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Sonia A. Lister


Office: Irvine

Phone: 949.851.7408

Fax: 949.752.0597


Real Estate

Sonia Lister

Sonia Lister represents a broad spectrum of clients in connection with the financing, acquisition, disposition, development, construction and leasing of real estate assets. Ms. Lister’s longstanding commitment to community and volunteer services has been an important part of her growth and development as a lawyer.

Ms. Lister’s strength lies in her ability to deliver high quality and personalized service to her clients.  Since 1992, Ms. Lister has represented banks and other financial institutions in structuring, negotiating and documenting a broad variety of lending transactions, including conventional commercial mortgage loans, development and construction loans, bridge loans, permanent loans and mezzanine loans, as well as participations or assignments of such loans.   Ms. Lister also has particular experience with distressed real estate assets and loans, including the acquisition or sale of REO properties and loan portfolios and restructuring of debt or equity. She counsels clients in large-scale acquisitions and dispositions, joint ventures, ground and occupancy leases, and project financing.  She regularly represents both landlords and tenants in negotiating major leases of retail, industrial and office space in California.  Ms. Lister advises national and local development and construction companies in connection with the negotiation and documentation of construction contracts and the resolution of construction disputes for retail, office, mixed-use and university housing developments.

In addition to her legal work, Ms. Lister is involved in various community service organizations and activities, including HomeAid Orange County, a non-profit organization dedicated to ending homelessness in Orange County through development, advocacy and community service. Sonia has dedicated herself to HomeAid as a board member and volunteer for the last 25 years. In 2008, Sonia was part of the group that received President Bush’s Gold Volunteer Service Award in recognition of her outstanding service to HomeAid. Sonia was elected as the President of HomeAid from 2010-2012, the first and only woman to hold that position, and she currently serves on its Board of Directors.  Sonia was instrumental in procuring the financing, purchase and development of the first emergency homeless shelter for families in Orange County owned by HomeAid, called the “Family CareCenter”, which opened in the City of Orange in April 2017. This much-needed facility provides 56 beds and serves 10-15 very needy families per day. Sonia is also a volunteer organizer for HomeAid Essentials, which partners with the real estate industry to help collect donations of baby products and diapers for homeless mothers and their babies. Last year, over 1,500,000 essential baby products and diapers were collected through this program.


  • State Bar of California
  • American Bar Association
  • Member, Real Property Law Section, State Bar of California
  • Orange County Bar Association, Real Estate Section
  • Building Industry Association, Orange County Chapter


  • University of California, Davis, School of Law, J.D., 1992
  • University of California, Irvine, B.A., Philosophy, 1988


  • “Hey…You Matter,” HomeAid Orange County Blog, December 15, 2015
  • “HomeAid Building Doorways,” how lawyers help an organization that provides shelter to Orange County’s homeless, Orange County Lawyer, January 2013
  • UC Irvine Law School Mentoring Program 2012
  • Orange County Bar Association Mentoring Program 2011
  • Board President, HomeAid Orange County, January, 2010 – December, 2012
  • Board of Directors, HomeAid Orange County, 1999 – 2015 and 2017 to present
  • Executive Committee, HomeAid Orange County, 2007 – 2015 and 2019
  • HomeAid Family Care Center Capital Campaign Co-Chair, 2016 – 2018
  • Chair, Essentials for Young Lives Campaign, 2008 – 2016
  • LimeLight Event Co-Chair, HomeAid Orange County, 2006 – 2008
  • Project Playhouse Event Co-Chair, HomeAid Orange County, 2009


  • Comerica Bank Women’s Business Award – Women & Philanthropy, 2018
  • President’s Gold Volunteer Service Award, 2008
  • Super Lawyers: Southern California Rising Star, 2006 – 2007
  • Builder and Developer Magazine’s Who’s Who in Homebuilding 2006
  • Volunteer of the Year HomeAid Orange County, 2002

Classes & Seminars: 

  • It’s Not Easy Keeping (Your) Green, Irvine, California, November 2010
  • Positioning for the Upturn: Issues Related to Partially Completed Real Estate, Irvine, California, January, 2010
  • Opportunities in a Down Market: Legal Considerations in Acquiring and Managing Distressed Real Estate, Irvine, California, March, 2009
  • Leasing Issues for Emerging Companies, Irvine, California, February, 2001
  • Development Opportunities and Pitfalls on Former Military Bases, Irvine, California, November, 1999

Published Cases & Works:

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