Areas of Practice
LLCs, Corporations and Partnerships
Mergers and Acquisitions
Real Estate Purchases and Sales
Commercial Real Estate Finance
Personal Property Leasing and Financing
Estate and Succession Planning
Professional Memberships and Court Admissions
State Bar of California 1996
State Bar of Arizona 1998
J.D., Arizona State University College of Law, 1996, Pedrick Scholar
B.S., Finance, Arizona State University, 1993
For over twenty-five years, Sandra Portney has represented clients in corporate and real estate transactions, tax, succession and estate planning and business disputes. Her clients include up and coming entrepreneurs, start-up and emerging companies, non-profit and tax-exempt organizations and established businesses seeking personalized service.
After graduating from Arizona State University College of Law she began her career at Ernst & Young, LP, in Los Angeles, California, as a senior tax consultant in both the entrepreneurial services group and the business management group where she was responsible for tax planning for closely held companies with revenues between $5m to $500m as well as various A-list actors, producers, directors, athletes, musicians and Fortune 500 executives. After spending time in California working at one of the largest business services firms in the world focused on tax planning, Sandra decided to return to Arizona to practice law in the State where she spent her formative years growing up.
Sandra’s primary focus is advising clients in the areas of business formation, structural and tax planning, asset and equity purchases and sales, real estate transactions including sales and purchases of commercial properties and vacant land and retail, industrial and ground leases, contract drafting and review, preparation of operating agreements and shareholder agreements, obtaining tax exempt status for charitable organizations and other business entities, disputes between principals and commercial disputes. She also has significant experience representing individuals and business owners in developing their estate and succession plans including business exit strategies, revocable and irrevocable trusts, irrevocable life insurance trusts, family limited partnerships and limited liability companies, and other tax planning and asset protection strategies.
Outside of her life as an attorney, Sandra has found her passion in horses. Sandra is an avid equestrian that participates in the discipline of dressage and one day looks forward to competing with her horse in internationally sanctioned dressage competitions. She also enjoys scuba diving and earned her advanced open water certification so she can spend vacations exploring the world’s oceans at greater depths and getting to experience awe-inspiring shark week type encounters.
Recent matters include:
- Assisted several clients in the sales of businesses to private equity funds in corporate roll-up transactions in the information technology and medical industries.
- Assisted a fast casual restaurant concept in negotiating numerous retail leases as it rapidly expanded its concept in Arizona.
- Assisted a multi-franchise restaurant owner in the development of new franchise locations and the purchase of an existing franchise location.
- Assisted a client in developing an estate plan that includes succession planning for various businesses that will pass to client’s children.
- Assisted a client in the sale of vacant land to an affordable housing residential developer.
- Assisted a family-owned business in the sale of substantially all of its assets to a publicly traded Fortune 500 company in a multi-million dollar transaction.
- Assisted clients in developing estate plans for the purpose of keeping their assets private by avoiding probate and providing for their descendant’s in a manner tailored for the client’s specific family situation.
- Assisted a client in developing an asset protection strategy for a portfolio of intellectual property which included the transfer and assignment of various patent and trademark rights to an offshore limited liability company and licensing rights back to US based operating entities.
- Assisted clients in developing estate planning strategies to reduce a client’s taxable estate including gifting trusts for beneficiaries, irrevocable life insurance trusts, qualified residential property trusts, intentionally defective grantor trusts, charitable remainder trusts, and other tax favored strategies that can legitimately reduce a taxable estate upon the death of the clients.
- Assisting a Canadian owned US corporation in the purchase of a corporate jet and the acquisition of its East Coast office building.
- Assisted a client in a multi-million dollar transaction involving the transfer of a marijuana dispensary license along with its affiliated dispensary and cultivation management services companies.
- Successfully defended a long term client and his affiliated companies in a commercial litigation seeking significant contractual and tort damages related to a large music festival.