In its May 18, 2016, edition, the Daily Journal recognized Manatt’s Victor De la Cruz, a partner in the firm’s Land Use practice, as one of the most talented young lawyers working in California today. De la Cruz is one of only 20 Southern California lawyers under the age of 40 to be named to the prestigious “40 Under 40” list, which also features 20 lawyers in Northern California.
The Daily Journal received hundreds of nominations and selected honorees based on the impact of their work and how it has affected the state of the law, a particular industry, or society. The editors also considered a candidate’s impact on the legal community, leadership roles undertaken and time donated to public service activities.
In its profile of De la Cruz, the Daily Journal described how he makes big urban projects: by crafting legal, political and community relations strategies to gain regulatory approval and implementation. In Hollywood, De la Cruz is currently land use counsel working on the environmental impact report for his client Kilroy Realty Corp. in its $300 million Academy Square project, a marquee 3.5-acre development that is referred to by promoters as the “southern gateway to downtown Hollywood.”
The Daily Journal noted that De la Cruz’s profile elevated when he represented Bel-Air resident Joseph Horacek III in a neighborhood crusade against the notorious mega-mansion of celebrity developer Mohamed Hadid. Although Hadid had permits for the construction of his mansion, De la Cruz proved to zoning officials that Hadid illegally graded the site to misrepresent its natural grade and the height of the project, which led to the revocation of all of Hadid’s permits.
For his client Live Nation Entertainment, Inc., De la Cruz was able to wrest control of Los Angeles’ iconic Greek Theater from its 40-year incumbent, The Nederlander Organization, by winning the unanimous vote of the city’s Board of Recreation and Park commissioners for the Greek to operate as an open venue.
“A key move was convincing the city attorney that another extension for Nederlander would be illegal,” he told the publication. “It was another example of working at the intersection of law and government.”