Ryan J. Patterson
  • Shareholder





Ryan J. Patterson’s practice focuses on land use, zoning and permitting, real estate litigation, and environmental litigation. He regularly represents clients before the Planning Commission, Board of Appeals, state and federal courts, and various government agencies. Ryan’s clients include both project sponsors and project opponents, giving him unique insight into the goals and strategies of each. He has represented clients in a wide variety of real estate cases involving code noncompliance, zoning variances, conditional use permits, the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), construction defects, easements and encroachments, short-term rentals (Airbnb), “formula retail” controls, real estate finance, commercial and residential breach of lease, breach of contract, the San Francisco Rent Ordinance and Hotel Conversion Ordinance, and the Ralph M. Brown Act. He has extensive experience using the Housing Accountability Act (Government Code § 65589.5) and other state laws to force the approval of housing development projects.

Prior to joining Zacks, Freedman & Patterson, Ryan completed a postgraduate international business fellowship in London with the Mountbatten Institute and Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen and Loewy, LLP, and he gained experience in Cairo, Egypt, at the International Development Law Organization. Ryan has experience in statewide political campaigns and the California Governor’s Office.

During law school, Ryan served as Editor-in-Chief of UCLA’s largest law journal and as President of the UCLA Business Law Association. 


Areas of Practice

  • Land Use, Zoning & Permitting
  • Land Use Litigation
  • Real Estate Litigation
  • Environmental Litigation

Bar Admissions

  • California
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of California


  • University of California at Los Angeles School of Law, Los Angeles, California
    • J.D. - 2011
    • Honors: President, UCLA Business Law Association
    • Honors: Editor-in-Chief, UCLA Journal of International Law & Foreign Affairs
  • Claremont McKenna College
    • B.A. - 2007
    • Major: Government


  • Super Lawyers® Rising Stars - Land Use & Zoning, 2021
  • Super Lawyers® Rising Stars - Land Use & Zoning, 2020
  • Super Lawyers® Rising Stars - Land Use & Zoning, 2019

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR)
  • Bar Association of San Francisco, Real Property Section
  • State Bar of California, Environmental Law Section

Representative Cases

  • Small Property Owners of San Francisco Institute v. City and County of San Francisco (2018) 22 Cal.App.5th 77
  • Brown v. Kenney (In re Kenney), 2012 WL 3867425, 2012 Bankr.LEXIS 4127 (Bankr.N.D.Cal.2012), 2012
I Ryan Patterson

When it comes to real estate, we love a good challenge.

Ryan J. Patterson
Rated by Super Lawyers

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