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Getting to Know: Alex Chazen

The partner at Kahana & Feld opens up about real estate, construction, and the golf course.

January 25, 2021 Photo

A former CLM Young Outside Counsel of the Year award winner, Chazen discusses the state of affairs in real estate and construction, and explains how the golf course can be a great equalizer. 

Digging Construction

Like many others, Chazen says he found the insurance industry almost entirely by accident. He was a young lawyer at a new firm, working for a partner who focused on construction claims and litigation. Despite little knowledge of construction or insurance, he says he enjoyed the work from the start and feels thankful for the happy accident that led him to a career he loves.

“Many companies are shifting to a permanent work-from-home system, making large, open office space a thing of the past.” Chazen, discussing the effects of COVID-19 on his commercial real estate clients, who are finding lease renewals shockingly low.

Building Apart

Chazen says the biggest trend he is seeing in construction is a massive rise in delay claims. He says “trade distancing”—when subcontractors refuse to share the jobsite with other trade contractors—means projects are taking longer to complete and complicating the construction process. Further, job sites remain open and exposed to the elements for longer periods of time, which may cause claims years down the road.   

“The professionals who do the work well and in their own way are less likely to get burnt out, and they are the ones who others are going to want to work with again and again." Chazen, on why his advice to other young professionals like himself always begins with “Be yourself.”

Course Lessons   

Chazen started golfing early in life and says playing 18 holes with someone can tell you everything you need to know about them. Whether it’s how they respect the rules, course, or caddies, or how they plan and execute their game from tee box to green, he says golf can be a window to the soul of someone.

“I love soccer, and I wake up way too early in the morning to watch it! Chazen, who follows teams like Chelsea in the Premier League (and Women’s Super League), LAFC, and very soon, Angel City FC.

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About The Authors
Eric Gilkey

Eric Gilkey is vice president of content of CLM magazine, a publication of the CLM.  eric.gilkey@TheCLM.org

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