Lombardo parts company with Lombardo & Gilles
By Paul Miller, Carmel Pine Cone
MONTEREY COUNTY’S most prominent land use attorney has left the law firm that bore his name for the last 17 years and started a new one. Anthony Lombardo is no longer with Lombardo & Gilles LLP. His new firm is called Anthony Lombardo and Associates. “I find it more invigorating and exciting to do my own
thing,” Lombardo said, in explaining his decision to move from a law office that employed as many as 17 lawyers to one with just three.
He started his former firm in 1994, and in 1998 it became Lombardo & Gilles when Jeff Gilles came on board. Over the next decade, it represented most of the county’s high-profile real estate developments, working for clients such as Clint Eastwood, the Pebble Beach Co., Quail Lodge, Hyatt Hotels, Carmel Valley Ranch, Bernardus, Denny LeVett and the Carmel Valley Athletic Club. “All you have to do is work day and night for 18 years, and you’ll become an overnight success,” Lombardo observed. “Whether it’s because of my fame or infamy, I generate a lot of work and have achieved a fair degree of expertise.” “The difference with Tony is that he’s incredibly persistent and gets his clients’ issues addressed more aggressively than the other land use lawyers,” said Monterey County 5th District Supervisor Dave Potter. “You could say he’s annoyingly aggressive.” Developer Alan Williams credited Lombardo with having a good sense of causes that have public support. “Monterey County is split 50-50 on pretty much everything and he’s very good at assessing that,” Williams said.And Clint Eastwood, who was represented by Lombardo in getting permits for the Tehama golf course and housing project in Carmel Valley, said Lombardo was “just a very good land use lawyer … I couldn’t think of anybody better.” According to Lombardo, in 2007 he “transferred ownership” of Lombardo & Gilles to Gilles and another lawyer in the firm, Derinda Messinger. At the same time, he signed a five-year contract to work there — a contract which has now expired. A few of the employees of Lombardo & Gilles, which will now have to be renamed, have moved with Lombardo to his new firm. And so have many of its high-profile clients. “Being a lawyer is like being a doctor, in that it’s all about personal service,” Lombardo said. “And most of my friends are people who started out as clients.” Besides handling a bunch of complicated legal cases and running his new firm, Lombardo serves as president and CEO of the golf courses his father founded at Rancho Cañada, and he runs about 350 head of Angus cattle on his 16,000-acre ranch in southern Monterey County. “Other than that, I’m kinda lazy,” Lombardo said.