EB5 Investors Magazine - Page 81

Attorneys Specializing in… Jim Butler entered the EB-5 industry five years ago. At that time, financing for hotel development had not recovered as quickly as in other sectors, and Jim recognized the promise of EB-5 capital. A pioneer in bringing EB-5 money to the hotel industry, he specializes in representing high-end, top-flight owners and developers at the intersection of hotels and value creation. Jim first entered the hospitality industry in much the same way as he became involved in EB-5; while working as a banking and real estate finance lawyer for more than 25 years, he noticed a shortage of lawyers specializing in hospitality and capitalized upon the opportunity. He is now a partner at Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell in Los Angeles and the chairman of the firm’s global hospitality group. Under Jim’s leadership, the global hospitality group has completed more than $68 billion in hotel transactions, involving more than 1,500 hotels all over the world. In his five years of involvement in EB-5, Jim and his team have represented over 60 clients in EB-5 projects across the United States and have witnessed EB-5 capital become a critical and mainstream vehicle for hotel financing. Indeed, for Jim, one of the most exciting aspects of working in EB-5 is helping hotel developers find financing when they otherwise could not obtain it. On the other hand, Jim finds that many of the EB-5 program’s regulatory components prevent it from reaching its full potential. He feels that the program needs to be made more Jim Butler [ HOTEL DEVELOPMENT ] viable overall, from solving the visa cap issue, to having USCIS work more expeditiously on the application backlog. Jim’s expertise has been cited in publications such as The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. He is a member of the International Society of Hospitality Consultants and the founder and seminar chair of the Hospitality Industry Forum. When he is not helping clients understand the complexities of EB-5 hotel financing, he and his team provide a wealth of free information on the hotel industry through an online portal. WWW.EB5INVESTORS.COM 79