Sara Sayles is an accomplished real estate transactional attorney with a diverse set of skills and experience working in multiple jurisdictions. She advises developers, landowners, and landlords on land use matters, commercial leases, property sales, and community association matters. Her industry knowledge extends to preparing, reviewing, and negotiating real estate documents and contracts. Sara builds relationships with her clients to understand their objectives and strategically meet their goals, using her broad industry background to champion her clients’ cause in the field.
In addition to her transactional real estate experience, Sara focuses on utility-scale solar development. Beginning with applications to county planning departments and culminating in arguing her clients’ positions before local planning commissions, hearings officers, and the Land Use Board of Appeals, she has assisted developers in obtaining land use entitlements for over 30 Oregon solar projects. Sara also assists her developer clients with purchase and sale of solar project portfolios and navigating construction finance transactions.
Early in her legal career, Sara was an Assistant Attorney General for the American Samoa Office of the Attorney General. There, she worked with the U.S. Department of Labor to bring the territorial government into compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act and acted as in-house counsel to various government departments. Prior to her time in American Samoa, Sara represented California hospitals and inpatient psychiatric facilities in medical malpractice actions. Sara’s extensive and varied background in multiple jurisdictions helps her to pivot quickly to address a broad range of client needs.
- Advises and consults with developers and landowners on real estate and land use matters, including a variety of real estate transactions, zoning analyses, and obtaining land use entitlements.
- Performs due diligence for real estate transactions, including review of title reports, escrow documents, closing documents, deeds, easements, legal descriptions, environmental reviews, and surveys.
- Negotiates and prepares commercial leases, ground leases, property and business sale agreements, deeds, entity formation documents, and contracts.
- Works with developers and community associations, including homeowner associations and condominium associations, regarding association formation, drafting governing documents, turnover, and ongoing association governance and disputes.
- Represents commercial landlords and tenants in resolution of landlord-tenant disputes.
- Represents clients before administrative bodies.
- Provides municipal government advice, including drafting and amendment of policies and resolutions, research and analysis of complex legal issues, and drafting and negotiating of agreements and contracts.
- Represented numerous utility-scale solar developers in the Pacific Northwest to obtain necessary entitlements and assisted them in real estate transactions, including ground leases and sale of solar energy portfolios.
Memberships & Awards
- Oregon Washington Community Association Managers (OWCAM), Member (2020-present)
- Community Associations Institute (CAI), Committee Member (2020-present)
- Rose Villa, Inc. and Rose Villa Foundation, Board Member (2019-2021)
- Oregon Solar and Storage Industries Association, Board Member (2019-present)
- Urban Land Institute (ULI), Member (2018-present)
- Women in Commercial Real Estate (CREW), Member (2018-present)
- Oregon Women Lawyers, Member (2013-present)
- Oregon Super Lawyers “Rising Star” (2019-2020)
- Best Lawyers in America Award: Ones to Watch, Land Use and Zoning Law (2021-2023)
Resources & Ideas
- RealClear EnergyNovember 14, 2022
- July 7, 2021
Seminars & Speaking Engagements
- Northwest Environmental Business CouncilNovember 15, 2022
- The Seminar GroupJune 2, 2022
Nuisances: More than Just Irritating
Community Associations Institute Law Day
Ask an Attorney Panel
Community Associations Institute - Central Oregon Regional Chapter
Real Estate Case Law Update
Oregon State Bar Real Estate and Land Use Section Webinar
- RealClear EnergyNovember 14, 2022
- Daily Journal of CommerceJune 17, 2022
- May 13, 2022
- Daily Journal of Commerce OregonAugust 13, 2021
“The CARES Act: Intersection Between Real Estate and Bankruptcy”
“The CARES Act: Effects on Residential and Multifamily Borrowers and Tenants”
“The CARES Act: Effects on Commercial Landlords”
- Legal Aid Services of Oregon, Senior Law Project, Volunteer (2016-2020)
- Lewis & Clark Law SchoolJuris Doctor degree (2008)
- University of Colorado BoulderBachelor of Arts degree, Environmental Studies (2002)
Oregon State Court
Oregon Federal Court
Washington State Court
Washington Federal Court
California State Court
California Federal Courts
American Samoa, Territorial Bar
Outside The Office
- Finding outdoor adventures with my friends and family.