LOS ANGELESJohn H. Welborne, a dynamic civic leader with deep roots in the Los Angeles community, is returning to the full time practice of law at Hill Farrer & Burrill. For the past 15 years he has held executive roles in non-profit management.

Early in his career, Welborne established himself as an expert in land use and zoning matters, public transit planning and historic preservation. At Hill, Farrer & Burrill his practice will concentrate on real estate law, especially land use and development, but also general business and nonprofit organization law. Those were his primary areas of practice before he left the law firm of Adams, Duque & Hazeltine in 1996 to become chief operating officer of the California Sesquicentennial Foundation, followed by several years of service as director of the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles Centennial Celebration. Hill Farrer & Burrill was formed in downtown Los Angeles in 1923, and initially built its reputation on its founders’ expertise in litigating eminent domain disputes and corporate transactional work. 

“John brings many skills to the table, not only with respect to real estate matters, but also many years of experience as an executive in nonprofit management,” noted Michael J. DiBiase, managing partner of Hill Farrer & Burrill. “His knowledge and contacts will be invaluable in helping clients to advance their business and real estate development objectives.”

In addition to being a member of Hill Farrer’s thriving real estate litigation and transactional practice, Welborne will work with clients on general business matters and expand the firm’s services by providing legal counsel to nonprofit organizations.

In the early 1990s, drawing on his preservation experience, Welborne led the effort to restore and reopen Angels Flight™ Railway, the historic Los Angeles funicular constructed in 1901 on Downtown’s Bunker Hill, a neighborhood where his family lived at the turn of the 19th Century. Beginning in 2001, he organized and oversaw the fundraising and engineering required to install the all-new drive and control system now operating the funicular. Welborne will continue to serve as president of the Angels Flight™ Railway Foundation, with which he has been involved since its incorporation in 1995.

Now a trustee emeritus of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, he has been involved in many of the most important preservation projects in Los Angeles.  For example, he led the efforts to preserve the Bertram Goodhue-designed Los Angeles Central Libraryand to restore the Central Library West Lawn, later renamed Maguire Gardens. And as a Los

Angeles Conservancy leader, he participated in the earliest (1995) efforts to prevent the demolition of the Cathedral of St. Vibianawhere he was married in October, 1994.

In 1984, Welborne took a leave of absence from Adams, Duque & Hazeltine to serve as President of the Los Angeles County Host Committee for the Olympic Games. His recent community activities have included service on the board of directors of the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Institute of Architects; a trustee of the Children's Bureau of Southern California Foundation and Los Amigos del Pueblo; a director and officer of the Los Angeles Library Association; and a member of the board of directors of the Friends of the Los Angeles County Law Library.

Welborne received his J.D. from University of California, Davis, where he was executive editor of the U.C. Davis Law Review .  He also graduated with a master’s in public administration from University of California, Los Angeles, and an A.B. in humanities from University of California, Berkeley.

Hill, Farrer & Burrill is a full-service law firm that has served the diverse litigation and transaction needs of the Los Angeles business community since 1923, representing major companies in the areas of labor and employment, real estate, including eminent domain, environmental law, intellectual property, professional liability and trusts, tax and probate.