The national law firm, Quarles & Brady LLP, today announced Benjamin W. Graff has joined the firm’s Phoenix office in its Real Estate Practice Group, where he will focus on expanding the land use, zoning, and municipal government relations practice. Prior to joining Quarles & Brady, Graff was a founding shareholder of Aday Graff PC, a full-service real estate law firm based in Phoenix and focused on helping clients in the areas of land use and zoning law; rezoning cases and special permits; zoning due diligence; downtown infill; luxury resort development; use permits and variances; site plan and design review; zoning interpretations; master planned communities; and mixed use developments.
“During the course of my career, I’ve always been a part of boutique law firms or those that specialize solely on real estate and zoning,” says Graff. “By joining Quarles & Brady, I am – for the first time – able to tap into a full suite of legal services for my clients, and effectively serve all of their varied needs at one time.”
Graff brings extensive experience in real estate, government relations, water issues and Arizona politics to the Firm. In 2004, Graff was appointed by the Governor to serve a two-year term on the Arizona Board of Regents. His interest in politics ventured beyond advocacy when on November 8, 2016, he was elected by the Maricopa County voters to serve a six-year term on the Central Arizona Water Conservation District (Central Arizona Project) Board of Directors.
“Bringing Ben into the Firm is a big win for Quarles & Brady,” says Nicole Stanton, the firm’s Phoenix-office managing partner. “Ben enables us to truly round out what we can offer to our clients in relation to real estate and land use. Beyond that, Ben is the only zoning attorney in the state of Arizona who is also an elected official, giving him unique insight into the challenges faced by municipal and county governments.”
Graff also authored one of the first Planned Unit Development applications approved by the City of Phoenix and has become one of the preeminent attorneys furthering creative downtown infill development. He has a long record of success in obtaining governmental approvals for rezoning cases, use permits, variances, special use permits, abandonments, certificates of occupancy, site plan approvals, design approvals, and other various legislative and administrative cases.
“Ben has not shied away from the more unique land use cases, having secured the necessary approvals for Arizona’s largest utility-scale solar plant,’” says Jason F. Wood, Arizona Real Estate Practice Group chair at Quarles & Brady. “He also played a prominent role in securing the approval for luxury resort, The Ritz Carlton in Paradise Valley, in 2015, and has vast experience zoning and entitling projects throughout the Valley. Ben brings a complementary set of skills that will be invaluable to our clients.”
As committed to the community as to his legal practice and elected position, Graff – an Arizona native – serves on the board of directors for Kids at Hope and is a member of both Arizona Forward and Valley Partnership, where he served as the legislative committee chair for five years. He is a graduate of Valley Leadership Class XXXI and Regent Emeritus of the Arizona Board of Regents. Graff is also a member of the Phoenix Chapter of Lambda Alpha International (Land Economics Society), the inaugural graduation class from the Flinn/Brown Foundation Leadership Academy, and he has been honored by Best Lawyers’® 2019 as among the “Lawyers of the Year.” Graff received both his bachelor’s degree and Juris Doctor from The University of Arizona.