Paul M. Durham
Salt Lake City
Paul Durham was named Salt Lake City “Lawyer of the Year” in Litigation – Real Estate for 2014 by U.S. News Media Group and Best Lawyers in America. Mr. Durham began practicing law in 1980 and founded Durham Jones & Pinegar (D|J|P) in 1991. He has helped grow the firm from two lawyers in 1991 to more than 90 lawyers today. Mr. Durham is recognized nationally as a leading attorney in the areas of real estate law, corporate law and litigation. He was named one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the Mountain States in 2013-2014 and 2016-2017 by Super Lawyers Magazine. Mr. Durham is rated “AV Preeminent” by Martindale-Hubbell, which is the highest rating awarded to attorneys for professional competence and ethics.
In real estate matters, Mr. Durham counsels clients regarding complex development projects, hotel and resort properties, office buildings, retail properties, residential developments, multi-use projects, industrial parks, apartment buildings, condominiums, and raw land. He advises clients with respect to purchases and sales of real property, leasing, joint venture agreements, development agreements, land-use matters, construction activities, real estate-based financing, condemnations, easements and other property interests. He led a team which handled all the real estate work associated with the purchase of over 30 grocery stores located in Utah, Idaho and Nevada in a single transaction. He also handled the due diligence and acquisition of 14 premier fitness club locations throughout Alaska.
Regarding corporate law matters, Mr. Durham represents companies in mergers, acquisitions, spin-offs, and joint ventures. He has substantial experience with the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976. He advises companies on corporate and limited liability laws. He drafts and reviews legal opinion letters and is the chair of the firm’s Legal Opinion Committee. He has handled numerous stock and asset transactions involving the purchase or sale of construction companies, chemical companies, resort hotels, car dealerships, etc.
Mr. Durham represents and advises clients in civil litigation involving real estate and commercial matters. He has experience trying cases before courts and juries. He has handled appeals to state and federal appellate courts in Utah, Idaho and the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. He is admitted to practice law in all state and federal courts of Utah and Idaho, in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals and in the U.S. Supreme Court. Mr. Durham recently defended a case involving a multi-week trial with claims totaling 45 million dollars, with no damages assessed against his client.
Mr. Durham received the Professionalism Award from the Utah State Bar in November, 2012. He is listed in Best Lawyers in America (in the areas of real estate, corporate law, and litigation). He was featured in Forbes Magazine (June, 2004), is regularly listed in Super Lawyers Magazine, and is among Utah’s “Legal Elite” according to Utah Business Magazine.
Mr. Durham served as President and CEO of D|J|P from its inception in 1991 to 2007. He served as a member of D|J|P’s Board of Directors from 1991 to present. He is currently General Counsel to the firm. As D|J|P’s General Counsel, Mr. Durham provides legal advice to D|J|P management and attorneys, and coordinates the firm’s legal affairs. He also chairs D|J|P’s Ethics Committee, and addresses issues involving the rules of professional ethics.
University of Utah, S. J. Quinney College of Law – J.D. (1980)
- Managing Editor, Utah Law Review
- Member, Moot Court Board
University of Utah – B.A., English, magna cum laude (1977)
All State and Federal Courts in Idaho
All State and Federal Courts in Utah
United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
United States Supreme Court
- Law Clerk, Honorable Aldon J. Anderson, Chief Judge U.S. District Court for the District of Utah (1980-1981)
- American Bar Association
- Utah State Bar
- Idaho State Bar
- Editorial Board, Utah Business Law for Entrepreneurs & Managers (2016)
- Elected Lifetime Fellow, American Bar Foundation, 2015
- President, Rotary Foundation (2015-2016)
- Advisory Board, Thanksgiving Point (2015 – present)
- Recognized as “Salt Lake City Lawyer of the Year” by U.S. News Media Group and Best Lawyers in 2013 and 2014.
- Received the Professionalism Award from the Utah State Bar (2012)
- Named one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the Mountain States in 2012-2014 and 2016-2017 by Super Lawyers Magazine
- Listed in Best Lawyers in America® (for Corporate Law, Litigation, and Real Estate Law)
- Mountain States Super Lawyers, and Utah’s “Legal Elite” (Utah Business magazine)
- Member, World Services Group (International network of top law firms in 115 countries)
- Member, Real Estate and Business Law Sections, Utah State Bar
- Adjunct Professor, J. Reuben Clark Law School, Brigham Young University, Law Practice Management course (2008-2011)
- Board of Trustees, S. J. Quinney College of Law, University of Utah (2002-present); President (2007-2009); Vice President (2005-2006); President-elect (2006-2007);
- Counsel to, and member of, the Executive Committee of the 2014 Zoo, Arts and Parks (ZAP), Renewal Committee (2012-2014)
- Pioneer Theatre Company, Nominating Chair, (2013-2015); Chair of Board of Trustees, (2011-2013); Vice Chair (2009-2011); Development Chair (2008-2009); Member, Executive Committee (2008-present); Member, Artist Housing Governing Board (2008-present); Member, Budget Committee (2004-2008); Member, Board of Trustees (2003-2015)
- Member, Congress of Fellows, Center for International Legal Studies, Salzburg, Austria (2004-2011)
- Chair, Salt Lake City Managing Attorneys Association (2005-2006)
- Featured in Forbes magazine (June 2004)
- “Leading Attorney – Business Law,” KSL-TV Legal Resource Center (2003)
- Member, Rotary, Salt Lake Club (2002-present)
- Disciplinary Panel Judge, Utah State Bar (1989-1991)
- Member, Utah Bar Governance Committee (1988-1990)
- President, Young Lawyers Section, Utah State Bar (1986-1987) (at that time, comprising 50% of the bar membership)
- Recipient, Award of Achievement, ABA Young Lawyers Division for Outstanding Activities (1986-1987)
- Ex Officio Member, Utah State Bar Commission (1986-1987)
- Barrister, American Inns of Court II, VII (1981-1985)
- Lecturer on real estate, corporate and law firm management topics
- Paul Durham led a team of 10 attorneys in the real estate aspects of an acquisition by a billion dollar company of 34 Albertson grocery stores in a single transaction. The acquired stores consisted of a variety of owned, leased and ground-leased properties located in Utah, Idaho, Montana and Nevada. The work involved months of due diligence work, clearing up title issues, dealing with landlord and lender consents, property tax issues, and documenting and transferring title and associated rights to our client.
- Mr. Durham regularly represents one of Utah’s largest highway construction companies and its affiliated companies. Projects have included negotiating and documenting a 30-year mineral lease for the acquisition of sand and gravel, and related reclamation obligations; acquisition of construction companies; acquisition of a building supply company; lending transactions; acquisition of real estate; preparation of joint venture agreements, etc.
- He has represented hotels and resorts in Utah and New Mexico for over 20 years, including the development, on-going corporate representation, and sale of the Homestead Resort in Midway, Utah, consisting of multiple buildings, golf course, and vacation home properties in the vicinity of the resort, and the sale of a similar resort in New Mexico.
- He represents a major landowner and developer in Utah and Idaho, handling legal issues and documentation regarding mass land acquisitions, condemnation proceedings, entitlements, vertical construction, real estate litigation, owners association issues, leasing, etc.
- Mr. Durham has handled asset and stock acquisitions and sales of businesses, including sand and gravel businesses, an asphalt paving company, a major music holding company (to Warner Brothers), a scrapbooking company, software companies, chemical companies, a fulfilment company, truck trailer service and sales companies in Utah and California, hotels and resorts, automobile dealerships, a building supply company, etc.
- He represented a national bank in dozens of construction and permanent financing secured by real estate. He also represents owners in obtaining bank and other financing (including HUD financing) of a variety of businesses, including car dealerships, manufacturing companies, nursing homes, etc.
- He enjoys representing businesses as their “outside in-house counsel,” providing a wide range of legal advice on business and litigation matters based on his many years of experience in the practice of law.
- He handled a two-week judge trial in Idaho defending against a claim of $45 million dollars for damages arising from a failed large residential real estate development. The case resulted in no damages being assessed against our client. The judgement survived an appeal to the Idaho Supreme Court.
- Mr. Durham handled a one-week jury trial defending a claim of damages arising from the flooding of a home. After the trial and jury verdict, the case was successfully settled.
- Mr. Durham handled a 6-week trial in federal court for a national oil company defending a claim of over $70 million, which resulted in only a nominal judgment.
- Morgan v. Quailbrook Condominium Co., 704 P.2d 573 (Utah 1985) (nuisance claim arising from real estate development)
- Salt Lake City v. Cahoon and Maxfield Irrigation Co., 879 P.2d 248 (Utah 1994) (stock in a mutual irrigation company as real property)
- Jane L. et al., v. Norman H. Bangerter as Governor of the State of Utah, 828 F. Supp. 1544 (D. Utah 1993); 61 F.3d 1505 (10th Cir. 1995) (defense of governor regarding Utah abortion statute)
- Republic Group, Inc. v. Won-Door Corp., 883 P.2d 285 (Utah App. 1995) (contract claim for broker’s fee in private placement of corporate stock)
- C & Y Corp. v. General Biometrics, Inc., 896 P.2d 47 (Utah App. 1995) (contract formation; breach of fiduciary duty)
- In Re General Determination of Rights to Use All Water Within Drainage Area of Utah Lake and Jordan River in Utah, Salt Lake, Davis, Wasatch, San Pete and Juab Counties in Utah, 982 P.2d 65 (Utah 1999) (general water rights determination)
- Save Our Schools, et al., v. Board of Education of Salt Lake City, 122 P.3d 611 (Utah 2005) (school closure)