focusing on getting the job done right. He dedicates his time to helping each of his EB-5 clients present a rock solid case and, in the process, works toward getting the program back on a stable path, breaking the cycle of booms and busts which have been a reality in the past.
The EB-5 program allows Brandon to exercise his interdisciplinary knowledge in business, finance, and tax, among other areas. He appreciates working with EB-5 clients because every case is different. Brandon is an authority in business immigration, authoring several noteworthy articles on the subject including, most recently, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want: The AAO and Material Change.”
Brandon resides in California and when he’s not in the office, he enjoys spending time with his family and exploring the outdoors. Meyer Law Group operates offices in Solana Beach, Calif. and Stamford, Conn.
David M. Morris manages Visa Law Group’s Washington, D.C. office that practices immigration and visa law, exclusively. David is a respected national lawyer in the business immigration field, in his own right, and an authority in the EB-5 sector.
David is regularly invited to speak on EB-5 investor visa law topics. He is involved in the industry, not only as an immigration lawyer representing individual investors, but also as a regional center owner. David credits his entrepreneurial spirit with drawing him into the regional center arena. It is his extensive experience as both a regional center owner and a legal technician that opens David up to a greater number of skill sets and opportunities.
David takes pride in his appointment as one of only 10 lawyers to serve on AILA’s National EB-5 Investor Visa Committee for the 2010-2011 term. He has been a member of AILA for the past five years, but as part of the National EB-5 Investor Visa Committee he was able to work with other leading attorneys in the field to help the EB-5 industry as a whole, through communication with government services. He considers it an honor to represent the EB-5 community and work toward a brighter future.
David caught a glimpse of that bright future at the site of one EB-5 American’s projects in Washington, D.C. where he witnessed his regional center’s project, City Market, deliver a new senior living tower. It was David’s work raising $100 million that allowed dozens of individuals to stay in the neighborhoods they grew up in and, in the process, make the immigration dreams of foreign investors come true.
Angelo Paparelli has been involved with EB-5 issues since 1990, when the Immigrant Investor Program was first established. His involvement with EB-5 has evolved as the law itself has evolved. In the early days, Angelo focused on troubleshooting problems that arose as a result of open questions that floated around the EB-5 community with no easy answers. By the end of that first decade, Angelo had established a regional center. Angelo joined Sayfarth Shaw, LLP in 2009 and is a partner at the firm. There, he focuses mostly on working with regional centers and project development, and, to a lesser extent, on working with individual investors.
Angelo is uniquely qualified in the EB-5 field because of his background as an international business and tax lawyer. His sophisticated understanding of business allows him to anticipate obstacles and know when to call in expert support. Angelo prides himself on visualizing creative solutions to complex problems. As a creative strategic thinker, he is able to anticipate positive outcomes to problems that may seem insurmountable.
To support his work in the EB-5 community, Angelo runs a free monthly telephone roundtable on regional centers, allowing him and his peers to discuss specific issues in detail. Additionally, Angelo is an avid writer and is anticipating the publication of a book he co-edited on regional centers and dealmakers.
You can find Angelo’s musing on all things immigration law on his blog Nation of Immigrators. When he is not practicing law, Angelo enjoys yoga, fitness, theater and spending time with his two daughters, who are both involved in the legal field.
As the managing attorney of Rahbaran & Associates PLLC, Reza Rahbaran focuses exclusively on immigration through the EB-5 program. With offices in both Miami, Fla. and Washington, D.C., Reza routinely assists clients through the EB-5 immigration process, devoting about 90% of his practice to EB-5 Regional Center and individual immigrant cases.
He first became involved with EB-5 cases eight years ago, but it is his history as an immigrant that initially sparked his interest in immigration and federal law. Born in Iran, Reza moved to England with his family as a young boy and eventually came to the United States. He studied law in London, then moved to New York and became licensed to practice law in 2002.
Reza’s experience in a real estate fund, before becoming involved in EB-5, gave him a solid legal foundation in structuring businesses and understanding real estate transactions. Uniquely equipped to help immigrant investors because of his interest and deep understanding of global cultural and business differences, Reza decided to throw his professional efforts into the EB-5 program.
He works diligently to bridge the gap between American regional centers and foreign investors, creating a mutual understanding and reconciliation of cultural differences. His understanding of worldwide business practices guide Reza in presenting succinct and understandable cases to USCIS, despite complex foreign investor concerns. Reza has particular expertise with cases involving U.S. Treasury sanctions (OFAC) and dealing with investors from countries with capital export restrictions, such as Iran, Syria, China, and Egypt.
Reza is involved in several prestigious organizations including AILA, British American Business Association, American Bar Association, and the Iranian American Bar Association. In addition to English, he is fluent in Farsi.
You might say that Dale Schwartz has been involved with EB-5 since before the program even started. After noticing investor funds streaming into Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, Dale approached then Senator Ted Kennedy suggesting that an immigrant investor program be established in the United States. Dale would have to work and wait a few more years to see the U.S. Immigrant Investor Program become a reality.
Ever since day one, Dale has been passionately involved in EB-5 work. One former client even called him Robin Hood for his dedication to a program that creates jobs and has allowed untold numbers of immigrants to fulfill their dreams. Dale particularly enjoys the fact that EB-5 work allows him to meet a variety of interesting people, and he prides himself on the personal relationships that he has formed with many of his clients.
Dale practices law in Atlanta, Ga. as a partner at Schwartz Posel Immigration Law Group. He is a past National President of American Immigration Lawyers Association and has authored numerous articles on immigration law. Dale shares his expertise as an Adjunct Professor at Emory University School of Law. Additionally, Dale serves as Chair of the Board of HIAS, an international refugee association that he has been involved with since 1981.
An important component of Dale’s practice is know what his clients like and striving to make sure they know that he truly cares about their success. He places extreme importance on staying in touch with clients in order to generate a sense of trust. When he is not practicing law, Dale builds electric trains and runs his own radio station.
When Mona Shah came to the United States as an immigrant from the United Kingdom, she was a single mother without any legal or business contacts in the country. She had no family firm to join in order to get her foot in the door and yet, despite the overwhelming adversity, Mona prevailed to become the successful and respected attorney that she is today.
She now runs her own law practice, Mona Shah & Associates, Attorneys at Law, which boasts hundreds of clients spanning four different continents, and she has helped develop two successful EB-5 Regional Centers, including New York City’s first regional center. It is Mona’s determination and work ethic that has made her a leader in the EB-5 industry.
Mona’s work with New York City Regional Center, and now New York Immigration Fund Regional Center, has given her the ability to view the EB-5 program from a legal standpoint, as well as from a business and marketing angle. Mona’s international history uniquely equipped her to market her regional centers overseas. Not only does she have countless business contacts overseas, she has also developed personal relationships and is able to comfortably and confidently interact with foreign investors from around the world.
Mona is proud of her professional accomplishments, as one of the few females in what she refers to as the old boys club of EB-5. Mona is a member of the Law Society of England and Wales, the American Immigration Lawyers Association, the Federal Bar Association, the New York County Lawyers Association, the American Bar Association, and the International Bar Association.
Darren Silver began his own practice in the Korea Town neighborhood of Los Angeles in 1996, and became involved with the EB-5 program shortly after. Darren saw many Koreans buying up small business in a trend that originally emphasized E-2 visas, but he did work an occasional EB-5 case. His EB-5 caseload picked up around five to six years ago with momentum from regional centers and he began to receive inquiries from larger EB-5 projects.
His 15 years of EB-5 experience is preceded by work with INS and USCIS in their Los Angeles service center. In this capacity, Darren was involved in the adjudication of EB-5 cases, giving him a unique perspective now as an immigration attorney.
Darren enjoys working on EB-5 cases because he is interested in business and investment immigration law in particular—the EB-5 program is at the intersection of his interests. While the EB-5 program can be challenging, it also offers rewards, and Darren enjoys being part of an area that is growing.
Darren’s success is formed by a combination of his legal knowledge and his experience with USCIS, allowing him to understand all sides of an EB-5 case. He knows what goes into adjudicating an EB-5 case and can structure his cases in such a way as to ensure the highest likelihood of success. Darren, of course, does not do it alone and counts on his team of talented attorneys to help get the best outcome for his clients. Darren is a devoted father to his two children and an avid surfer.
Lincoln Stone, of Stone Grzegorek & Gonzalez, LLP, is an immigration attorney working in Los Angeles. Lincoln is part of a team of 20 immigration attorneys and he has played an important role in overseeing the growth of the firm. Not only is Lincoln one of only five attorneys at the firm who are certified specialists in immigration and nationality law, he is also an expert in investor immigration, in particular.
Lincoln has used his expertise to handle the cases of 2,000 clients. He is proud of the fact that he has worked with many domestic clients to raise over $2 billion of funds through the EB-5 program. However, his practice spans beyond EB-5 and Lincoln has worked with hundreds of investors and entrepreneurs, helping them achieve their immigration dreams through an array of visa options.
When he is not working directly with clients, Lincoln speaks and presents on investor and entrepreneur immigration. Some of his recent presentations have been in front of audiences at the American Immigration Lawyers Association, the University of Notre Dame Law School, and the University of San Diego International Tax Conference.
Lincoln is a prolific writer and has published works on a wide array of EB-5 issues. Additionally, he is the Editor-in-Chief of the first three editions of AILA’s Immigration Options for Investors and Entrepreneurs. Lincoln is proud of his pro bono work and his involvement with Catholic Charities Esperanza Immigrant Rights Project, and Friends of St. Lawrence—Watts Youth Center.
Bernard Wolfsdorf took on his first EB-5 case in 1993, saving all the jobs at a troubled business by getting approval in 48 hours. Bernie, like many others on our list, has seen the program evolve and develop since the early 1990s when little was clear. Bernie is Managing Partner at Wolfsdorf Immigration Law Group, that has offices in Los Angeles and New York, and a recent past President of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).
Bernie ensures success by taking a comprehensive approach to working with his EB-5 clients. Looking at the EB-5 field as a deck of cards, Bernie says you need the whole deck to win—for him, leaving out investor options is simply not smart. Among many other accolades, Bernie has repeatedly been named “most highly rated immigration lawyer in the world,” and “Lawyer of the Year” by the International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers and Who’s Who Legal, respectively.
Apart from his work on individual cases, Bernie has made it his mission to save children from aging out of green card eligibility because of delays in their parents’ cases (see his article on this topic elsewhere in this issue). He sees the EB-5 program as an unparalleled opportunity for immigrant children to gain a world-class education.
Bernie brings much more to the table than just technical expertise. As an immigrant who is married to a Chinese immigrant, Bernie has a unique ability to connect with clients, especially investors from China. Additionally, his involvement in the leadership of AILA, and the everyday challenges that come along with it, have equipped him very well for EB-5 work.
Stephen Yale-Loehr, Attorney of Counsel at Miller Mayer in Ithaca, N.Y., brings 30 years of immigration law experience to his EB-5 cases. He first became involved in the field in 1996 when a client called with an EB-5 issue. Stephen was immediately drawn to EB-5 because it demands that he be on the cutting edge of business, securities, and immigration law.
Stephen is perhaps best known for co-authoring Immigration Law and Procedure, the leading treatise on U.S. immigration law. Because of his work on this treatise, Stephen is an expert on all aspects of immigration law, allowing him to advise his clients in a comprehensive way. Aside from this treatise, as if that was not enough, Stephen has authored many books on contemporary immigration issues.
Further contributing to his success is the sheer length of his involvement in immigration law. He has handled over two thousand EB-5 cases, and can spot emerging trends. If a client presents a case to Stephen, chances are that he and his team have seen a similar case and can build upon already developed strategies.
When he is not counseling clients, Stephen teaches on immigration at Cornell Law School. EB-5 is not his only interest within immigration law; Stephen runs an asylum clinic at Cornell every spring, sharing his passion for asylum law with a new generation.
Stephen founded, and is the President Emeritus of, the Association to invest in USA (IIUSA), whose primary mission is to make the EB-5 program permanent. He is listed each year in Chambers Global, Chambers USA, and An International Who’s Who of Corporate Immigration Lawyers as among the best lawyers in the world.
Corporate & Securities Attorneys
...the seven we just couldn't leave out
Steven Anapoell is a shareholder at Greenberg Traurig’s Irvine, Calif. office and has been working on EB-5 issues for the past three years, building upon 23 years of experience practicing corporate and securities law. Steve’s practice is centered on the formation of private equity funds, mergers and acquisitions, private and public securities offerings (including EB-5 program financings), and structuring and negotiating complex limited liability company, limited partnership and corporate transactions.
Steve first became involved with EB-5 at the suggestion of a few of our Top 25 attorneys to work with EB-5 Regional Centers and projects to address complicated securities and corporate law issues. Because of his extensive knowledge of securities law as it is applied to the EB-5 program, AILA invited Steve to be their featured securities attorney at their 2012 conference in the Bahamas.
Steve has worked nationally on EB-5 issues, advising clients on high profile projects and small projects alike that all combine to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
Steve prides himself on being one of the few corporate lawyers that also holds a degree in tax law—these combined qualifications make him a robust problem solver. Because he regularly counsels clients on capital formation and financing strategies, Steve is able to understand how EB-5 funds can fit into a successful business plan.
As a recognized expert in private placements, Steve authored chapters in Financing and Protecting California Businesses, published by Continuing Education of the Bar, California. He is the former Chair and Vice Chair of the State Bar of California, Partnerships and Limited Liability Companies Committee. He has also been named one of Southern California’s “Super Lawyers” by Los Angeles Magazine for the years 2009-2012.
Ronald Fieldstone has been a corporate and securities lawyer his whole career and began working on EB-5 cases in 2009 after a friend recommended he get involved. Ronald practices in the Miami, Fla. office of Arnstein & Lehr LLP, a full-service law firm that represents a diverse array of clients, from large corporations to nonprofits and emerging businesses.
His securities background prepared Ronald well for the EB-5 field, and he now represents multiple regional centers and has been involved with more than 70 individual projects. In addition to his work with clients, he is an active speaker and author on a range of EB-5 issues.
For Ronald, the EB-5 program presents an opportunity to learn with each new case. He embraces the exposure to interesting industries, businesses and projects that allow him to discover new locations and get involved with regional centers and developers all over the country. Because of the important Chinese presence in the EB-5 field, Ronald is actively involved with Chinese nationals, be they marketing agents, professionals, or investors that attend his seminars. This allows Ronald to learn a lot about Chinese culture, customs, and business practices—particularly relevant because his recent daughter-in-law is Chinese.
Ronald prides himself on assisting his clients achieve outcomes that are viable from both immigration and business standpoints. He is able to interact with his clients in a business-like environment, but cutting to the chase and focusing on the most essential components of a project’s structure. Given his combined legal, real estate and business experience, Ronald is able to help his clients properly structure a deal so that it will actually be successful.
Genna Garver is new to the EB-5 field, but in just about a year she has risen up the ranks to earn a spot as one of our Top 25. Genna is part of Greenberg Traurig’s team in their New York City office, where she is Co-Chair of the Investment Regulation Group.
Genna’s expertise as a securities attorney complements Greenberg Traurig’s large EB-5 practice group. She counsels on mainly on securities regulation and fund formation. Genna enjoys EB-5 work because she loves the interplay between the immigration and securities regimes. And unlike for her domestic private fund clients, there is the hope of a visa at the end of the process for Genna’s EB-5 clients.
Her experience spans work on hedge funds, Wall Street reform, and Securities Exchange Act compliance, among other areas. Because of Genna’s strong securities record, she is able to competently advise her EB-5 clients from a business perspective.
Whether she is working with EB-5 funds or hedge funds, Genna brings the same level of dedication to all of her cases. She understands that, at the end of the day, the EB-5 investor’s visa relies on the success of his/her business. Genna focuses on investment objectives and innovative strategy to ensure that the EB-5 investor has a viable business that will fulfill the requirements of the program.
When Genna is not counseling her clients she is surfing the waves or hitting the ski slopes. She brings this laid-back attitude to the office by wearing flip-flops to work.
Michael Homeier, Founding Shareholder of Homeier & Law P.C. in Los Angeles, began his work on EB-5 issues in 2009. He was introduced to EB-5 by another Top 25 attorney who needed securities counsel on an EB-5 case—he has been hooked ever since.
Michael’s firm focuses on doing the same quality of work as more expensive firms, but at middle-class prices. He handles his cases in such a way as to make sure that all the pieces will work together from a business perspective. This involves doing disclosure work to make sure that potential investors can see the risk involved with businesses along with the upsides.
EB-5 work, for Michael, is happy work—he sees his practice as a key piece in the puzzle of successful businesses. Michael is passionate about EB-5 because it is a way for businesses to attain capital and a way for investors to attain U.S. visas.
Michael works to have EB-5 seen as just one piece in the bigger picture of the business itself. He understands that his firm is not the centerpiece of the cases he is dealing with. In many cases, the business has existed before them, and will hopefully exist after them—he humbly hopes to play a small part in that business’ success.
Michael carries this positive attitude over into his personal life, where he spends a lot of time speaking to fellow cancer survivors. He is in the process of writing a book on his experience surviving cancer and how he has lived in the aftermath. All his effort is worth the energy, he says, as long as he has a positive impact.
Jor Law may have originally stepped into EB-5 space by accident, but it is no accident that he is now one of the most sought after corporate & securities attorneys in the industry. As a founding shareholder and attorney for Homeier & Law, P.C., Jor was introduced to EB-5 just as he would have been to any other industry project that crossed his desk.
Back in 2009, when he worked his first immigrant investor case, there were very few regional centers and even fewer individuals who realized the complexity of broker/dealer issues within the EB-5 program. Jor was one of the first corporate & securities attorneys to begin legally addressing these complexities between EB-5 parties, and the deals and projects just kept coming as the program gained popularity.
What makes Jor uniquely qualified for EB-5 cases is his passion for business. He has always been business oriented, giving him strength and skill as a lawyer, and is keenly interested in start-up technology companies. Most lawyers advise businessmen and dictate their decisions from the removed standpoint of the law. Jor, however, approaches his cases from a business perspective. His legal advice is a cut above the rest because his respect for the law is coupled with the understanding that law exists in the corporate sector to service business, not to hinder or disable.
Jor practices in the Los Angeles office of Homeier & Law, P.C. Jor has been recognized as being among “Southern California’s Super Lawyers – Rising Stars” by Super Lawyers magazine for each of the past three years.
Attorney John Tishler, partner at Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton, LLP, has been practicing corporate and securities law for more than 20 years. In his time as a corporate attorney, John has studied, practiced and mastered several types of uncommon distinctions and strategies, equipping himself with a variety of different perspectives that he brings to every case that comes across his desk.
He has experience representing clients in various areas, including international and domestic capital markets, corporate governance, finance and restructuring, technology, mergers and acquisitions, as well as international exchange issuers on debt offerings, capital structures and equity. He works with each and every one of his clients, no matter what their background, to design and negotiate the best possible economic business strategies in order to achieve all of their goals with uncommon effectiveness.
John’s colleagues turn to him and his wide range of expertise when they need assistance tackling a problem. John is a quick learner—it was only a little over a year ago that he was first presented with an EB-5 case. Within just the last 15 months he has established himself as a leader and expert in the field and has been making a material difference in the structuring and handling of EB-5 cases.
John writes about the EB-5 investment program, uncommon interpretations and approaches to transactional lawyering, capital market transactions and emerging growth company issues on a regular basis. John practices at his firm’s Del Mar Heights office in San Diego, Calif. He currently also lectures on corporate law, executive compensation and strategic partnering and acts as an adjunct professor at the University Of San Diego School Of Law.
Osvaldo Torres may be newer to the field of EB-5 work, but that does not mean his profile is any less impressive. Ozzie became involved with EB-5 about three to four years ago, building upon over two decades of corporate, securities and media law experience. Ozzie’s practice, Torres Law P.A. is based in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
Years of corporate and securities law experience gives Ozzie the expertise to consult on a wide variety of EB-5 issues, though he centers his practice on regional centers. He works mainly on the project side, vetting projects for clients, many of which are real estate based. Ozzie has recently been involved in a $90 million hotel project in Dallas that was funded by nearly 100 Chinese investors.
Seeing projects built from the ground up is rewarding for Ozzie, and he has been involved in a wide variety of projects, including multi-family residences, senior independent living complexes, and restaurants, among others. In the past, Ozzie served as Senior Vice President and General Counsel for HBO Latin America and Telemundo Group, Inc. He is currently Secretary of the Weston Bar Association and a member of the American Bar Association Corporate Governance Committee.
Ozzie considers himself, above all, a deal lawyer and his principal goal is to see deals successfully go through. In doing this, he does not ignore potential issues, but rather recognizes problems and solves them. When he is not working, Ozzie takes advantage of sunny Florida and enjoys golf and deep sea fishing.